Content marketing is huge, with the industry currently worth $400bn and projected to grow to $900bn by 2028. The average business invests between 25-30 percent of its marketing budget into content marketing, so nailing your strategy is essential. Knowing the latest content marketing trends will help you up your game, stay ahead of the curve and build your audience. But what’s hot for 2024? Let’s look.
#1 Video Trends
Users watch an average 17 hours of online video per week and 9/10 have wanted to see more videos from brands over the past year. There’s a huge market for this type of content. But what should you know about video editing for the year ahead? Here are the takeaways:
Short-form videos are here to stay. They’re not only accessible but hugely popular on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and are designed to catch our attention – quickly. While there’s no hard and fast rule about video length, short-form videos tend to be under three minutes, with many falling in the five to ten-second range. With infobesity being a real issue, you need to draw in your audience with strong hooks and calls to action.
While videos on Instagram can be up to an hour long for verified accounts and TikTok allows 10 minutes, it’s worth repurposing longer content such as lengthy explainer videos or full product demos into short-form videos. Try to create video ‘batches’ ahead of time which are then drip-fed to your audience. This will give your short-form video strategy structure and purpose. It’ll even help you to tease new products or tell a story.
The live-streaming market has been seeing a steady rise in recent years and is projected to grow as much as $416.84 billion by 2030. It reflects changes in technology, social dynamics and entertainment preferences, making it easy for consumers to ask questions and engage with brands in real-time. Live streaming also creates a sense of community and FOMO, attracting more people to your content.
If your audience is Gen Alpha, GenZ or Millennial, authentic, unedited content is the way forward. Be sure to practise ahead of time and test your equipment, however. You also need to promote your ‘go live’ to capture the biggest audience and go online at a time when your followers are online. Go lives require research but are great for forming connections.
Vertical videos have a higher watch completion rate than horizontal videos, with users reporting that 90% of vertical videos are watched to completion. Vertical videos are a must for 2024. Being mobile friendly, they’re favoured by social media algorithms and will give your content a better chance of appearing on users’ feeds – without the need for a hefty advertising spend. Indeed, Meta’s algorithm favours Reels and these are viewed in a vertical orientation. So videos should be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels tall (an aspect ratio of 9:16). TikTok is also a vertical-video-first platform, with vertical videos filling an entire mobile screen. So make sure your video editing skills are on point.
Top Tip: Facebook and Instagram Reels are a go-to for marketers as is TikTok. But don’t overlook YouTube Shorts. Available since 2021, Shorts have collectively earned over five trillion views. The YouTube Shorts algorithm works by using signals like user behaviour and video topics to predict which videos users want to watch. So, it’s possible to tailor your content to suit your audience in a bid to boost brand awareness.
VR and 360-degree video marketing is expected to experience significant growth in 2024 and beyond. This is because 360-degree videos have a higher click-through performance, offering more visual information than standard videos. Such videos offer an opportunity for brands to create more immersive and user-friendly experiences for their ideal consumers.
Use 360-degree video for virtual tours or behind the scenes content. This allows consumers to explore a wide range of settings including hotels, resorts, homes or destinations as if they were physically present. Would your marketing benefit from showing a product at all angles? If so, 360-degree videos are for you. Automobile manufacturers, for example, often use 360-degree videos to showcase the interior and exterior of a new car.
#2 Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Research and Planning
Content marketing trends for 2024 certainly include AI. AI’s role in research, scheduling and planning will continue to grow in 2024. And while AI should be used with caution, it will undoubtedly be integral to the content marketing world. Before we look at the uses of AI in content, here are a few things to be wary of:
- AI systems are only as good as the data entered. So, if the data is incorrect, skewed or has any sort of bias, this can negatively impact marketing research.
- AI for content writing is happening, but not from us. If your focus is on strategic content that is authentic, targeted and on-brand, AI won’t cut it. AI content can also be duplicated from other sites, present compliance and copyright issues and present inaccurate stats.
- Industries such as Finance and the Government need to be careful of inaccuracies, biases, data leaks and confidentiality breaches that could come from using AI. Compliance is hugely important and shouldn’t be overlooked.
So now onto the uses for AI in 2024. With regards to marketing it can be used for:
- Ideation – AI tools can analyse trends, social media discussions and user behaviour to generate content ideas. They can identify topics that are currently popular or likely to gain traction, helping marketers create relevant and timely content.
- Keyword research – AI-powered tools can assist in identifying keywords and phrases that are likely to perform well in search engines.
- Audience analysis – knowing who you’re speaking to is a huge part of content marketing as it’ll help you to get your tone spot on. AI can analyse user data, social media interactions and other online behaviours to create detailed audience profiles.
- Social media management – AI tools assist in social media management by scheduling posts, analysing social media trends and recommending optimal post times for maximum views. Here at Contentworks we utilise Agorapulse for the expert social media management we perform for our clients.
#3 Long-Form SEO Smart Content
In a world where short-form video content, catchy headlines, calls-to-action and punchy captions keep people engaged, it can be easy to forget about long-form content. But this is vital for SEO and is one of the key content marketing trends for 2024
Long-form content is over 1,000 words in length. It should be full of substance, delve deep into a particular topic and be useful to the reader. Long form content can be great for SEO as it is more likely to include backlinks, keywords and valuable H1 and H2 headings. This helps search engines to understand the context and relevance of the content. Long-form content also improves bounce rates, keeping people on your site for longer. This shows Google and other search engines that your content is valuable and readable, which can again improve your SEO rankings.
When thinking about your 2024 content marketing strategy, look for audience queries and pain points. What do they want to know? What are their challenges? From there, you can start to create article titles that will answer questions and be useful to the reader. By breaking your long-form content into small question and answer subsections, it’s also likely to get pulled for Featured Snippets. These accurate responses to a search query appear before other SEO rankings and get 35.1% of all clicks.
By writing long-form content, you’ve also got loads of facts, stats and information to repurpose for short-form videos, social media posts and infographics.
#4 Voice Search Optimisation
Experts predict that the number of voice assistants worldwide will reach over 8.4 billion in 2024.
In 2023, the number of voice assistant users reached 125.2 million, with nearly half of all adults using voice search daily. Optimising for voice search therefore helps you to reach more people than optimising for text-based searches alone. People use voice search to find information, so make sure you appear for voice search queries. You can do this by:
- Researching keywords for voice search. These tend to be more conversational and begin with a question such as ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘why’ and ‘when.’ Also look into long-tail keywords which are less specific and have a lower search volume but more refined intent that may boost ROI.
- Analyse search engine results (SERP) for keywords. You can look at SERP features such as featured snippets, ‘people also ask,’ and any rich snippets that appear. These keywords can be great article or FAQ starters.
- Optimise existing content to include voice related search terms. You might have great content already that just needs to be tweaked.
- Use natural language. This will be easier to pick up following a voice search. Make your content flow easily, answer questions as if you’re talking to someone and don’t overstuff keywords.
#5 Knowing Your Algorithms
We’ve touched on this already briefly in the ‘vertical video’ section. But it’s really good to know the algorithms across different platforms as this will give your content the best chance of being presented. For example, in November 2023, Google rolled out a review-based algorithm update focussing on review and opinion-based content. Sites offering reviews should therefore focus on meeting Google’s guidelines to ensure their SEO efforts remain intact. According to Google, review content should be original, transparent, current, informative and cover pros/cons.
TikTok has also made algorithm changes in recent months. The platform said that to align with the European Union’s Digital Services Act TikTokers can switch off the platform’s recommended algorithm. Users who opt out of the personalised For You Page and LIVE feed experiences will instead see videos from both the places where they live and around the world, rather than content to them based on their personal interests.’ This means a focus on regional content could be advisable.
Whatever platform you target, be sure to understand how the algorithm works in relation to content production and performance. Keep analysing data sets available to you, the strategies that work and engagement across platforms. Sometimes it’s better to let platforms drop and focus on those that are reaping the most rewards. For complete social media strategy and management, speak to our team.
#6 First-Party Data and Regulatory Compliance
According to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey, 67% of polled consumers said that they understand little to nothing about what brands are doing with their personal data. 71% are also worried about the government’s use of their data. As a result, the 2024 marketing landscape is anticipated to be significantly influenced by the shift toward first-party data, transparency, heightened privacy concerns and compliance with consumer privacy regulations. By using first-party data acquired from brand engagement willingly provided by the consumer, marketers can rely on reliable data sets. Consumers can also be reassured with regards to their privacy and will feel more in control over their personal information.
What did you think of our content marketing trends for 2024? An expert marketing agency is needed to navigate the complex marketing and communication landscape. Book a free Zoom call with Contentworks and get 2024 off to a good start.