It’s small business season, especially at Deckard & Company’s southwest Florida headquarters here in Bradenton. Florida’s seasonal rush—which usually starts around November and keeps Sarasota-Bradenton businesses busy through Easter—definitely hits a holiday peak between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
And if our small-business website clients are busy, then we’re busy.
But of course, this isn’t really the time for brand-new clients to come to us. If you’re a small business owner and you find yourself overwhelmed in the holiday season, you’re probably not going to turn around and start shopping for web designers come Christmas week. No, you’re going to hunker down and do your best and then re-examine your options whenever you can come up for air.
So. Breathing freely yet? Ready to see what can be done better with your company’s website and digital marketing plan in 2023? Good. Let’s see what trends we need to get on this year.
Top 2023 Marketing Trend No. 1: Mobile Devices
They never were going to go away. But mobile devices are actually expanding in countless directions. Phones or tablets, laptops or watches, small screens of every size and dimension are everywhere. How is your website showing up on them?
Responsive web design ensures that your website not only looks right on any screen, but is also easy-to-use on every device. That means the fonts are legible, the videos still play, and the links and buttons are easy to access with a mouse, stylus or finger.
In fact, this isn’t just about looking good and being convenient. Device accessibility ensures that your website takes into account the needs of a variety of people, regardless of limitations, disabilities, personal comfort or location. We want your business to have inclusivity among its core values, and that often starts with your digital presence.
Top 2023 Digital Marketing Trend No. 2: Meeting Customers Where They Are
Speaking of accessibility, another top trend of the coming year involves offering your services in the ways people are most comfortable accessing them—by the type of device, location, and even purchasing and communications preferences.
Depending on what your business is selling, “meeting customers where they are” could mean simply a responsive website and/or targeted social media ads. Or it could mean an online store, online scheduling, or just online communications. Newsletters (ie email newsletters) are going to be hot this year, too. Is your website set up to easily access your company’s latest news and join your e-newsletter list?
So if your small business is still demanding that customers get their info and make their purchases how and when you insist on making them available, then…wow. You are not set up for the 2023 digital marketplace.
Top 2023 Digital Marketing Trend No. 3: Authentic Communication
OK, as if overused templates and outsourcing weren’t infuriating enough, we’re still seeing ads for AI content, including copywriting performed “by robots.” And wow, our copywriter, who is a real-live human being, is going to blow a gasket.
AI content is just straight-up stupid for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it has a pretty good chance of not making any sense. Secondly, search-engine algorithms can pick auto-generated copy out of a lineup in a split second—and they don’t like it either. Thirdly, your customers, who are also real-live human beings, are going to know that you’re just phoning in your written communications.
It’s really bad for SEO, and it looks lazy and disrespectful. And those are pretty unforgiveable qualities in a small business. If you can’t write the copy or design the website yourself, then please, hire professionals to do it for you. The bots aren’t going to pay the bills.
Top 2023 Digital Marketing Trend No. 4: QR Codes (Believe It or Not)
Yeah, we just figured we’d include this one, as weird as it is. As much as QR codes seemed like a joke a couple years ago, it turns out they’re gaining legitimacy—especially among the younger generations.
We’ll spare you the techno-babble about how they work, just know this: When all people have to do is point their phone at an image to gain access to your website, then you’re going to gain exponentially more visitors. When displayed in the right materials, QR codes are really a combination of our top two trends above: Making it easier for customers to find you, regardless of their device.
So if you really want your small business to be legitimate in 2023, you’re going to need your digital presence to take advantage of some—and preferably all—of these trends.
If that sounds complicated or overwhelming, rest assured you don’t have to sweat it. Just give Deckard & Company a call.