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10 digital marketing trends marketers need to look out for in 2024

10 digital marketing trends marketers need to look out for in 2024

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Taking the marketing world by storm and crowned the word of the year by Collins Dictionary, it is no surprise that AI is the top trend marketers can expect in their digital marketing strategy. However, in an AI-dominated marketing landscape, consumers have become sceptical about brand content authenticity and are looking for authenticity-driven marketing.

In fact, brands must prioritise social listening in 2024 as consumers are expected to demand higher sustainability and ethical practices. Social listening becomes increasingly important when it comes to niche online communities that brands can leverage to reinforce consumer-to-consumer connections.

Along with influencer marketing and social commerce trends, Brandwatch has narrowed down ten trends marketers should look out for in 2024 based on surveys from 517 marketers. Below are the trends that are expected to shape the digital marketing landscape next year.

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1. The rise of AI voice cloning and customer services

Brandwatch’s survey revealed that 92% of marketers pointed to the imminent integration of AI in marketing as the number one trend for 2024. AI's multifaceted role spans automation and creative tasks such as content creation and SEO

It also highlighted increased conversations about AI voice cloning that can help marketers create content from scripts and do work in more languages. While there are concerns about its potential misuse when a persona’s voice is used without their consent, AI voice cloning will enable marketers to do voiceovers without having to re-record themselves in the face of an error.

Similarly, AI-driven customer services that include AI chatbots are expected to dominate in 2024 with its current low adoption of 8% of customers proving to be a missed opportunity.

2. Authenticity-driven marketing will thrive

As an antithesis to the growth in AI is the problem of authenticity. In fact, 56% of marketers agree that human-to-human marketing will dominate in 2024 as 86% of consumers consider a brand’s authenticity in their purchase decisions. These consumers also crave more genuine connections and have become more adept at spotting inauthentic marketing efforts, especially for Gen Z consumers.

Interestingly, there is a large discrepancy between what brands and consumers consider as authentic. While 80% of brands think they deliver authentic content, only 37% of consumers agree.

To implement authentic marketing, brands can showcase their values through employee-generated content and use customer testimonials.

3. Personalisation is key to encourage returning customers

Personalisation makes a customer feel valued which leads to increased brand loyalty and stronger customer relationships with 60% of consumers becoming repeat buyers when offered personalised purchasing experiences.

A little goes a long way for tailored and personal experiences as a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by up to 25 to 95% in the long run. To do so, marketers should focus on individualism within the customer journey instead of marketing personas as not all consumer groups will have the same pain points.

With data privacy concerns on the rise, marketers should take caution against the excessive use of customer data especially when consumers have yet to make a purchase. When it comes to retargeting journeys, marketers should adopt a seamless and compelling experience across ads and emails to encourage buyers to join or rejoin the sales journey.

4. Leveraging real-time consumer insights through social listening

In 2024, social listening becomes pivotal for marketers as, despite the vast number of users on social media, brands control only 1.5% of brand-related discussions online. Social data is presented as critical for customer-centric strategies, with 76% of marketers agreeing on the benefits of social listening tools.

Additionally, real-time insights can drive profitability by understanding consumer preferences, intent, and feedback which is especially crucial for ROI-driven marketing amid budget constraints.

Brands must manage their online reputation proactively, use strategic insights to gain a competitive advantage and optimise decision-making with data-driven strategies to reap the benefits of social listening.

5. Creative short-form content to capture the attention of consumers

With attention spans becoming shorter than ever, at 8.25 seconds, brands must swiftly captivate audiences with concise and impactful content such as short-form videos.

In fact, short-form videos boast 76% higher impressions with campaigns using Instagram reels being 20% more effective as compared to other video formats.

In 2024, 80% of marketers foresee video marketing expansion and 72% expect experiential and entertainment-based strategies to surge, emphasising the need for engaging, creative and interactive content.

6. Social media is the go-to search engine

The report highlights that people view social media to be less biased than Google with TikTok surpassing Google as Gen Z’s primary source of knowledge. This is due to a desire for unique information created by others in real-time which provides a sense of novelty.

As 87% of marketers believe consumers will discover brands through social platforms over traditional search engines, currently, 76% of consumers use social media as a search engine.

For marketers, this means that a multi-platform search strategy should be utilised especially when Google prioritises its own YouTube content over TikTok, added the report. Social content that answers search questions and that is helpful should be prioritised with the shifting means of information search and discovery.

7.  Influencer collaborations will cut through the noise

The influencer marketing industry is set to experience a 109% growth, according to the report. To leverage this growth, brands can build influencer partnerships to gain awareness in new niches and locations to tap into new demographics.

Interestingly, engaging micro- and nano-influencers proves to be the most successful as it yields positive ROI for brands. It is though consistent interaction that influencers can forge a deep trust with their audiences which makes them highly effective brand promoters.

Marketers should also align with credible subject matter experts, leverage micro-influencers for flexible content, and maximize cost efficiencies through influencer activations.

8. Social commerce has a huge potential to sell

As consumers increasingly research brands and seek product recommendations on social media as mentioned in trend six, marketers can expect substantial growth in the integration of eCommerce into social platforms.

While nearly 28% of consumers actively use social media to find products to buy, this figure is expected to rise as more brands discus how to implement social commerce in their strategies,

Social commerce discussions and interest in affiliate marketing are on the rise, with tighter budgets prompting 87% of marketers to seek more efficient strategies such as affiliate marketing to drive sales.

9. Tapping into growing online communities to redefine engagement strategies

As a growing number of people join social networks, more niche communities have forged their way and brands that tap into growing online communities to foster deeper consumer relationships will thrive.

In fact, 63% of marketers agree that brands will lean into fostering consumer-to-consumer relationships via communities in 2024. These communities serve as a way for brands to better understand consumer needs, concerns and pain points. These groups also offer brands a way to develop a rapport with consumers which boosts brand awareness and loyalty.

Marketers can get involved with existing communities or create their own community space to leverage this trend. To seamlessly engage with online communities, brands can share advice, offer connection opportunities fellow consumers, or share exclusive discounts and deals.

10. Growing consumer consciousness is pushing brands for more accountability

Sustainability and ethical marketing practices continue gaining prominence as consumers are becoming more conscious and vocal about environmental and social issues. Online mentions about sustainability have steadily risen since 2020 with a 20% increase between May 1 and November 28, 2023, compared to that of the previous period.

Brands must be prepared to have consumers calling them out publicly for any perceived ethical lapses and brands should show their audience they are committed to continuous improvement.

Information about sustainability efforts, progress, and challenges should also be openly shared. Honest communication builds credibility, and consumers appreciate brands that are forthright about their sustainability journey, even if it involves acknowledging areas for improvement.

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Study: 82% in SEA make purchasing decisions based on influencers and celebrities
Study: What are the biggest shifts hitting the B2B marketing industries?

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