February 13th, 2024 at 4:07 pm
Digital Marketing Trends for 2024
7 minutes reading
2024 is knocking on our door, and it’s time to start planning our digital marketing strategy for the next 12 months. The Christmas craze will die out pretty soon, and if you are a business owner, you need to be ready to start your promotions and marketing efforts first thing on January 2nd. So, it’s a good idea to have your marketing plan, budget, and strategy ready before the holidays begin.
Building a marketing strategy is not an easy task, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the digitalization of everyday shopping has skyrocketed, and naturally, new trends in digital marketing appear every single month. Some of them work, others fall into oblivion. So, today, we are here to make sure you implement the right trends in your 2024 digital marketing strategy. We’ve followed the market and pinpointed at least 8 highly promising trends that will dictate user behavior and your digital marketing efforts throughout the following year.
Sustainability Reigns Supreme
With the extreme weather in the past decade, it’s becoming harder to ignore climate change and the need to take some action as a society. Even if you disagree with this statement, the majority of users would agree, and when it comes to marketing, that’s all that matters. Becoming sustainable has become more than just a trend in Western societies. It’s become a way of life. Actually, about 78% of consumers in America declare that sustainability is essential to them. So, each brand that wants to appeal to this colossal majority must identify with their understanding.
Furthermore, most leading brands have already hopped on the bandwagon and, following Google’s lead, created their own versions of net-zero goals. While the idea of advertising your brand as sustainable is not something new, in 2024, users will expect some results. Brands will no longer be able to just put a sticker on or talk the talk. In 2024, brands will have to walk the walk. This will be even enforced for those of you who do business in the EU. The European governing body has issued The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive mandating new reporting standards for European businesses, which will catalyze the sustainability commitment on the continent and amplify the significance of sustainability in marketing practices.
The modern consumer, increasingly conscientious and discerning, seeks more than just products and services. Environmental and social responsibility have become paramount considerations, urging brands to align their values with those of their audience.
So, to tackle this trend, you need to focus your messaging on your sustainability goals and the results of your efforts so far. Showcase your new eco-friendly pack, highlight your environmentally cautious delivery methods, and underline your preservationist initiatives, like planting trees, using local materials, etc.
Value is no longer what it was
As you can see, there is more to price and quality when it comes to successfully advertising your product. With younger generations becoming economically active, changes are bound to happen. In 2024, the value will become less and less about the actual product and more about what it represents. Millennials are now in the prime of their economic life, so even luxury brands were bound to change their stagnant and conservative marketing practices. Thus, you can now see car brands like BMW, Rolls Royce, and Bentley producing highly-expensive and luxurious electric cars. Such a notion was entirely impossible if the market was left to Gen X or the Boomers. So, as Millennials become richer and Gen Z starts entering into the workforce and start taking their first steps on the market, marketing trends will inevitably change.
Actually, they have already changed, and in 2024, you need to be aware that about 82% of consumers are adamant that the brand’s values should align with theirs. What’s more, if there is a value mismatch in their values, 39% of shoppers will boycott their favorite brand regardless of product satisfaction. Some call this “cancel culture,” but it’s nothing more than basic marketing. If you want to sell something to someone, you must persuade them you are the same.
So, be creative and give your products and services additional value. Quality and price are no longer enough to grow your brand. You need to add value.
Twilight of the search box
The search box has been your trusted friend for almost 25 years now. With Google celebrating its quarter-century on the market, one thing is clear: Search engines are here to stay, at least for now. Moreover, they will retain the basis of your organic traffic. What is currently changing, though, is the way people search. In 2024, we will enter the Twilight of the search box era. Still, don’t be too hasty to change your entire direction. The search boxes will be here to stay for at least another five years. However, their use is rapidly declining. Today, more than half of approximately 26 billion monthly searches on Google are done with alternative methods. More than 20% of searches in the Google app are done using voice search. Experts predict that users will make at least 8 billion monthly voice searches in 2024.
Moreover, Google Lens is rapidly growing in popularity, and in 2024, predictions suggest that nearly 12 billion people will use this handy functionality.
So, where is the problem if everyone is still using Google? Well, mostly in the keywords and how you optimize your SEO. Generally, people speak a bit differently than they write. For example, when searching for car tires, you will write a much more direct question with specifics in the search box. For instance, “Winter tires, 195/65 R15” is much easier to type than to pronounce. So, the same search will sound more like “Winter Tires for Toyota Auris 2012” in voice search. Thus, you must optimize your SEO for both if you offer winter tires.
Furthermore, adding your items as visuals so Google Lens can recognize them will open the door for another 12 billion potential searches.
The Rise of the Machines is now
The rise of AI is inevitable. Chat GPT was a game changer, and despite its many flaws, it became a new beacon in digital marketing. It also sparked the AI revolution, and countless other AI generators, like Google’s Bard, Dall-E, Alli Al, Paradox, and others, appeared shortly after. Google Gemini is now also on the market, but it’s expected to boom in spring after the program has been perfected. This shows that the biggest IT brands are working tirelessly on developing AI tools to improve user experience.
Moreover, the AI market has grown by 20% each year since its inception. Furthermore, projections show that by 2030, this relatively young industry will be worth 15.7 trillion dollars. But perhaps the most important factor you must consider is the usage. About 97% of smartphone users interact with an AI on a daily basis. It’s evident that AI is the future, and if you haven’t utilized it in your marketing strategy in 2024, it will be a must.
The good news is that AI will make your work much easier. For starters, utilized the right way, AI will streamline your work and increase your productivity exponentially. It can help you with every aspect of your marketing campaign. However, it’s way too early to trust machines completely. Make sure you check their work and implement a personal touch. For example, if you want ChatGPT to create a blog post, you must revise and include some personal experiences and examples. Otherwise, Google will sanction your content and drop you from the search results front page.
Optimizing your SMM campaigns is still not a grand idea either. Though users predominantly use AI daily, they still feel conflicted and doubtful when faced with an AI-generated or enhanced ad. So, using AI is a must, but be cautious.
Conversation becomes key
With AI and the new generations of consumers flooding the market, we will witness a rise in conversational marketing success. Conversational marketing is a dialogue-driven, customer-centric marketing strategy. Its main goal is to drive up customer engagement and enhance customer experiences. Usually, conversational marketing is based on one-on-one interaction with customers in real-time. It’s much like a consultant in a techno store, but online. In the past, customer support or sales took over this job, where an army of employees was ready to answer every question. This strategy had tremendous success, as customers could communicate all their concerns with the brand. This builds trust and gives them peace of mind that they are getting the right product for their needs.
Unfortunately, this marketing practice was reserved only for big brands that could afford it. Small and micro businesses rarely were able to afford 24/7 communication with customers. Even so, communication delays were common, building frustration and hindering the trust-building process.
Today, with AI, small and micro businesses are no longer bound by these limitations. A well-trained AI can answer all FAQs flawlessly and at a moment’s notice. This way, the majority of clients will satisfy their queries directly from the robot, while the rest could be redirected to a live customer support agent. Naturally, this makes conversational marketing much more affordable, opening the door to this highly successful strategy even for freelancers.
So, in 2024, we expect conversational marketing to hit an all-time high, and if you want to be competitive in the market, we suggest you join in the trend.
Hyper-personalization will make you big
AI will open other doors as well. The one that will boost your growth significantly, however, is the opportunity to tailor personal experiences to all your customers. Hyper-personalization is a relatively new concept, previously used exclusively by luxurious brands. With mass products, it was entirely impossible to create a personalized journey for every one of your users. However, with the help of AI and the vast collection of tools that gather your user’s data, you can now tailor your audience’s experience precisely as they will like it.
This corresponds with the current trend of luxury becoming more mainstream. While luxuries were reserved for the wealthiest in the world in the past, with the rise of social media, people got a taste of the ultra-luxurious life. Thus, today, everyone prefers to spend more but receive special treatment.
A great example of a mass hyper-personalization strategy is Amazon’s dynamic product recommendations. In a nutshell, Amazon would suggest products based on what you searched for, what you bought, and what can complement your purchase.
Another great example is using location-based marketing. This way, whenever you enter a particular area, you can receive a push notification about a product or service you previously searched. Restaurants and local shops often use this hyper-personalized strategy.
AI can help you go beyond these examples. It can enhance your efforts and help you target your audience based on dozens of their preferences. For example, if users spend significant time on a traveling YouTube channel, you send them an email showcasing how your product will complement their passion.
In 2024, this will become the norm. So, to remain relevant, it’s best to start adopting.
Short Videos for the win
With Gen Z entering the market with full force, it’s time to start tending to their specific tastes. One thing that’s vastly different from all previous generations is the attention span. Thanks to TikTok, Instagram stories, and YouTube Shorts, the attention span of Gen Z users is 8 seconds on average. Moreover, unlike its predecessors, this generation prefers to consume information in short, entertaining videos rather than reading.
So, in 2024, you must allocate a sufficient budget to create high-quality short-form videos. Furthermore, if you haven’t already, you must start TikTok and YouTube channels and produce regular content. This way, you will guarantee that your messaging will bombard the Gen Z user.
Another specific of this generation is the focus on What rather than How. In other words, Gen Z users expect direct and quick answers without too much digging into the How and Why. So, your 5-8-second video should be straightforward, without explanation and additional fluff. Still, it must capture attention and act on the user’s emotions. The only way to do that is through the visuals. Using high-quality, strategically gathered visuals can help you relay the additional value we already discussed in a previous point.
So, in 2024, if you want to tap into this new generation that’s becoming increasingly active consumers, you must invest in short-form, high-quality videos, and profiles on popular platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, and others.
First-Party Data Is the New Standard
The diminishing reliance on third-party cookies, attributed to the phase-out by major web browsers and the global implementation of stricter privacy regulations, has paved the way for marketers to turn their attention to first-party and zero-party data. This shift is not merely dictated by compliance with consumer privacy regulations but is driven by a commitment to more reliable and ethical sources of customer insights.
In a nutshell, first-party data is the information you gather directly from your customers and audience. Thus, most brands have already switched to using it in building their marketing strategies, as it’s the most reliable. Still, that’s not the only reason why first-party cookies will become the new standard in 2024. Privacy regulations worldwide and the push for more ethical use of personal data will be at the forefront of this major change in digital marketing next year.
As privacy regulations multiply, the marketing landscape will witness a cascade of enforcement actions. Governments, led by the European Union, are expanding their focus on consumer privacy, with more states in the U.S. adopting legislation akin to the California Consumer Privacy Act. 2024 is likely to see an escalation of fines and an increased investment by companies in privacy compliance tools, adding complexity to marketing measurement and reinforcing the significance of first-party data.
So, to address this changing dynamic, we’d advise you not to build your marketing campaign around third-party cookies, as they will most probably disappear entirely within several months.
Time to build your strategy
Now you know what to expect from the digital marketing landscape in 2024. It’s time to build your strategy around the ever changing customer behavior and the brand-new players who only recently joined the consumer audience. With the growing economic input by Gen Z, digital marketing is bound to follow their behavior closely. Still, as they are still young, their behavior is not yet cemented, as they will evolve both in preferences and taste.
Regardless, as fluid as digital marketing is, talking about predictions for more than 12 months at a time is pointless. So, for now, stick to these eight trends, and you are bound to grow your business.
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