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We’re just over one month into 2023, and we’ve already seen a lot: Changes and layoffs in big tech, ChatGPT and a gathering storm of economic uncertainty. There’s no doubt that inflation is an overarching player here. Forty-seven percent of business owners believe that inflation will be their biggest business challenge in 2023. Despite this, a new study concluded that over one-third of business owners and entrepreneurs (perhaps surprisingly) still plan on increasing their marketing budgets. Economic uncertainty will nevertheless drive marketing innovation — with an eye towards efficiency and increased profitability — as brands and marketers adjust their marketing approaches to the current climate.

With that as a backdrop, here are some principles you should consider applying to your marketing strategy in 2023:

Related: 3 Marketing Trends to Adopt in 2023

Operation: Conversion

With rising media and acquisition costs, now is the time to develop or hire a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) team that is solely focused on converting your existing database, traffic and leads.

We’re currently working with all of our clients to refocus on making the most out of their leads and auditing areas of “leakage,” as well as identify ways to improve conversion rates along the funnel.

Even a .5 percent increase in a lead-to-customer conversion rate will often have a significant business impact.

Expectations in media performance

As additional streaming channels pop up in an already crowded media landscape, expect even more audience fragmentation. In 2023, this will be acceptable news for proponents of “addressable” advertising, especially as more streaming channels (such as Netflix and Disney+) begin offering ad-supported packages to their fee-weary customers. As a result, marketers will need to produce multiple niche, highly-focused campaigns where the return on investment (ROI) will be easily measured — an all-important factor at a time when advertising efficacy will be under sharp scrutiny.

For those who are happy with the performance of their “linear” advertising models, television will remain a channel that delivers — especially for consumer, healthcare and retail verticals. Several analysts predict that linear and connected TV (CTV) channels will see increased ad spends this year. Why? Because they continue to be strong performers for many businesses.

Related: How to Adjust Your Marketing to Survive a 2023 Recession

Maximizing social media ROI

In order for your brand to maximize social media ROI, 2023 needs to be the year of quality over quantity. This requires strategically choosing a platform that reaches your target audience, regardless of the platform’s overall popularity or follower count.

The TikTok algorithm exemplifies how this works, as it segments a massive audience into very niche areas of interest. It’s essentially creating small worlds of like-minded users. Many of these small worlds will represent potential content targets for you. Your brand just needs to create content that will connect with them.

And content creation is actually getting easier. TikTok recently increased its video description capacity to 2,200 characters. This makes TikTok video content much more searchable, which is a huge plus for a channel that’s already rivaling Google for search engine dominance — especially among young people.

As a marketer, you will be happy to know that this is a way to expose your brand to thousands of new consumers. The key is to produce engaging, short content and be sure to fully describe this content. TikTok’s algorithm uses a video’s description to guide whom it distributes particular content to).

Even if you don’t yet have a TikTok strategy (and by 2023, you really should!), embrace the short-form video model, and apply it to whichever social media platform you are using. Short-form video rules, so use it (shh, don’t tell YouTube!).

Rethinking analytics

You know the old adage: “Numbers don’t lie.” This could not be truer when it comes to analytics. By using your website analytics to inform your marketing strategy, you can assess what’s working and what’s not. For example, if you implemented a TikTok campaign that moved the needle on sales in 2022, you can justify a bigger ad spend in your social budget for 2023.

As your brand captures more data from myriad touchpoints, use the analytics to better understand the needs of your customers, develop more relevant products and services for them, and scale back on those activities which they don’t find relevant.

In 2023, make it a goal to expand your data sources with a focus on anything that can provide data in real-time. Even on a limited budget, simple measures such as conducting a survey or collecting insights from your online chatbots can pave the way for your marketing team in getting a more comprehensive look at your customers and how best to communicate with them.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Succeeding With Marketing Analytics

The new era of content marketing

Content marketing is no longer confined to blogs and newsletters. Today’s consumer demands much more. With Americans reportedly watching, on average, between 80 and 120 minutes of online video on a daily basis, video communication has become a necessity for successful brands in 2023. In addition to short-form entertaining videos — like TikToks or Instagram Reels – we will also see a shift towards educational and “how-to” video content. High-quality, researched content that informs and inspires has become a popular feature on these platforms, as shown by the 12 billion+ views of #TikTokTaughtMe videos.

These days, with so much content being created — by virtually everyone — no one has time for rote or sub-par content experiences. Once again, the focus in 2023 will be on the development of engaging content that resonates with users and provides value for the time they spend with you. Concentrate on being the expert in your area by providing useful content.

Because of external forces such as inflation and an unpredictable economy, marketing in 2023 will provide both challenges and opportunities. Build your strategies with these forces in mind, knowing that your budgets and results will be under significant pressure to perform. Take advantage of the new tools in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to become a more efficient marketing machine — one that leverages data to sharpen campaigns and drive sales. Continue to content market, but get a better feel for where your prospective customers are and what content choices are resonating with them. Finally, be flexible. There are more changes coming, and you will want to make the ability to pivot quickly part of your new balancing act.

This article is from Entrepreneur.com

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