8 digital marketing trends 2023 for small businesses

Business owners looking at marketing trends

The most effective ways to market a small business are ever changing, so it’s important to keep an eye on the latest services, products, and tools.

Read on to find out the eight digital marketing trends that could boost your business in 2023.

Although it can be tempting to spend less on marketing in challenging times, businesses can attract more customers by committing to a marketing plan.

However at a time when costs are rising, you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your budget.

Here are eight top marketing trends for 2023 to give you inspiration and a head start when creating your digital strategy.

  1. Why Google wants helpful content
  2. The benefits of prioritising personalisation
  3. How can you get noticed on TikTok?
  4. Influencer marketing to go from strength to strength
  5. Vertical video content to remain invaluable
  6. Have you tried live streaming for your business?
  7. Sustainability and social responsibility are front of mind for consumers
  8. Why consumers will continue to trust UGC

Why Google wants helpful content

The days of writing content stuffed with keywords in the hope that it will rank highly on search engine results pages are over.

In August 2022, Google launched its helpful content update. So, what does this mean for your marketing content in 2023?

Google’s latest change says that publishers who create ‘more original, helpful content written by people, for people’ will perform better in search results.

Helpful content – what you should do

  • create content that shows understanding of the subject and includes first-hand experience where possible
  • do your best to make sure someone who reads your articles gets what they were originally looking for
  • think about whether the content you’re producing would be useful for your target audience if they came directly to your website

Helpful content – what you should avoid

  • reproducing existing content without adding any value or expertise
  • writing about popular topics that don’t relate to your target audience or purpose
  • promising to answer a question that you can’t answer to attract clicks

What are zero-volume keywords?

As ranking high on search engine results pages becomes increasingly competitive, another SEO trend for 2023 is targeting keywords with zero search volume.

The idea is to rank for a topic or keyword before it peaks in popularity and becomes too difficult. This article by Ahrefs explains how to take advantage of this trend in more detail.

The benefits of prioritising personalisation

In a crowded marketplace, personalised marketing can help you to stand out from your competitors.

Including first name personalisation in emails has been common for a few years, but now savvy marketers are taking personalisation to the next level.

This could include:

  • curated content based on someone’s interests
  • personal vouchers and discount codes based on previous orders and browsing activity
  • communications sent at different times, depending on when customers usually interact with your brand

The average consumer is time-poor and receives a high amount of marketing on a daily basis. That’s why the more personalised content you can deliver, the more likely your brand is to be perceived positively.

Personalising your marketing strategy will take time and investment. You’ll need to find a customer data platform that can collect information about your customers for you to use in personalised campaigns.

How can you get noticed on TikTok?

Sharing content on TikTok is likely to be fairly new to most small business owners. But in 2023, it’s something that can’t be avoided for much longer.

Posting content on TikTok is one thing, but getting it seen by your target audience is likely to be more difficult. TikTok has shared some algorithm guidelines and this Moz article looks at them in depth.

Here are three key things to think about when using TikTok to promote your small business:

  • prioritise engagement – think about how you can encourage people to replay, follow, or comment, as TikTok posts with more engagement rank better
  • put time into titles and hashtags – the platform shows people videos based on their interests, so targeted titles and tags can put your posts in front of the right people
  • be clever with audio – a lot of TikTok’s most popular videos are based on songs and audio clips, how can you use these to your advantage?

Influencer marketing to go from strength to strength

Influencer marketing is nothing new, but it’s becoming increasingly popular with smaller businesses.

Working with influencers, either on social media or through guest blog posts, can help to get your product in front of a new audience that has an existing relationship with them.

If you’re thinking about working with influencers in 2023, here are some things to consider:

  • use tools to identify influencers – platforms like Sprout Social and CreatorIQ can help you to analyse current trends in digital marketing and choose from a selection of relevant influencers
  • maximise sales with affiliate marketing links – this allows you to track influencer activity and is an easy way for them to promote your products
  • work with niche influencers – people with a focused following in a specialist area are likely to cost less and help you to reach a more targeted audience
Influencer doing a live stream


Vertical video content to remain invaluable

Since Instagram adopted reels to compete with TikTok, short-form vertical videos have become a digital marketing essential.

These videos are cheap and quick to make, plus they can be repurposed across multiple platforms with little editing.

Short-form vertical videos help to bring a brand to life. Their versatility allows you to share content created by influencers, as well as product information, and footage direct from your team.

In 2022 it became clear that Instagram users who want to get their posts seen by more people need to be creating reels.

And as people become used to viewing content this way, the importance of this video format is likely to rise further in 2023.

Have you tried live streaming for your business?

To coincide with the rise of influencer marketing, live streaming could become an even more popular digital marketing service for small businesses in 2023.

The benefits of live streaming include:

  • having the opportunity to interact directly with your audience
  • being able to build anticipation and buzz around your stream
  • streaming on sites like Facebook and YouTube is free

There’s also a growing trend of live stream shopping. Similar to a TV shopping channel, this is when influencers and brand ambassadors promote products during a live stream that can be bought instantly by viewers.

Although this type of live stream is unlikely to take off with small businesses any time soon, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

Sustainability and social responsibility are front of mind for consumers

There’s no doubt that consumers are more conscious of the social and environmental impact of who they buy from and what they buy.

For many small businesses, this presents an opportunity to explain more about your social or environmental purpose in your marketing.

For example your business may use recycled or recyclable materials, limit packaging, or promote longevity to reduce things being thrown away. Alternatively, you could give some of your profits to a charitable cause or volunteer in the local community.

There’s no reason why these benefits can’t feature in your marketing campaigns. However, it’s important you’re not ‘greenwashing’ – misleading customers to be perceived as eco-conscious.

Read our articles on environmentally-friendly businesses, B Corps, and sustainable fashion brands for more information.

Why consumers will continue to trust UGC

User generated content (UGC) can be an invaluable tool to help you build trust with your customers.

UGC for marketing can take many forms, including:

  • guest appearances at events or on live streams
  • commentary on blog or newsletter articles
  • filmed or written reviews
  • unboxing of products
  • long-form case studies
Customer unboxing a product for review


Although influencer marketing remains very popular, UGC is seen as more authentic and genuine by some consumers.

To get the most out of UGC, you’ll need to be proactive in speaking to customers on social media, asking for reviews, and planning for opportunities to create content with customers when you meet them.

Before reaching out to your customers, it’s worth checking the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and making sure you have a process in place to interview people. If you’re not sure about anything, speak to a legal professional who specialises in marketing.

Read more articles about digital marketing to help you increase brand awareness, grow your audience, and attract more customers:

Why is digital marketing important for your business? Let us know in the comments below.

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Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a professional writer with over 10 years’ experience across the property, small business, and insurance sectors. A trained journalist, Conor’s previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor has worked at Simply Business as a Copywriter for three years, specialising in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

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