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2024 Media Trends to Watch

2024 Media Trends to Watch

Exacta Media

Insights from the EXACTA Media team

Another year has flown by and we’re reflecting on the digital landscape over the past 12 months as well as looking ahead to 2024. That means it’s time for our trends to watch list!

In 2024, we’re anticipating a lot of digital media trends, several of which will revolve around the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. AI made an indelible impression in 2023, so it’s no surprise that ripple will continue to spread. Along with some widespread and platform-specific changes, we’re ramping up for a fast-paced year packed with digital marketing opportunities.

Here’s what we see coming in 2024.

Ad spending projected to increase in the U.S.
2023 has been a tough year for advertisers, but some good news is on the horizon. The U.S. market is expected to show growth in 2024, with ad spend projected to increase by 7.6%, hitting $326.7 billion and accounting for one-third of global spending. Worldwide, ad spend is expected to rise 8.2% reaching over $1 trillion. These numbers are a welcome beacon of light coming off several years of decline or slow growth.

Widespread changes are coming
When it comes to digital media, you’ll find there are widespread changes across the landscape in general, which will transcend platform or channel. Here are our top trends that will affect all digital marketing.

We’ve talked about the AI boom and how artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) are providing incredible technological resources and insights for marketers. Adoption and integration of AI technologies will continue in 2024, and savvy marketers will use the power of human intelligence to guide the process. This is true for both content creation and campaign tracking/decision making, particularly as consumers are hesitant to trust or engage with AI-generated content.

62% of ConsumersImage credit: Hootsuite

First-party data
With the third-party cookie already crumbling, brands need to think about how to collect and leverage first-party data. We’ll see a huge push in 2024 for brands to begin gathering and use this valuable information. Any brand that hasn’t begun thinking of strategy in this area is risking being left behind, so it’s time to get this at the top of the 2024 to-do list if it isn’t already.

Personalization and authenticity
These two are always trendy, but with so many AI and ML tools at our disposal, marketers will work this year to exceed consumer expectations for tailored experiences. This means tapping algorithms to deliver marketing and content, product recommendations and ads customized for each individual customer, and creating an overall brand experience that is authentic at each touchpoint.

Emergence of new ad channels
The digital marketing world moves at an incredibly quick pace, and 2024 will see the emergence of new advertising channels including voice assistants, virtual and augmented reality, social platforms and more. Marketers need to be on the cutting edge of technology, staying on top of each new advertising channel and determining if it’s right for our clients.

Specific platform and channel changes
Now we’ll get into some platform and channel changes. These are important to note, particularly for those platforms on which your brand purchases advertising or posts owned content.

Many brands might still be getting used to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) which was launched earlier this year. If you’re not yet taking full advantage of customized reports, predictive analytics and the numerous other updated tools, it’s time! 2024 will be a year of diving into GA4 and harnessing its full potential to bolster SEO and strengthen PPC campaigns.

Social media search is becoming an increasingly preferred type of search by younger internet users. With this in mind, Google is partnering with TikTok to deliver search results through the video app. Marketers need to make note of this for brands moving into 2024, particularly those that target younger generations who might be using TikTok in this manner.

“Okay, Google, look up voice search popularity.”
Voice search continues to grow, with Siri and Google Assistant dominating on mobile and more and more people owning smart speakers in the home. In fact, 45% of Americans used voice search to start an inquiry, with 58% of smartphone users employing the technology. This is the year to include language aimed at these types of searches (usually a question in a conversational style) when creating PPC campaigns.

Yahoo Search
Image credit: Search Engine Land

We could see a resurgence of Yahoo users in 2024 and the company has been teasing its return with fun social media posts. Yahoo Search is going to launch a redesigned experience with AI features and possibly a reskin for a better user interface. Marketers should keep an eye on this as some marketing dollars might need to be rerouted to Yahoo Search depending on performance, level of adoption and reviews.

So much is happening with Meta, it’s going to be a focal point this year for every brand. One of the biggest opportunities through Meta is for brands to engage with Advantage+, which taps AI capabilities to better attract and connect with target audiences including:

  • Image Expansion – Will enhance visuals using generative AI to optimize various aspect ratios for Feed, Reels, Stories, and more, giving brands the flexibility to use one single image for numerous channels/styles. Image Expansion is currently available for static and single ads on Instagram Feed, with more details pending.
  • Background Generation – Create numerous versions of product images by allowing Advantage+ to select different backgrounds to best highlight the product. This is currently only available to a select group of advertisers. We’ll be looking for more details on when Meta plans to expand access.
  • Text Variation – Generate up to six variations of the provided copy which will customize messaging to best connect with your audience. This feature will also highlight your brand’s most relevant comment and should be available to all advertisers Q1 of 2024.
  • Audio – Meta’s AI will match a royalty free song from its library that will resonate with your selected target audience. Marketers can also go in and select music based on mood, artist and more.

Additional AI implementations and video will also be part of Meta’s focus for 2024. The social media juggernaut will be using AI tools and recommendations to engage customers by serving Reels (videos) that will keep users on the platform. Short-form video (like those seen in Reels) remains hugely popular, so brands that haven’t started producing this type of content should consider doing so to keep up with the style of content customers are seeking.

If you haven’t noticed yet, AI is a huge trend this year and TikTok aims to capitalize on it with AI-powered text-to-video translation tools which will allow users to create and post videos totally created with AI as well as AI profile images. The platform is also planning to expand its chatbot which will help users with search, product discovery and finding content of interest.

Advertisers will want to make note that Snap will be testing new ad options for direct messaging which will facilitate a direct connection between users of the platform and brands. As Snap looks to diversify and expand its revenue streams, it will lean on its foundation (personal messaging) to entice brands to spend.

2024 trend watch is already underway
Some of these trends are even affecting brands and media planning now, and we’ll see them continue or grow in the next year. As always with digital media, there’s no doubt something new will pop up and take the landscape by storm. Our passionate team of digital marketers will be keeping on top of trends as they progress and develop. We’re anticipating a fast-paced and exciting year with lots of marketing opportunities.

Does your business need an agency partner? Learn how EXACTA MEDIA can help. We specialize in end-to-end media management from strategy through buy and optimization. Connect with our team of experts to learn more.

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