How To Stand Out Online: The Five Trends To Watch

Getting lost in the sea of online opportunities? We’ve listed the five trends to watch in 2023; all you need to know to be successful with your online business strategy!

Always connected

When was the last time you went somewhere without your smartphone? Can you even remember? Perhaps just that one time when your phone had been charging, and you left in a hurry…only realizing you’d left it at home 10 minutes later.

Probably you felt a bit anxious about not having it with you as most of us are now always connected. More specifically, according to Redcode we now spend 479 minutes per day online (that’s almost 8 hours!), which is expected to grow to 486.5 minutes per day in 2023.

So, coming back to that anxious feeling, that is the ‘fear of missing out’, or “FOMO”, a phenomenon which is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing” (Wikipedia wisdom).

Social media can often perpetuate this anxiety when you see posts and pictures about the wonderful time your friends are having without you, and the feeling can be all-consuming. That explains why, in 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.

As social media has become and will become even more deeply integrated in almost everyone’s daily life, social ads (i.e., Facebook or Instagram) and paid search ads (mostly Google) are key to any company’s survival. This is where people live. They’re no longer looking around, so forget the glossy magazines, billboards or TV ads!

Mobile first, everything else second.

The main reason we are now always online is closely linked to smartphones. 60% of time spent online is now through mobile devices. Our phone is our bible, our teacher, access to our social life, our everything. Turns out, we are not the only ones: Statista estimates that in 2019 63.4% of the global population will be mobile phone users!

Mobile is now shaping how we do our research and decide what products or services to buy. No longer is it enough to rely on a responsive site design and a mobile app. You need to think mobile-first. Tailor, for instance, ad copy to a smartphone rather than using a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

We are living in different realities!

Remember a few years ago when nearly 231 million people were chasing virtual creatures on the streets? Pokémon Go remains one of the most successful examples of augmented reality (AR). Together with its close relative, Virtual Reality (VR), both applications are slowly transforming the media.

Unlike VR, which is a totally new, artificial environment, AR turns the real-life environment around us into a digital interface by creating virtual objects in real time.

In this mobile AR market, games will continue to dominate. Several other key app types are also on the rise, however. For instance, navigation and home improvement – IKEA’s mobile app where you can actually see how the furniture would look in your house and experiences designed by brands to increase consumer engagement.

Today’s user wants two things – to be engaged and actively participate in brand messaging. Both AR and VR can fulfil both of these needs, offering you tremendous opportunities in the field of customer experience.

Chatbots taking over

Talking about augmented reality, chatbots is one of the most widely implemented forms of AI. Chatbots are automated tools designed to simulate conversations with human users online. Absolutely perfect if you want to provide great customer service but keep your spending in control.

Chatbots are quicker than humans in giving any data-related answers and taking requests, plus they are available 24/7. More importantly, they deliver the right message at the right time & at the right place, something we humans has not yet fully mastered.

Therefore, it is no surprise that by 2020 85% of customer interactions will be handled by chatbots, according to various sources. Not only by anticipating who might engage with an ad, but also by being able to pass on a bid opportunity in their media-buying system quickly.

Be your unique self

One of the most important ways to get people to buy is through…Being you! Be authentic. Yes, it sounds as easy as it is. Still, most companies are yet to figure this out.

Not Redbull. They are a brand with a very strong authenticity tied to strong emotions and being passionate. They don’t just say who they are and what they stand for – creating epic experiences – they show it in everything they do. Take the Red Bull Air Race, for instance. It doesn’t get more epic than that!

Consequently, over the years, they’ve built up a loyal group of fans, known as “brand advocates”, who feel strongly connected to Redbull and therefore talk positively about the brand to others. To them, Redbull embodies everything they strive to be or are as a person! Whether shouting it from the rooftops or posting it on social media, these fans actually create content for Redbull, so-called “user-generated content”.

It all comes down to the brand’s authenticity, whether they believe you. According to Stackla report, 86% of consumers find authenticity important when deciding what brands to support. This number is even higher among millennials. People place far more trust in their peers than in brands. We might be blind to ads, but if someone else creates authentic content about a brand (in this case, Redbull), it catches our eyes easily, and we believe it. Listen to and promote the stories of your followers online, and you will stand out from the competition.