Trends and Possibilities for 2024

Trends and Possibilities for 2024

If I had written these lines a month ago, they would have been considered marketing predictions. The reality is that I have never been excellent at predictions and trends, and 2023 has starkly confirmed this: I have been so far from thinking that AI would be relevant in the past year – and I believe I wasn’t the only one. Overall, 2023 has served as a powerful reminder that some things, especially in the dynamic world of tech, marketing, and content, simply don’t follow a script. Instead of trying to read into crystal spheres, I decided to turn my attention to possibilities and emerging trends already reshaping the marketing and content landscapes. This is about identifying the building blocks of tomorrow, the things that might just shape the way we engage and connect in the years to come.

The road from 2023 to 2024

The marketing and content world has never been more dynamic. 2023 proved that, throwing predictions out the window and leaving us with a mix of disruption and exciting possibilities. One big theme for 2024 is the continued rise of AI. It’s already flooding the internet with content, some good, some… not so much. But here’s the exciting part: 2024 will be about finding the sweet spot, blending the efficiency of AI with the magic touch of human creativity. Think high-quality, engaging content that actually connects with audiences. Meanwhile, Google’s playing defense. With ChatGPT on the scene, the search platform is doubling down on user experience and diverse perspectives. No more one-size-fits-all search; expect personalized content that truly resonates. Read also: The AI Paradox: The Impact of ChatGPT on Content Marketing In addition, Google and other large advertising platforms will keep claiming credit for organic outcomes, de facto distorting the perceived effectiveness of paid efforts. Finally, as the scenario unfolds, B2B content creators take center stage, they become the architects of narratives that overcome mere information, providing audiences with valuable, engaging, and authentic content. 2024 is their time to shine, delivering valuable, authentic content that truly engages and connects. For all these reasons, 2024 emerges as a year of change, evolution, and, in a way, stabilization.

The Content Game is changing:

  • Content will become a commodity, but new treasures are emerging.
  • Outstanding content is the new gold.
  • B2B content creators rise: trust individual voices, not faceless brands. ️
  • Marketers will explore beyond tired do dedo platforms, and find their new content avenues.
  • Search gets immersive. Google & Co. swap dry answers for experiences, stories, and diverse perspectives.

Content will become a commodity but new treasures will emerge

Content will become a commodity. The rising tide of GenAI-powered content generation threatens to turn every platform into a sea of indistinguishable articles, blog posts, and social media snippets. Imagine a landscape with a tidal wave of information lacking authenticity and insights. The cost of generating content will decrease towards zero because of AI-generated content. We used to create content for commodity keywords manually. The way to get ahead was to have more writers on payroll. Now that AI can create commodity content in minutes and everyone has access to AI tools, the value of commodity content has gone from low to zero. As the cost of generating mediocre content plummets, so does its perceived value. But while mediocrity gets washed away, a new treasure island emerges: the rise of high-quality content.  In this new landscape, exceptional, insightful, and original work becomes the lifeblood of engagement and growth.  As the cost of crafting high-quality content might initially decline, there’s a plateau where its value not only holds but surges, becoming a beacon in the vast ocean of content. Human authentic experiences will gain value. Both will adjust to market requests and dynamics. Authentic experiences, told with the power of human creativity, will become the new currency of connection. There was a time where SEO and outbound strategies dominated. In a new world where AI diminishes their efficacy, what guides brands toward visibility becomes brand awareness which is pushed by impactful content. It’s not just about being seen anymore; it’s about being remembered, resonating, and building genuine relationships with potential customers. In this evolving landscape, true content value lies not in its quantity, but in its quality, its ability to cut through the noise and spark meaningful connections. The power of authentic, engaging narratives, crafted with a human touch, will always win over the tide of algorithmic mediocrity. We’re not drowning in content; we’re navigating a shift toward a curated ocean of treasures.

Focus on outstanding content

With 4.6 billion pieces of content being produced each day, the challenge of capturing audience attention has become larger than ever. And it’s just going to get worse with AI. This content tsunami presents a golden opportunity: to rise above the noise with outstanding content that truly connects. Based on Forrester’s 2024 Predictions: “thinly customized generative AI content will degrade the purchase experience for 70% of B2B buyers. On the flip side, marketing’s early experiments using generative AI will produce little more than simple vertical veneers, poorly personalized offers, or translations free of local nuance, frustrating B2B buyers already saturated in irrelevant content.” Forrester’s 2024 Predictions Forrester predicts that more than 70% of these buyers will voice displeasure about the material that vendors share. But let’s not dismiss AI entirely. Jon Miller, a known name in the content space, sees it as a valuable “co-pilot,” amplifying human creativity and strategic thinking. The true game-changer in 2024 won’t be mindless automation, but the intentional craft of exceptional content. “In 2024, our social feeds will be full of people posting a range of AI mishaps, from hallucinated facts to poor personalization to ill-timed offers.  While sometimes amusing, these will remind us that AI, for now, is better suited as a ‘co-pilot’ than ‘autopilot’, augmenting human skills and working in tandem with our creativity and strategic thinking.” Jon Miller, CMO, Demandbase Forrester’s predictions confirm the need of exceptional content as the way for the brands to stand out. This is where you come in. Forget keyword-stuffed articles and robotic blog posts.

Focus on what AI can’t replicate:

  • Emotional connection: Tell stories that resonate, spark curiosity, and tap into genuine human emotions.
  • Unique insights: Dive deep into your niche, offering valuable perspectives and actionable solutions.
  • Authentic voice: Ditch the robotic tone and let your brand personality shine through.
  • Personalized experiences: Craft content that feels tailor-made for your audience, not mass-produced for bots.

A few words about high-quality, high-impact, high-performance content

Ok, but… what truly defines exceptional content? With massive quantities of mediocre AI-generated content polluting the web, people will move their attention to content with personal stories, shareable experiences, interesting perspectives, and unique insights. Is this what we define as quality content? Quality is contextual. We might agree or disagree on the quality of a specific piece of content, and for this reason, we should clarify what the context is.

Quality is subjective, but the impact isn’t. 

High-performing content transcends information: it ignites emotions, prompts action, and delivers measurable results. This is where we move beyond “quality” and into the realm of high-impact content. Jay Acunzo, a respected voice in the content realm, defines high-quality content as high-impact content, where the impact is proportional to its value and originality. High-quality content will be insightful and will convey a personal perspective.

Key Pillars of High-Impact Content:

  • Personal Stories & Shareable Experiences: Human connection thrives on shared moments. Content that reveals vulnerabilities, celebrates triumphs and invites audiences it will stand out.
  • Unique Insights & Fresh Perspectives: Challenge the status quo, offer original viewpoints, and delve deeper than the surface. In a sea of sameness, unique insights are lighthouses that guide attention.
  • Impactful Delivery: Master the art of storytelling. Craft your message with emotional intelligence, ensuring it resonates deeply with your audience.

The strategic thinking, adaptability, and understanding of the target audience that humans possess contribute to the creation of content that performs exceptionally well. AI can play a supportive role in analyzing data for optimization, but the core strategy often originates from human insights. High-quality/high-impact content could be delivered by personalities we trust (see next paragraph – B2B creators). Read also: How Rock Content Team Uses AI

The year of the B2B creator

2024 will be the year of the B2B creator. The creator economy has been filled with consumer influencers and lifestyle brands, but now it’s shifting to the B2B domain. This is not just a temporary trend; it represents a big change in trust. People want to learn from, be inspired by, and connect with individual voices who offer expertise woven with compelling stories. It’s not just about marketing skills; it’s about sharing expertise and stories that resonate.

Social media platforms amplify this shift, their feeds flooded with the authenticity and relatability of individuals, leaving brand pages gasping for air. The verdict is clear: for B2B brands in 2024, a creator strategy is not just a nice-to-have, it’s an existential imperative. Marketers will start to embrace the humanization of B2B, unleash hidden creators, and watch their brands not just survive, but thrive in the age of genuine connection.

The search for new platforms

Web giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook built their empires on user trust and value. But as Cory Doctorow’s insightful term, “enshittification,” suggests, this often takes a dark turn. Platforms prioritize profits over users, leaving both consumers and businesses feeling exploited and trapped. Let’s begin with a definition. Here is how Cory Doctorow refers to the ‘enshittification’ of web platforms — including Amazon, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others: “First, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die. I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a “two-sided market,” where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, holding each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.” Cory Doctorow The question of whether this evolution inevitably leads to the demise of the platform, as suggested by Doctorow, remains a point of discussion. With recent and visible exceptions such as Facebook or X/Twitter, which many argue have entered a state of diminished utility. Look at Amazon. Initially operating at a loss, Amazon offered goods and services below cost, gradually expanding into a comprehensive marketplace. Over time, the platform underwent a fundamental shift, with search results influenced by paid placements, altering the user experience and raising questions about the platform’s original promise of being the “everything store.” Same with Musk’s X/Twitter, Inc., today a terminally ill platform, a terrible place to be whether you’re a user, a media company, or an advertiser. Read also: Is This the End of Twitter? What Marketers Should Know About Elon Musk’s Rebranding of Twitter as X This has significant implications for B2B marketers, as highlighted in Rand Fishkin‘s discussion with Justyna Brownbridge; Rand notes the tendency of advertising platforms to claim credit for organic outcomes, de facto distorting the perceived effectiveness of paid efforts. In response to these challenges, Rand recommends a strategic approach of “reinvesting paid content efforts in experimental channels.” This entails a departure from established platforms and a proactive exploration of emerging channels that may offer untapped potential. In light of the evolving landscape, it becomes imperative for B2B marketers to remain adaptable, emphasizing experimentation and a forward-thinking approach. The exploration of uncharted territories, as proposed by Fishkin, underscores the need for marketers to anticipate shifts in the industry and proactively seek new avenues beyond established platforms. In a world where advertising platforms seem to be on a one-way ticket to the dumps, let’s stay agile, experimental, and a step ahead.

From answers to experiences

The era of “just an answer box” is fading for Google. Sensing the heat from AI rivals like ChatGPT, the search giant is making a bold move: shifting its focus from answers to enriching experiences. This isn’t just about tweaking algorithms; it’s a fundamental change in how Google sees its role in the information landscape. Read also: Google Bard, Its AI Chatbot. What Will Be The Impact On SEO And Do dedo Marketing? Google is clearly threatened by ChatGPT as a pure answer engine. If users are going to ChatGPT to get answers to their questions, those are fewer sessions that they can monetize. Google, sensing the threat, is pivoting its strategy to retain user engagement by prioritizing experiences and personalization. The initiative involves a significant update to their E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) guidelines, placing a newfound emphasis on the real-world experience of content creators. An intriguing development is the introduction of the Search Generative Experience, powered by LLM (Large Language Models), a feature that seamlessly integrates a snapshot directly into search results. This enhancement not only alters the search experience but also aligns with the overarching shift towards content that prioritizes quality over quantity. Read also: Search Generative Experience: What Is It & How Does It Impact SEO Furthermore, Google has introduced “Perspectives” a novel filter that grants users access to curated content from diverse platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, TripAdvisor, and niche forums. This move signifies a departure from a solely algorithm-driven approach, recognizing the value of user-curated content in enriching search results. They feel that their indexation-based model can give them an advantage as they answer from real-world users. This is something that ChatGPT doesn’t have.

Google’s Perspectives

The paradigm shift towards experiential content becomes vividly apparent in June 2023, with Reddit experiencing a substantial surge in search result visibility. Monthly sessions skyrocketed from 69 million to an impressive 200 million. The catalyst? Reddit conversations transforming into invaluable repositories of real-life experiences, answering queries through engaging discussions.

Google’s pivot to experiences is more than just a tactical shift; it’s a prophecy for the future of content creation and do dedo exploration. The lesson is clear: content creators and marketers should recalibrate their strategies to align with Google’s prioritization of experiences. Content that not only provides information but puts together a narrative rich in real-world experiences stands poised to capture the attention of both search engines and users, defining a new era in content creation and do dedo exploration. In this new era, the key to success lies not in knowing everything, but in offering experiences that spark curiosity, deepen understanding, and shape meaningful connections.

So, how is Google responding?

  • E-A-T 2.0: Google’s core ranking criteria are getting a facelift. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness are now intertwined with real-world experience. Content creators with firsthand knowledge and unique perspectives will climb the ranks.
  • Search Generative Experience (SGE): Imagine search results infused with snapshots, live updates, and interactive elements. SGE leverages Google’s massive language models to weave information into dynamic experiences, blurring the line between searching and exploring.
  • Perspectives: Google throws open the doors to the user-curated web. “Perspectives” lets you filter results through diverse voices on platforms like YouTube, Reddit, and forums. This shift from algorithm-driven silos to community-powered insights adds a human touch to the search journey.

The Takeaways for Content Creators and Marketers:

  • Embrace stories and real-world narratives. Craft content that goes beyond facts and figures, offering insights and perspectives informed by your unique experiences.
  • Engage with your community. Build relationships with your audience on diverse platforms, not just your website. Actively participate in forums, discussions, and Q&A sessions.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Invest in well-researched, authentic content that provides genuine value. The age of shallow keyword stuffing is over.

Summary and Conclusions

Three powerful macro-waves are reshaping the contours of content creation and marketing, offering a roadmap for brands seeking relevance in an era dominated by AI and evolving search algorithms. The first underscores the challenge posed by the influx of mediocre content saturating the marketing space. The need for brands to rise above the noise becomes imperative.  This inundation needs a strategic shift towards high-quality content that not only captures attention but also delivers genuine value. Simultaneously, a second one unfolds in the space of search engines prioritizing engaging experiences and diverse perspectives over mere information dumps, with Google taking proactive measures to safeguard its territory against the rising influence of ChatGPT. The defense strategy is clear: favoring experiences and user perspectives. This marks a departure from the era of information abundance to an era where the quality of content, specifically its experiential dimension, is paramount. It’s not just about answering questions; it’s about providing insights, stories, and perspectives that resonate with the audience. The third is about large advert platforms and the chance for marketers to discover new avenue for what concerns content distribution. The indication is clear: the sweet spot lies in crafting high-experiential content, the kind of content that not only informs but immerses the audience in narratives, experiences, and perspectives.