2024 has arrived, and the digital marketing landscape is on a path to innovative changes. 2023 was arguably one of the craziest years for marketers as far as having to adapt to new tools and technologies. The amount of progress that tools like CHAT GPT made in 2023 was unbelievable. It would be hard to argue that AI won’t be the most significant trend in marketing in 2024. This is why we have put hours upon hours into researching what is changing in marketing and what you, as a business owner, can take advantage of so you can stay ahead of the curve. We might all fear losing our jobs to AI one day. However, right now we need to focus on learning how to use it to our advantage and not let our competition be the ones to put us out of work.
Voice Search Optimization
With the advancement of AI and Google planning on rolling out their AI generative experience this year, it has been a big focus for us to plan for a potential tweak on how we approach SEO and ranking ourselves and clients at the top of Google results. People have always used Google to search for what they need. However, with the rise of AI and voice recognition, people might start using the “ask” experience rather than the “search” experience. You can learn more about this in Zellus’s article for the Forbes Business Council.
Taking a break from the conversation around AI… there are other marketing trends that local business owners can take advantage of. The biggest trend outside of using AI is using UGC content to promote your business on social media. With the rise in popularity of short-form content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, it is crucial to put your business in front of all eyeballs. It is no secret that everyone’s eyeballs are on reels and TikTok right now.
Utilizing UGC content can be something other than a masterclass of perfection. Simply recording quick videos of you or influencers positively using your product or service can be huge for building your brand and trust with your audience. The competition is already rising for attention on those platforms, so focus on consistency rather than perfection. It takes volume to get good at the content game.
Back to the conversation of AI, haha. Have you recently been on a website and noticed a chatbot at the bottom right of the page? Well, most of the time, that is a place where you can leave a message or talk to a live customer support representative. There is a rise in businesses replacing that with an AI chatbot trained explicitly on their company’s information.
(YES! You can train an AI on your business so it can be an expert and know more about your business than anyone else!) This AI chatbot automatically responds to questions people might have and directs them to a solution, suggests booking a call, or even collects the person’s contact info (CRAZY, RIGHT?). Whether you are a fan of this or not, this is becoming a reality and essential to keep an eye on.
Some excellent tools have been coming out over the past couple of years to further enhance the ability to automate specific tasks in your business operations. We expect the power of automation to continue to be a big part of business operations, sales teams, and marketing strategies.
We now have tools that can do some things like send out review requests automatically after helping a customer, automatically notify you through text when a lead signs up on your website form, automatically send a text message to a person who tried to call when you couldn’t pick up, etc. Finding small tasks that you can automate, like contacting a lead that comes in through your website, can save you a lot of time as a business owner.
What Does This Mean For My Local Business?
One thing that might be overwhelming is the new marketing trends right now. However, this can be an opportunity for you as a business owner. Most of these marketing trends are popular because they benefit some regions of your business.
Ultimately, if you have a solid foundation and people know, like, and trust you, you will continue to thrive. However, for business owners looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level, it should be a priority to either learn how to utilize these new tools on your own or reach out to an experienced marketing agency like Zellus, which can implement these marketing strategies for you.