Artificial intelligence tools may have been the golden child of 2023 for marketers, but it’s not the only trend we’ll see this year. With a slew of major security breaches heightening data privacy concerns, changes in consumer spending habits, and the European Union’s adoption of revised marketing standards, 2024 will see trends born of necessity and demand. Whether you’re an influencer or the head of a marketing team tasked with creating, managing, and distributing content, check out some of the trends being predicted in the industry.
- A balance between AI and human creatives
To be clear, AI isn’t going anywhere, but this year, it will settle into its role as a support tool.
If you’re using AI platforms to create images or write text, make sure you disclose the content is AI-produced and don’t become over-reliant on the technology.
Digital natives are becoming increasingly skeptical of the rapidly evolving simulated intelligence, so make sure you follow best practices and strike a good balance between AI-generated content and human-generated content in 2024.
- Short-form video will take center stage
As attention spans shorten, so too will video content. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok, which lead the way with brevity, help capture the audience’s attention in ways that are entertaining or informative. These easy-to-digest clips are also more likely to be shared than long-form videos, giving brands a boost of exponential marketing.
- Search traffic decreases
ChatGPT has already started to affect the search landscape, leaving marketers wondering how it will influence paid search results. For example, will it be worth investing in pay-per-click to help consumers find your content?
ChatGPT does have some advantages—such as personalization based on preferences and behavior, answer generation while performing a search, and natural language processing to improve search queries and results. But better marketers who invest in both the quality and quantity of their content, as well as targeted and strategic content amplification, will win out regardless.
- More branded communities
Fake verifications on X, misinformation on Truth Social, and privacy issues on virtually every major platform have left consumers leery of trusting what they read, see, and hear online. To compensate, companies are building their own branded communities to nurture relationships.
Beyond just selling, these spaces are being used for networking with brand advocates, gathering feedback, and fostering ideas for new products, services, and improvements in customer satisfaction.
- Improved storytelling
Storytelling is having a moment with brands looking to not only entertain consumers but also spark genuine conversations. Whether it’s visual, auditory, or written, these narratives can evoke emotion while communicating a message that builds trust and loyalty through humanization.
Personalized storytelling can be even more impactful when aligned with the buyer’s journey, increasing the potential for action at each touchpoint. Use your brand’s voice to empathize with the customer’s challenges and then provide a solution they can’t refuse.
- Thought leadership
Beyond just a general distrust of slick, salesy advertising, marketers are also up against a brick wall of information saturation. But that’s where thought leadership can give brands a leg up.
By sharing advice, research, news, and predictions, experts in their field can help persuade potential customers, driving them to take action based on facts and educated guesses. The sheer reputation or recognition of the thought leader may be enough to inspire and influence their audience.
To increase the effectiveness of their efforts, smart marketers will dig into hyper-segmentation. Glean insights from hyper-segmented data to better understand your audience members’ behaviors, preferences, and lifestyles to avoid over-marketing with content that doesn’t apply. By targeting smaller segments of their audiences, brands can fine-tune their content for more personalized messaging, making consumers more likely to convert.
- The downfall of gated content
For years, gated content was all the rage to help marketers gather more qualified leads under the perception of accessing information that was more valuable than content that was freely accessible. However, marketers find that requiring site visitors to share personal information may be detrimental to their efforts, especially now that so much free content is available online.
Factor in that high bounce rates is bad for SEO, that requiring registration can be seen as untrustworthy, and that gated content gets far fewer likes, shares, and engagement, and it’s not surprising that more brands are revisiting the concept.
- Increased audio content
Expect brands to look for more ways to incorporate more audio into their content lineup to reach a broader audience, including those who are visually impaired. Podcasts, for example, also provide a convenient means for customers to engage with while commuting, exercising, cooking, or cleaning.
Brands may also want to consider repurposing written content into audio formats, such as audio blogs, audiobooks, and voice search optimization, the latter of which can improve your online presence when users perform a search query.
Do some research into these content marketing trends for 2024 to see if they align with your brand’s goals, strategies, and marketing budget. Look for ways to gradually try out some of these ideas to see if they move the needle toward greater reach, engagement, and profits.