What’s in Store for Brand Marketing Strategies in 2024?

As brands get ready for a new year, there is certainly a lot to think about. Recession is still here, consumer preferences are growing complex by the minute and AI is taking over your job (not really, but you get the point). In terms of marketing, there are a number of areas brands should focus on if they want to drive profit and deliver exceptional experiences. The latest report by Emplifi reveals its top social media predictions for 2024 which highlights a strong tie between marketing and customer experience teams based on insights from thousands of global brands that use the Emplifi Social Marketing Cloud.

“In 2023, social media marketing faced unprecedented challenges due to the rise of ChatGPT, industry layoffs across tech, and major platform changes like Twitter's transformation to X and Meta's introduction of Threads. As brands navigated these disruptions, customer experience (CX) remains a crucial focus amid increasing consumer expectations. Faced with resource constraints, our marketing and CX teams are adopting more strategic, integrated approaches, leveraging shared tools to seamlessly blend marketing, commerce and support. We anticipate stronger collaboration between these teams as they adapt to the evolving social media landscape and the modern customer needs,” said Zarnaz Arlia, CMO, Emplifi.

Let's look at the six predictions for the new year.

1. Social shopping will become a crucial element of online commerce strategies

Social media plays a crucial role in strengthening a brand's eCommerce strategy in today's digital landscape. Consumers now use platforms not just for product discovery but also for making purchases. The key is to provide a seamless experience with essential content, like ratings and reviews, along with an intuitive in-app shopping process. As nearly 90% of consumers are influenced by reviews, incorporating authentic content, such as real product reviews and purchase links in the same social media post, can greatly enhance a brand's social commerce efforts.

2. Brands to adopt more messaging apps and chatbots to offer marketing and efficient 24/7 communication

As email effectiveness declines due to inbox saturation, over 50% of customers now anticipate responses within an hour on a brand's digital channel. To meet this demand, marketers and support teams are turning to messaging apps, where AI-powered chatbots and business tools in platforms like WhatsApp enable real-time and scalable customer engagement.

3. Customer support teams are moving to social platforms - that's where the customers are

In the digital and social age, consumers expect brands to go beyond marketing, seeking support and care on social media. With a growing number of inquiries on these platforms, customer support teams are integrating more social media tools and investing time in connecting with customers. Progressive customer care professionals leverage social media to enhance support strategies, leading to notable outcomes, such as a 40% drop in call volumes and a nearly 30% decrease in wait times for live agent assistance.

4. Both long and short video content drives higher engagement

Social video platforms like Reels and TikTok are gaining immense popularity, with Instagram Reels surpassing other content types and TikTok experiencing significant user growth. Brands, which once focused on short videos, are now finding success with longer formats ranging from 26 to 90 seconds. The crucial strategy is to identify the most effective content formats and channels for your audience. Experimenting with various video lengths, formats, and platforms allows brands to gain valuable insights into the video content that resonates most with their target audience.

5. Privacy-based marketing becomes a norm

Amid growing concerns about consumer privacy, marketers are prioritizing new approaches to understand consumer behavior. A recent Forrester Consulting survey commissioned by Emplifi found that 78% of marketing leaders view investing in technology for customer insights as critical, with 45% highlighting brand health as a key metric for marketing success. Utilizing social listening tools, which include sentiment analysis and the ability to track impressions, mentions, and social interactions, offers brands a comprehensive understanding of their customers and enables real-time brand reputation management. In the coming months, an increasing number of brands are expected to embrace social intelligence tools, leveraging these insights across the customer journey to enhance marketing and customer support strategies and fortify brand reputation efforts.

6. Generative AI apps and AI-powered tools will become essential to customer support

AI-powered platforms are revolutionizing customer care departments by enhancing efficiency. These platforms empower customer service agents to streamline interactions, automate routine tasks, and deliver rapid responses to common queries. With the capability to grasp context, sentiment, and customer histories, AI technology facilitates deeper connections between brands and customers. Notably, brands are achieving exceptional results, with AI-powered chatbots boasting up to 97% match rates in answering customer inquiries. As AI tools advance, there is a growing trend toward broader adoption by customer care and CX leaders aiming to achieve greater efficiencies throughout their organizations.

“With customer privacy remaining a top priority, we're focusing on social intelligence to gain deeper insights into their behaviors and preferences. This strategy enhances the customer journey while ensuring marketing tactics remain both innovative and privacy-conscious. It's a balancing act between leveraging cutting-edge technology and maintaining a human-centric approach," added Arlia.