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Prevailing digital marketing trends for 2024

The world of digital marketing is in a constant state of flux, with new technologies and social trends shaping the landscape. Marketers and company leaders must stay vigilant, keeping up with the changes and experimenting with new tools, channels, and approaches. In 2024, it's evident that the marketing landscape is changing once again. From recent modifications in Google's algorithms to the escalating impact of AI, our marketing tactics and techniques are experiencing a monumental change.
In light of these developments, here are the top major digital marketing trends that you should be aware of in 2024.

The rising significance of authenticity

Throughout this list, you’ll notice that one recurring theme emerges: how to navigate the impact of Generative AI and effectively harness its potential while standing out from the crowd. With AI-assisted content creation enabling the production of generic content across various mediums, the importance of cultivating your unique voice and showcasing your brand's distinct value proposition has never been greater. No tool can replicate the human side of your brand or establish authentic connections with your audience.

In this new landscape, we witness brands turning to intelligent marketing partners who can help them gain an edge and fully utilise the expertise of their subject matter experts. These partnerships not only involve extracting knowledge but also distilling it into a resonating message that connects with the target audience.

Achieving authentic branding, expressing your unique voice, and promoting internal thought leaders requires dedicated effort, and demands patience, meticulous planning, and a strategic approach.  It cannot be achieved simply by adopting the latest trendy tool. In essence, authenticity may not come easy, but it is more crucial than ever before.

The importance of video content

While video content has traditionally been associated with entertainment, it has progressively emerged as a vital marketing channel, even in the realm of B2B.  AI has an undeniable importance as the most prominent marketing topic in 2024, however, it's not just about what AI can accomplish; it's equally crucial to recognise its limitations and how they reshape the way we conduct online sales.

Although short-form videos found on TikTok and Instagram have become the new frontier for B2B marketing, it is vital to adopt an integrated video strategy that encompasses various lengths across multiple platforms.

If you are contemplating the use of AI to tick this box off your list, we advise against it. The quality may not be up to par and could deter rather than assist your audience. Instead, the key lies in taking a human-centred approach, showcasing the authentic faces behind your brand, and capturing real individuals discussing your products, the problems you solve, and the queries that matter most to your audience.

Google's 2023 Helpful Content Updates have sparked a revival in user-generated content

Google's 2023 Helpful Content Updates have caused significant shifts in SEO. While future algorithm changes by Google remain uncertain, it is evident that user-generated content sites have once again become pivotal channels for content in 2024.  As Google grapples with an influx of AI-generated content, it is placing greater importance on platforms where genuine human users gather to share their personal opinions.

Readers, too, are turning to these platforms in search of authentic insights from real people rather than generic, SEO-optimised AI-generated output. The desire for genuine narratives and expertise from actual individuals has elevated the significance of user-generated content sites such as Reddit.

Social proof plays a vital role in influencing purchasing decisions, so urging satisfied customers to share their positive reviews and testimonials on relevant platforms is crucial.

AI-assisted content has reached a significant milestone in its development

Since the release of ChatGPT, this powerful language model has brought AI-generated content to the forefront of the marketing world. B2B company leaders and marketers alike have been exploring ways to leverage this innovative technology to their advantage to conduct research and develop content. 
While we are still in the early stages of adopting AI in content marketing, the reality of integrating AI into marketing is proving to be nuanced and the past year has provided valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of using generative AI.

While user-friendly AI tools have made it easier to create generic content, there has been an inundation of impersonal and repetitive information. AI-generated content often lacks originality in phrasing and structure, making it easily identifiable.
Although these tools can serve as valuable assistants by offering brainstorming support, conducting research, and creating outlines, they cannot replace human content creators. Moreover, they emphasise the importance of crafting meaningful, valuable, and personalised content that stands out amidst the flood of AI-generated noise.

AI SEO gains momentum

In the year 2023, Google unveiled its experimental AI-powered search engine called Search Generative Experience. Although the full implications of generative AI on the search experience are still being explored, one thing is certain: AI has and will continue to revolutionise the way we search, as well as how businesses can be discovered in search results.

The focus will shift from simply aiming to appear on the first page of search results for specific keywords, to strategically positioning oneself for the AI tool to recommend their company, generate their desired answer, or provide relevant information about their business. While we haven't reached that point just yet, the increasing popularity of AI tools will drive the development of strategies to address this evolving question.

To adapt to this changing landscape, it is crucial to expand your publishing efforts and extend your brand's reach beyond any single platform, aiming to attract human readership while also laying the groundwork for potential training data sets for Large Language Models (LLMs).

The integration of AI into existing marketing tools is becoming increasingly prevalent

While several startups aim to replace current tools with AI-powered alternatives, it is more likely that established industry leaders will adopt and incorporate AI into their existing platforms.

Professionals in marketing and sales are keen on harnessing the potential of AI within their current operational workflows. The challenge lies in the fact that they may not have ample time to test and experiment with every new AI-powered tool that emerges in the market. There is also the risk factor that these new tools may not prove to be sustainable or effective in the long run.

In light of these circumstances, the integration of AI functionality into the core tools used by modern marketers has become a critical necessity. This is especially true as the business world finds itself in a scramble to keep up with the ongoing hype surrounding AI. As such, companies are realising that integrating AI isn't just about staying relevant, but it's also about maintaining a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.