2023 Digital Marketing Trends from the GCommerce Marketing Experts


Trend #1 - Short Form Video to Rule Them All

By Erin Fischer, Marketing Manager

Short form video really took off in 2022 due in large part to TikTok and Instagram Reels, but 2023 will be the year that short form dominates over all other digital marketing ad types. Otherwise known as “snackable” content, short-form videos meet the needs of consumers by providing relevant content in a more digestible format that only needs to be about 15-60 seconds in length. These videos are more authentic than previous forms of video advertising, often being shot from the creator’s phone and including subtitles to be more inclusive.

One platform to focus on in particular is YouTube Shorts. According to Google, YouTube Shorts has over 1.5 billion active monthly users and are already being dropped in search engine results, making this a massive opportunity to reach new and current consumers. The best part is that like TikTok and Instagram Reels, these videos can be shot, edited, and put into a template all from the convenience of your phone.

Trend #2 - A More Visual Search Experience

By Lisa McGivney, Director of Marketing

Call it the “TikTok effect” but in 2022 Google announced changes to make it’s search results experience more visual, and I think this will continue to impact things like organic and paid search in 2023. In recent years Google has also released products like Google web stories to help brands focus on more visual story-type and content creation for it to use in search results. We even saw Google test adding story content from sources around the web to destination knowledge panels. I think adoption of this product has been slower but there are also features like image extensions for paid search and new search layouts that include more visual elements that brands need to really think about in 2023. 

How can your hotel prepare for a more visual search engine experience? Make sure your hotel’s digital marketing budget includes line items for new image and video assets quarterly or at least annually. Visual content is going to continue to be important in 2023, and this extends beyond the channels you typically associate visual assets with like social media - it will expand to be even more important in search results too.

Trend #3 - A Shift To Engagement & Community Marketing

By Alex Scharpf, Search Marketing Strategist

As the next generation takes over, the marketing landscape is moving towards more personal and individualized audience interactions. Consumers are shifting away from feature-based transactions, instead craving authentic connections with unique and creative brands. Data tools are reflecting a similar change, deprioritizing quantitative metrics like website sessions in favor of engagement metrics such as click through rate and customer lifetime value. As we move forward, shallow marketing designed for maximum volume will no longer work. Instead, marketers will need to focus on creating deep, meaningful connections with their audience. 

To make these connections, brand communities will become a vital tool for effective marketing. Building these communities will require creative storytelling, comprehensive first-party data, and a strong understanding of personal brand. To get started, drop the generic ad language, focus on your most loyal audiences, and set up a GA4 account. Check out our community marketing guide for more tips.

Trend #4 - TikTok Continues to Drive Authentic Advertising

By Stephanie Lutz, Digital Marketing Specialist

Formalized TikTok advertising really began to take off in 2022 and it doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down in 2023. TikTok is beginning to reach the older audience with almost 37% of TikTok users being 35 and older, according to marketer Ayan Chakraborty. It opens many doors for reaching consumers as users typically spend an average of 45 minutes on the app per day and it is one of the only apps where users have to have their volume on to use it, and don’t mind!

In terms of advertising, TikTok generated $4 Billion in advertising revenue in 2021 and it is expected to double by 2024 and is now outperforming all other social media platforms. Because of how engaged TikTok users are due to the nature of the platform, advertising on TikTok is increasing consumer spending. Advertising on TikTok is less expensive in comparison to more traditional types of digital advertising.

Trend #5 - Increased Usage of LinkedIn Advertising

By Kristina Moon, Digital Marketing Specialist

As we shift into 2023, LinkedIn will be the platform that businesses will turn to for their specific business-travel goals. Properties will need to move away from pushing constant sales ads and shift to creating ads that engage and create connections. There is a big shift happening on LinkedIn where users want to see new and thoughtful content. As businesses shift to using LinkedIn more often, using content that is informative and insightful will be a powerful tool to gain the audience's trust. 

To make these ads effective and less about sales, businesses will have to create their own unique content and find their brand voice. Users are wanting to see more authenticity on the platform and personality. Utilizing curated content will be big going into the new year because that shows customers that you are connected and paying attention to trends happening. This also shows potential customers that you are part of the community and have value to offer. Businesses will have to think outside the box when it comes to reaching users on how their products or services align with their audience’s values.

Trend #6 - First Party Data Taking Center Stage

By Jael Dugdale, Search Marketing Strategist

As we say goodbye to 2022, we welcome 2023 and all its upcoming or impending changes. The clock is ticking on third-party cookies, with the concern of privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and iOS14, data is now being muted and we see the impact throughout our marketing efforts:

  • Ad campaign performance 
  • Facebook event match quality 
  • Custom audience match rates 
  • ROAS 

With third-party cookies being deprecated, first-party data will be stepping up in the form of surveys, forms, questionnaires, and email collections. They will play a more prominent role on your website and in your marketing strategy. It will be critical to cultivate this data to analyze consumer interactions rather than through third parties. This goes hand in hand with Google's push for authentic experiences. This data collection will allow us to connect with existing consumers and build relationships to drive revenue growth. For 2023 investing in first-party data should be on your agenda so you are ready for the change in the second half of 2024.

Trend #7 - Give Before Take - The Growth of Education Content

By Morgan Tuohy, Digital Marketing Specialist

2022 was one of the first years we saw widespread education content promoted by brands. With the prevalence of short form video, what once took the form of carousel ads on Instagram can now become viral content on Instagram reels or TikTok. 

Travel and hospitality brands have long been pioneers in this genre of content; top 10 attraction blog posts, emails containing local’s secrets, and more. However, few hospitality brands are taking advantage of their travel expertise through the short-form video format. As short-form video platforms become search engines, this content becomes more and more valuable. 2023 will be the year that educational content becomes a primary way to reach new customers interested in traveling to your destination.

Trend #8 - The Shift To GA4 & How It’ll Help Grow Your Brands Reach

By Moses Centeno, Search Marketing Specialist

As web browsing and Social Media evolve into a less intrusive, more privacy-focused experience, the use of third-party cookies and hyper-specific retargeting comes to an end. As previously mentioned, the next generation of digital consumers holds brands to a higher standard, not only in data protection, but they expect a more personalized brand experience and values that align with their own. With the sunsetting of Google Analytics 3 and forcing website owners to embrace Google Analytics 4, Google’s answer to a more privacy-centric data collection tool. GA4 offers more interactive-based reports or metrics that can help marketers develop a better understanding of the type of content their consumers want. 

For example, engagement rate is one of the new GA4 metrics enabling you to identify how your customers are interacting with your content. By analyzing your organic traffic landing page report, you’ll gain insight into the first impression users have of your website. This helps you to understand what areas (the type of content) they pay more attention to, which helps us find opportunities to grow traffic. Now, we can go one step deeper by analyzing the engagement rate of these pages & determine the type of content our consumers are actually interested in and continue to build on what’s working, and discontinue what isn’t - even influencing the type of ads we create. 

Trend #9 - How Microsoft’s Investment In AI May Lead To Greater Competition For Google

By Patrick Buckner, Search Marketing Strategist

By now many of us have heard of OpenAI’s Chat GPT, an advanced chatbot that can write speeches, create poetry, and even help kickstart marketing copy. What you may not have heard is that Microsoft is considering investing $10 Billion in the company in an attempt to help them even the playing field with Google. The hope is that by incorporating the latest AI technology into their search engine, the results will be more accurate, more engaging, and more helpful to the searcher. 

Given that Google has already begun to lose some market share to competitors (they still capture 28.8% of all U.S. digital ad revenue, but that is down from their peak of 34.7%), it’s possible that with the implementation of the OpenAI technology Microsoft could become a bigger player in the advertising game. Will Microsoft’s early adopter strategy pay off long term? It’s tough to say, but it’s something that we’ll be watching closely throughout the 2023 and beyond.

So, what now?

Armed with the knowledge to set you forth into an ever-evolving world, GCommerce is here to help you reach your goals in 2023! Contact us today to learn more about our marketing services.