2023 was the year of AI, its rise, and its settling. As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to explore the marketing trends that will continue to evolve in 2024.
Where is AI settling?
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: AI platforms like ChatGPT and Bard have grown immensely in the past year. From LinkedIn posts to advertisements in public transport and on social media platforms, it was hard to escape. There was ample discussion about how it might render creative jobs obsolete, but it doesn’t seem to be heading in that direction. AI is increasingly taking on an assistant role, a useful tool, but not a replacement for creatives. AI requires human input for optimal results and human oversight to prevent errors. Moreover, there’s a growing awareness of what AI-generated texts sound like and images look like. That recognition can carry negative connotations. In the coming year, AI is unlikely to take over jobs but will be utilized more as an assistant or a collaborator in creating creative content.
Restrictions on data usage and online advertising
In 2023, Google Analytics underwent significant changes due to restrictions on data collection, including the disappearance of third-party cookies. It is expected that this will also impact other platforms. Meta has been in a long-standing conflict with the EU regarding targeted advertising. They attempted to address this by allowing users to choose between giving consent for data usage or opting for a paid subscription. Data privacy regulations are becoming more strict, altering the landscape of online advertising. Due to these measures, you collect less data or different types of data than before, and options for targeting are reduced. While this is positive for consumers and privacy laws, businesses need to consider these changes in their online marketing strategy. There are still plenty of possibilities, but it’s wise to make a plan for how to handle these shifts in data collection and the risks associated with cybersecurity.
Focus on in-depth quality content
Thanks to AI and changing algorithm usage, Google places increasing importance on content that meets search queries, is of high quality, and comes from an authoritative source. Google aims to answer each search query as comprehensively and quickly as possible. So your content has to meet these demands. Keyword spamming has been ineffective for a while, and the algorithm is becoming smarter at determining whether your page truly provides an answer. For instance, Analytics now looks at whether users click on something else after visiting your page, indicating that you haven’t met the search query. Your page is than punished with a lower position in the search results. In-depth quality content is one of the best ways to secure a high position in Google.
Exercise caution with gated content
Gated content yields diminishing returns. People are more cautious about providing their information, and slightly less than half leave without giving information or provide inaccurate contact info to access the desired content. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad tactic. For genuinely valuable information, users are still willing to share their contact info. However, it’s essential to evaluate whether everything you keep behind a barrier is delivering enough value or if it would perform better as freely accessible information. If someone visits your site, sees that it’s gated content, and immediately leaves to seek it elsewhere, your site gets penalized. Unique information, on the other hand, can work well since it’s not readily available elsewhere, making the data exchange worthwhile.
Don’t forget offline
In recent years, marketing and advertising have shifted to online. Campaigns have the greatest impact when broadcast widely, and physical manifestations complement this. Your target audience exists both online and offline, so making billboards, flyers, or newspaper advertorials can be a powerful reinforcing factor for your online efforts. You can either focus on both separately or integrate them. Consider adding augmented reality aspects to a physical campaign or simply adding a QR code. This leads the audience from a physical manifestation directly to your online environment, where you can further entice them into a purchase, contact request, or other call to action.