2024 promises to be a momentous year across the social, cultural, and political spectra. Now that New Year’s Day has come and gone, what will the next twelve months mean for the world of digital marketing? From generative AI to the short-form video revolution, here are six key trends to keep your eyes on in the days to come.
The Acceleration of Generative AI. It should come as a surprise to no one that the likes of ChatGPT will play an increasingly pivotal role in digital marketing efforts going forward. However, improvements in these cutting-edge technologies demand equal thoughtfulness from those in the driver’s seat, digital marketers notwithstanding.
Edina Baur, a Director of Growth Marketing at Google, identifies three key considerations to ensure responsible use of Generative AI in 2024 and beyond:
- When setting KPIs, consider the impact of AI both on your bottom line and wider society.
- Transparently communicate how AI utilizes user data to improve marketing messages.
- Ensure that assets are safe for AI to use from a legal standpoint, and that they represent the tone of the brand.
The Ascendancy of Social Media Search Optimization. Google is emperor of the search engine multiverse. However, according to Forbes magazine, 40% of Gen Z is using Instagram and TikTok instead of Google for search-related purposes, a significant increase over past years.
So what does this mean for digital marketers? For starters, keywords and metadata have become more important for social media posts than ever before. Captions that encompass keywords and descriptive data can also help improve a brand’s post discoverability. While brevity may have been the key to success historically, more keywords and content are increasingly likely to help boost post ranking.
The Perpetual Rise of YouTube Marketing. According to an April 2023 Pew Research Center report, 95% of teens ages 13 to 17 use YouTube, more than any other social media platform. By contrast, 66% use TikTok and 62% use Instagram.
What’s the takeaway here? That YouTube isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Even if YouTube Shorts are still playing second-fiddle to Meta’s Reels in terms of viewership, YouTube, the platform, continues to prove its relevance time and again. Successful marketers will be forced to embrace it.
The Explosion of Live Streaming. The live streaming sector continues to surge, presenting the marketing sphere with an abundance of opportunity. According to Research and Markets’ Live Streaming Global Market Report 2023, live-streaming achieved a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20.6% last year, expanding from $1.24 billion in 2022 to $1.49 billion in 2023. Live-streaming has an unparalleled ability to promote user engagement, if only because of its capacity for real-time interaction.
Because of this, successful brands are increasingly using live streaming to connect with their audiences, e.g. a fitness brand live-streaming a workout session to create a communal exercise experience.
Voice Search and SEO. As voice assistants like Siri and Alexa continue to rise in popularity, a growing number of users are engaging in voice-based search queries, a.k.a. asking questions out loud instead of typing them into search bars. Consequently, businesses will need to adapt their SEO strategies to accommodate voice-based queries, focusing on natural language processing and long-tail keywords to ensure their content is voice-search friendly.
The Shift in the Notion of Value. Thanks to trends driven largely by Millennials and Gen Z, consumers no longer limit their purchasing decisions to the traditional parameters of price and quality. Eren Kantarlı, Head of Industry Insights at Google Turkey, argues that consumers have developed a new value mindset, one that considers such factors as “value for sustainability”, “value for experience”, and even “value for sharing first-party data in exchange for usefulness”.
The data backs this up, too: according to recent studies, 82% of shoppers demand that a brand’s values align with their own. Any successful marketing campaign will face enormous pressure to take this trend into consideration.
. . . And this just scratches the surface! Anyone who has tracked the evolution of digital marketing is aware that many of the most disruptive trends are the ones that no one predicts. To succeed in 2024 and beyond, a successful marketing company should adopt a flexible mindset, an agile infrastructure, and a genuine sense of curiosity about that which lies ahead.
As famed author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke once remarked, “The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.” On behalf of Blueliner, we wish you the best on that journey.