It’s going to be a busy year for marketing. The advent of AI continues to redefine how we create, deploy, and measure campaigns. Changes in consumer behavior require adjustments to content strategy. As big tech makes moves to protect personal privacy, marketers must reevaluate how they spend their digital ad dollars.
So many shake-ups might seem daunting. But this presents the perfect opportunity to update your marketing plan. Our marketing experts have identified the developments that are worth your institution’s time. Here are the top 12 marketing trends to follow in 2024.
1. AI integration
It isn’t just a novelty. Marketers across the globe have created real efficiencies with artificial intelligence. The benefits from AI will continue to grow as technology improves — especially for lean social media teams.
Caption generators turn simple descriptions into engaging, on-brand messages for the top social media platforms. Know what people really think about your brand, thanks to social listening tools that scour the internet in seconds. Rely on conversational AI to respond to followers while your institution is top of mind.
AI can be an incredible assistant. But humans still have to run the show. To realize the potential of AI for social media, make sure your institution has policies in place. This will help you avoid confusing your staff and frustrating your consumers.
2. Nostalgia vibes
Has a song ever sent you back in time? A few notes unlock fond memories of aimless weekends and endless summers. That’s the power of nostalgia. You might be surprised to learn that younger generations are feeling more nostalgic.
According to GWI, over one-third of Gen Z are nostalgic for the 90s — even though most members of this generation were born in the 00s. Considering the disruptions due to COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, it’s no wonder Zoomers long for a simpler time.
Brands can create a sense of comfort for younger consumers with lo-fi design and retro trends. But just because something’s old doesn’t make it gold. Focus on the healthier, positive aspects of the era in your posts filtered through today’s cultural lens of inclusivity.
3. Social search optimization
You know SEO has been important for your website and blog content. Now, you’ll want to apply search engine optimization tactics to your social media channels.
A 2023 HubSpot survey found that 31% of consumers use social media to find answers to their questions — and 29% of Millennials and Gen Z prefer social media over traditional search engines. As social media algorithms adapt to meet users’ needs, SEO will become an essential strategy to increase the reach of your posts.
Carefully written captions will become even more important. That’s just the beginning. Make sure to provide alternate text for any images you use and closed captions for videos. This has the added benefit of increasing accessibility. You can also optimize your social media profiles with relevant keywords and hashtags.
4. Partnering with micro-influencers
Social media is as pervasive as ever, and each year more people use it to help them make purchasing decisions. This has led to a rise in the number of influencers, as well as the number of companies paying for their endorsement.
You can take advantage of this trend by working with micro-influencers — they have smaller follower counts but extremely passionate fanbases based on specific interests. Their recommendations feel more personal and relevant, which can lead to more engagement. They’re also much more affordable.
A micro-influencer with a strong following in your area or focused on financial matters might be a more cost-effective option that can bring in new consumers — especially that elusive younger demographic.
5. Eliminating third-party cookies
Google plans to phase out third-party cookies for Chrome users in the second half of 2024. The process is underway with the rollout of Tracking Protection to 1% of Chrome users — a feature that blocks third-party cookies by default.
Third-party cookies let you learn about a consumer’s overall online activity, like which websites they visit, what caught their interest, and if they made any purchases. Google wants to protect this data as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative. That’s great for consumers but concerning for advertisers.
Third-party cookie data has fueled targeted advertising campaigns. If you rely on targeted advertising with third-party cookies, it’s time to update your marketing strategy. Luckily, the rise of a new model can help you overcome the loss of this data.
6. Programmatic advertising
Programmatic advertising uses automation and algorithmic software for media buying. No need to spend hours on proposals, quotes, and negotiations. Programmatic advertising analyzes consumer behavior to place ads where and when they’ll reach your target audience.
What does that look like? Spotify tailored ads to users based on their listening habits and music preferences, which led to higher engagement rates and a 20% reduction in cost per acquisition.
New efficiencies and real-time data empower marketers to personalize content and make faster decisions — so brands can raise awareness at scale. That might sound excessive (and expensive) for a local financial institution. But programmatic advertising is one of most cost-effective methods that delivers real results for businesses of all sizes.
7. Voice search optimization
According to the 2022 Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, 62% of Americans ages 18+ use a voice assistant and 35% own a smart speaker. It makes sense. How often have you had to go to war with clumsy thumbs and autocarrot just to send a text?
Increased adoption of this technology makes voice search optimization an essential component of digital marketing in 2024. You might already be following SEO best practices that can improve your voice search results — like practicing local SEO and using long-tail keywords. But there are nuances you should keep in mind.
People type queries (“coffee shop near me”) differently than how they ask questions (“What are some good coffee shops nearby?”). Include conversational phrases on your website that reflect how people ask and answer questions in person.
8. Video marketing
Video marketing has been on the rise for years and for good reason. It's an engaging way to convey messages quickly and effectively, which becomes more critical as attention spans decline in the digital age. Plus, including video content on your website can help boost your SEO.
Improvements in hardware and software make video production easier than ever before. Today’s smartphones can record video in 4K. You don’t even need the latest model. Social media platforms like TikTok have popularized authentic content. People will forgive a lack of polish if the content is compelling.
Video marketing expands the possibilities for brand messaging. Testimonials from borrowers who were able to buy a house or start a business pull on people’s heartstrings. Share clips of volunteer efforts and local events to show your community commitment. Help consumers manage their money with practical financial tips.
9. Audio advertising
As vital as video marketing will be in 2024, savvy marketers will invest in multiple channels for every step of the consumer journey. The evolution of audio advertising presents ample opportunity to create connections that drive real growth.
Radio has been the cornerstone of audio advertising for decades. But music streaming and podcasts let marketers reach even more members of their ideal audience. You can connect with consumers exercising at the gym, walking the dog, and doing chores around the house — not just driving to work.
Expanding your reach is just the beginning. With so many podcasts about such diverse topics, marketers can target consumers with laser focus. In-depth analytics provided by streaming services and podcasts give you greater insights to measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.
10. Digital out-of-home advertising
Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising takes OOH to the next level. Unlike traditional OOH investments, DOOH offers marketers greater flexibility to test, refine, and update ads. It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to edit a file than to replace a billboard.
DOOH advertising will continue to thrive in a world without third-party cookies. Targeting doesn’t require access to consumers’ personal data. DOOH leverages location, venue, time of day, and even dynamic factors like weather and traffic conditions to deliver relevant messages.
Marketers can incorporate DOOH into their programmatic advertising campaigns. Automation and real-time bidding help you increase the ROI of your DOOH spend.
11. Connected TV and streaming ads
Connected TV (CTV) advertising delivers video ads over streaming services to consumers’ smart TVs, phones, video game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. Do you see ads while watching Hulu? That's CTV advertising. And more streaming services are offering a low-fee subscription option that serves up commercials. It’s just like the old days of traditional television… except with much more precise targeting capabilities.
Instead of choosing shows that appeal to broad audiences, now you can segment audiences by education, income, personal interests, and purchase behavior, and more. This makes for a cost-effective option for smaller marketing budgets. Local brands can benefit from this by delivering relevant ads to specific geographic areas.
Television is a very personal medium. People are ready to kick back and relax and tend to watch CTV and streaming ads in their entirety. More effective targeting makes messages feel more personal. Don’t miss out on this growing avenue to connect with local consumers.
12. Real-world events and experiences
There’s no denying the past few years have driven a rapid migration to more online experiences. But after being cooped up for so long, “offline” events are making a real comeback. Consumers want to get out of the house, and you should be there to greet them.
Community financial institutions specialize in local service and are already in prime position to reach people in their local area. Having a booth at the farmers market, giving out swag at a music festival, or participating in a charity drive gets your name out there and keeps you top of mind.
The most engaging form of marketing is physically being where the consumers are. This is an opportunity to show consumers that you're about serving the community, not just getting their business. It also differentiates your bank or credit union from all the other ads they’re so used to seeing online.
Stay ahead of the competition.
Technology changes fast. So fast that the full effects can sneak up on us. Zoomers use TikTok to search for products while longing for an unplugged era. Powers beyond our control close access to tried-and-true practices in defense of consumer privacy. Tactics we took for common sense turn out to be wasteful.
Deciding which trends to follow and which to ignore can be exhausting. But overcoming these hurdles will pay off in the long run. Plus, if you choose to sit out the race, your competitors will gladly take advantage of the head start.
You don’t have to go it alone. Kasasa’s marketing consultants have been building effective campaigns for community financial institutions for years — creating practical plans that turn impressions into deposit dollars.
If you want support with developing your marketing strategy, or if you’d just like to learn more about what 2024 has in store, contact us to schedule a free consultation.