We’re excited to share all these trends

We’re here to help you with these trends

We know you’ll love all of these trends; yes, they’re all right in here!

Oh, bring us all your questions

Oh, we’ll have some good suggestions

Oh, bring us all your questions

And we’ll make it clear!

We can’t wait to share all these trends

You’ll have business growth with these trends

Your marketing should use all these trends, and you’ll have a strong year!

New trends that we bring to you, right herein

We hope you’ll use all of these trends for a happy new year!

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Infographics: The days of choosing between paragraphs of text or a single image are gone – thanks to the rise in popularity of the infographic! Infographics offer marketers (and their audiences) the best of both worlds: appealing design and brand recognitionl, paired with important data and information. In a time when the flow of information moves at the speed of light, users want content that they can digest in a glance, and an infographic is the perfect way to deliver. Whether they’re used on social media, a website or blog, or in print, infographics will appeal to a multitude of users in the coming year.

Bold, abstract shapes: Last year we told you that bold colors were back, and this year we’re telling you they’re here to stay! But it’s not just bright bold colors that are dominating design; abstract elements and shapes are adding another layer of visual contrast to our graphics in 2023. These fluid, often round or circular shapes add depth without distraction, capturing your viewers’ attention without causing chaos. These shapes are great for adding a pop of color to designs with significant white space, while keeping things clean and clutter-free.

Inclusivity: This trend has been on our radar for several years, as the global awareness of the importance of representation in images, icons, video, and voiceover has increased. We love that this trend continues to expand year after year. Inclusiveness in design can include graphics, icons, and images that represent a range of genders and gender identities, skin color, size, and age. It’s important to make sure that your inclusive visuals are all also supported by inclusive messaging and values – after all, our words only have as much impact as our actions.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Short form video: Short-form videos have proven to be a significant part of a successful engagement strategy on social media over the last couple of years, and that trend shows no signs of slowing in 2023. Between reels and TikToks, short form video has officially conquered the web and should be considered an integral part of any organic social media strategy. So don’t stop now – keep creating that beautiful and exciting video content that your ideal viewer would want to see!

Featuring customer content: For a long time, brands and businesses have focused on showcasing themselves on their social media platforms – and we understand why! But in the coming year, businesses will see an increase in featured customers content, from tagged photos and Stories, to video testimonials and customer shout-outs, and this trend is a great way to establish strong relationships with your audience. Featuring customer content on your social media accounts will help influence engagement and trust. It can help to build strong relationships with your followers and enhance your brand’s Instagram presence. If someone posts a photo of a fun experience or a product they’re using on social media, other people will want the same kind of experience no matter what the product or service is.  

Using social media direct messaging to connect with customers: While we still believe in the incredible power of email marketing, there’s a new messaging trend on the horizon for 2023: direct messaging on social media! Although direct messages, or DM’s, are used to message a single customer at a time, rather than a bulk mailing, this kind of intimate connection allows you to make meaningful connections with your online audience and increase customer satisfaction. Direct marketing is a perfect way to reach out to a selected group of consumers through social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn DMs. Doing this will allow you to promote your products and services to people who need them the most, by providing them with calls to action (CTAs) that prompt customers to act.

DIGITAL CONTENT

Data tracking & privacy: Over the last few years, we’ve seen big data breaches that affect customer’s data and privacy amongst some of the largest and seemingly indestructible companies out there – but no matter the size of your company or your website or how many customers you have, protecting customer’s data is essential to earning their trust. As marketers, we collect everything from name and email addresses, to website behaviors and purchase history data. Use the new year as motivation to assess your data tracking and protection methods – like encrypting stored data, installing or updated your security software, and making sure your employees are up to date with the most recent data privacy and protection practices. 

Improving the customer content experience: The digital customer experience is going to take a front-row seat more than ever in 2023, particularly for small businesses. Gone are the days where customers might expect to fill out a form and wait days to hear back. Visitors now look for things like live chat, virtual assistance, and rapid, personalized responses.  Although having a successful end product is important, the customer journey and buying experience will see a renewed focus in the coming year. 

Email marketing: We know businesses of all shapes and sizes love metrics – but one popular email marketing engagement metric is changing drastically in 2023 – and businesses need to be aware! Thanks to a new data & privacy protection iOS update from Apple, open rates will no longer be true indicators of whether or not an email was opened. Under the latest update, Apple preloads all of the email content, including the tracking data, making emails appear opened even if they haven’t been. This can also affect email flows related to customer activity like email opens. While this trend has not affected Android users (yet), businesses and their marketers will want to be aware of these changes, and look for alternative solutions and methods for tracking the success of their email campaigns. 

BEHIND THE SCENES

Employee activation/engagement: Who is the best face to put on your brand? Your employees! It’s always been important to make sure your employee’s workplace behavior reflects well on your business, and that they provide top-notch service to your customers, but true employee activation in company brands, mission, and culture will take on a new role in 2023. Your employees should be engaged in your business, and have a thorough understanding of the company brand and values. Businesses will want to concentrate on making sure that this vision is reflected back to their customers every time they interact with an employee – and the best way for businesses to do this is by investing in their employee’s well-being.  We’ve seen proof of this over the last two years especially: workers are placing a significant premium on feeling valued at work and having confidence in the culture of their workplace. We feel confident in predicting that employee activation will surpass the title of “trend” in the coming year, and become a cornerstone of operation for successful businesses everywhere. 

Authenticity & “the human factor”: More than ever before, customers are looking to engage with authentic brands and companies. Make sure your brand voice and the voice of your company culture shines through in your digital marketing – that you share with current and potential customers what and why you are passionate about what you do, and why you care to make a difference. Now is the time to put your soft skills on display and show customers that you not only have the technical skills and knowledge to solve their problems, but you have the personal touch to make working together enjoyable and easy. 

Project management: Don’t be afraid to try out new project management tools for your marketing team that you haven’t tried before! Most project management software has a free trial available or even free usage of their software for smaller teams. As a team, we’ve utilized platforms such as Asana, Teamwork, and Trello – but we haven’t been afraid to pivot and try a new one if our current platform isn’t meeting our needs. With 2+ years of virtual work due to the pandemic behind us, there are more options than ever to test with your team!

We’ve said this before but we’ll say it again – even though a lot of project management tools can automate and streamline your project progress, don’t rely on them for everything. We are still human and we still need connection when it comes to managing projects, whether internally or for our customers and clients. Utilize your PM tools/software, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to check in on a project or send a quick message via Slack to see how things are going. While we love the ease of automation, sometimes nothing can replace a phone or video call with a client or teammate to secure and strengthen a business relationship.

What trend is mC team the most excited to watch in 2023?

Founder & Principal Strategist Julie Holton:I’m excited – and a little scared! – to see how Artificial Intelligence continues to develop in the coming year. There’s a fine line between excited and nervous, and AI hangs in that balance. AI is already transforming our digital experience, and most people don’t even realize it. We’ve all seen the cool trends where people share their AI photos – it’s fun to see yourself as a fantastical creation, but the reality is that these programs are only getting more and more advanced. We’re now seeing them create content, and I, like many others – will be keeping a close eye on what it will mean for human content creators, creatives, artists, photographers, and videographers when individuals are using computer-generated AI to create images, instead of tapping into the creativity and talent of real people.

Yet at the same time, we can look at the many opportunities this presents. If AI is used to supplement the work that content creators are already doing, will that create an improved user experience? Allow us to create more with less? There are so many possibilities!

Of course, even the potential benefits come with huge disclaimers and warnings. We’ve tested several AI programs ourselves and caught quite a few of them engaging in plagiarism, as they pull content from all across the internet. Suffice it to say, this is one trend I’ll be watching with bated breath this year!

Senior Digital Strategist Alexis Neumann: I can’t wait to watch how the use of colors and shapes in design continues to evolve in 2023! Over the last couple of years, we’ve really seen a significant shift away from delicate, neutral minimalism, and a purposeful step towards rich, bold, bright colors with a lot of dynamic elements. Even the Pantone 2023 Color of the Year is getting in on the action. To quote Pantone, “The Color of the Year 2023 merges the richness, warmth, and strength of natural matters with the rich, open horizons of the digital world.” 

As a designer at heart, I’m excited to see the way those digital horizons expand over the next 365 days, and how we’ll see those possibilities and opportunities reflected through our use of color.

Social Media Strategist Mary-Kate Horgan: I’m excited to see how people express themselves with reels! Video is the future of Instagram and reels are your ticket to Instagram success. Short videos allow you to show off the best parts of your life/business by being yourself. Social platforms are getting smarter, and their algorithms are increasingly favoring organic, natural engagement, and more #nofilter moments! 

Project Coordinator Erin Kuhn: I’m excited to see brands and companies continue to be more transparent with the “behind-the-scenes” of their companies – I think customers and consumers of content alike are starting to care less about brand NAMES and more about who the brand is, what they represent, and why they’re passionate about it. I’m excited to see this reflected in their social media accounts, as well as on their websites. I’d love to see more of “a day in the life” type of content that gives customers a look into how products are made, how services are conducted, and how a company might be navigating today’s competitive and demanding market.

Now, if you thought that some of these 2023 trends sounded familiar…you’re right! Although the new year might be right around the corner, the truth is that many of these digital marketing trends have been emerging and in action throughout 2022 – and they’re only going to get more impactful in 2023.

And whether you’re looking to dive deeper into the trends you’ve already been working on, or you’re ready to take a closer look at something brand new, our team is here to help you with your digital marketing efforts all year long. Reach out to our team today, and let’s start 2023 the best way possible: together.