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6 Key 2024 Marketing Trends and the Risks of Ignoring Them

October 24th, 2023 | 7 min. read

By Kim Kovelle

Two hands gesture to data, symbolizing the way marketing trends can affect business

What were you worried about in November 2022? I’m going to bet it wasn’t artificial intelligence. But the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT that month changed marketing dramatically in 2023.

Now, as we look to 2024 marketing trends, AI continues to evolve at a pace like never before — as attention spans shrink and brand scrutiny grows. The stakes are high. 

If you feel overwhelmed by all this new tech and what to do next, you’re in good company. And you’re in the right place. At Zoe Marketing & Communications, we’ve shaped marketing strategies for small- to mid-sized companies in metro Detroit and Chicago for nearly 40 years.

We’ve been digging into the can’t-ignore trends heading our way next year. Here, we’ll detail the six biggest shifts, the risks of ignoring them — and, of course, practical ways to tackle them:

By the end, you’ll feel empowered to set achievable marketing goals for 2024. And you’ll have a better sense of where to start.

Trend 1: Voice search optimization Trend #1: Voice search optimization

Increasingly, folks aren’t tapping out their Google searches on keypads. 71% prefer using voice for searches, OnlineDasher notes, and 55% are trying to locate businesses. 

Voice search optimization is the practice of creating content that sounds more natural. In other words, using phrases that mirror how people talk — to rank better in voice searches.

Conversational AI is part of this, including chatbots and voice-activated assistants like Alexa and Siri. They converse more casually with people looking for products and services.

Risk of ignoring it: Losing a growing demographic

Voice search is most popular with those under age 34, but it’s expanding across the board. Expectations for voice search and conversational AI are expanding.

If you’re not allowing purchases via chatbots, or your product descriptions aren’t triggering Alexa results? You’re missing out on a large and rapidly rising segment of your customers. This means:

  • Loss of potential traffic: You won’t be visible to a growing number of people.
  • Less visibility in voice search results: Traditional SEO doesn’t always translate well to voice search, which prioritizes one single result.

Solutions: Conversational language and schema markup

Stay visible in this evolving landscape by focusing on:

  • Conversational language in your content: The average voice search is about 30 words — and results hover around 2,000 words. So, target “long-tail” keywords and weave them into your blogs and pages. For instance, someone might type “urgent care Ferndale.” But they’d say, “Where is an urgent care in Ferndale?”
  • Schema markup on your website: This code helps search engines deliver more informative results. It also helps your content appear in the rich snippet that voice search often uses. Tools like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper can assist here.

Trend 2: AI-Driven MarketingTrend #2: AI-driven marketing

Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool for automating, analyzing and personalizing your marketing. It can include creating content, managing social media and even streamlining data analysis and reporting. In the end, it saves time and builds efficiency and effectiveness.

Risk of ignoring it: Falling behind competitors

The biggest problem with punting AI is that your competitors may already embrace it. That puts you at a competitive disadvantage, due to: 

  • Inefficient campaigns: Without AI, your marketing may lack the personalization and targeting that makes them effective, leading to wasted resources.
  • Missed data-driven insights: AI can analyze large data sets and actionable insights. Ignore this, and you’ll miss out on optimizing your strategies based on real-time data.

Solutions: Choose the right tools, train your AI and dig into data

Embrace AI to keep your marketing competitive and more agile by focusing on:

  • Choosing the right AI tools: Start experimenting. For content creation with AI, tools like ChatGPT and can help with blog posts or social media posts. For social media management, platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite offer AI-powered features. Pinpoint your campaign’s specific needs and pick tools that address those needs.
  • Training AI tools: Many AI tools allow customization to match your brand’s voice. Give your AI feedback to help it improve. But don’t take it at face value. Always review and edit content to ensure it aligns with your company and has original value.
  • Data gathering and analysis: Harness AI to track user behavior, customer interactions and other metrics. Platforms like Google Analytics and HubSpot offer AI-driven features that give valuable insights into customer behavior and campaign effectiveness, too.

Trend 3" Short-form video and other interactive, engaging contentTrend #3: Short-form video (+ other interactive, engaging content)

Gone are the days when long, text-heavy blogs could captivate an audience. Today's buyers want content that’s informative and visually compelling — and easy to grasp, fast. Short videos (30-60 seconds, max) lead the pack, joined by infographics, quizzes and more.

Risk of ignoring it: Losing audience attention

There’s ever-more visual content bombarding people’s feeds, inboxes and website margins. The average human attention span is around 8 seconds. It’s even lower when it comes to marketing — which they’re usually not even looking for. This can result in:

  • Low engagement rates: Traditional content is seeing drops in engagement rates. Without interesting elements to draw people in, you’ll likely lose them faster.
  • Poor user experience: Large blocks of text are also less likely to hold people’s attention compared to interactive elements like videos or quizzes.

Solutions: Short-form videos, infographics and quizzes, and repurposing 

Encourage people to not only stay on your page but interact with you by:

  • Creating short-form videos: These vertical videos are under one minute and suited for Reels, TikTok and YouTube Shorts. Switch up your visuals every three seconds to hold viewers’ attention. You can also embed them in your web content.
  • Using infographics: Infographics distill complex information into an easy-to-understand visual format. Financial companies could show how to build a solid investment portfolio, for instance. A tourism board might highlight 10 “must-see” attractions.
  • Developing quizzes: These make your user an active participant in the content. For example, in a blog post about healthy eating, a quiz could help readers identify the best diet for them.
  • Repurposing existing content: You don’t need to start from scratch! Turn current blogs into short-form videos. Or try AI tools to create quizzes or infographics based on your existing content.

Trend 4: LocalizationTrend #4: Localization

If your business serves a specific location, that should be obvious in your marketing content — so you reach the right people. This involves not just regional references and language considerations but also tailoring your content and SEO to local searches and needs.

Risk of ignoring it: Missing immediate consumer action

Local searches often lead to quick decisions. If you're not appearing in the results, you're not an option for people who may be ready to act now. Not localizing can also lead to:

  • Missed opportunities: Local search drives events, partnerships or even simple walk-ins.
  • Less relevance in your market: You’ll risk becoming irrelevant in local searches, giving your competitors a leg-up.

Solutions: Localized FAQs, geotargeting, local mentions and keyword ID

Cue into searchers’ immediate needs by localizing your marketing in four key ways:

  • Localized FAQs: Start by ensuring you’re answering questions that local customers are asking. Use keyword research to pinpoint the top questions in your area.
  • Geotargeting: Set up your digital ads and emails to deliver to the specific regions you serve. It’s easy to set up in social media ads, SEM, programmatic and emails.
  • Local mentions: Weave local references into your blogs, webpages and even social media posts, which increasingly factored into SEO results. This includes city and regional titles, nicknames and landmarks. Keep it natural, though, and don’t overdo it!
  • Keyword ID: Find local keywords using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMRush. Put these in your content and meta descriptions. Plus, consider using local SEO platforms like BrightLocal or Moz Local to manage your local listings.

Trend 5: Mobile Friendly websites and google business profilesTrend #5: Mobile-friendly websites + Google Business Profiles

These critical elements go hand-in-hand with a solid marketing strategy. A mobile-friendly website displays correctly on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets. A Google Business Profile is often people’s first impression when they look you up directly.

Risk of ignoring it: Poor first impressions

When your webpage doesn’t display properly, or if your Google Business Profile is incomplete, it can deter people — possibly for good. Keep in mind over 55% of traffic comes from mobile devices. A patchy user experience can lead to:

  • High bounce rates: More people leave non-mobile-friendly websites because it’s a pain to navigate and find what they’re looking for. 
  • Lost business opportunities: If your GBP is outdated or missing details, you could miss out on immediate calls, visits or purchases. And, if it includes lackluster reviews you haven’t responded to, it can erode trust.

Solutions: Mobile-optimize your site and give your GBP more attention

Make a better first impression by focusing on the details that matter to your prospects.

  • Optimize your site for mobile: About 24% of websites still aren’t mobile-friendly. If yours isn’t, get on it! And, if it is, pay attention to user experience details, like clean text display and easy-to-tap buttons. Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to fine-tune.
  • Update and engage on your GBP: Ensure your hours, location and services are current and accurate. Plus, respond to both positive and negative reviews within 24 hours. A professional, caring reply helps shape the public’s perception of you.

Trend 6: Hyper-personalizationTrend #6: Hyper-personalization

People expect brands to get them. This means giving them highly customized experiences. The goal is to make future customers feel seen and heard with content relevant to their specific needs, history and browsing habits.

Risks of ignoring it: Low customer engagement and conversions

Without personalizing your marketing, you’ll lose prospects’ attention — and dollars. 91% of people report they’re more likely to buy from brands that note and recall their needs. In turn, that can increase customer satisfaction rates by six times. Otherwise, you’ll face:

  • Lower engagement: If your content doesn’t matter to your prospects, you’ll lose their attention. Personalized email campaigns, for instance, can have 41% higher click rates than generic ones.
  • Fewer conversions: Personalized experiences can lead to a 20% increase in sales. Without it, you’re missing out on these potential customers.

Solutions: Analytics, tailored content and programmatic ads

Take advantage of opportunities to deliver content your prospects care about. 

  • Tap into analytics: Tools like Google Analytics or marketing platforms like HubSpot provide valuable customer behavior insights. Use their retargeting pixels to serve personalized ads based on their behavior.
  • Tailor content: Based on those analytics, create tailored blogs, emails and ads. For example, if a chunk of your audience often visits a particular product page, write content around that product and target it to this segment.
  • Use programmatic ads: These services analyze a customer’s digital footprint in real-time and serve them relevant ads.

Next steps in adapting the biggest 2024 digital marketing trends (and avoiding problems)

Navigating the 2024 marketing landscape can feel daunting. The key is to hone in on the biggest shifts and start making small, actionable changes now — to avoid the risks later.

And you now have some straightforward tips to put voice search optimization, AI, short videos, localization, mobile-friendly sites, Google Business Profiles and personalization into practice.

Need more help? Talk to us. At Zoe Marketing & Communications, we’ve been helping businesses like yours in metro Detroit and Chicagoland make sense of marketing for four decades.

And, if you’re tackling your 2024 marketing on your own, turn to these articles for more support:

Kim Kovelle

As Zoe Marketing & Communications’ content manager, Kim Kovelle brings nearly 20 years of writing and editing experience in metro Detroit. She has strong roots in community journalism and a knack for making complicated topics make more sense.