As we dig into 2024, the digital marketing landscape will continue to evolve. New tools and technology are rapidly emerging, and more brands are investing in digital marketing tactics causing the online environment to become increasingly crowded, according to LinkedIn. This year, it will be critical marketing professionals follow the latest trends and develop strategies that help them stay ahead of the competition and stand out.

At GRIT, we asked our digital marketing experts to share their thoughts on which trends will be important to watch and social media marketing, search generative experience (SGE) and hyper-personalization all rose to the top of the list. Let’s explore each trend in more detail and how they could level up your digital marketing efforts.

 

Trend #1: The Changing Social Media Landscape

According to Search Engine Land, organic social media engagement and traffic continues to decrease annually. With more content than ever before being posted to social media channels and the platforms’ proprietary algorithms changing regularly, it can be difficult for brands to get noticed. To help overcome this challenge, GRIT recommends keeping an eye on new social media platforms and considering if they may be the right fit for your social media marketing efforts and target audience, developing content that is engaging and aligns with the latest social media trends and focusing on social SEO. Let’s take a deeper dive into each recommendation.

The Emergence of Threads
Instagram’s text-based conversations app, Threads, was released in the summer of 2023 and offers features that are similar to X (formerly Twitter). While Threads is still new, we will be watching to see how many people adopt the app and how the platform evolves, especially as X makes changes and sees declines in user data. Marketing professionals should consider downloading the Threads app and creating a profile for their brand in order to claim a preferred username. Even if the company is not actively posting on Threads, exploring the platform can be beneficial and monitoring conversations about the brand can provide insights on customer opinions, thoughts and sentiment.

The Evolution of LinkedIn Content
According to Digital Marketing Institute, people are leveraging LinkedIn for more than job hunting and networking. LinkedIn content is expanding, and people are now using the platform to share industry insights, company news, life skills, personal and professional advice and more. Additionally, while hashtags are still supported on the platform, incorporating keywords into LinkedIn posts will be more beneficial because they support social SEO. As marketing professionals optimize their social media marketing strategies for 2024, it will be important to consider the evolution of LinkedIn and ensure their brand is producing effective content for the platform.

The Importance of Social SEO
As social media marketing continues to change and companies consider where to invest their time and resources, GRIT recommends focusing on social SEO. By completing company profile information on each social media channel, optimizing titles and captions, using relevant hashtags and incorporating keywords into posts, marketing professionals can improve their brand’s visibility in search results as more people use social media channels as search engines.

 

Trend #2: The Evolution of Search Generative Experience (SGE)  

It is no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more intertwined with digital marketing. As AI advances, it is being leveraged to streamline processes and support individuals with daily tasks. According to Digital Marketing Institute, Google is expected to fully roll out their search generative experience this year. When using Google SGE, individuals will be presented with a snapshot based on their search. Instead of seeing a list of top links to parse through, the snapshot will summarize search results and information from various sources so clicking multiple links will not be necessary. The snapshot will also offer prompts or additional questions to consider based on the original search. Combining generative AI with Google Search will allow users to find what they are looking for quickly and more efficiently.

As Google SGE begins to roll out, it is important marketers stay on top of the trend and understand how the latest search experience could impact their efforts. Check out the key considerations our digital marketing experts shared.

Monitor Key Analytics
Marketers should consider the impact this tool could have on SEO. Currently, brands focus on leveraging SEO to make it to the top of the search results on Google. But as this tool rolls out, the focus may likely shift to appearing in the SGE Search Engine Land shared that incorporating subject matter expert content could support prominent rankings. While that may be one piece of the puzzle, our team predicts other factors such as keywords, backlinks and website strength will impact rankings too. Once fully rolled out, digital marketers should also monitor their organic website traffic and watch for changes in visitors and clicks. Allocating time to research the tool and fully understand how it is impacting performance indicators will be important.

Experiment with Google SGE
Those who are interested in learning more about Google SGE and the provided snapshots can experiment with the tool now. Turn the tool on and use it for searching and browsing at labs.google/sge/.

 

Trend #3: The Role Hyper-Personalization Will Play in Creating a Better Customer Experience

In the crowded digital marketing space, customers want brands to treat them as individuals. In fact, McKinsey & Company found that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. With this shift, marketers must change their approach to digital communications. Gone are the days when customer personas could be developed and used to segment members of a target audience. Moving forward, GRIT predicts hyper-personalization will play a key role in the customer experience and help brands stand out.

Powering Hyper-Personalization
Marketers should consider how AI, automation and analytics can be used to power their hyper-personalization efforts. By using these tools, Deloitte shared that companies can send highly contextualized communications to targeted customers at the right place, at the right time and through the right channel.

Applying Hyper-Personalization
Have you ever placed an order online and before checking out were presented with “You Might Also Like…” recommendations? This is an example of hyper-personalization based on your browsing history and previous purchases. Brands can apply hyper-personalization to several digital interactions with customers including e-newsletters, targeted social media ads, landing pages, online discounts and more.

Measuring Success
As with any marketing effort, it is important to measure what is working well and identify where improvements can be made. If implementing this trend, GRIT recommends conducting A/B testing to see which tactics are most effective. For example, did a customer respond better to a position-specific email (i.e., digital marketing manager) versus an industry-specific correspondence (i.e., marketing industry)? Was engagement higher when you shared content based on their search behaviors? For example, if an individual found your business through a specific Google search like “digital marketing agencies near me,” you can tailor and distribute content that addresses their wants and needs. Experimenting with hyper-personalization and keeping track of what works best for your customers will be critical.   

 

Leverage the Latest Innovations in Digital Marketing to Drive Results

Throughout the year, GRIT will be keeping a watchful eye on the changing social media landscape, the implementation of Google SGE and how hyper-personalization is being used to enhance the customer experience. While not every innovation will be the right fit for a brand’s digital marketing strategy, it is important for marketing professionals to be aware of the concepts and understand how they are being used to avoid falling behind the curve.

As a full-service marketing and communications agency based in York, Pennsylvania, we offer a range of social media marketing and digital marketing services. Whether you are interested in learning more about the latest industry trends or need support developing and executing your 2024 digital marketing strategy, our experts are ready to help.  Start a conversation with the GRIT team today!