The Future of Digital Marketing and PR: Trends to Watch

The world of digital marketing is dynamic, multifaceted, and ever-changing. As a PR professional, it often feels like once you’ve mastered one skill, another swiftly emerges.

Although this constant change can feel daunting, the rewards of successfully implementing growing trends into marketing strategies are well worth the effort, offering heightened engagement, visibility, and an increase in ROI. 

To help you navigate this ever-evolving landscape, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite trends emerging within digital media. Here are the top 4 digital marketing trends poised to shape the industry in 2024.

Rise of Social Commerce

Social media platforms now enable users to shop directly from their feeds rather than resort to third-party websites to make purchases. TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are among the most popular outlets implementing this feature, allowing users to complete an entire transaction through a single platform in seconds.

But why would businesses encourage consumers to purchase through social media platforms rather than a tried-and-true website? You can reach a much wider audience of consumers by enabling in-app shopping, and this method eliminates the friction of navigating from site to site to make a purchase. Some brands even offer a “try-on” feature, where you can use AI to test how a makeup product looks on you or visualize home decor in your living room. 

More and more brands are leveraging social commerce to facilitate a direct and instantaneous shopping experience—and it’s working. In 2023, 53% of US shoppers aged 18-29 planned to use TikTok for holiday shopping, and according to Statista, the value of social commerce sales worldwide is expected to reach $1,698 billion in 2024.

Short-form Video Content

Now more than ever, marketers are seeing short-form video content as the preferred form of media online. This trend will continue to surge through 2025, where video content is anticipated to account for 82% of all consumer internet traffic.

The root of the internet’s new obsession with short, highly edited videos with quick frame changes stems from our shrinking attention spans. A study by Microsoft Canada highlights this shift, revealing that the average person’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 since the year 2000. Concise and engaging video content has the unique ability to maintain consumers’ attention for just long enough to establish the brand and its key messages.

Many brands utilize this skill through product demonstrations, testimonials, and teaser videos. Companies are seeing real value in short-form, branded video content to build brand awareness, seeing as 85% of brands planned to increase their TikTok spending in 2023.

Brand Podcasting

In 2024, many companies are strategically implementing podcasting into their brand messaging strategy. Notable brands like Trader Joe’s, Gatorade, Duolingo, and Blue Apron are leading this change, leveraging the personal nature of podcasting to better connect with audiences.

Creating a company podcast opens the door for the honest, authentic dialogue consumers crave. Witnessing these conversations takes away the distance and formality of the business-to-consumer relationship and feels genuine to listeners. Not only does this tactic build rapport and foster connection, but it also offers another medium for increased brand exposure. Podcasting can increase website and social media traffic and even offer an advantage with SEO.

Regardless of your size or budget, audiences who are passionate about your industry will tune in. You can share your “Why?” as a company and chat with your audience about the topics that matter the most to them. Podcasting offers an ideal platform for creating valuable content while simultaneously enhancing your brand’s visibility.

Podcasting is also relatively simple and cost-effective to produce. A few pieces of equipment and a genuine passion for your brand can take you far in the world of podcasting.

Micro and Nano-Influencers

There’s no question that influencer marketing has gained significant traction in recent years despite its substantial financial costs. Although recruiting high-profile influencers may seem ideal, companies are increasingly likely to partner with micro or nano-influencers instead.

Micro-influencers have 10- 100k followers on their social media platforms, whereas nano-influencers have fewer than 10k. These influencers are beginning to garner attention from online users searching for authentic and intimate content they can relate to. With a smaller audience size, nano influencers often spend more time nurturing their connection with their audiences, enhancing their reliability. This makes them particularly valuable partners for brands aiming to connect deeper with various markets.

Despite having smaller audiences than their macro-influencer counterparts, micro-influencers are proven to have higher engagement rates with audiences who fully trust their recommendations. For instance, on TikTok, micro-influencers have an average engagement rate of 18%, compared to just 5% for macro-influencers.

These content creators can reach their audience in ways that high-profile influencers can’t, offering unique opportunities for increased engagement and better results at a fraction of the cost. 

There you have it: four research-backed trends that are rapidly emerging within the digital marketing landscape. Incorporate these dynamic tools into your 2024 strategy to keep your approach focused, effective, and at the forefront of industry innovation.

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