The content marketing landscape is extremely fluid. The industry is constantly in flux, which means the challenges marketers face are a moving target, too. A recent study from Content Marketing Institute found that marketers are currently facing three serious challenges: creating the right content, creating consistent content, and differentiating content.
If content marketers lean into the emerging trends and strategies that will shape content marketing in 2024, we may have a chance to overcome these challenges.
In 2024, you should expect content to reflect an unprecedented level of creativity, innovation, and efficiency. While this is largely thanks to AI, it will also result from immersive technologies like VR and AR, strategies that make use of gamification and educational content, and efforts to integrate environmental sustainability initiatives into organizational messaging.
With the ability to quickly generate entire articles with a single prompt, AI in content marketing will permit people to flood the internet with content at a rate we’ve never seen before. For a piece of content to have any chance of cutting through the noise, it will have to include at least one of the following, no matter what platform it’s published on:
• Complex datasets.
• A compelling personal story.
• A personalized, interactive experience.
• A convincing opinion on a topic that directly impacts the target audience.
Another anticipated content marketing trend will be virtual and augmented reality becoming more mainstream. This type of technology will play a bigger role in providing immersive user experiences that ease consumers’ minds during the buyer’s journey.
We expect to see more try-before-you-buy AR apps that allow people to try on clothing or see objects inside their spaces before they purchase them. Interactive 3D advertisements will likely also become more mainstream, offering an engaging user experience that is truly unique.
Real-time feedback and gamification will help drive content marketing results, too. Incorporating reward systems, scoring, and more interactive content will help draw users in and improve the buyer experience.
This could look like interactive infographics, challenges, and quizzes like our Content Marketing Assessment to build brand loyalty and customer engagement. Live Q&A sessions, polls, and other real-time customization tools can also help encourage engagement and feedback. These interactions aren’t just for B2C brands on social anymore — B2B brands have started testing out these tactics, and this will likely become more commonplace in 2024.
Educational interactions will always play a vital role. Content that teaches people how to solve problems and provides invaluable insights, directions, and information will continue to be the core of why we engage with content in the first place.
Marketers can’t forget that core foundation. Search engines certainly won’t. Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines, for example, favor content that shows expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness — qualities that always describe original, well-researched information.
Finally, sustainability and social responsibility will continue to play significant roles in content marketing in 2024. One 2023 study found that almost 70% of global consumers place more importance on sustainability than they did just two years before.
This figure isn’t lost on big brands: Whether it’s the Super Bowl commercial by Hellmann’s about minimizing food waste, Ikea’s visible attempts to make its offerings more eco-friendly, or Timberland’s “Nature Needs Heroes” campaign, there are countless examples of companies leaning into green advertising to show consumers that they’re trying to make things better.
Brands must be able to effectively incorporate these values into their content marketing strategies authentically to build trust and foster a loyal customer base. But remember, consumers can tell the difference between marketing ploys and authentic practices. It’s vital to communicate true values and ensure your brand engages in operations that accurately reflect them.
Readers can feel the authenticity when powerful storytelling is central to the content and brands are transparent about their progress with sustainability or social change. To accomplish this, you can bring your brand advocates into the experience by incorporating user-generated content. All these practices can help establish thought leadership and build further loyalty.
As you’re planning your content strategy for the next season, reflect on whether any of these trends could add a spark to your campaigns. Because consistent, thoughtful content is the expectation today, taking on a trend with intention could help you shake things up.
Before your brand tries something new, prioritize continued learning and skill development so you can be confident in the resources you need and the outcomes you can expect.
These brands are putting out great resources to make content marketing better for everyone:
• Intero Digital (We would be remiss not to include ourselves here!)
But remember: Don’t stray from your data analysis process. Before going all in on a trend because of a hunch, do what marketers should do best: Test and review the data. High-performing pages and campaigns should be prioritized over checking off a box for what is trendy.
It is time, however, to go all in on integrating AI into your processes, planning, and content creation. Whether for blogs, emails, or social media posts, there’s a good chance you’ve used ChatGPT to create written content. You may also have used Bard to enhance your research; Beautiful.ai to improve your presentations; or DALL-E, Lumen5, or Adobe’s AI services to streamline the creation of high-quality visual content.
All of these tools are changing the way we do things, and that’s unlikely to stop being the case any time soon. The more comfortable you get with these support systems, the more time you can spend dreaming, enhancing, and analyzing — things there never seem to be enough hours in the day for.
With all the changes sweeping through the marketing industry, one thing is for sure: There will be fierce competition at every turn. It is vital to consider how these trends in content marketing can impact your potential customers’ experience and bring measurable content marketing results to your brand.
I'm the president of Intero Digital's Content & PR Division. Intero Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency whose Content & PR Division helps businesses improve their lead generation, SEO, sales enablement, and thought leadership — all powered by content marketing and PR.