Time for the annual predictions from Doctor Digital to keep your business ahead of the curve.
Doctor Digital Says
It is tempting to simply flip the previous 2022 reflections post into a predictions post, as many of the themes are remaining strong for the coming year. Where should you be putting your digital focus in your business for 2023? The short and predictable answer is where your customers are. All your strategy emanates off this central thread, who are they, where are they, what do they need from you to meet their needs and how can you deliver that to them in the most authentic, meaningful, playful and profitable way for your business (whatever that looks like for you). Having said that, once you know where your people are at, then you can get down into the nuance of meeting them there. Where's there? It's here - with some of the key digital areas for your business to focus on this year.
- Tik Tok - it's a timebomb for older social platforms like Twitter and Meta, and the rise of Tik Tok and the broadening of its audience is still on the ascension. As Twitter loses its mind, and Facebook loses its customer base, Tik Tok is still an emerging platform that is innovative, ever changing and meeting the zeitgeist of what people want now, which is to be entertained and authentically communicated with. Unlike the purposeful monetisation that Meta undertook with its business strategy, Tik Tok is providing large audiences without forcing the hand of customers, which means that the heavy lifting needs to be done by your brand in having a voice that can be heard over the noise and chaos of the platform.
- Vertical Short Form Video - Between TikTok videos, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts (just to name a few), you really can’t get away from vertical video on social media in 2023. Brands are adopting the 9:16 format for a good reason: it draws in viewers. 15 seconds is the sweet spot, and video in this format is cheap and easy to produce, and as noted above, can be used everywhere.
- Data Clean Rooms - Third-party cookies were the main mechanism for identifying individuals across different websites for the purpose of showing them personalized ads, running frequency capping, measuring the performance of campaigns, and performing attribution. A data clean room is a piece of software that allows brands and advertisers to run targeted advertising campaigns, apply frequency capping, measure and report on the performance of campaigns, and run attribution — all in a privacy-friendly way. This is achieved by uploading first-party data and comparing it to the aggregate data in the data clean room, which has also been added by other companies. This is an emerging area and one we will provide more detailed information on in future blogs.
- Community and relationships are everything - Social is returning to its roots, no matter what platform you favour. This means that content needs to connect and build stories, be inclusive and relevant to people's lives. As year on year of uncertainty continues, the certainty of digital communities that feel real and connected are going to continue to translate to brand engagement. Content creation and social management isn't an expense, it is an investment, and the content creation and understanding of who your audience is and what it needs is imperative. Don't forget to diversify your presence, have a mix of social and web based content so you control your narratives.
- Real-Time Real People Content - 2023 will also be the year of even more livestreaming. Instagram Lives, Facebook Lives, LinkedIn Lives, TikTok Lives, YouTube Lives and Pinterest Lives are excellent ways to encourage real-time participation with your followers. You can invite guests, do giveaways, and answer questions. People want to connect with people, and a livestream allows your brand to play and show its values in real-time with the customers who you want to turn into raving fans and evangelists and perhaps content creators for you. As the world moves more and more into the digital space, humanizing your content and taking a holistic approach are key elements to keep in mind for remaining top-of-mind.
- The Reel Deal - In 2022, Instagram made some sweeping changes, including doing away with IGTV and "Instagram Video" in favour of a Reels-first approach. While horizontal videos, longer than the Reels max of 90 seconds, are still accepted for now, content marketers should definitely be prepared to incorporate Reels into social media content planning. Otherwise you risk falling way behind in the algorithm.
- Content for All - content is moving to a multi-creator approach, with more voices for your brand becoming a must for 2023. Give your staff, key customers and brand collaborators the freedom to create and share their version of your story across platforms. Inviting interactivity and the lived experience of being your brand is a great way to create innovative content and also to bring customers into your inner circle.
- AR and VR - Finally these are moving out of the futuristic bucket and into the here-and-now mainstream for businesses. Augmented reality and virtual reality, programs that immerse people into artificial 360 degree worlds are providing new ways of sampling products and purchasing, through the simple use of their mobile devices. Think try on apps for clothes and makeup, room content builders for interiors, real estate walk-throughs. While it is functional and exciting there are still barriers to adoption by consumers, copy and content writers should definitely think about honing their micro-copy skills. AR and VR experiences require a lot of explainers and clear CTAs to encourage users to access AR features. VR also requires strong visual and written storytelling skills, and an ability to match the two together seamlessly.
- Collaborations - Collaborative marketing could see an uptick in 2023, given social platforms are now offering easier ways to tag other creators or brand accounts. This is a great way to increase engagement and combat declining reach. Influencers are still a top marketing channel, but as we crave and demand more authenticity, content that is co-created and of the people collabs on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and more will be huge opportunities for content marketers.
- Cyber Security and data privacy - Yep, we are ending on cyber security as it is critical for all of the previous 9 predictions to be able to be executed by your business. If the recent cyberattacks across Australia have taught us anything, it’s the threat of customer data breaches is only going to grow as cybercriminals hone tactics and techniques. Businesses that handle any personally identifiable information about their clients, which is most business that have a digital presence will nudge out competitors in 2023 by focussing on cybersecurity and privacy efforts. As we have said so often at the Digital Ready program, effective privacy is a result of strong cybersecurity in an organisation. While traditionally this may have felt like a cost-centre, 2023 will continue the mindset shift to cybersecurity as a revenue enabler.
UPDATE: The Australian and Tasmanian Governments have banned the use of TikTok on government devices for security reasons. While there is no ban currently for businesses or citizens in Tasmania or nationally, it is suggested that TikTok users consider the way they manage their security and content when using the platform. The following advice was provided to the Tasmanian Government public service staff from the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) when using TikTok as below and can be used as a guide for some basic security protocols for your business:
- do not use it on a phone that can access any official information (email clients, MS Teams, passwords, personal identifying data),
- if a phone does have TikTok installed, keep the phone away from any sensitive conversations,
- remove metadata (such as location information) from photos and videos before uploading them to TikTok.