This year we’ve seen many advancements in the digital marketing industry, with the rise of AI being the most prominent across all disciplines.
For SEOs, Google’s latest introduction of Search Generative Experience (SGE) is pretty significant and in the world of paid media there has been continued growth of social media advertising… so what trends should we expect to see in 2024?
We’ve spoken to various members of the Evergreen team to find out what their predictions are in their various disciplines for the year ahead. Below we have shared trends we expect to see in 2024 for SEO, Paid Media, Content Marketing and Promotion and PR.
Ecommerce brands especially, listen up! Understanding how marketing techniques are set to evolve is key to developing a winning digital marketing strategy.
SEO predictions for 2024:
Naomi Francis-Parker, Head of SEO:
My biggest prediction is that featured snippets will be a thing of the past to make way for Google SGE (once it becomes the standard across all countries).
A big chunk of the real estate in the SERPs will be taken up by something that aims to achieve the same outcome (delivering a quick, informative answer to a query) but in a more efficient and tailored way, so it makes sense that there won’t be room for both.
Everyone knows information is taken from around the internet, but the important thing with Google SGE is that it still tells you where that content is pulled from, much like a featured snippet. As SEOs, we want to make sure our content is listed as one of the main sources to encourage users to further explore the content should they want to.
This is basically what we’re doing with featured snippets, but we’ll likely need to tailor our approach to better suit Google SGE. There’s already a lot of research being done by some great SEOs who are starting to experiment with different techniques, so I’ll personally be keeping a very close eye on how these techniques develop in 2024.
Olivia Ashley Sparks, SEO Strategist:
Voice Search Optimisation:
Voice search optimisation is only becoming more and more popular, the main reason that it is growing at a staggering rate is the major increase in the use of smart speakers and virtual assistants. Predictions state that by the end of 2023, more than 60% of searches will be by voice search. In order to survive in the market, SEO strategies must be made accordingly.
Make sure your content is optimised for the spoken-word search terms that users most commonly use. Focus on featured snippets, which are frequently delivered aloud in voice search results, and create FAQ-style content.
Since mobile devices are where most voice searches take place, make sure your website speed has been optimised for mobile devices. This can be tested using the Page Insights tool.
Amber Buonsenso, Promotion and PR Manager:
My prediction is that the digital PR industry will once again see a shift in the campaign formats and ideas that are generating the best links and there is certainly a rise in the number of digital PRs and brands that are relying on reactive campaign ideas more.
I think the use of expert commentary will play a big part in campaigns and pitches as PRs are finding it harder for their pitches to generate links without them. Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines also play a part in the demand for expert commentary as they help improve these signals.
In 2024 it will continue to become increasingly challenging to secure coverage from journalists. This is due to a number of factors, but mainly the multiple journalist redundancies over the year which has created a big gap between the number of digital PRs and journalists.
The digital PR industry is very saturated whilst the number of journalists at each publication has decreased, meaning journalists will have bigger workloads, potentially covering multiple roles and receiving more PR pitches than ever.
Josie Palmer, Content Manager:
I would say authentic and experienced brand content / more personal stories/ product reviews, more tailored experiences in order to mitigate AI, and then more evidence of brands committing to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Paid media predictions for 2024
Konrad Frankowski, Head of Paid Media:
The paid media landscape is set to undergo significant changes in 2024, with trends emerging across various dimensions of technology, consumer behaviour, and regulatory environments. Here are the top 10 trends:
1. Rise of AI and machine learning
Advanced AI and machine learning technologies will be more widely used for optimising paid media campaigns, enhancing ad targeting, placements, and overall value. This goes hand in hand with generative AI being used in content creation recently announced by Amazon Ads, with Google Ads and Meta believed to follow suit soon.
Additionally, marketers are expected to explore alternatives to ChatGPT that offer better conversational experiences or more recent large language models.
2. Continued growth of social media advertising:
Social media advertising, already a growing trend, is expected to continue its ascent, especially on TikTok, with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X remaining crucial for reaching target audiences. TikTok is becoming increasingly important for ecommerce with in-app shopping experience and sales lives resembling QVC and other TV shopping channels.
3. More video advertising:
The popularity of video content, especially TikTok-popularised short-form clips (it feels like we’ve moved a long way since Vine), will drive an increase in video advertising across social media with Stories and Reels and platforms like YouTube, through Shorts.
4. Greater emphasis on personalisation:
Businesses will leverage data and analytics to create highly personalised ads that resonate better with target audiences, reflecting the growing consumer demand for customised/personalised experiences.
5. Decline of traditional advertising channels:
Yes, I am going to ruffle a few feathers here. Traditional channels like TV and radio are likely to see a decline as more businesses shift their advertising budgets online, investing in programmatic advertising that is prevalent in the on-demand world.
6. Increased focus on influencer marketing:
Influencer marketing will continue to grow, with businesses collaborating with influencers to create authentic, engaging content, especially through emerging new media, including podcasts and TikTok.
7. Use of virtual and augmented reality:
As VR and AR technologies advance, they will be increasingly used in paid media campaigns to create immersive experiences. On the back of this, we can expect further investment in new advertising platforms leveraging technologies like blockchain or augmented reality, so new platforms may emerge.
8. Rise of voice search advertising:
As voice search becomes increasingly popular, advertising tailored to spoken queries and the nuances of voice search is expected to rise.
9. Increased focus on data privacy and improvement in data analysis:
With growing concerns over data privacy, there is a strong possibility that we’ll be introduced to an additional level of legislation around the use of personal data in advertising, which will require greater transparency and compliance from businesses. Also, businesses are focusing on improving data analysis capabilities, especially in the context of Google Analytics changes and the move towards a cookieless future
There are also strong signals for an additional trend to watch out for, which is perhaps the most important of them all.
10. Increasing share of digital media and advertising:
Digital advertising is taking up a larger share of the total ad market, signifying a shift towards digital channels. The digital advertising spend in 2023 is believed to grow 9.5% in comparison to $549.5 billion spent in 2022. Paid media and digital ads spend in 2023 has skyrocketed globally and it’s currently on the trajectory to reach $600B, with a prediction to hit $667.6B in 2024 and surpass $730B by the end of 2025.
These trends indicate a rapidly evolving paid media landscape, characterised by technological innovation, especially AI, a shift towards digital and personalised experiences, and an increasing emphasis on data privacy and ethical advertising practices.
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