Out with the Old: The Anti-Trends Shaping Your 2024 Marketing Game Plan

Near the end of every year, our team puts our heads together and takes a close look at marketing trends on the rise for the upcoming year. A sneak peak into the future, you might say, to give you a leg up on your marketing strategy before the clock strikes 12. 

But this year, in addition to talking about what you should make room for in your marketing strategies for 2024, we wondered: what about some of the things you should be leaving behind – and what should you be doing instead? 

So for the first time ever, our team sat down and considered….drum roll, please…..the Anti-Trend! 

What’s an anti-trend? That’s what we’re calling all of those previously accepted marketing strategies or trends that are fading, declining, or disappearing altogether in 2024 and beyond. Some trends, like the major rise of video over the last 10 years, never go out of style. And some trends, like flash-in-the-pan social media platforms (RIP Google+, we hardly knew ye), just don’t age too well. 

So what are some of the marketing strategies and trends that may not make it to this time next year, and what approach should you take to replace them? Let’s take a look:  

On the decline: organic reach on Facebook & Instagram

If you feel like your organic reach on social media has been on the decline in recent years, it’s not just in your head! The days of being able to organically reach most or even some of your followers on Facebook are nearly behind us. Although posting for free on Facebook or Instagram can still help reinforce your brand and enhance your search engine rankings, proactive reach, engagement, and lead generation across Meta is increasingly pay-to-play. The social media algorithm increasingly favors organic posts from users over Business pages, and sponsored or promoted posts from Business accounts over organic content. 

Our approach: In addition to having a strong social media advertising strategy, this is also why brand ambassadors are so important. Users who love, support, and champion your business will help push you through Meta’s complex web of visibility and make sure that your content is seen far and wide (or at least as far as Zuck will allow). Not sure how to turn your most loyal customers and clients into long-lasting brand ambassadors? We can help! 

On the decline: X/Twitter

The latest user stats suggest that social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is seeing a downturn in both active users and advertiser spend. With 15% drop in monthly users as of September, they also had a whopping 54% nosedive in advertising come August 2023 compared to the previous year, as major brands and businesses pulled out after several Elon Musk-led controversies over the last year. 

Our approach: Before you send X into exile, this is not a call to abandon ship! X still has a loyal user base, and certain demographics remain hooked and fully present. It’s all about knowing your audience and understanding where and how to reach them. So, we’re definitely not erasing Twitter from our social media playbook, but we are advising you to evaluate your social media marketing strategy for 2024 to be sure you have a well-rounded presence across a variety of platforms – so that even during a downturn, you maintain a strong digital audience base. 

On the decline: Covering your shared posts & Reels with stickers in Stories

Ever found yourself lured into clicking on a video or tuning into a podcast, enticed by a title that promised something revolutionary or life-changing, only to discover it was more smoke and mirrors than substance? If so, welcome to the world of clickbait – a trick we’ve all fallen for at least once. One of the ways you might be participating in a clickbait scheme without even realizing it is through Stories. A common practice used to be sharing their latest post or Reel in the stories, covered by a sticker enticing people to read now/tap here/click to reveal. It’s like a déjà vu of clickbait! We’re not quite sure when the trend of trying to outsmart our audience with sneak peeks became a thing, but we don’t love it – and audiences don’t either. 

Besides being inauthentic, it’s a risky game that can actually backfire on your engagement. If someone feels duped into clicking on a reel only to realize it’s not what they signed up for, they’ll swiftly bail, and that’s not doing your engagement any favors – in fact, it might be doing the opposite, hurting your numbers by telling the algorithm that your content isn’t interesting or engaging enough to stick with to the end. It’s a clickbait conundrum we could all do without, and can definitely leave behind in 2023.

Our approach: Instead of sharing your already-posted Reels to your stories, try uploading the video directly to your Story so that your audience can watch the full content without ever having to click away. It prevents you from falling into a click-bait trap, and helps your valuable content be seen by as wide array of people as possible.

On the decline: Being too niche on social media 

Just like how audiences are becoming more fluid with their interest, creators should follow suit and avoid being too niche on social media. This does not mean abandoning your niche/industry completely but being open to exploring new avenues of content/collaboration in other areas. Top creators and brands are crossing industries in a way that stays true to their values while also providing interest to current and new followers. Some of our favorite examples? The NFL’s collaboration with Taylor Swift, Red Bull’s partnership with GoPro, and SKIMS’s partnership with the NBA. 

Our approach: To defeat this anti-trend, be open to new and authentic opportunities that will not only help your brand grow, but your audience as well. Flexibility is key in adapting to the ever-changing interests and preferences of your audience, and being too niche may hinder your ability to pivot when necessary. Striking a balance between specificity and broad appeal allows your business to resonate with a diverse audience while maintaining your own unique and authentic brand identity.

On the decline: Third-Party Scheduling Tools 

It’s time for businesses to reconsider their reliance on third-party scheduling tools, like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer, for several key reasons. The first is that these tools might not fully align with the unique features and algorithms of each social media platform. Native scheduling options provided by platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter often integrate more seamlessly, so that your posts are instantly optimized for each specific environment. Additionally, these third-party tools often don’t get immediate access to the latest platform updates, leading to delays in incorporating exciting new features or changes.Lastly, using external scheduling tools might result in a loss of visibility, as some algorithms (we’re looking at you, Meta!) prioritize content published directly on the platform. Authenticity and engagement can also suffer when automation is overused, potentially diminishing the personal connection between your brand and your audience. 

Our approach: With LinkedIn now offering in-platform scheduling features, this is a game-changer that demands a shift in strategy. When it comes to Reels, the magic lies in the manual touch. Posting them manually gives you access to in-app features like captions and music, which Instagram prioritizes when done through its platform. And of course, customizing content for each specific platform is not just a suggestion but a golden rule in the contemporary social media landscape. 

Now that we’ve told you what’s on the decline, how about what’s on the rise? We’ve got a full list of up-and-coming marketing trends for 2024, from AI and influencer marketing to minimalism and Instagram ads. To make sure you have these top trends including your marketing strategy for next year, check out our companion blog here

As you consider how to implement these recommendations and what to leave behind in 2023, our team is here to help you with your digital marketing efforts and ongoing strategy throughout the year. Reach out to us today to make sure you get on the right path, and stay there!

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