The marketing industry is more dynamic than ever, with new trends emerging all the time. That means traditional marketing strategies may no longer appeal to modern consumers. In short, your marketing strategies need to evolve with your customers.

In 2023, the digital marketing landscape witnessed a lot of new trends from the rise of video content to the use of automation to boost marketing campaigns

Now, thanks to the unstoppable rise of AI, 2024 promises even greater changes for brand awareness, lead generation, and customer engagement processes.

To help you stay ahead of the competition, I'll unravel five inbound marketing trends to watch out for in 2024. But first, let's level-set about what inbound marketing is.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a strategy that aims to attract high-quality leads by sharing information and creating content that resonates with your target audience. It's like putting bait on a hook and focusing on organically bringing leads in, instead of reaching out to them.

Consumers are constantly searching the internet for products and services that can solve their problems. When you consistently post content that's tailored to their specific needs, you pull them in until they can't help but buy from you.

Here are some examples of inbound marketing strategies:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Webinars
  • Online videos
  • Comment marketing
  • Infographics
  • Social media marketing

This marketing strategy is not only helpful in attracting new customers but also in increasing your customer retention rate

Now that we’re clear on the basics of inbound marketing, let’s discuss the top inbound marketing trends you should be aware of in 2024.

Now that you know the fundamentals of inbound marketing, let's delve into the top trends to expect in 2024.

Trend #1: Continued popularity of short-form video content

Videos are one of the most popular types of content today, and when it comes to inbound marketing, marketers have found ways to incorporate videos into blog posts, testimonials, and much more. In fact, nearly 90% of marketing professionals surveyed by Wyzowl agreed that video marketing helped them generate leads.

However, with consumers’ attention spans becoming shorter by the day, it's important to keep videos snappy. That's where short-form videos come in.

Short-form videos have been trending on platforms like Instagram and TikTok for a few years now, and they’ll continue to thrive in 2024. So, why not try incorporating some of the trending types of short-form video below into your marketing strategy?

  • Animated explainers
  • Product teasers
  • Customer testimonials 
  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Upcoming event teasers
  • Highlights from past events

Trend #2: More focus on personalized content

One of the pillars of inbound marketing is using search engine optimized content to draw users to your site and ultimately convert them to buying customers. From guest blogging and email marketing to social media content, the opportunities are almost endless.

However, you have to ensure that your content is relevant, of high quality, and up to date. Plus, as search engines and consumers become smarter, you have to consistently create content that caters to more specific customer segments.

With the development of big data and AI, it's becoming easier to deliver content that closely matches individual preferences. Therefore, in 2024, businesses will tend towards creating more personalized content.

You can also expect a trend toward hyper-personalization based on individual users’ preferences. For instance, personalized content can suggest summer jackets to a consumer. However, hyper-personalized content will suggest a specific color, style, and size based on their browsing behavior, previous purchases, and the weather where they are.

Trend #3: Focus on social media search optimization

Over the years, digital marketers have focused on optimizing websites to rank high on search engines like Google. They’re now applying the same technique to social media posts. That’s because social media is regarded as the new search engine, especially for the younger generation. 

According to a survey carried out by Her Campus Media, more than half of Gen Z prefer TikTok to Google when searching for products or relevant topics. 

So, how can you take advantage of this rising trend? Well, to boost the discoverability of your social media posts, it’s vital to use relevant keywords, hashtags, and descriptive data. 

Choosing the right channels is key. Hubspot’s Social Media Trends 2023 report showed that Instagram (27%) and Facebook (23%) had the highest return on investment (ROI) for organic content.

That’s not to say that Instagram and Facebook are the best platforms for every business. What works for you will depend on your target audience, so make sure you keep an eye on each platform’s performance to see which ones drive the best results. This way, you can concentrate your efforts on a handful of key platforms, rather than trying to master them all and spreading yourself too thin.

Trend #4: The rise of nano-influencers 

While influencer marketing is nothing new, a new breed of influencers is emerging and changing the landscape.

Known as nano-influencers, these smaller, niche influencers have between 1,000 to 10,000 followers. They post content about a limited range of topics that resonate with their audience’s interests. Needless to say, they have considerable influence over their loyal followers.

You need to follow the right process to work with these influencers, first setting your goals before reaching out to the personalities who will help you reach a specific target audience. For instance, Daniel Wellington, a Swedish watch brand, collaborates with fashion and lifestyle influencers with a small but dedicated following to save marketing costs.

Instagram post showing a watch on an immaculately manicured hand.
Image via Instagram

Trend #5: Increased popularity of live podcasts

Podcasts are gaining massive traction. Unlike many other types of media, podcasts offer a platform for discussing niche-specific topics in exciting ways.

As an added benefit, most people who listen to podcasts are loyal. Having such an engaged audience makes it easy to build trust and convince prospects to become customers. One study found that 97% of podcast listeners in the US have taken action based on podcast ads.

Besides the traditional podcast ads, hosts will integrate programmatic ads into live podcasts in 2024. In this case, the prerecorded ads will play dynamically based on the behavior of the listeners.

Streaming podcasts to a virtual audience in real time will also become a hit in 2024. Live podcasts allow the audience to be heard and engage with their favorite podcasters. The best part? As these podcasts aren’t edited, the authenticity of the content shines through, making it all the more trustworthy

Better yet, if you're not ready to launch your own podcast, you can partner with hosts who’ll do it for you. 

Final thoughts

As we look to the year ahead, one thing is certain: The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing. If your organization isn't prepared, you may find yourself scrambling to catch up.

The trends I've outlined here are only the tip of the iceberg, but if you harness them properly, they might just help you stay ahead of the curve and maximize your ROI.