Marketers shouldn’t be surprised that many Digital Marketing Trends 2024 will be data-driven to better the customer experience and the overall performance of campaigns. As the third year of a worldwide pandemic progresses, people are growing tired of the “sell, sell, sell” marketing strategy and are resigned to their altered work and leisure schedules.
Quality data is essential to make informed marketing decisions and fine-tune digital campaigns for maximum relevance. The following are the top 13 digital marketing trends that will affect 2024. Discover the most recent developments in B2B digital marketing here.
They will act as a magnifying glass, allowing you to see clearly where you need to invest to maximize profits. The bottom line is that actual hands-on interaction replaces passive observation as the preferred learning method.
In doing so, we’ll discuss the digital marketing software components essential for capitalizing on these shifts. We will also investigate whether or not companies’ preferred marketing strategies have changed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Table of Contents
Increase in Popularity of Virtual Events
332 brands in the US were planning virtual events for March 2020 when the lockdown started. Before that, in January and February of 2020, just 223 and 235 brands held online gatherings. Because of the widespread coronavirus, event planners in the United States have had to adjust their financial forecasts.
Marketers in the UK and the US have compared notes on what they hope to gain from transitioning to virtual events. In the meantime, 43% have already reduced their numbers, while 48% have not done so but intend to. Only nine percent maintain their current earnings levels (PCMA, 2020).
They found that rethinking their events strategy was the most pressing issue (58%). The next step is collaborating with different people or teams to finish the job (47%). For the transition to living events, 43% also reported a need to acquire new competencies and technological know-how. Finally, 31% of participants said they must work with new vendors for virtual events (eMarketer, 2020).
Naturally, this change necessitates a shift in strategy on the part of event organizers and businesses alike. At least seventy-one percent of event planners in the United States incorporate some audience participation into their events, most often in the form of questions and answers, chat, or polls.
Sixty-nine percent said they would employ a webinar format, 62 percent would shorten the length of the program, and 62 percent would have speakers present via live stream (PCMA, 2020). Although it is still unclear whether virtual events will remain the preferred method for organizations after the pandemic has passed, this is the case at present.
Given that 48% of survey takers in a PCMA study reported continued travel reluctance, it’s not surprising. While 25% cited other reasons, 27% anticipated pent-up demand.
The Transition to Omni-Channel Marketing
Digital media has prompted varied consumer responses. The indication for this is as plain as the nose on your face. People go online to read articles related to their professions and hobbies. When others are bored, they turn to mobile games. But there are connections and overlaps between these meanings.
Even though many people use search engines to learn about breaking events, watch videos, and learn about new yields they might be interested in purchasing. Still, a sizable percentage of the population regularly uses social networking sites. If you can make yourself seen on the right platforms, you will eventually come into contact with internet users.
When you do, you can begin to determine which leads have the greatest potential to become customers, advocates, or at the very least, people who no longer actively dislike your company. They might be buyers, possibilities, or die-hard detractors (for the lack of a better term). It’s how businesses usually work.
Keeping up with Voice Search
This year’s first quarter saw a record-breaking 20.7 million smart speakers sold worldwide (Canalys, 2019). Over half of all speakers sold internationally were shipped to China. The United States maintained a very respectable 24. According to these new statistics, the use of voice searches will only increase in future years.
The popularity of voice-activated search assistants like Alexa, Cortana, and Siri has led to a surge in sales of smart speaker devices. So, if you want in on the accomplishment, you should prepare for a possible rise in voice searches in the future.
However Google’s AI recorded a very high 95% accuracy in recognition, some experts are not yet convinced by voice search (Search Engine Journal, 2020). Especially so when there are significant barriers to adoption.
Analytics with Artificial Intelligence
Companies were shocked to realize that “business as usual” would not be sufficient to meet the complex demands of the worldwide pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus. In the midst, companies are increasingly relying on AI and analytics to either thrive or survive or at least mitigate the impact on revenues.
Few today realize that “computer” was originally a pejorative term for human beings (Fact / Myth). In the past, humans did perform the role of computers. The days of tying people to their desks so they can do math and analysis have passed, thanks to advances in theory and technology.
To a large extent, we are content to have artificial computers do computations for us now. Artificial intelligence and analytics are used by marketers for data collection, analysis, and the automation of routine tasks. Currently, 28% of marketers use AI for product recommendations, and 26% use it for campaign optimization, per a Blueshift report.
Generally speaking, you have it right. Artificial intelligence (AI) can assist with digital marketing tasks such as management, strategic planning, and process automation. It is, however, intended for widespread application.
Going Mobile and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Our smartphones and tablets have become the primary means of accessing the web while on the move. It used to be that laptops could be carried around easily. As a result, they’ve gained a bad reputation as being too cumbersome to use regularly, especially in comparison to mobile alternatives.
To add affront to injury, Google has also realized that we value the convenience of apps more than that of certain static or even dynamic websites. They weigh less and can be easily stored in a pocket. The major search engines have considered this, and Google in particular.
The ability to interact with a brand on a mobile device or through an app-like interface is increasingly essential. If you don’t change, your competitors will overwhelm you. Because of this, alterations were made to the grading system.
Both of these should be kept in mind going forward, especially given the significance of search engine optimization in modern digital marketing strategies.
Augmenting User Experience with Augmented Reality
With augmented reality, it’s possible to superimpose computer-generated elements onto footage shot in the real world. The applications of this are varied. Mixing in a PWA or app can further enhance the experience and content offered to users.
This augmented reality experience, provided by Treasury Wines Australia and located at World Square in Sydney, is just one example of the cool things you can do with it. Watch the clip down below: The brand used cutting-edge technology in the clip to not only provide viewers with a fun and engaging experience but also to encourage them to talk about the content.
We’ll get into this point in greater detail later. However, if you want to attract viewers and encourage interaction, you’ll need to include these stunts and augmented reality-focused apps in your omnichannel offerings. Give Pokemon Go some thought. The game is more than just a window in a more extensive system.
The game is designed to keep players interested over time and features an in-app store where they can make in-app purchases for free. It’s part of an integrated campaign that also includes a film, video games, a cartoon series, and a slew of other consumer products. The whole shebang relies on it, so it’s built-in.
The company launched it as a promotional tool to introduce the classic brand to new audiences and as a means to generate revenue.
To a Greater Extent, B2C in B2B Digital Marketing
The 2019 digital marketing trends for businesses to consumers and vice versa are distinct. It’s important to note that both the seller and the buyer have the same goal. In addition, many businesses today use the same transactional platforms and methods. Because of this, many consumer preferences also apply to business-to-business transactions.
That is to say, and it appears that the expectations of business-to-business and business-to-consumer customers are remarkably similar. Why? So, when B2-B customers take off their suits, they morph into B2C customers. Customers typically make purchases on the B2C level first. Furthermore, shopping B2C has always been more convenient and speedy than shopping B2B.
Because of this, many people hope that B2C interactions will soon be available in B2B deals. As it turns out, this is a significant problem in the SaaS sector. In the business-to-consumer (B2C) world, especially in face-to-face, in-store interactions, it is common practice for sellers to provide free samples to potential buyers.
Simply put, we get to put the new product to use. Samples of pasta sauce and cheese, as well as generous exchange and return policies, come to mind. In today’s SaaS market, the most reputable companies frequently provide free trial periods before requiring customers to shell out money for the entire product.
This is just one example of how B2B and B2C have become increasingly intertwined in recent years.
Native Advertising: Don’t Intrude
It’s not too far-fetched to assume that most people despise commercials (Marketing Week, 2019). They’re annoying and time-consuming. Even more so when the ones that show up have nothing to do with the food or drink you’re trying to avoid. It’s also a safe bet that marketers aren’t immune to this phenomenon.
For this reason, 47% of all internet users employ ad blockers, demonstrating how much we detest them (Digital Information World, 2019). This appears to be a significant issue for marketers, mainly for display ads. There is, however, a solution. Every single one of us probably sees advertisements like this every single day. Native advertisements are the term for these types of promotions.
The term “native advertising” refers to commercials so naturally integrated into the surrounding content that the reader hardly notices that they are advertisements. It’s the equivalent of product placement in movies. Those high-end timepieces are worn by James Bond or the picturesque backdrops of his films.
There’s a sense that they’re integral to the plot and serve primarily to advance the action. It appears that these are merely coincidental. A lot of preparation, however, was done first. There was probably also payment made. Although not a recent phenomenon, native advertising has become increasingly crucial for businesses to master in the digital sphere.
It can advance the plot without bogging down the reader while impressing the intended readers. By doing so, we avoid the issue caused by ad blockers, and the ads themselves aren’t particularly intrusive if they’re implemented correctly. You have an improved chance of success if you include them in your omnichannel strategy.
Create Experiences: Events And Promotions
We have discussed augmented reality, mobile, and PWAs. When executed correctly, each of these contributes to satisfying client encounters. However, the online realm has to share space with the real world. Simply put, it attempts to improve the real world by manipulating people’s reactions to carefully selected stimuli.
Consider Haagen-Dazs, a famous brand of ice cream. This is what success looks like in the business-to-business world. This is how the quality of life for final consumers rises. Then, what better way to complete the picture than to share some actual consumer feedback about the product? This is about as omnichannel as it gets, I’m afraid.
They had a game set up in the shop so that customers could have some fun while learning about the different flavors of ice cream the company offers. Due to this firsthand knowledge, they could develop a well-rounded campaign to introduce their new products to the public.
But if you’re a small or medium-sized business, you can tailor your events and experiences to fit your needs and budget. Events such as live promotions, games, seminars, conferences, and the like come to mind. Connect each of these with the appropriate digital channel, and your lead generation efforts will advance.
Promote More Video Content Online
Insights into internet traffic suggest that by 2024, most of the content will be videos. In 2019, businesses spent an astounding $90 billion on video content. This pattern has persisted for the past 15 years and shows no sign of abating.
Why? This is because there are plenty of situations in which we can gain an understanding of a topic without resorting to reading a lengthy book or article. In most cases, a broad outline will do. Videos are great for this! (The well-made ones).
They cut to the chase, provide extra visuals and sound, and are more interesting than reading because they create mental images rather than just words. Most persons would rather watch a video on changing a tire than read the instructions.
When compared to words and symbols, the spatial and temporal understanding induced by audio-visual stimuli is closer to our daily experience of the real world. Similarly, it is more natural to make sense of diagrams than symbols or numbers. So, employ it appropriately.
Marketing with Influencers
Since podcasts are essentially influencers, influencer marketing and podcast marketing are essentially the same thing. However, podcasts aren’t the only source of influence. Marketers talk about “micro-influencers,” who they define as social media users with a thousand to a million followers/audience members.
According to IMPACT, micro-influencers with smaller audiences often have more contemporaries than followers. They are not Beyoncé or the Kardashians. Still, much like podcasts, many of these have dedicated fanbases. In fact, compared to influencers with 100,000 followers, those with just 1,000 generate 85% more interaction.
To that end, the participation is active and individual. Add to that the fact that 84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations more than they do commercials, and it becomes clear that this is where the action is for brands. Connect with these opinion leaders, impress them with your product’s user experience, and encourage them to spread the word to their followers.
It would help if you took an omnichannel strategy, including video and in-person events. The ability to think creatively is essential; you should ride this wave while it lasts. Five years ago, everyone really should have been using this.
Many people are happy to see chatbots becoming more commonplace in online advertising. Regarding customer service, however, 38% of people would rather not interact with a chatbot (GetVOIP, 2019). Why is it clear to all of us? For one, they have a long way to go before being considered conversational.
For two, we prefer human interaction. Third, they may have misconceptions that only worsen our problems if we listen to them. These are merely feelings, of course. The truth may or may not be reflected in them. However, opinions count in the business of advertising. Many businesses still use chatbots despite these drawbacks.
Many people are also expected to start using it in the next few years. Why? Virtual assistants can now provide almost instantaneous responses to common inquiries. As a result, hold times are reduced when real people are involved. But, as was previously mentioned, they aren’t as “intelligent” as we’d like or need them to be.
Progress in machine learning has been remarkable, and artificial intelligence can be taught. However, businesses still use them, especially those with a global reach but no local night-shift staff to field customer inquiries. Therefore, chatbots should be considered a viable option for them. Inevitably, we’ll get better chatbots; in the meantime, there’s a decent workaround.
Personalization of marketing materials, just like content, products, emails, etc., is essential for standing out in 2024. Turns out, customization is a hit with consumers: According to SmarterHQ’s research, 72 percent of consumers are only compelled to take action by advertisements when they are tailored to their specific preferences.
According to a survey conducted by Salesforce, personalized content has the most significant impact on improving the customer experience (cited by 64%), the conversion rate (63%), and the engagement level (55%).
“Personalized, activated emails based on performance are 3X better than batch-and-blast emails,” Kevin George from EmailMonks says. It’s hard to ignore the massive success of services like Netflix and Amazon’s Recommended Products or Movie Titles lists when thinking about the impact of personalization. Some other companies that have found success with personalization recently are as follows:
EasyJet uses customer flight records in an email marketing campaign to create narratives tailored to each individual’s preferences and interests. It is estimated that 12.5 million separate emails have been sent, with a click-through rate 25% higher than that of non-personalized emails.
Using a user’s age, interests, and location from their Facebook profile, Cadbury’s produced a targeted video ad campaign for its Dairy Milk. The campaign achieved an impressive 65% click-through rate and 33.6% conversion rate, demonstrating the efficacy of a personable approach.
Starbucks’ $2.56 billion annual sales can be attributed mainly to their gamified mobile app, which uses customer data (such as their location and past purchases) to provide a more personalized experience, customize drinks for each customer, and incentivize repeat use with a rewards program.
Live Stream Shopping
Although live streaming is still a novel concept in the West, it has become prevalent in China. Look at this if you think I’m exaggerating: Around 309 million people in China, or about a third of the country’s internet users, watched a live streaming shopping session in the first half of 2020.
Moreover, in October of this year, one of China’s most popular live streamers, Viya, earned about $49.7 million in a single day of live streaming. McKinsey found that the most-shopped-for categories of goods during live stream shopping were apparel and fashion, beauty products, food, consumer electronics, furnishings, and home décor.
Social Media Stories
Snapchat is credited as the company that pioneered the ubiquitous use of “Stories.” Following the success of Instagram and Facebook, other platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter introduced their version of “stories” with slightly different names.
The content of “Stories” is deleted automatically after 24 hours. Despite the apparent simplicity of the concept they represent (or perhaps because of it?), stories provide a means for marketers to communicate with their target audiences authentically and humanly.
Change is the law of life, as John F. Kennedy once said. And those who live only in the past or the present will miss out on what lies ahead. You now have our comprehensive guide to the 38 essential developments in digital advertising that will have an outsized impact in 2024.
Everyone working in digital marketing must be comfortable adapting to new situations quickly. To stay ahead of the competition, you must constantly adjust to unique circumstances and take advantage of emerging technologies, tools, and approaches. Successful advertising personally connects with its target audience and offers them something of value.