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What's the vibe? 6 trends marketers should look out for in 2024

Sometimes, marketing can feel a bit like magic, charting the unknown territory of the consumer landscape. We carefully consult our consumer insight reports, we pull our marketing data, and we add a sprinkle of expertise and optimism to create what we hope will be a winning campaign concoction.

It doesn’t matter if you work for a B2B or a B2C brand, the end goal is always the same. We’re humans, trying desperately to connect with other humans, to provide a solution to a problem– whether or not they know they need it yet.

Much like the witches of yore, marketers must adapt to a rapidly changing environment. When the latest social media channel pops up, we have to be ready to drive in, broom-first. When our search engines decide to change up the algorithm, we’re ready and waiting at our keyboards to optimize our websites.

With a new year stretching ahead, now is the perfect time to take a deep breath and check the vibe. What exactly can marketers expect from 2024? We’ve consulted our crystal ball, we’ve read the tarot, and we’ve compiled a list of the digital marketing trends we expect to see in 2024.

1. Finding new ways to delve into the data

A key challenge that is arguably top of mind for every marketer in 2024 is cookies. Sadly, not the chocolate chip kind. As Google continues to phase out third-party cookies, marketing teams find themselves stripped of another valuable data source.

See this as an opportunity to delve into new types of data. Audience intelligence is your savior in this time of confusion, with 76% of marketers agreeing on the benefits of social listening tools. Similarly, real-time insights are becoming increasingly important as a way of driving profitability and developing a deeper understanding of your customers.

Using audience intelligence also enables you to proactively manage your online reputation and avert a PR crisis, gain strategic insights that will grant you a huge advantage over your competitors, and optimise your data-driven marketing for more budget-friendly marketing campaigns.

2. Short-form video is the hottest new trend

Insert shocked Pikachu face meme here. TikTok is all anybody can talk about in the social media sphere these days and for very good reason. The social platform has now reached a point of saturation where TikTok videos will surface on Instagram Reels and Facebook feeds within 14 business days.

Short-form video is a proven crowd-pleaser across demographics. But it’s not just funny videos of capybaras and cats, short-form video is also a major sales driver. According to Hubspot, 56% of consumers said they bought something based on an ad they saw on TikTok, and 36% said they were willing to.

That doesn’t mean you should completely reconfigure your video content strategy. Long-form and short-form video serve different purposes. Long-form videos enable you to provide in-depth information about your product, brand or service, think customer demos and detailed case studies. Short-form videos appeal to short-attention spans, providing key information in a snappy format. It’s all about balance.

3. Building long-term relationships with influencers

Influencers have long reigned supreme in B2C marketing. But as discussed in our spotlight analysis, influencer marketing can be just as valuable for B2B brands. The global influencer market is estimated to be worth $21.1 billion, and in 2024, we expect this to keep on growing.

Positive word-of-mouth and authenticity are two important qualities for brands and influencers play a vital role in helping brands communicate on a human level. This will have a huge impact for brands in 2024, as it becomes vital to develop meaningful, long-lasting relationships with trusted influencers.

Marketers are increasingly choosing influencers based on ethos, rather than follower numbers, paving the way for nano-influencers, or micro-influencers, to partner up with major brands to provide deeper engagement and more authentic connections with audiences. We see this trend particularly thriving in the beauty, fashion and wellness industries.

4. Bringing together the Threads

2023 was a rocky ride for social media, as new platforms duked it out for users. Meta’s offering, Threads, has shown itself to be one of the most interesting new platforms, encouraging users to share text-based posts and drive public conversations. As of December 2023, when the platform launched in the EU, the platform reportedly had 141 million users.

With the changes taking place on X, it stands to reason that some brands are interested in investing energy in a new platform. Brands such as Canva, TedTalks, and Channel 4 are using Threads as a place to create more interactive content such as quizzes, polls, and even games. Threads provides an interesting opportunity for brands to get experimental in their approach to social.

5. Search takes on a whole new meaning

For decades, marketing and content teams have focused all their energy on improving their brands ranking on Google. We’ve traversed algorithm changes, keyword reports, and user intent to create content that drives clicks and puts us firmly above our competitors.

And now, the world changes again. According to Business Insider, around 40% of Gen-Z are using social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram as their primary search engine. Google also reports that more people are searching using voice, as well as images. All of these developments are making search more natural and intuitive for consumers.

What should marketers do? Keep producing those content-rich blogs but consider how you can repurpose existing content to suit new ways of searching. Marketers need to consider nuances such as keywords and metadata in their social posts and ensure that captions are as descriptive as possible to boost post rankings and improve visibility in social search engines. And don’t worry, Google isn’t going anywhere, in fact they’re actively serving short-form video content in their results to appeal to Gen-Z.

6. Purpose driven marketing rises to the top

We’ve touched on this a few times over the last 12 months, but purpose driven marketing is rising to the top in 2024. Social activism is close to the hearts of many consumers, and brands that are able to deliver authentic, purposeful campaigns are more likely to enjoy customer relationships that last a lifetime.

Purpose has been highlighted as a beacon for brand growth, with 66% of high-growth brands saying they see purpose as a means to guiding employee decision-making and importantly, giving them a competitive advantage. It’s not enough to show that you’re eco-friendly or sustainable in a one-off campaign, customers want to see you walk the walk in everything you do.

As we head into 2024, we have three top tips to help you put purpose at the heart of your marketing. First, understand what really matters to your audience. As a brand, you’ll likely have your own values and ethics that are important to you, use tools like Audiense to find like-minded customers. Second, focus on authenticity and transparency, make sure the campaigns you run align with your brand and if your customers have feedback, be prepared to listen and respond appropriately. Third, nobody expects you to know everything. Consider collaborating with non-profit, influencers, your own employees or other experts in the space that can help you shape an approach that will resonate with your audiences.

Are you ready to take on the challenges this year will bring? We’re here to help. Book a demo with us today to find out how audience intelligence can help you thrive.

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