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Digital Marketing Trends Autumn 2023

Thursday 28th September

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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Digital Marketing Trends Autumn 2023

Thursday 28th September 2023

As a digital marketer or social media manager, whether you work for an agency or in-house for a specific business, it’s important to keep up with the latest industry trends so you can continue promoting your clients or brand in an effective way. Online spaces are constantly evolving - as are the wants, needs and expectations of consumers - meaning it can be easy to fall behind if you’re not regularly setting aside some time to check what’s popular right now. Below are some key trends to consider for your autumn 2023 marketing strategy.


Short-Form, Vertical Videos

Short-form, vertical videos such as TikToks, Reels and YouTube Shorts have grown rapidly in popularity over the last few years, and stats regarding their viewership and engagement levels prove that they’re here to stay. In fact, consumers now consider short-form videos to be 2.5 times more engaging than long-form ones.

Generally speaking, short-form videos are between 10 and 60 seconds long and are easier to create than traditional videos, as there’s less footage to film and edit. There’s also less of an expectation of high-quality production value - viewers are happy with quick, spontaneous content that feels raw and relatable. Short-form videos are mobile friendly due to their vertical orientation, which is handy considering that out of the 4.48 billion global social media users, a massive 99% regularly access their favourite websites or apps through a mobile device.


Micro & Nano Influencer Partnerships

Influencers and other social media content creators can be broken down into the following approximate size categories:

Nano: Those with 1,000–10,000 followers

Micro: Those with 10,000–100,000 followers

Mid-tier: Those with 100,000–500,000 followers

Macro: Those with 500,000–1 million followers

Mega: Those with 1 million+ followers (often traditional celebrities)

Over time, consumers have begun to lose interest in huge influencers with giant audiences and have started to prefer smaller creators whose content feels more down to earth, authentic and relatable. So, if you want to form partnerships with influencers that your followers will genuinely trust and enjoy, it’s best to look for those with smaller audiences who fall within the nano and micro categories.

On TikTok specifically, nano influencers have the lowest CPE (cost per engagement), making them a great choice if you’re on a tight budget. Data also suggests that those with fewer than 5,000 followers have the highest engagement rates (5%) compared to celebrities with large audiences, whose engagement rates sit at around 1.6% - most likely because those with smaller audiences tend to have tighter-knit communities and therefore closer relationships with their followers. Think of it this way: would you rather buy a product based on a casual recommendation from your best friend, or on a flashy advert made by a celebrity whose lifestyle seems distant and unattainable?


Long-Tail Keywords for SEO

In recent times, search engines have become better at understanding user intent and semantic queries, meaning long-tail keywords (aka phrases instead of single words) now have a higher conversion rate than they did in the past, so if you haven’t already, you should aim to incorporate some of these into your website content.

Devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, Siri and Google Home are also causing voice search to increase in popularity. There are 4.2 billion voice assistants in use as of 2023 and it’s predicted that this number will reach 8.4 billion by 2024, furthering the need to include long-tail keywords and natural language on your website that will aid your discoverability online. Try to include conversational phrases that people are likely to use when speaking rather than typing, such as questions.

Plus, if your business has a physical location, such as a restaurant or a brick-and-mortar store - don’t forget to target local searches as well, as voice search is often used to look for places nearby. Make sure your Google Business profile is kept up to date and that it’s showing relevant information such as your opening times and phone number.


Customer Self-Service

While you should of course be available to speak to your customers as much as possible, 67% of people now prefer to use self-service options when they have an enquiry about a product, and 90% of consumers worldwide expect brands or organisations to have an online self-service customer portal. That’s why it’s important to provide features such as an FAQ section on your website where customers can find quick answers to their questions, or if applicable, an instructional guide or series of tutorial videos explaining how to use your product or service.


Embrace Private Messaging

More and more users are opting to share updates via more intimate circles within DMs as opposed to posting on their main feed, and are preferring to contact friends and businesses through private messages rather than public comments. To make the most of this trend on Instagram, you can:

Create a DM ad: Select the ‘More messages’ goal when boosting a post, which will direct people to DM you when they tap on the ad.

Set up a welcome message: Set up an automated greeting or send one manually whenever a new customer starts a conversation.

Set up saved replies: We would always recommend speaking directly to your customers as a human instead of automating the messaging process as this can lead to frustration and an impersonal experience. However, if you’re short on time, it can be beneficial to set up a few saved responses for FAQs.

Preload FAQs: Monitor your incoming queries to see which topics customers commonly ask about, then set up FAQs. This allows customers to simply tap on the question they want to send, rather than having to type it out manually.


Is It Time to Ditch X?

Based on almost 1,500 responses to a poll conducted by industry experts Social Media Today, 87% of respondents said that they are no longer running ads on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and aren’t planning to take up ads in the future either.

In another poll with 184 responses, 31% said that their experience on X has been ‘worse’ this year. A third of them also said they still call the platform Twitter, suggesting that its recent rebrand hasn’t yet stuck for many users.

How do you feel about X so far? Do you think Elon Musk’s vision for an ‘everything app’ will become a reality, or will people migrate over to Threads as a Twitter alternative?


Memes Out, Emojis In

According to DTC, when it comes to social advertising, memes are out and emojis are in! Previously, brands agreed that memes were cheap to run, highly engaging, and a good way to convey complicated messaging in a simplified piece of content - resulting in great click-through rates. However, today, both organic and paid spaces are saturated with memes, meaning it’s time to try something new: adding some emojis onto your ad images. Meta advertising agency Pilothouse, part of the DTC family, found that placing emojis around the product or creating an ‘emoji equation’ that promotes the product or service can reduce a brand’s CPC (cost per click) to as low as 3 cents. Why not give this a go when designing your next ad creative?

Emoji ad examples


Virtual and Augmented Reality

VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) are becoming increasingly popular in the digital marketing space. VR allows you to build immersive experiences that transport your audience to another world, while AR enables you to overlay digital content onto real-life scenes, creating a more engaging and interactive experience than plain text, images or video. These technologies are still in their infancy, but brands are slowly beginning to use them to showcase their products and services in new and exciting ways, such as giving virtual tours of properties or letting customers try on clothes virtually.

There are many different platforms and devices available, from Snapchat’s range of AR lenses and filters, to the all-encompassing Metaverse where users can socialise, learn, collaborate and play in a 3D environment. If you’d like to incorporate VR or AR into your brand’s marketing strategy, start by researching the range of formats that are currently on the market, attending industry talks and events, and finding educational resources such as online courses and tutorials.


Social Commerce

Although live shopping may not have taken off as much in western markets as it has in China, social commerce - the process of selling items directly via social media - remains a popular activity across platforms. If you’re an eCommerce brand and haven’t yet synced up your product catalogue with your Facebook, Instagram and TikTok accounts, it’s likely that you’re missing out on opportunities to make extra sales and clear the path to checkout for your customers. You can learn how to set up a shop on each of these platforms in our comprehensive guide to social selling.

TikTok also recently launched a new initiative called ‘Fulfilled by TikTok’ (FBT), a handy logistics program that makes it easier than ever for brands here in the UK to sell products on the app. If you choose to sign up to FBT, you’ll hand over a portion of your stock to be stored in the TikTok Shop warehouse. Then, when an order is placed, the FBT team will pick, pack and ship the products on behalf of your brand, freeing up valuable time and allowing you to focus on marketing, content and product development instead. Definitely something to consider if you’re selling a high volume of items through your TikTok shop and want to speed up the delivery process!



With October just a few days away and the end of 2023 on the horizon, it’s time to delve into your autumn marketing plan and start looking ahead to the new year. If you feel that your advertising or social media results have been stagnant recently, give some of these trends a try and experiment with new tools or content formats to see which ones best suit your brand.

While the digital world can seem overwhelming at times, the future of marketing is exciting - and businesses that adapt to new trends will have the best chance of standing out. For some additional advice or to share a success story, find us on X @3sixfivepro and let us know your thoughts.