With Google rolling out Tracking Protection, a new feature that restricts website access to third-party cookies, and the March core update that promises to sweep up to 40% of PBNs, AI-generated, and other low-quality websites, 2024 is bound to be a fascinating year for the digital marketing realm.


The digital landscape has undergone profound changes in recent years. Wide adoption of ChatGPT, fast-paced digital advancements powered by AI and Machine Learning, innovations in content personalization and predictive prowess, and immersive experiences made possible by VR and AR are all phenomena that will continue to impact digital marketing in 2024.


For marketers and brands alike, 2024 will be a challenging journey across new digital frontiers. And with just 3 in 5 marketers believing their digital marketing strategy is effective, it seems digital professionals could use some guidance to stay on top of digital innovations.


Thus, to help you plan, strategize, and get ahead of the competition in the online realm this year, this article explores the top five digital marketing trends you want to consider for your 2024 digital strategy.


#1 User-generated Content


The good old word-of-mouth marketing went online and is now called user-generated content. Consumers are 88% more likely to trust individuals over brands — why? The answer is authenticity.


User-generated content means real people sharing real opinions about your product in real life. There’s no Photoshop, no filter regarding product pros and cons, and no marketing fluff. It’s pretty much like your friend exhilarating over their latest purchase in your group chat.


UGC’s versatility empowers brands to incorporate it across channels and content mediums, including social media, websites, product pages, landing pages, email marketing, blogs, paid ads, press releases, printed materials, etc. It can serve a variety of purposes too, from traditional customer reviews to infusing brand social media posts.


User-generated content even made it to Zara’s homepage, and customer-made product images are also leveraged as product images.


What should you do? If you are frequently tagged or mentioned on socials, may it be in photos, videos, or commentsask the creator for their permission to repost or use the content. In case you aren’t getting much traction just yet, incentivize your audience to do so.


Besides typical UGC, there is also ‘behind the scenes’ or ’employee-generated’ content, presenting the people and processes behind your brand.


#2 Social Media as a Search Engine


Partly a generational thing — with younger people using social media more than the older people do — partly due to consumer preference for short, to-the-point videos instead of keyword-stuffed, lengthy blogs, social platforms became the new search engine.


The stats are in social media’s favor — nearly five billion people globally spend an average of 65 minutes a day across more than 6 social media apps they have on their phones. It’s a massive pool of opportunity for brands and retailers to capitalize on.


At its most basic level, people use socials to find products, brands, and experiences that interest them. For instance, 67% of TikTok users research new brands and stores on the app. Likewise, 63% of consumers use social media to find new dining places.


What should you do? Social media SEO is identical to traditional search engine optimization. Create a strong presence on the social platform(s) where your target audience spends the most time, and optimize your content for search using relevant keywords and hashtags in posts. Moreover, create visually appealing, high-quality, and informative images and videos, and link to your website and products for a more streamlined experience.


#3 AI & Humans Working Together


After the unprecedented rise of ChatGPT, the AI tool’s popularity began declining in mid-2023, with website traffic and app downloads going down and users complaining the AI is making more mistakes.


But it wasn’t the fear of stealing our jobs that propelled the GPT’s decline — except for maybe copywriters for whom job postings dropped by more than 70% from 2022 to 2023.


Instead, marketers have come to understand that ChatGPT and similar tools are not as wise and powerful as first thought. AI tools have tons of flaws and limitations – and where they fall short, humans enter the scene.


Therefore, in 2024, we will witness the trend of AI empowering marketing strategies and decisions. It will inform, inspire, and speed up digital marketing efforts — but hardly do the whole job for marketers.


Marketers will continue to leverage AI tools to ideate and create content, analyze marketing data, and automate repetitive SEO tasks.


What should you do? AI offers abundant areas for integration in areas such as enhanced targeting, personalization, analytics, content generation, sentiment analysis, audience segmentation, generating frequently asked questions, personalizing and powering chatbots, etc.


#4 Hyper-Personalization that Balances User Privacy


Personalizing content — effectively and innovatively, without jeopardizing user privacy — is definitely one of digital marketers’ Roman Empires.


Gone are the days of inserting a user’s first name in an email newsletter and calling it personalization — the bar is set higher and brands need to meet the expectations. These days, personalization is more about delivering timely and relevant content based on user journey and customer persona.


What should you do? Develop buyer personas, create a well-thought-out content strategy, and, most importantly, collect, analyze, and leverage data. Get creative and inspired by the personalization strategies of Amazon and its list of product recommendations based on your purchase history, Spotify’s ‘music taste profile’, and Netflix’s viewing recommendations.


#5 Create High E-E-A-T Content


Google’s March 2024 Core Update marks a shift towards the search engine prioritizing quality, relevance, and trustworthiness. The update aims to improve search result quality and combat spammy practices — and one of the ways to do so is by checking the Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) of websites.


Namely, Google now regards AI-generated content as untrustworthy, outdated, and prone to errors — thus, of low E-E-A-T. This means that digital marketers need to create blog pieces with experts in the field, either writing or informing their content, to gain an advantage.


What should you do? As you develop your content strategy, it is crucial to incorporate proof that the blog writer or website owner has the necessary expertise, first-hand experience, authority, and trustworthiness to be considered credible within the industry, and worth listening to.


Read More:

Hootsuite Launches Social Media Trends 2024 Report

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

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