2023 is gone so we are setting our eyes on what 2024 will bring. This past year has notably been marked by the increasing role of AI in marketing practices being a game changer. As certain strategies like advertising and SEO have gained greater prominence, others have experienced noteworthy transformations. The evolution in how information is both delivered and consumed has sparked a distinctive renewal in content creation practices. Shifting from sales-oriented material, transparent, honest, and community-oriented content has been making its way to blogs, social media and other emerging marketing tools to catch consumers’ attention.
So what will happen in 2024?
AI: the marketing revolution
In 2024, AI will continue to be a driving force in shaping marketing. Recent surveys have revealed that “92% of marketers pointed to the imminent integration of AI in marketing as the number one trend for 2024.” So, with increasing performance on predictive analytics, chatbots, personalised customer experiences and content generation, the AI market is expected to grow bigger, stronger and more competitive. Recently, the launch by Google, Gemini has been shaking up ChatGPT.
Powerful AI is undoubtedly speeding up creative processes allowing marketers to focus on more strategic and analytical tasks. However, AI potential is still limited. Devoid of feeling and dependent on the knowledge and beliefs of its generators, AI remains a robotic tool that needs to be checked and monitored to ensure its relevance and accuracy. Indeed, some recent tests on Midjourney have demonstrated its inability to accurately represent some of the prompts it was given.
In 2024, marketers will have to keep balancing AI automation with a human touch to ensure they maintain a personal connection with the audience.
Is it a film? Is it an ad? Better: it’s advertainment.
Advertainment emerges as a fusion of advertising and entertainment, representing a convergence of the two. What exactly does that mean? It is when an ad is presented in the form of a short film or even a mini-series. Some examples of this would probably be Coca-Cola’s ads over the Christmas period, the ones played during the Super Bowl, or even ones referring to famous movies, series or pop culture icons. This format opens up a realm of elevated creativity, enabling the construction of comprehensive narratives around a product or service. Appealing to an audience with an appreciation for original, humorous, and intellectually stimulating content, advertainment proves to be a strategic avenue for capturing and maintaining their attention. Functioning as a platform for cultivating an entirely new aura around your brand and product, advertainment facilitates engaging storytelling. The scope for exploration within advertainment is expansive, positioning it as an instrumental tool for differentiation in the market and establishing a lasting imprint in the minds of your audience.
Me, myself and I: unique customers call for unique experience
With more options and more distractions available from just a thumb scroll, capturing a customer’s attention becomes more and more challenging. If tools such as advertainment appear as a great alternative to do so, all brands may not have the resources to create and display such ads. Therefore, an alternative to massive and costly advertising is personalisation. Tailored content, recommendations, and one-on-one interactions create a powerful emotional connection, making customers feel seen and valued. Very sensitive to how they are being treated and highly appreciated by customer service, customers will be more likely to connect and return to your brand if they feel loved by you. More than a seduction game; personalisation transforms a fling into a long-lasting relationship, fostering customer loyalty. In an era where competition is fierce, brands that master the art of personalisation will not only attract customers but also forge enduring bonds that withstand the test of time.
Authenticity, honesty, and transparency
In recent years, societal movements have significantly influenced the evolution of our society. With a heightened awareness and consciousness, this societal awakening is transforming how individuals lead their lives and make consumption choices. In 2023, there was a substantial shift in consumption patterns towards increased sustainability and improved inclusivity. Consumers’ growing curiosity about the backstory of a brand, product, or service has led to a heightened interest in understanding their purchases. To address this, brands are increasingly embracing transparency, openly sharing the origins of their products, along with their merits and drawbacks. This trend towards honesty and transparency is anticipated to flourish in 2024. While this strategy is instrumental in building trust with customers, it comes with inherent risks. Striking the delicate balance between transparency and avoiding the perception of greenwashing poses a challenging task. In the upcoming year, any information disseminated about sustainability and inclusive engagement must be substantiated by tangible actions. Consumers, now more discerning, demand actions that speak louder than words, having experienced deception by some purportedly green brands. The mantra is clear: if you claim it, do it; if you don’t, refrain from making the claim. Consequently, marketers must exercise caution in crafting narratives that resonate with audiences without compromising the credibility of their brand.
Social Media: nostalgia era
Anticipated for continued growth in 2024, Instagram and TikTok remain highly favoured platforms, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z, steadily expanding their influence in the coming years. The video content landscape on these platforms is poised for significant diversification, defying a one-trend-fits-all rule. While certain practices remain essential for maintaining visibility, intricately crafted content has equal potential to shine alongside more retro, ’90s-style videos, reflecting a trend towards nostalgia. Social media influencers and users increasingly reminisce about the trends of yesteryears, introducing a resurgence of bygone trends to our feeds.
Moreover, longer content is coming back on social media platforms, with audiences showing a willingness to invest more time in watching videos. Although the predominant trend in social media videos leans toward brevity, 5-minute-long videos are no longer outliers in the social world. Meanwhile, on YouTube, vlogs continue to hold a prominent place in the trending landscape.
In response to the growing demand for authenticity, honesty, and transparency, social media users are urging brands to be more relatable. The era of self-promotion is waning, and brands stand a better chance of capturing interest when recommended by others, as credibility and authenticity become paramount in attracting audience attention.
New search go-to: diversifying the digital exploration
While Google has long held the title of the unrivalled search giant, the landscape is shifting in 2024 with the ascent of alternative search channels. Niche communities, local search engines and social media platforms are gaining momentum, prompting marketers to deliberate on resource allocation between the established Google and the emerging alternatives. Notably, social media are increasingly assuming the role of search engines. In sectors such as the food industry, social media are witnessing a surge in relevance through Instagram or TikTok searches. For instance, in the foodie realm, these platforms provide customers with a direct glimpse into restaurants through image pages, offering a sneak peek of what awaits.
Influencers: the modern storytellers
In 2024, the influence wielded by social media influencers continues to be a potent force. Serving as a compelling means to endorse products or services, influencers provide brands with a fresh and influential voice to champion their offerings. This voice resonates with an audience that actively chose to follow them due to a pre-existing trust. By disseminating information within an already reliable audience, influencers yield a robust and positive impact, offering brands an effective avenue to cultivate credibility, trust, and attract customers.
In 2024, the trend will be for influencers to do “Use Product Placement” content. In this context, influencers use the product they are advertising yet they never mention it nor talk directly about it. They immediately show you how the brand, service or product can be integrated into your life and most importantly benefit you in your daily routine. More subtle, this way of promoting products and ads is more appreciated by social media users.
Surfing on people’s quest for more authenticity and honesty, marketers and brands will also have to carefully pick the influencers they work with. They’ll need to ensure their values align seamlessly with the brand and resonate authentically with the intended target audience to avoid the unwanted bad buzz.
We’re engaged!: a marketing love story
As a marketer, a prime focus revolves around fostering engagement because it serves as a reflection of your audience’s interest in your brand and products. The more pertinent the clicks, comments, and shares, the greater visibility and credibility your brand accrues. Every marketer aspires to have an audience that actively engages with their brand – a dream scenario. However, engagement is a two-way street. It goes beyond merely disseminating messages; it involves cultivating meaningful conversations.
In 2024, brands must persist in ongoing dialogue, continually engaging and demonstrating to their audience that there are real human beings behind the product or brand, individuals with emotions who genuinely care about and consider the feedback provided by their audience.
While engagement is undeniably pivotal, seeking it is time-consuming, presenting a significant challenge for marketers. However, navigating this tradeoff is essential to harness the potential benefits of increased loyalty and brand advocacy.
Can you hear that? The sweet sound of audio marketing
Brands and customers are expected to engage, to communicate to create long-lasting relationships. And what better way to use their voice for it? The burgeoning prevalence of voice-activated devices and virtual assistants, coupled with an increasing reliance on hands-free technology, paves the way for voice marketing to take centre stage.
While prioritising voice search optimisation becomes imperative as users increasingly utilise vocal commands to navigate the digital landscape, other tools, such as voice-over video or sonic branding, are predicted to gain even more traction in the coming years.
Vocal marketing channels, particularly podcasts, are projected to continue their upward trajectory, occupying an expanding space in the marketing realm. With the podcasting trend on the rise, brands are increasingly exploring representation on streaming platforms, whether through owning their podcast channel, securing invitations to existing ones, or strategically placing ads in podcasts relevant to their industry.
In 2024, brands adept at mastering the nuances of voice marketing will find themselves strategically positioned to capitalise on this trend, ensuring a meaningful and resonant presence in the evolving landscape.
Ready for 2024?
In the coming year, 2024, marketers and brands are poised to narrate their stories freshly. Harnessing the support of artificial intelligence to generate innovative ideas, creativity is anticipated to soar to unprecedented levels. Nevertheless, amidst a growing demand for transparency, brands are called upon to present their most authentic and truthful selves to their audience. The narrative they weave, and more significantly, the actions they take, must align seamlessly. This is true not just for how brands select their partners or influencers but extends for the overall approach to conveying their stories. As brands aspire to articulate their narratives in novel ways, a parallel expectation is set for them to be more communicative and engaged with their audience. An audience that is calling for personalised service and seeking to build honest and lasting relationships with brands that align with their values.
Let’s drive your marketing strategy.
At Cloud Cartel, we’re curious and we think the best part of our job is its ever-evolving environment. Marketing is like a never-ending rollercoaster: what’s peaking today might be going down the next yet we never crash. That’s how we do marketing at the Cartel: we integrate the trends whilst thinking ahead of the potential lows to make sure we’re always on track to lead your business towards sustainable growth. Ready for the ride? Contact us.