As we step into 2024, several trends are poised to reshape the way brands connect with their audiences. From the increasing role of AI generated content to the shift toward more selective platform choices, here’s a comprehensive look at the marketing trends that will define the year.
The Rise of AI Generated Content: Balancing Automation and Authenticity
Artificial intelligence is the elephant in the room. A big, impossible-to-ignore elephant. The debate over whether the elephant should be welcome or viewed as a portent to being mown down by an army of T1000s is irrelevant. Like it or not, AI is here and it’s not going anywhere.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Undeniably, there are benefits to AI. It’s free; it’s easy to use; it requires minimal input and saves time. Organizations are already stressed to the max trying to find content to populate their social platforms and then the time to create said content. AI can do both with a couple of clicks.
However, there are pitfalls, and not just the obvious ethical ones currently being debated regarding authorship and monetizing AI content creation in a way that make writers, artists, and creators of all kinds irrelevant. For businesses, it is the potential loss of something desperately needed in the current consumer climate—a distinct, authentic voice.
The trend for the last several years has been toward authenticity. Consumers are increasingly savvy—and increasingly less tolerant—of messaging that sounds canned or too polished.
Brands are expected to be more personal, more accessible, and focused on creating genuine experiences for their customers, all of which must be reflected through messaging. AI can do a lot of things, but it can’t (yet) replicate genuine personality. We have yet to find a robot that can actually to pass the Turing test.
So what is the answer? In short, AI is like any other tool in your content creation arsenal. Use it, but don’t overuse it. Don’t become so reliant on it that your content sounds like it was in fact written by a machine. The human touch is still the one that consumers crave the most. Leverage it when it makes sense without conceding too much creative territory to your robot overlords. You’ll thank us after the inevitable uprising.
Businesses and Social Media: Trying to be Everything, Everywhere, All at Once
Remember when it was just Facebook? How innocent we were then? Now, there are roughly a bajillion platforms in existence and all are begging to be monetized. The more platforms there are, the more places businesses feel like they need to be in order to remain top of mind.
However, being everywhere isn’t all that realistic anymore. It also doesn’t make a ton of ROI sense, with the audience as fragmented as it is.
So, should you trend chase? Today, the most happening place to be is Tik Tok, but tomorrow’s a different story. How much do you want to invest in becoming fluent in a brand-new platform?
Also, cross-posting (or reusing the same content on different platforms) is more nuanced than it once was. Each new platform these days is set on curating a unique experience, not one that could be skipped on Twitter (or X, if you insist) but caught on Facebook.
Beyond that, these platforms have distinct user demographics and content preferences. The more time you spend making tailored approaches, the more impactful your efforts are going to be.
The answer in 2024 isn’t to be scattershot, everything, everywhere, all at once with your social media approach, but to choose those platforms that best align with your target audience and goals. Don’t do a little everywhere; do a lot in one or two places.
Right now, the most prevalent social platforms for businesses are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. That will almost certainly change in the coming months or years, and it certainly doesn’t apply for all businesses across the board, but these are the spaces that yield the most ROI.
The Entertainment Paradigm: Shifting Focus for Impactful Marketing
Let’s face it: no one likes the guy who talks about nothing but himself. The same thing applies to businesses.
This is reflected in the results of a social trends survey conducted by Hootsuite. Consumers don’t want to hear about how great you are. They turn to social media for the exact same reason you do after a long day—to unwind. Specifically, to be entertained.
If you aren’t feeling this pain point yet, there might be a reason. A lot of brands are strictly looking at the metrics. Engagement is a useful tool to gauge how well a message is performing; what it can’t always tell you is whether that engagement was positive.
Giving people content they don’t care to engage with is a good way to make an impression…just not a good impression.
Here are the facts: 34% of consumers not only just don’t engage with content that isn’t entertaining; they are actually dissatisfied with the brands that focus all on themselves. Given what we already talked about regarding the rising demand for authenticity, this isn’t all that surprising.
It also leaves businesses at a place where they can shift their marketing focus. Entertainment is a wide umbrella. Humor is entertainment. Inspiration is entertainment. Educational content is, believe it or not, entertainment. Content that tugs on heartstrings, very entertaining. People love to feel.
Therefore, perhaps a shift in focus is in order as you consider your marketing efforts going further into 2024.
Navigating These Marketing Trends
That’s the state of marketing as it stands today. If you are feeling completely overwhelmed and have no idea where to start, ADsmith Marketing & Advertising can help you define the first steps.
For instance, ask us about:
- Leveraging AI in content creation while maintaining authenticity (and not entirely conceding defeat to the robot future)
- Finding the right social platform for your brand and audience
- Developing impactful, entertaining messaging that increases brand awareness without turning off potential customers
Want to talk? Reach out today and we’ll start creating.