AI, or artificial intelligence, is a big deal in marketing. It’s even the “word of the year,” according to the Collins Dictionary. No surprise, right? Well, marketers are focusing on making their content more authentic and genuine because people are starting to doubt if what they see from brands is authentic.
In 2024, brands must pay attention to what people say on social media. Why? Because customers are going to care a lot more about things like being eco-friendly and ethically doing business. This is where “social listening” comes in – paying attention to what people talk about online, especially in smaller online groups.
Besides this, other trends include using famous people to promote stuff (influencer marketing) and selling things directly on social media (social commerce). A company called Brandwatch talked to 517 marketers and found out these trends will be super crucial next year. Here’s trends at what we can expect in digital marketing for 2024.
1. The Surge of AI Voice Cloning and Customer Services
According to Brandwatch’s survey, 92% of marketers see the integration of AI in marketing as the top trend for 2024. AI plays a diverse role, handling automated tasks and creative jobs like crafting content and managing SEO.
The survey also highlighted the growing interest in AI voice cloning, allowing marketers to generate content from scripts in various languages. Concerns exist about potential misuse when using someone’s voice without permission, but AI voice cloning offers the convenience of doing voiceovers without re-recording in case of errors.
Likewise, AI-powered customer services featuring AI chatbots are expected to take center stage in 2024. Despite a current low adoption rate of 8% among customers, this technology represents a significant opportunity.
2. Thriving Authenticity-Driven Marketing
As a counterpoint to the rise of AI, authenticity is a crucial concern. 56% of marketers believe that human-to-human marketing will dominate in 2024, given that 86% of consumers factor a brand’s authenticity into their purchase decisions. These consumers seek more genuine connections and have become adept at spotting inauthentic marketing efforts, especially among Gen Z consumers.
Interestingly, there’s a notable gap between what brands and consumers perceive as authentic. While 80% of brands believe they deliver authentic content, only 37% of consumers agree.
To embrace authentic marketing, brands can showcase their values through employee-generated content and customer testimonials.
3. Personalization as the Key to Encouraging Repeat Customers
Making customer experiences personal is crucial, as it makes them feel valued. This, in turn, boosts brand loyalty and strengthens customer relationships. Statistics show that 60% of consumers become repeat buyers when offered personalized purchasing experiences.
Even small efforts in personalization can yield significant results. A mere 5% increase in customer retention can lead to long-term profit boosts ranging from 25% to 95%.
Given the developing worries about data security, marketers should be wary about utilizing client information, particularly before making a purchase. In retargeting efforts, creating a seamless and compelling experience across ads and emails is essential, enticing buyers to join or rejoin the sales journey.
4. Harnessing Real-Time Consumer Insights through Social Listening
In 2024, social listening will become a critical tool for marketers, considering that brands control only 1.5% of brand-related discussions online despite the massive user presence on social media. Social data is deemed essential for customer-centric strategies, with 76% of marketers recognizing the benefits of social listening tools.
Real-time insights gained through social listening can enhance profitability by understanding consumer preferences, intent, and feedback. This becomes crucial for ROI-driven marketing strategies, especially within budget constraints.
To fully capitalize on social listening, brands should actively manage their online reputation, leverage strategic insights for a competitive advantage, and optimize decision-making through data-driven strategies.
5. Engaging Consumers with Creative Short-Form Content
As attention spans dwindle to 8.25 seconds, brands must quickly capture audience attention. Short-form content, particularly videos, proves effective, boasting 76% higher impressions. Campaigns utilizing Instagram reels are reported to be 20% more effective than other video formats.
In 2024, 80% of marketers anticipate the expansion of video marketing, with 72% expecting a surge in experiential and entertainment-based strategies. This emphasizes the growing need for engaging but also creative and interactive content.
6. Social Media as the Preferred Search Engine
The report indicates a shift in perception, with people considering social media less biased than Google. Gen Z, in particular, favors platforms like TikTok as their primary source of real-time, user-generated information. 76% of people use social media as a search engine right now, and 87% of marketers think that social platforms will help people find brands more than traditional search engines will.
Prioritizing social content that answers questions and provides helpful information aligns with the evolving means of information search and discovery.
7. Influencer Collaborations for Impactful Marketing
According to the report, the influencer marketing industry is poised for a 109% growth. Brands can harness this growth by forming partnerships with influencers to gain awareness in new niches and locations, tapping into diverse demographics. Micro- and nano-influencers, through consistent interaction, prove most successful in yielding positive ROI.
Marketers are encouraged to align with credible subject matter experts, leverage micro-influencers for flexible content, and maximize cost efficiencies through influencer activations.
8. Unlocking the Potential of Social Commerce
With consumers increasingly researching brands and seeking product recommendations on social media, social commerce is set for substantial growth. While nearly 28% of consumers actively use social media to find products to buy, discussions around social commerce and affiliate marketing are on the rise, driven by 87% of marketers seeking more efficient strategies to drive sales amid tighter budgets.
9. Connecting with Growing Online Communities for Enhanced Engagement
The rise of social networks has given way to niche online communities, offering brands opportunities to foster deeper consumer relationships. Sixty-three percent of marketers predict that brands will focus on fostering consumer-to-consumer relationships via communities in 2024. These communities provide insights into consumer needs and concerns, and brands can engage by sharing advice, offering connections, or providing exclusive discounts.
To effectively tap into this trend, marketers can join existing communities or create their own space, enhancing engagement through shared advice, connection opportunities, and exclusive deals.
10. Consumer Consciousness Driving Brand Accountability
Consumer awareness and vocalization of environmental and social issues push sustainability and ethical marketing to the forefront. Sustainability mentions online have steadily increased, with a 20% rise between May 1 and November 28, 2023, compared to the previous period.
Brands must be ready for public calls for accountability and openly share information about sustainability efforts, progress, and challenges. Honest communication builds credibility, and consumers appreciate brands that are transparent about their sustainability journey, even acknowledging areas for improvement.
In summary, the digital marketing landscape for 2024 is shaped by the integration of AI and a renewed emphasis on authenticity. Key trends include:
- AI voice cloning.
- Authenticity-driven marketing.
- Personalized experiences.
- Leveraging social media as the primary search engine.
Marketers are urged to embrace short-form content, influencer collaborations, social commerce, and engagement with online communities. As consumer consciousness rises, brands must prioritize accountability, particularly in sustainability and ethical practices.
The successful marketer in 2024 will navigate the balance between technology, genuine connections, and adapting to evolving consumer expectations.