Last year, many of the marketing trends and predictions I mentioned came true.
Now, I want to share some new marketing opportunities for 2024. This is the perfect time to dust off our crystal balls and look at what’s in store for next year.
In 2024, there’s a fair chance that the state of the marketing industry will be more exciting and unique than ever before.
Here are our top marketing trends for 2024:
- The Importance of Visual Storytelling
- Embracing AI and Machine Learning
- Use Personalized Content
- Why You Need Shareable Assets
- The Influencer Economy
- Social E-Commerce: The Innovative Way to Shop Virtually
- Accessibility in the Digital Age
- The Future of Browsing with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Let’s take a closer look.
Marketing Trends & Predictions #1: The Importance of Visual Storytelling
Want a guaranteed way to reach and engage your audience? Then use visual storytelling. Combining images, graphics, and design elements lets you capture your audience’s imagination and improve their information retention by up to 65 percent.
That’s crucial because you want to immerse your visitors in your brand values, voice, and style in today’s overcrowded marketing world.
There are many ways to go about visual storytelling in your content. Here are a few examples to extend your brand awareness via visual storytelling:
- Customer Testimonials: Customer testimonials are sourced directly from real buyers. If people crave brand authenticity, highlighting customer stories will establish trust and credibility with your audience. Use video testimonials or add photos and quotes to add authenticity.
- Visualizing Data Narratives: Instead of storing data away internally, share it with your audience in creative, thought-provoking ways. You can do this through charts, images, graphs, and illustrations.
- Visual Content: Visual content, like graphics or video, helps put a face to the brand. You can use interactive elements by allowing users to click, scroll, or zoom in. Or use infographics to gain traction on social media.
- Use storyboards: Tell the story behind your business, explain your unique selling point, and position your brand.
Finally, a word on video. This form of media is so prevalent in e-commerce because it allows brands to connect with their audience, showcasing themselves in an appealing way.
Video marketing is at an all-time high, with 91 percent of marketers using it, meaning it’ll almost certainly contribute to a positive return on investment (ROI).
Whether you use customer testimonials, data, or video content, there are many ways to weave an exciting story and forge a stronger relationship with your users.
“Storytelling isn’t new, it goes back thousands of years. But even today we still use it. Why? Because it’s effective. The only issue is, people don’t use it enough.”
Neil Patel, Co-founder of NP Digital
In its “Host Stories” series, Airbnb highlights 30-plus success stories and does an awesome job of selling itself to hosts and travelers.
Each one of the posts is packed full of images, showing off unique, beautiful properties like this piece highlighting the tiny homes trend:
Airbnb starts by telling everyone how “hosts of unique stays earned nearly 1 billion in 2021”, which is an immediate attention-grabber.
Throughout the post, Airbnb includes eye-catching images of various locations and combines them with stories of some of its most successful hosts.
In a clever marketing piece, Airbnb also uses its posts as an opportunity to promote other locations worldwide, enticing leads to click through to other posts and perhaps even book a visit.
Marketing Trends & Predictions #2: Embracing AI and Machine Learning
The machine-learning market will reach $225.91 billion by 2030. However, many businesses are already realizing the benefits of AI.
McKinsey and Company’s State of AI 2023 report says one-third of survey respondents use generative AI (models trained on datasets to generate fresh content) for at least one role in their business. Forty percent of companies also say they’ll invest more in AI because of generative AI.
Daryl Plummer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, also sees big things for generative AI. Plummer says it’s an “opportunity to accomplish things never before possible in the scope of human existence.”
As for AI in general, the Content Marketing Institute says marketing teams will recognize it as a content strategy challenge rather than a technology challenge. This could be because the success of AI in marketing depends heavily on developing effective content strategies rather than focusing solely on the technical aspects of AI.
In the next year, AI is also likely to get sharper at optimizing content while revolutionizing marketing through “hyper-personalization, content creation, and predictive analytics.”
Marketing Trends & Predictions #3: Use Personalized Content
A study conducted by Salesforce found that 66 percent of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
Customers do not want to feel like a number, so personalized interactions and connected experiences are not just intelligent business moves—they’re necessary.
The experience a company offers is the differentiator for today’s consumers.
Personalized content uses demographic, behavioral, or contextual data to give customers ultra-relevant and relatable messaging.
Get to know your audience with chatbot features that offer personal shopping or create quizzes that present users with a product that best fits their needs.
Here’s an example from Aveda:
Aveda personalizes its content by presenting users with a hair quiz that helps them learn which Aveda products work best for their hair type.
When you’re done with the quiz, you receive product recommendations specific to your personal hair needs.
Using this marketing trend correctly helps customers feel confident in their purchase since the recommendations are based on their personal preferences and needs.
Marketing Trends & Predictions #4: Why You Need Shareable Assets
Shareable assets mean content that aims to generate brand awareness through digital public relations (DPR), backlinks, and social engagement.
From on-page downloadable templates to infographics, sharable assets can take many forms.
Shareable assets help build brand awareness and authority for your business,” says Tierney Brannigan, Content Production Manager (NP Digital). “By showing search engines that you are a trustworthy and engaging resource via backlinks and social interaction, you can bolster your entire SEO campaign.”
Tierney Brannigan, Content Production Manager at NP Digital
Try using shareable assets to touch on relevant and current affairs.
Sharing these materials can generate SEO-boosting backlinks, establish authority in your niche, and offer helpful information to your target audience. Shareable assets can:
- Increase brand awareness or awareness around a new product or service.
- Provide your company with new data and insights.
- Help define and amplify your brand values.
- Drive traffic back to your site.
I often use infographics, and while I don’t like to boast, they attract plenty of attention.
If you do a quick search under “Neil Patel infographic example,” you’ll find my infographics everywhere. From the Content Marketing Institute to Pinterest, my infographics get actively shared online by a host of different platforms and bloggers.
Look at this post sharing my top five infographics, for instance. OK, so it dates back a bit, but it’s still out there getting attention.
That’s my point here.
As one of the most engaging, the popularity of infographics continues to grow, thanks to social media and the need for bite-sized content.
In addition, infographics are ideal for absorbing content on the go. With mobile use forecast to grow to 7.49 billion by 2025, there’s an ongoing demand for shareable assets that will continue into 2024 and beyond.
Marketing Trends & Predictions #5: The Influencer Economy
According to Statistica, the influencer marketing industry has more than doubled in value since 2019, growing from $6.5 billion to $21.1 billion in 2023.
Consumers read up to six reviews before buying a product; if they need more convincing, then influencer marketing is an excellent option.
Find out what types of influencers your target market follows and put your product in their hands. If you’re working on a budget, don’t forget about micro-influencers who won’t cost you thousands of dollars.
They may even be game to advertise your product in exchange for free samples. Just ensure any influencers you work with stick to advertising guidelines.
Here’s an example from BMW.
Consumers still aren’t ready to make the move to electric cars. To help change attitudes, BMW launched a campaign on TikTok to build awareness and persuade consumers to consider its range of electric vehicles.
It teamed with TikTok creator and fitness influencer Paul Olima and BMW’s biggest fan, Hannah. They took the BMW iX to various locations, where they would attempt to win prizes while avoiding capture by anonymous chasers in the BMW i4.
The pursuit appeared on TikTok as a series of sequential TikToks highlighting all the thrilling aspects of BMW’s electric vehicles.
BMW paired the TikToks with TopFeed and Focused View ads, and the campaign was a tremendous success. It achieved an average watch time per video of +49 percent and +137 percent video completion rate compared to TikTok’s non-Spark ads.
By teaming with Paul Olima, BMW found a compelling way to introduce the benefits of EVs to his 1 million plus followers.
This year, we’ll see creators and influencers taking more control of the economy in their respective industries.
The creator economy is rapidly expanding as more brands partner with influencers to stay relevant, build partnerships, and connect deeply with their audience.
Marketing Trends & Predictions #6: Social E-commerce: The Growing Way to Shop Virtually
Social e-commerce is the convergence of e-commerce and social media.
You can see tremendous results from this trend with the right content marketing strategy.
Social e-commerce was already set to be one of the top marketing trends for the coming years, with Statista forecasting that social e-commerce will reach six trillion U.S. dollars by 2030.
What should your social media e-commerce strategy look like? You can’t go too far wrong with user-generated content and niche-specific influencers. Don’t forget to include calls to action in your social posts, either as clickable elements on your photos and videos or in the social copy itself.
Facebook Ads allow you to run targeted ads, feature specific offers, and promote them.
This example from the French eyewear and apparel store Vuarnet shows what’s possible with social commerce.
It doubled its United States sales by adding Advantage + shopping (Meta’s ads that use machine learning to reach valuable audiences more efficiently) to its Facebook campaigns.
The brand also managed to 2x its reach and lower its cost per purchase by 51 percent compared to Advantage + customer ads (formerly called dynamic ads).
Marketing Trends & Predictions #7: Accessibility in the Digital Age
Sixteen percent of the world’s population experiences some form of disability. When customer experience is a leading priority in 2024, brands should care about making their digital properties more accessible.
Prioritizing accessibility in 2024 ensures your brand is making inclusive strides in its communication efforts. Digital accessibility refers to reducing barriers to enjoying a system’s design, tools, and technologies.
Essentially, creating a universal design ensures all online properties are optimized for people with disabilities or impairments.
Creating accessible content isn’t just a best practice. It’s a necessity. A growing number of companies are being sued for not having accessible websites.
Don’t be a part of that list!
A lack of accessibility stunts business growth and tarnishes brand image. Put an accessibility audit on the roadmap for 2024 and see how an inclusive design pays off in the long run.
If you’re looking for a place to start, familiarize yourself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Here’s a fantastic example from the UK’s BBC news channel.
- Visitors can press the tab key twice to get to the “Skip to Content” link and avoid complex navigation.
- When visitors press on the tab again, they’ll access an “Accessibility Help” link containing useful resources.
- When users click through to the Accessibility Help Page, they get details of its policies, signed content, audio-described content, FAQs, and an extensive list of other resources.
For more accessibility tips, read my 10 Best Practices Guide.
Marketing Trends & Predictions #8: The Future of Browsing with SEO
SEO is not a new strategy, but local SEO and multicultural SEO are starting a new conversation in modern-day marketing strategies.
SEO enhances the discoverability of websites and content—especially on Google. International consumers often get overlooked but can generate significant growth if you keep them engaged.
How do you go about doing this? Get ahead of the competition with content that has the language and cultural nuances that speak to new audiences.
Local SEO populates searches for a specific local area. Businesses with brick-and-mortar stores can benefit from having their local audience find them through a web search.
A recent survey from Intuit QuickBooks shows nearly half of consumers expect to buy from small businesses this holiday season. Shoppers also plan to spend $485 with small businesses this year, up from $342 last year.
And it’s not just seasonal.
A recent report shows one in five Americans regularly shop locally.
That tells us there’s definitely an audience there, but you’ll need to up your location-specific content creation to them.
Additionally, multilingual campaigns can increase your reach and show your brand’s social awareness.
If your brand wants to resonate on a larger scale this year, showcase your content in multiple languages.
SEO still promises to evolve as one of the most scalable and cost-effective investments for digital marketing strategies.
In 2024, we expect local content and a well-optimized mobile website to play a more significant role in SEO.
This is a great example of how local SEO can increase a business’s visibility and revenue, regardless of size or notoriety. When you search “birthday gifts,” Google returns a mixed SERP. There are:
- Google Ads
- Traditional links, which are dominated by marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy
- Google Shopping listings
- Local search panel
With the help of local SEO, these small boutiques show in the results for searchers who are located nearby—and for free!
In 2024, we predict personalized content, shareable assets like infographics, and local SEO will remain among the top marketing trends.
Social e-commerce and influencer marketing will likely remain strong, and let’s not forget AI. It’s already a huge part of a marketer’s working life, and as it’s continuously evolving, AI is geared up to be one of the top marketing trends in 2024.
It’s also essential to keep making your site accessible to all visitors.
Technological advances, changes in consumer behavior and attitudes, and emerging technologies all contribute to fluctuating marketing trends.
Signing up for Google Alerts and industry press releases, visiting conferences and exhibitions, and watching webinars will help keep you updated with developing marketing trends.
It’s also worth being on social media, active in forums and groups, and tracking data to identify trends.
Networking with other professionals is also a great way to discover fresh marketing trends in your sector.
Conclusion: 2024 Marketing Trends & Shifts
While the future is not always certain, it’s essential to be sure about your strategic marketing efforts for 2024.
That means looking at technologies like AI for greater efficiency and targeting, creating shareable assets, and expanding your reach through influencers.
It’s also vital that you don’t overlook personalization and the need to make content accessible.
With millions of social media users, assessing social media commerce is also a wise idea, and visual storytelling is an ideal way to engage busy consumers in the year ahead.
With updated marketing strategies in place, your brand can stay nimble to keep up with the ever-changing marketing trends in 2024 and beyond.
During this transformation, you’ll also notice your brand strengthen in a well-rounded capacity that better connects you to your intended audience.
After all, your brand should be doing more than selling products.
Set yourself apart and educate your customers about who you are and why they should trust you. Connect with your consumers and acknowledge their needs; use the techniques we’ve detailed in this article to do exactly that.
By putting consumers first in 2024, they’ll also put you first.
About the Author:
Dejaih Smith is a go-to expert in digital content marketing and social media strategy who also immerses herself in the “what’s next” happenings in the industry. Her creative and data-driven approach has enabled her to stay ahead on emerging innovative strategies from influencer marketing to neuromarketing.
What digital marketing predictions do you have for 2024? Share your thoughts below!
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