Local marketing resurgence and AI’s next phase: digital marketing expert shares industry predictions for 2024
The digital marketing landscape is ever-changing due to the evolving ways that consumers shop and interact with brands online; meaning marketers must have their finger on the pulse and adapt digital marketing strategies accordingly. 2023 famously saw the meteoric rise of AI within the digital marketing industry and the whole host of both creative and practical ways it was applied.
With 2024 set to bring a whole host of tools and trends to the world of digital marketing, Luke Tobin, CEO of digital marketing agency Digital Ethos, is sharing insight into the trends and changes he predicts will enter the digital marketing industry in 2024.
Voice Search Optimisation will be a priority with SEO
The presence of voice-activated devices such as smart speakers and virtual assistants has increased dramatically over the past few years. According to a survey by Smart Home Week, 57% of British Homes now contain a smart device. Additionally, more than one in six users control their smart devices from outside their homes daily.
Luke says: “Making searches via a voice recognition device has become the norm and users are comfortable with the technology, which has resulted in a change in search behaviour. Searches via voice are longer and more conversational which reflects the natural speech pattern. To be proactive in response to these changes to search habits, digital marketers must adjust their SEO strategies to include more long-tail keywords and create content that aligns with voice search patterns.”
AI will shapeshift in 2024 to create hyper-personalised experiences
AI was announced as Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2023 and it’s not without good reason. Artificial Intelligence provided digital marketers with lightning-fast process automation and a wealth of opportunities for creative Digital PR campaigns alike. Luke informs marketers that the technology’s impact on the industry is not only here to stay but is set to make even more waves this upcoming year.
“This year, the digital marketing industry can expect to use AI to create hyper-personalised experiences for brands to keep their customers returning again and again. Advanced AI programmes can analyse a user’s behaviour, preferences and interactions to deliver tailored content.
“Brands have seen the success that has been made of Spotify’s Wrapped feature and have rushed to try and replicate similar. Not only does this work to retain customers, but the sharability of these AI campaigns creates free PR with brand mentions on social media.
”The commoditisation of AI will rise in 2024, as an increasing number of players enter the market. This will drive down the costs associated with building new language models. Consequently, this trend is not only making AI more accessible but is also fostering an era of unparalleled innovation.”
Micro-influencers will take centre stage
Until recently, the best strategy for influencer marketing was seen as targeting influencers with large followings. This will shift in 2024, according to Luke, in favour of working with smaller influencers with a niche following to hone in on a target audience.
“Micro-influencers carry a sense of authenticity due to their following being smaller than the average mega-influencer”, says Luke, “this means easier and more meaningful interactions with their followers which fosters a deeper sense of community.
“For digital marketers, targeting micro-influencers opens the door to tight-knit fanbases that are ready to listen to micro-influencers every word and, most importantly, take on board every recommendation. For practical purposes also, you are more likely to receive a reply to business inquiries from a smaller influencer than one who has millions of followers and an overflowing inbox.”
Local marketing will play a larger role in marketing strategies
What was once the foundation for digital and global marketing to model themselves on, localised marketing will make a bigger and better return in 2024, Luke predicts.
“Local marketing is often disregarded as a strategy for small, start-up businesses to focus on initially before increasing marketing efforts in tandem with business growth”, he says, “however localised marketing can create meaningful impressions with specific, local demographics.
“Brands with global identities will likely use localised marketing to further foster a sense of community within their target audience and encourage brand loyalty. Community-driven initiatives and partnering with hyper-local influencers are just two ways that we might see localised marketing manifest itself in 2024.