Digital advertising trends

Digital Advertising Trends – 12 Trends to Monitor in 2023 

By: Frank DePino | May 22, 2024

Digital advertising trends are always good to stay abreast of, as they can influence which direction your marketing and advertising campaigns go. As 2023 has gotten underway, many online advertising trends have emerged. 

Digital advertising trends refer to the current and evolving practices and techniques used to promote products or services online. These trends are influenced by changes in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and market demands and include the use of social media influencers, the rise of video content, the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the focus on personalization, and the increasing importance of mobile optimization. These trends are continually evolving as the digital landscape evolves, and marketers must stay up-to-date with the latest developments to remain competitive.

Here are some of the top trends in digital advertising for 2023:

  • Shorter video ads
  • More AI in digital advertising
  • Metaverse and gaming platform ads on the rise
  • Audio ads, shoppable ads, and social ads expand
  • Mobile ad spend goes up but slowly

This guide to digital advertising trends will take you through 12 must-know trends that have already and will continue to shape 2023.

12 Digital Advertising Trends on the Rise in 2023

The digital advertising landscape for 2023 is projected to undergo several changes. 

One of the significant trends is the increase in the use of artificial intelligence in digital advertising. This technology is expected to enhance ad targeting and personalization, making campaigns more effective. 

Additionally, shorter video ads are anticipated to become more popular due to their ability to grab viewers’ attention quickly. Another emerging trend is the growth of ads on gaming platforms and the metaverse. In 2023, we may also see an expansion of audio ads, shoppable ads, and social media ads. 

Finally, mobile ad spending is expected to increase, albeit at a slow pace.

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1. Digital Advertising Spending Will Continue to Grow (But Less Than Expected)

Let’s begin our list of online advertising trends by discussing digital ad spending.

According to Insider Intelligence, in 2023, global digital ad spending is $626.86 billion. That’s up from 2022 when ad spending totaled $567.49 billion. In 2021, the amount was $522.50 billion.

Slow growth is still growth, but what’s clear is that the rate of digital ad spending year over year isn’t drastically going up. Insider Intelligence’s prediction for ad spending in 2024 is $695.96 billion.

If that pans out, digital ad spending will have only increased by $69.1 billion between 2023 and 2024.

That seems to hold fairly consistently with historical data. For example, between 2021 and 2022, global digital ad spending increased by only $44.99 billion. Between 2022 and 2023, the amount was $59.37 billion.

Why the slowdown in growth? Ad spending pullbacks ahead of a predicted economic recession in late 2022 and into 2023 have harmed ad sales for major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.

According to digital content and media resource Digiday, in the second quarter of 2022, YouTube’s ad revenue increased by only 4.8 percent, its slowest growth rate since at least 2019.

Further, the quarterly revenue for Meta from Facebook was down by one percent from the same quarter in 2021. Facebook hadn’t experienced any revenue declines in at least a decade. 

Google Trend shows how interest in mobile advertising is growing in recent years.

2. Mobile Ad Spending Will Grow

While digital ad spending isn’t as high as it once was, what’s clear is what advertisers prioritize. Many have begun funneling their ad dollars into mobile advertisements.

Pocket Gamer.biz reports that mobile ad spending will total $362 billion in 2023. That’s tremendous growth considering the industry raked in only $155 billion in 2018.

What’s informing digital advertising trends like this one? The rise in the mobile gaming industry can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile gaming industry experienced a boon in 2020 as more people were stuck at home, bored and looking for something to do.

According to Pocket Gamer.biz, mobile ad spending increased in 2021 and 2022, so the rise in 2023 isn’t surprising.

However, even with the healthy growth of mobile ad spending, it’s still not going to be as high in 2023 as in past years. The projected growth for the year is just 7.5 percent. In 2020, the rise in ad spending was a massive 26.3 percent.

It makes sense that as you break down digital ad spending into individual categories, the same trends of slower growth would be reflected.

3. Digital Video Ads Are on the Rise

One of the latest digital advertising trends is undoubtedly digital video ads. Outstream and instream ads continue to dominate. An IAB survey from the early 2020s found that the rate of digital video ad spending has jumped by $3 million since 2018.

As has been the case throughout this guide so far, that’s not a huge jump, but it is a jump. It could also be the beginning of something much larger.

According to Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics 2023 report, more marketers and advertisers than ever prioritize video, with up to 91 percent using it as a marketing tool. More so, they’re optimistic about video’s ROI, with the rate of positivity higher than it’s been since 2015.

That’s because these marketers and advertisers have seen how video can influence audience understanding, sales, leads, traffic, and other key metrics.

Wyzowl states that 90 percent of its respondents agree that video has increased leads, 87 percent say video has risen sales, and 96 percent say it boosts customer understanding. 

4. Video Ads Will Be Shorter

For all the money and effort marketers and advertisers put into video ads, an interesting digital advertising trend suggests that video ad length is decreasing.

With more competing for the average person’s attention than ever, videos must be short to hold that attention and get a message through.

Shorter videos consistently outperform longer ones, with years of data to back that up.

So what is a short video versus a longer one? A short video is 15 to 30 seconds, while a longer video is anything over that.

5. Social Advertising Continues to Rely on Creators

Social media advertising, sometimes just known as social advertising, has seen its landscape continue to shift as 2023 has gotten underway.

More and more brands have begun to pair with creators. While once the big fish in the pond took all the creators, some larger brands have since stepped aside, giving startups and SMBs the chance to blossom under creative partnerships.

Creators understand the ins and outs of social media sometimes better than businesses do themselves, and they already have the reach and the social clout that will make audiences pay attention.

Those aren’t the only reasons that inspire brands to pair with creators in the social advertising and marketing sphere. According to a graphic from Sprout Social, 62 percent of brands work with creators to increase engagement.

Another 60 percent do it to reach new audiences, 53 percent to strengthen their social media community, 42 percent for increased revenue, 41 percent to promote the brand’s values, 25 percent for less content creation burden, and 16 percent to adjust an audience’s perception of a brand.

Some companies are promoting Apple products through Google Shopping campaigns

6. Shoppable Ads Will Spread

No list of trends in digital advertising would be complete without discussing shoppable ads. As the name implies, a shoppable ad allows a customer to peruse and purchase goods right from the advertisement.

Social media advertisements can drive discovery, but shoppable ads inspire customers to make a purchasing decision.

The convenience of shoppable ads is a big part of why they’re on the rise. A consumer doesn’t have to visit a customer’s website to learn more. If they see something they like and they want to own it right now, they can.

Of course, they also have the option to research the brand more before they complete their checkout.

7. Privacy Regulations Will Continue

The privacy regulations that already exist for digital advertisements come from government agencies, networks, and boards that can affect social media owners, computer operating systems, and Internet browsers.

With breaches leaking the private data of millions of customers becoming more frequent, privacy laws have been enacted steadily over the years. Apple and Google have made changes to their operating systems to protect user privacy.

As a marketer, if you use Google Ads to reach the masses, you must remember that Google owns more than Google Ads but Chrome. You must stay current on Google’s privacy regulations.

More so than that, if you use mobile ads that appear in the Apple App Store, that means playing by Apple’s privacy rules.

Many of these privacy regulations tend to overlap between browsers, apps, and social media owners, so your company must follow them all.

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8. The Search for an Alternative to Third-Party Cookies Rages On

One of the most pertinent online advertising trends is the replacement for third-party cookies. These cookies are set by other websites than the one you’re on. Third-party cookies can track user activities even once they leave that website to show ads.

Between 2023 and 2024, third-party cookies will vanish. Since that news, marketers and advertisers have tried to figure out what will replace third-party cookies.

While no one knows for certain, here are a few potential options:

  • Private ID Matching: A media buyer and publisher will match their data using Private ID Matching for data control. After uploading first-party data and finding a match, advertisers will receive audience data and send targeted advertisements.
  • User Identity Graphs: User Identity Graphs use first-party cookies, email addresses, and Personal Identifiable Information to create the graphs. A User Identity Graph includes cross-channel tracking and targeting but may have more privacy concerns than the other methods.
  • Google Privacy Sandbox: Google Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox uses APIs like TOPICS and FLEDGE for broadening and targeting audiences without the use of third-party cookies.
  • Distributed ID Systems: A Distributed ID System can send user IDs according to their hashed IDs, email address, or other criteria to create Identity Solutions. All their personal info is hashed or encrypted, and first-party cookies are used instead of third-party cookies.
aiadvertising.com is a platform that uses AI to optimize advertising campaigns.

9. AI’s Role in Digital Advertising Will Expand

As AI enters more aspects of everyday life, it seems natural that its inclusion will spread to digital advertising and marketing.

For instance, it’s already possible for AI to produce content for a content marketing campaign. You could just as easily rely on it to design appealing graphics and sharp copy for an ad campaign.

If you’re seeking influencers or creators to work with for a social media ad campaign, AI can use algorithms to find the right one, saving you hours of time and legwork. AI can even identify micro-influencers that will fit within the scope of your company brand.

Additionally, AI can integrate with CRM to better understand customer behavior. Advertisers and marketers can use this trusty data to produce more targeted ads and content according to their position in the sales funnel.

10. Advertising in the Metaverse Continues to Change the Game

While once merely a science fiction concept, today, we live in the metaverse. Well, not physically, of course, but digitally.

With an estimated worth of $800 billion in 2024 according to Influencer Marketing Hub, the metaverse is the place to be.

The metaverse has digital consumer goods to match the digital world in which its inhabitants reside. Digital advertisements give brands a golden opportunity to connect with current and new audiences.

Since these advertisements aren’t confined to the parameters of 2D, advertisers can reach out to consumers in new and inventive ways not possible in our world.

Companies have begun investing in the metaverse, as have consumers. A McKinsey & Company report found that 57 percent of businesses have already “adopted” the metaverse concept.

Into 2023 and beyond, that number should surely grow!

11. Advertising on Gaming Platforms Finds Its Niche

Gaming advertising is topping digital advertising trends for 2023, with Ad Age referring to gaming as “the next huge advertising channel.”

Some companies have ushered in gaming advertising for years, such as Red Bull and Intel, which regularly sponsor eSports gaming events.

Others have just jumped on the bandwagon, including KitKat, which created an integrated ad campaign for the sports video game FIFA 222. Another game, Uncharted 3, featured Subway food as product placement.

In-game and in-console ads are other ways to grab the attention of gamers. That’s a huge audience, with FinancesOnline predicting that 3.07 billion people worldwide play video games.

12. Audio Advertising Expands

The last online advertising trend we’ll look at is audio advertising.

First, an explanation. Audio advertising, also known as digital audio advertising, is a form of advertising that slots ads into digital audio. You hear these ads all the time while enjoying digital radio shows, podcasts, or streaming music.

Podcasting especially has experienced unprecedented success in 2022. The digital ad spending metrics we shared earlier include audio ads, which had a growth rate of 50 percent in 2022 in the podcasting sphere.

In 2023, experts believe that audio advertising could even become as big as visual advertising.

Audio ads are quite advantageous. They generally cost less money to produce since they have no visual components. They’re easier to personalize for that same reason, and they’re insertable into all sorts of audio media, from audiobooks to podcasts and everything in between.

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Conclusion

Digital advertising trends give marketers and advertisers some good food for thought. We’ve learned that ad spending is slower but still prominent in 2023, and that gaming, mobile, and audio ads are experiencing tremendous growth worth paying attention to.

These trends could just inspire your next digital advertising campaign. If you need help putting it together, trust in the pros at Mediaboom. We’re digital marketing and advertising specialists who can assist in website development, content marketing, advertising, SEO, and more. 

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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