With a new year comes new opportunities to reshape your approach, and experiment with alternative directions that could help you maximize your marketing and promotional efforts.
And with interactive behaviors always changing, it is important to stay up with the latest trends, in order to meet people where they’re active, and with messaging that resonates, in alignment with such shifts.
To help with this, here’s a quick overview of five key trends worth noting in your 2024 planning, which could help to refine your approach.
1. Experiment with short form video
You’ve no doubt heard and read this a million times by now, but you should be experimenting with short form video in your 2024 marketing plan.
Short form video is the fastest growing content type on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, and remains the key engagement vehicle on TikTok. X is also looking to push more video content into user feeds, and many businesses that have made the investment in short form video content have reaped significant brand awareness benefits.
The challenge lies in creating engaging short form content, which is not always so easy, but there’s also a growing amount of resources to help guide you, including TikTok’s Top Ads listing, which highlights the best performing branded content at any given time.
What’s more, the platforms themselves are also developing new tools to make it easier for brands to create short form video, including generative AI tools that can build video clips based on text prompts.
It’s worth considering your options, and looking at what’s resonating, in order to spark your own ideas about potential short form video clips.
You can repost your video clips across various platforms (so long as you don’t repost watermarked content) in order to maximize ROI, and the more you experiment, the better you’ll get.
I don’t see the popularity of short form video easing anytime soon, so it should be on your radar, at the least.
2. Explore the potential of messaging
A key trend of the past three years has been the shift away from posting to social platform feeds, largely in public, in favor of more private sharing in DM groups.
The reasons for this are varied. Past posts coming back to haunt high profile users have added extra concern around what you share, political division and argument has made people less interested in sharing their personal insights, while alot of users are just over the random, trivial updates, treating your various profiles as a showcase of vague, daily highlights.
As such, digital interaction is changing, and more and more people are sharing in private. Which is much harder to brands to track, and can be equally challenging to infiltrate.
But trusted brands, who treat DMs with respect, can utilize this as a valuable connection channel. If you’re granted access to a potential customers’ inbox, that’s a key promotional option, which could ensure that more of your messages are read, improving brand awareness and engagement.
Key considerations here are exclusive offers, offers to friends so they can share private deals, hyper-segmentation to maintain relevance, and a non-intrusive messaging cadence.
Invite people to sign-up for these deals, find ways to align your audience with your messaging offers, and you stand to benefit from this shift.
3. Consider alternative platforms
No matter how you look at it, X is declining as an ad option. Maybe for some niche brands that doesn’t hold true, and there are also opportunities to consider in reduced competition as the big players reduce their X presence. But for the majority of brands, you’ll likely be rethinking your X strategy in 2024.
As a result, it could be worth experimenting with some of the smaller, more niche social platforms to see what kinds of results you can get.
If you haven’t experimented with these apps, maybe the shift away from X will provide new opportunities to try them out, and see what results you might get.
There may also be opportunity in Threads, which doesn’t have ads as yet, but could still be valuable as an organic brand awareness play. LinkedIn is also seeing more activity, and if there’s any flexibility in your planning as a result of the changes at X, it could be time to explore the various alternatives.
4. Experiment with generative AI tools
I’ve tested a range of the latest generative AI apps, and while I don’t see them as being whole scale replacements for actually doing the work yourself, they are handy for elements of various processes.
And they’re not going anywhere. Generative AI is here to stay, and it’ll continue to improve and become a bigger part of many workplaces and business processes.
As such, you need to understand it, and consider the benefits of how the various apps could help to optimize your daily process. Generative AI is expanding into more areas, including audio and video creation, and you can expect to see significant advances on both fronts this year.
The fundamental core of any such project, however, remains the creative, and coming up with engaging concepts is still something that machines can’t consistently recreate. Indeed, generative AI is inherently derivative, as it’s an approximation based on whatever examples have been built into its training data, so it’s only able to provide outputs that are similar to things that have come before.
Coming up with concepts remains the realm of humans, but for almost every other element, you can probably gain some advantage from generative AI tools.
Learn how AI systems work, understand the various tools on offer, and how they’re evolving, and consider the ways that they can be applied to your process.
A good place to start could be LinkedIn Learning’s various AI courses, some of which are available for free.
5. Improve your understanding of AR and 3D object creation
The next step of digital interaction is going to be within increasingly immersive environments, like AR, VR and the metaverse, whatever that actually entails.
Yes, Meta may have gone early in betting its future on its metaverse vision, but it is correct in its view that this, increasingly, is where we’re headed.
Kids these days spend all of their time within immersive gaming worlds, like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox, where they socialize, interact, and engage. That points to the future of broader engagement trends, which will eventually also include professional interaction.
Not buying it? Consider that Facebook Workplace now has over 7 million paying subscribers, while almost every business now has its own version of a collaboration tool that’s based on the UI of social networks. These tools originated from youth engagement trends, and as those users have aged up, it’s become the logical development framework for business options.
These trends are indicative, and with the next generation of AR wearables also set to hit the market soon, a revolution is going to take place that will enable a greater sense of place and presence for all users.
With this in mind, it’s also worth taking the time to understand the latest AR tools on offer, and how you can create 3D digital versions of your products, for example, in order to build your presence and representation in these new spaces.
Generative AI based tools can help, in simplifying the creation process, while evolving AR builder platforms are also becoming easier to use, so you can make your own immersive experiences.
You are going to be building within 3D environments at some stage. Maybe it's time to start learning how these processes work.
There’s a range of emerging trends in the digital marketing space, and it’s important to recognize where the tide is pushing, in order to stay ahead of the game. These pointers will help you maximize your 2024 push.