Marketing moves quickly, and each year brings its own challenges, innovations, and changes. Now, as 2024 approaches, we’re seeing more exciting marketing trends on the horizon. Marketers who enthusiastically incorporate these trends into their strategies are sure to stay ahead of the crowd. But to do that effectively, you need to understand what the future looks like—and how you can blend your intelligence with the right tools to get the best results for your brand.
That’s why we’ve done the research, reviewed the data, and broken down the biggest marketing trends of 2024 that you need to know about.
The B2B Marketing Trends of 2024
AI talk dominated the marketing world in 2023, and it will continue to evolve and grow. But true success in 2024 will come to those who know how to infuse AI into their marketing operation to nurture their entire marketing ecosystem. That said, these are some of the most important areas to focus on over the next year.
Personalization can drastically reduce your customer acquisition cost, making it easier to attract and convert your audience. Not only does this create a bespoke experience for your customer but it can have a major impact on your bottom line.
According to McKinsey research, good personalization can lift revenues by up to 15% and increase marketing ROI by up to 30%.
In 2024, tailoring your marketing messages to your audience’s individual preferences will become more sophisticated, especially with the help of AI.
Tip: From email campaigns to social media insights, there are so many ways you can incorporate personalization into your marketing operation. Here are 30 ideas to get you started ASAP.
2) Chatbots and Conversational Marketing
As marketers look for more ways to incorporate personalization, chatbots and conversational marketing will become more common. Whether you’re using AI tools to engage with prospects, answer questions, resolve issues, qualify leads, or provide product recommendations, you can drastically enhance your buyer’s experience. And as the tech evolves, the experience will only continue to improve.
Tip: See Zapier’s roundup of the best chatbots to figure out which tools are right for you.
3) Voice Search Optimization
With the increasing use of voice-activated devices and virtual assistants, optimizing content for voice search is crucial.
According to NPR/Edison Research, 62% of Americans age 18+ use a voice assistant on their devices.
Fortunately, the Google algorithm is better at recognizing the search intent of voice users, but brands will need to adapt their SEO strategies to accommodate those same conversational and long-tail queries.
Tip: When doing keyword research, think about the questions your audience might ask and the subjects they would want to learn about. You can also see SemRush’s 6 tips to include your voice optimization for more guidance.
4) Human Thought Leadership
In 2023, the biggest marketing trend was AI-generated content. This was an exciting innovation, but it also introduced new challenges.
- SEO rankings took a big hit, tanking years of hard work for many marketers.
- Readers were assaulted by generic content that offered very little insight or interesting perspective.
In general, we saw a lot more content and a lot less value.
If AI can write your thought leadership, it’s not good thought leadership.
People crave authentic content from real people’s experiences, so if you want your thought leadership to resonate, you need to infuse it with as much personality, perspective, and credibility as possible. How do you do that? Use internal or external data to validate claims, chat with industry experts to get fresh perspectives, or share lessons from your own experience.
Tip: Your other team members can be a great source of ideas, expertise, and inspiration. Find out how to turn your team into content creators.
5) Ethical Marketing
In the last few years, sustainability and social responsibility have contributed to how consumers perceive brands. But as AI becomes more pervasive—and many people are inherently distrustful of AI—ethics will play a larger role in the overall marketing.
Transparency and clarity around business practices, AI use, and data privacy will be top of consumers’ minds, and we may see an even larger shift in the perception of new tech.
In fact, Gartner research predicts that in the next few years “a segment of customers may shift their behaviors and seek out AI-free, ‘acoustic’ brands that prioritize authenticity and ethics.”
Tip: Trust is the most important thing you need to cultivate with your audience, and creating content around your values and practices can be one of the easiest ways to cultivate that trust. See how these 10 brands have turned their beliefs into content.
Influencer marketing has continued to evolve, as audiences crave more authenticity and genuine communities. Marketers have learned that the influencers with the largest following are not equal to influencers with the most devoted following.
According to Experticity, 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer.
Thus, micro-influencers and nano-influencers will continue to become more popular, particularly for niche and engaged audiences.
Tip: Not all micro-influencers will be the right fit for your brand. Before you partner up, here are 7 questions to ask.
7) Video Marketing
Video content has been on the rise for years, and it’s only becoming more powerful every year.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 84% of B2B marketers are using video in their content strategy in 2024.
While all types of video can boost your marketing (including live streams and interactive video), short-form videos will gain even more prominence in 2024.
Tip: Video can include a lot of moving parts, so you want to make sure you’re covered. Download our free Content Marketer’s Guide to Brand Video, and get inspired by how other brands are putting video to work (including these 10 clickworthy SaaS videos that got our attention).
8) Interactive Content
We’ve been preaching the power of interactive content for years. Interactive content is highly engaging and can serve a variety of purposes, whether it’s a unique data visualization, an educational tool, or a personalized quiz. And while it is growing, many B2B marketers still haven’t fully embraced its power.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 33% of B2B marketers use interactive content.
This presents a huge opportunity for brands that can implement this type of content effectively.
Tip: There are so many ways to use interactive experiences to nurture audience relationships and move them down the buyer journey. If you’re not sure what that might look like from your brand, here are 101 interactive infographics to inspire you.
9) Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR technologies have only gotten better over the years, and they will continue to become more integrated into marketing campaigns. AR experiences can include product visualizations, interactive print and packaging experiences (e.g., promotions or games), location-based AR, or AR in events and exhibitions.
VR can be used for as many exciting marketing initiatives, including product demos, virtual tours, training, virtual events, integrations, 360-degree video, and other storytelling experiences.
Tip: No matter what applications you use AR or VR for, it is crucial that your user experience is seamless and user-friendly. Test, test, and test again to make sure everything works correctly.
10) Ephemeral Content
As Snapchat and Instagram stories have popularized short-lived content, brands will continue to leverage this format to engage their audiences across platforms. This type of content creates a more intimate relationship with your audience, and it is particularly great for entertaining and authentic content. Its temporary nature also creates a sense of FOMO, encouraging your audience to stay more engaged with you.
Tip: Ephemeral content is a great opportunity to showcase your culture, people, behind-the-scenes, and other fun stuff. Try these 7 ways to showcase your culture on social media.
How to Win in 2024
No matter your industry, the best thing you can do as a marketer is focus on strategy and education.
- Get your content strategy right. Use our free content strategy toolkit to ensure you have a well-documented strategy that aligns your whole team.
- Prepare for the new year the right way. Find out what you can do now to create better results next year.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest marketing trends and best practices. Start by subscribing to Column Five’s Best Story Wins podcast, where we interview industry pros about the ways they’re winning hearts, minds, and market share.
And if you know you’re going to need more support in 2024, you need to focus on finding the right partner. See our tips to find an agency with the right expertise, or learn more about working with us. Either way, we hope your next year is your best year yet.