As we get into the swing of things in 2024, it’s important to reflect on the landmark year that was 2023—a year that fundamentally reshaped our digital landscape and impacted how we engage with technology both in our personal lives and professional environments.
Reflecting on 2023—a year of seismic shifts in the digital world
- The emergence of ChatGPT: 2023 marked a significant milestone in the digital industry when AI joined the workforce, simplifying daily tasks and transforming routine workflows. The AI revolution was officially born.
- AI tool takeover: Alongside ChatGPT came a wave of new AI tools to further make our workdays more efficient. Through chatbots and various automations, AI made pre-2023 working days seem like an archaic, distant memory.
- Transition from Universal Analytics to GA4: The mandatory (and painful) transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 marked a new era in data analytics, one many marketers put off for as long as they could.
- Navigating Google’s four core SEO updates. While details are rarely released as to what updates affect, 4 big core updates caused chaos on the SERPs, while marketers tried to adapt their strategies.
- Video content continued to dominate: Reaffirming its place at the pinnacle of digital communication, video once again proved to be the way most users prefer to consume digital content.
Indeed, 2023 was a year of massive changes in digital. A year that set new precedents and will undoubtedly be remembered as a pivotal moment in our digital journey.
What to expect in B2B marketing in 2024
Looking forward to 2024, we don’t expect to see the same amount of reshaping we saw last year, but more of the settling into this new digital landscape.
Trend #1: The ascendance of short-form videos
Short-form videos have changed how we consume digital content. In 2024, these bite-sized, engaging formats are more than just a trend; they’re a necessity for brands looking to capture attention in a crowded digital space.
With its dynamic features and high engagement rates, Instagram Reels is an ideal platform for targeting the 25-34 demographic. It offers unique opportunities for creative storytelling, promoting products, and engaging with audiences in a more personal and direct way. Posting consistently, around 10 reels per month, can significantly boost your visibility and engagement.
This platform is a powerhouse for reaching a younger audience. Its extended video length of up to 10 minutes offers ample space for creativity. The key to success on TikTok lies in understanding its unique culture and leveraging its features to create content that resonates with its audience. Arcade is a great example of a B2B company reaching other working professionals through humour and work-life content.
Despite some limitations, the SEO benefits of YouTube Shorts are undeniable. It’s a strategic tool for businesses aiming to improve their search engine visibility. Utilizing the right keywords and tags can enhance your discoverability, tapping into new audience segments.
Incorporating a mix of educational, entertaining, and promotional content in these formats can significantly enhance your digital presence. Here’s a great example of a YouTube Short from Slack:
Remember, in the fast-paced digital world, those who fail to leverage such dynamic platforms risk falling behind.
Trend #2: Video podcasting—a game-changer for business visibility
Video podcasting is more than just a trend; it’s an emerging cornerstone of content strategy in 2024. This format combines the personal touch of traditional podcasting with the visual appeal of video, making it a potent tool for businesses.
YouTube’s new frontier
2024 will see YouTube stepping into the podcasting space in a big way, offering a whole new world of possibilities for content creators. Being the second largest search engine in the world, this platform offers an incredible opportunity for businesses to expand their reach and engage with audiences in a more dynamic way. Chances are, if you listen to podcasts, there’s a video version of your favorite podcast on Youtube. For example, let’s use ‘Acquired’, a podcast sponsored by J.P. Morgan Payments.
Repurposing for content efficiency
By creating smaller clips from longer podcast recordings, businesses can capture key moments and messages, making them ideal for sharing across various social platforms. This strategy not only maximizes content reach but also caters to the growing preference for digestible content. Check out how Acquired cut-up sections from the long-form video podcast we shared above to make engaging clips for socials.
Combined with AI tools that can cut longer videos into smaller, more shareable clips, marketers can appear like they are creating video content full-time for their audience when in reality are probably only spending a couple hours per week. Talk about efficiency!
Not ready to commit to a podcast yet?
You’re not alone. Starting up, running and promoting a podcast requires a lot of internal resources and some businesses aren’t ready to take that leap.
A new tactic of creating ‘fake podcast’ clips offers a clever way for brands to engage audiences without the commitment of a full podcast. These clips mimic a real podcast setup and provide real discussion and shareable content but without an actual ongoing series. This strategy is ideal for testing audience engagement and allows for quick, flexible content creation.
Trend #3: The ever-changing social media landscape
2024 is a year where several social media platforms will aim to further their evolution from what we currently know them as.
X’s monetization and strategic shift
X continues to undergo a significant transformation into the platform that was once Twitter, and one that could redefine its role in the digital ecosystem. Already, users in New Zealand and the Philippines are experiencing a new monetization model, with a nominal annual fee of $1. This development raises intriguing questions about X’s monetization strategies in other countries and how they will unfold throughout the year.
Beyond simple monetization, X is ambitiously trying to evolve into an ‘everything’ platform, integrating services like banking, retail, and more. This evolution represents a strategic shift towards becoming a comprehensive hub for both personal and business interactions.
The critical question for 2024 is the extent of this evolution and its adoption by users globally. Will these changes lead to a decline in X’s traditional user base, or will the platform’s transformation into a more versatile hub attract a more diverse and potentially more lucrative B2B audience?
For businesses, understanding and adapting to these changes will be crucial in leveraging X’s platform for maximum engagement and opportunity.
Meta’s continued evolution
The expansion of the Metaverse and the introduction of Meta AI are set to redefine the digital experience.
This year marks a pivotal moment as Meta AI is set to roll out, introducing an evolved chatbot experience across platforms like WhatsApp and Messenger. This innovative leap aims to radically transform user interactions, making them more intuitive and immersive.
Additionally, the launch of 28 new AI technologies in beta signals a wave of change, bringing a plethora of new options and features that are likely to attract users to spend more time within the Meta ecosystem. For businesses, these developments open a realm of possibilities. The enhanced user experience and expanded AI capabilities present unique opportunities for businesses to interact with their audience in more engaging, personalized, and effective ways.
Threads increasing popularity
With over 100 million users now, Threads is quietly increasing its user base at a steady rate. It’s an ideal time for businesses to start exploring Threads (get a head start with our guide), researching how other brands successfully engage on this platform, and experimenting with their own strategies. Many brands are tapping into the platform’s interactive nature, engaging audiences through lively discussions and thought-provoking questions. This approach not only fosters a sense of community but also offers insights into consumer preferences and behaviours.
Even if a full-fledged content strategy isn’t in place yet, securing a username on Threads is a smart move for any brand. This ensures that when the time is right, you’ll have the option to fully leverage this platform’s growing popularity and reach.
The key takeaway here is agility. The digital marketing landscape is shifting rapidly, and businesses that are slow to adapt to these changes risk being overshadowed by more proactive competitors.
Trend #4: Embracing AI in business and finding human opportunities
Many companies are still defining their AI strategies, and for marketers, this is an opportunity to lead and innovate. The effective use of AI could lead to flourishing businesses, while missteps could be detrimental.
Human vs. AI content writing
The debate between human and AI writers gained clarity in 2023, with human-generated content ranking 94% better than AI-written content. This trend is a wake-up call for marketers who relied heavily on AI last year. The key to success lies in blending AI with the human touch. Including personal anecdotes, and opinions, and taking stances on issues infuses authenticity and value into AI-assisted content. This balanced approach is crucial for creating content efficiently that also resonates more deeply with audiences.
For example, we love using SurferSeo to help guide our blog research and keep SEO top-of-mind while writing.
AI limitations and human opportunities
While AI has made remarkable strides, it still lags in areas like soft skills and reasoning, presenting a unique opportunity for marketers to capitalize on these human strengths. The dynamic nature of AI—constantly learning and evolving—means that today’s AI is the most basic it will ever be. Understanding and co-creating with AI is essential, as its role in business is here to stay.
Remember, it’s not AI itself that’s a threat to human jobs—it’s not going to take your job—but those who can wield AI as a tool for business growth and operational efficiency just might.
This gives marketers a tremendous opportunity to grow their skills while the technology is still young.
AI in Google Ads
Google will be rolling out a number of AI tools for paid ads in 2024, which are designed to make campaign building and optimization much more efficient for marketers. However, marketers must remember that while these tools are designed to create efficiencies in your campaigns, your knowledge is still critical to remove any biases that Google may have (they are, after all, a business). The primary focus for any marketer should be leveraging these tools for the benefit of their business first and foremost, and not Google’s.
When using AI in any aspect of your business tactics in 2024, it’s crucial to view A.I. as an assistant rather than the main driver of your marketing efforts. This will help ensure that your strategies remain unbiased and effective.
Trend #5: Consent-based marketing in a post-cookie world
As we step into a new era of digital marketing, privacy emerges as a key area of focus, significantly shifting the landscape of online targeting. Marketers are now tasked with adapting their strategies to align with evolving data privacy norms and regulations.
Removal of third-party cookies
In 2024, Google Chrome will join Safari and Firefox in phasing out third-party tracking cookies, a move that marks a significant shift in online privacy efforts. This gradual phase-out, beginning with 1% of users in Q1 2024, will eventually impact how digital campaigns have traditionally used retargeting to capture sales and leads.
Importance of first-party cookies
Although third-party cookies are on their way out, first-party cookies—those that track basic data like logins and website preferences—will remain. This shift means that marketers will need to rely more on data directly obtained from their websites, reshaping how they understand and interact with their audience.
The spotlight now turns to consent-based marketing in 2024. This approach hinges on user permission, where marketers can only target users who have explicitly consented to receive marketing messages. To adapt, marketers can employ strategies like web push notifications, chatbot interactions, and SMS or email marketing to obtain consent.
Crucially, these methods should offer users the flexibility to choose the topics they’re interested in, along with clear options for opting in or out. Transparency about the frequency and type of information users will receive is also vital.
Additionally, incentivizing users who provide their real email addresses through offers like free product trials or exclusive content can be an effective way to build a more engaged and willing audience.
Crafting a forward-thinking digital strategy
As we navigate 2024, it’s clear that the digital marketing world is undergoing substantial shifts. Staying informed and adaptable is not just a strategy, it’s a necessity. Creating a comprehensive digital marketing roadmap is essential for businesses aiming to stay relevant and competitive in this evolving landscape.