Digital transformation is already throwing so much at the advertising world. You have to keep hitting an ever-moving target, while adapting to constant changes in technology. In 2024, things will get even more challenging, with so many new technologies and trends to adapt to. But some of these innovations, like the ones below, could have a huge impact on your customer acquisition and ROI. Here are the top advertising tactics, trends, and technologies to try in 2024:
1. Make Dough Without Cookies
Lots of articles have circulated over the past few years with cute titles about how the “cookie crumbles.” But the reality isn’t nearly so sweet (sorry). The loss of third-party data due to increased privacy protections and concerns means advertisers need to work twice as hard. Meanwhile, expectations around personalization make customer data more crucial than ever.
Many brands are looking to first-party data collection as a solution. Sending out surveys, collecting your own site and app traffic data, and studying customer service interactions can help you learn more about your customers. There’s also a lot to be gained from implementing social listening tools to find out what your customers and competitors are up to.
That said, emerging technologies may offer a more powerful, efficient, and permanent solution to the cookie problem. AI tools like predictive analytics, for example, can forecast your customers needs without impacting their privacy or consuming your time. Try different techniques to deliver the right content to your audience based on new kinds of data-driven insights.
2. Create Authoritative Content
Speaking of content, customers don’t just want to be handed a bunch of taglines or told what to buy or who to work with. They want to engage longer-term with brands, make genuine connections, and make their own decisions about their offerings. Once a relationship is formed, they can return to them again and again as a source of authoritative information.
To succeed in 2024, brands need to establish themselves as credible sources of timely, useful content for their followers. They need to answer user questions before they’re asked, and show up in places where potential customers are seeking information. They need to rank high on Google’s search engine results page and appear in the publications their consumers are reading.
Advertisers should think about all the different ways to make this possible. Work with social and content teams to get high-quality posts ranking higher and going viral. Experiment with Instagram Stories, native content, and other means of getting to users where they already are. A native advertising agency can help you keep your messaging authentic, without alienating your audience.
3. Find Your Video Niche
While the Nielsen ratings still aren’t gone, TV advertising alone hasn’t been an accurate reflection of success for a very long time. As an advertiser, you likely already know this, but you might not be taking advantage of all the new opportunities for video and streaming advertising. Of course, TikTok and Instagram are two of the most important places to be, but there are other options.
For example, in 2023, Netflix launched an ad supported plan that enables advertisers to target viewers of its streaming content. And in early 2024, it will feature a new binge ad format, letting advertisers specifically target users who watch multiple episodes in a row. Also in 2024, Amazon will enable advertising on its Prime Video streaming platform (users can pay extra to opt out).
Meanwhile, platforms like Hulu, Peacock, and Max are incorporating “pause ads” which appear when a show or movie is paused. Hulu experimented with the technology in 2019, but found that users were confused when audio and video continued after they hit pause. Newer formats are typically subtler and less obtrusive — typically just a still image with no sound.
4. Advertise In-Game and In-Metaverse
Though advertising through video game platforms has been slow to see traction, 2024 may be its big year. While Millennials and Gen Z spend huge amounts of time on these platforms, they are typically under-targeted by advertisers. That could be changing as with advancements in technology allowing for more personalized and non-intrusive ads.
There are lots of ways to advertise using video games, so think beyond traditional banners and pop-ups. Advertisers can create ads or have their products placed within the world of a game. A player could pick up your company’s seltzer can or yoga mat and use it for an energy boost. They could drive by a billboard for your brand or hear your jingle on their virtual car radio station.
Brands can also create their own unique games. For example, a popular sports drink company recently created its own racing game. Advertisers also create virtual metaverse environments in which players can play games and even shop their brands. Options exist for every budget, though some may require new tech infrastructure or an understanding of blockchain or cryptocurrency.
5. Generate With AI
Generative AI will continue to see increased adoption, and it could be useful in many facets of advertising. Advertisers can use AI to create unique product images, generate inspiration and outlines for content and copy, and automate tasks. Instead of spending hours photographing products in just the right lighting, advertisers can generate hundreds of images in a few clicks.
Meanwhile, search engines will rely more heavily on generative AI, favoring companies and brands that give them useful content to crawl. AI search will use reputable brand blog posts as information sources, including and citing them in summaries at the top of the SERP. Results will likely favor well-researched, high-quality, creative content written by expert humans — not bots.
A word of caution, though: many media sources predict that AI faux pas will take some companies viral, in a bad way. Generative AI is notorious for doing weird things like giving images of humans too many fingers. You probably don’t want your company to be the one with the year’s creepiest Super Bowl ad. On the other hand, the name recognition could still be a big win for your brand.
No matter the tech or the platform, customers expect a whole lot more from advertisers than they used to. They want unique, tailored experiences throughout every stage of their buying journey. They want to shop from and work with brands who share their most important values. But most importantly, they want brand voices to be relatable and authentic. So no matter what new tools you try, remember to stay true to your mission and authentically connect with your customer.