Digital Marketing Trends for 2024
Imagine a soccer game where all eleven players hover around the ball as it moves across the field.
We can safely guess that the team probably won’t win because a ball doesn’t stay in one place. It keeps moving.
The best teams don’t’ just position players where the ball currently is, but where it’s moving toward.
As a new year starts, it’s the perfect time to position your digital marketing team across the field. To hit your marketing ball into the goal, you don’t just need to consider where you are now, but where the ball is heading so you can have the people and resources in place to score a goal.
The way you strategize your team depends on who you’re up against. Your 2024 competitive team consists of video content, advanced SEO, audience personalization, and the big player, AI.
Let’s dive into what digital marketing trends these team members bring to the field and how best to position your marketing team to face them so you aren’t just playing defensively, but have players in place to score big in 2024.
Search Engine Optimization Trends
Search engine optimization remains a predominant player in 2024, though it looks slightly different. Consumers use new tools and expect different results.
Yet, SEO is still at the heart of digital marketing. Here’s how it looks and how to use SEO to continue driving organic traffic.
E-E-A-T Remains Crucial
Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These four items are the backbone of SEO in 2024.
Google gave us E-E-A-T to describe how the algorithm prioritizes content on search results pages.
To continue ranking high on results pages, focus on exhibiting your authority through personal stories, professional standings, and customer trust. You should also focus on creating content your readers want rather than what the algorithm wants.
Another fantastic place to start is curating content around intent. User intent is what motivates a user’s search in the first place.
A user searching for “What is marketing” has a VERY different intent than someone searching “Best marketing tools.” You can easily guess which one is looking for information and which one is looking for a product.
Creating content around intent shows you truly understand the users, algorithm, and industry, placing you as a leader.
If readers trust you and you prove yourself a reliable voice, Google will take note and begin moving you up in search rankings.
Google Adds Search Generative Experiences
The modern search experience transforms search engines from a simple search and results process to a data mining machine called search generative experiences (SGE). Users don’t need to search through pages of content anymore. Instead, this new feature Google is slowly rolling out puts more information at the user’s fingertips.
For example, in SGE, if someone searched for information on building a gaming computer, Google would look through the top results. It then pulls out the most essential information, images, guides, and links and summarizes it for the user who might want quick answers.
Zero-Click Searches Impact Traffic
SGE might seem new, but the idea has been slowly coming. Google prioritizes the user experience, so they are always looking for new ways to give users information faster, even without users having to click links.
For instance, if someone were to search for a conversion (like 30 degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit), they wouldn’t need to click on a result to see the conversion. Snippets, or brief excerpts, pull an exact copy from articles and a link to the article so users can glean information without clicking.
SGE is the natural next step, summarizing information from multiple sources.
For both SGE and zero-click results, you still have an opportunity to generate traffic. Consider adding more snippet-worthy sections in your articles (bulleted lists and step-by-step instructions make excellent snippets).
Voice Search Transforms the Search Experience
Voice Search is transforming the way people find new information. You’ll notice more long-tail keywords popping up in your keyword research as users tend to use complete sentences rather than awkward phrases when performing a voice search.
You’ll also want to consider how your content sounds if the Voice Search reads snippets aloud—well-structured content with clear headings that a robot could skim and understand works best.
Third-Party Promotion Becomes More Valuable
Backlinks remain another prominent player in SEO but can be challenging to gain. Yet, they are essential for building your trust factor and increasing your ranking.
Digital PR and guest posts will become more popular this year as content creators look for creative ways to boost their site’s authority while generating traffic from sources beyond the increasingly competitive organic search.
Social Media Trends and Changes
In 2023, there were about 4.9 billion social media users. Researchers predict this will grow to 5.85 billion by 2027. That number includes all social media accounts. The average person has 7.1 social media accounts.
Trending Social Media Channels
Here is the primary social media channel lineup for 2024:
- X (previously Twitter)
- Threads (Still new, but growing rapidly, so consider snatching up your brand name while it’s available)
Image from Forbes
Video Content Increases Engagement
Video content remains popular, with short-form videos ranking at the top. Short videos are 2.5 times more engaging than long-form videos.
YouTube shorts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok can help you land in front of your audience, especially on platforms where engagement like comments and shares are decreasing despite increasing social media use.
The Future of AI Content Creation
According to one study, 85.1% of people who use AI use it to create content. However, inputting a topic into ChatGPT-4 and pasting that article on your website won’t generate the results you hoped.
Here’s a look at how AI can add value to your content.
Artificial Intelligence Optimization Boosts Your Engagement
AI content is everywhere.
Businesses are replacing writers with AI-generated content. However, not all people are thrilled.
AI leaves behind tell-tale signs, like passive voice, broad statements, complicated jargon, and unoriginal ideas that can negatively impact the readers’ experience.
Does that mean AI has no room in the writing room?
Not at all!
You can cut out a lot of your initial drafting time by working alongside AI-generated writing. But, once you have a draft, you need to perform artificial intelligence optimization (AIO).
AIO involves a human taking a piece of AI content, optimizing it to align with your existing content goals, and making it sound like a human is talking. When you utilize the AIO approach, your humanized AI content will be a breath of fresh air for readers and help you stand out in a market oversaturated with digital content.
Cognitive AI Impacts AI’s Capabilities
Cognitive AI learns from human behaviors and attempts to replicate those actions. These tools usually use natural language processing and machine learning.
It’s slightly different from generative AI.
Generative AI can look at data and provide a logical, researched-based solution. However, cognitive AI takes in the circumstances and tries to “think” like a person for a more relevant solution or result.
It combines a digital strategy with critical thinking for the best of both worlds.
In search, cognitive AI examines the intent behind searches and customizes answers around user behavior, while generative AI accumulates and summarizes large amounts of data. Both tools are essential in the future of AI content.
Branding and Content
Blogs are still thriving in 2024, with 77% of online users reading blogs. In 2024, 76% of content marketers use blogs for lead generation. In addition, the average buyer consumes three to five content pieces before contacting sales.
Here are some trends to remember as you build your blogging and lead generation strategy.
Updated Content Wins the Race
There are 600 million active blogs, with most bloggers posting several times a month to several times a week.
With that constant influx of new content, what you have on your blog will quickly become old news, replaced with newer blog posts and updated statistics.
To keep your blog posts in their ranking spots, you’ll need to refresh them regularly.
How often you refresh content depends on the topic. For instance, this blog post on trends moving into 2024 will need a refresh for 2025 to update the facts and statistics.
This makes your job easier. Instead of creating 100% new content each year, you can add blog post refreshes, which are already half-written.
However, an article on how to bake bread will remain evergreen for much longer. You could go two or three years before updating it.
Use Personalization and Authenticity
Giving a human experience personalized to your audience offers a fresh, inviting experience they won’t find easily in other AI-populated places.
Your blog content should directly reflect you, including personal stories and experiences, differentiating you from distant and generic content.
Use your natural voice, post pictures of your company, and share your heart with your clients to build a relationship AI can’t replicate. These authentic and personalized experiences will build a strong brand image, leading to customer loyalty.
Your brand image will also help you build a strong, positive online reputation and image, attracting new customers to your brand through your digital marketing strategies.
Update the User Experience
When the first iPod came out, it offered 5 GB of storage. Then, the second generation came out with 20 GB of storage, and people lost their minds with all that space.
Now, you can get an iPhone 14 with 512 GB of storage.
Users would laugh it off the shelves if the next iPhone only offered 20 GB of storage.
As user expectations and needs change, so should you.
As technology advances and more options are available, users have higher expectations for their digital user experiences.
If you haven’t already, perform a site audit to see how well each page performs and look for ways to improve the user experience using AI, personalization, and modern web page structures.
Are You Ready for the Future?
The next generation of content creation has arrived.
Are you ready to take it on?
We can help you step up your digital marketing with the latest SEO, marketing, and web design tools that will bring your business into the new frontier of digital marketing.
Let’s blaze the path forward together. It all starts with a call. Contact us for your FREE consultation.
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