Two women stand in a clothing shop and look down at a smartphone. The woman on the left has long blonde hair and is wearing a light blue button-up shirt. She has a tan handbag over one shoulder. She is holding the smartphone and pointing at something on its screen. The woman on the right has long, dark hair and is wearing a pale gray sweater. She has a black handbag over one shoulder and she looks down at the smartphone with a smile.
Marketing in 2024 will continue the trend of utilizing social media and online search to reach consumers. — Getty Images/Tom Werner

In recent years, small businesses have significantly adapted their marketing strategies to keep pace with emerging technology. According to a recent Taradel marketing report, 94% of small businesses are planning to increase their spending on marketing in 2024.

But what trends will small businesses spend these funds on? Here are seven ways the marketing industry is shifting in the new year and what small businesses are focusing on.

[Read more: Digital Marketing Trends for Businesses to Try]

Generative AI-based marketing

Small business owners should adapt their content creation, posting methods, and platforms due to Search Generative Experience (SGE), which is marking a change in search engine optimization (SEO) dynamics.

“Google’s new SGE changes the SEO landscape, and for small business owners, this change means that they will have to change the way their marketing content is created, how it’s posted, and where it’s posted,” said Stefan Campbell, Owner of The Small Business Blog. “SGE will be mostly AI-based, so small businesses may find that, since SGE will collect simple keywords and content and collate when a user performs a search, they have a better chance of making it to the top of Google when they present simpler information. Anything more complicated may not be located, grabbed, and featured in snippets.”

‘Minimalist’ marketing campaigns

Embracing simplicity when creating ads will help small businesses stand out at a time when most companies are creating extravagant ads, according to Alex Mastin, CEO and Founder of Home Grounds. In a “minimalist” approach to marketing, a coherent design and consistency across small details become crucial for audience engagement.

“You can still get your message across with a simple marketing approach — something that spreads your business’s message without being too overwhelming or overstimulating,” Mastin told CO—. “When you’re designing new content, I recommend choosing a color scheme and sticking to it. Same with a font, because when you’re using a minimalistic style, cohesiveness, connection, and small details will make all the difference to your audience.”

Personalized, interactive content

Another key trend in the upcoming year will be personalized, interactive content, which will build stronger connections between consumers and the brand.

“In 2024, the most impactful marketing trend for small businesses is personalized and interactive content. Engaging consumers through tailored experiences fosters a sense of connection,” said Sameera Sullivan, CEO of Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers. “As the small business landscape evolves, the integration of virtual and augmented reality will revolutionize customer engagement, creating immersive brand interactions.”

You can still get your message across with a simple marketing approach — something that spreads your business’s message without being too overwhelming or overstimulating.

Alex Mastin, CEO and Founder of Home Grounds

Integrated online and offline marketing efforts

Small businesses will benefit from an omnichannel approach in 2024 by integrating online and offline marketing efforts for a seamless customer experience.

“If you're running a Facebook ad campaign, ensure it's aligned with your in-store promotions or email marketing,” Sergey Solonenko, Founder and CMO of Algocentric Digital Consultancy, explained. “Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to track customer interactions across different channels and tailor your marketing messages accordingly. This approach is crucial, especially with the evolving email marketing landscape.”

Social listening

Because of how much time consumers spend on social media, social listening and selling are becoming more popular in the marketing sphere.

“Social media is highly emotive so there is more context on the source of ideas, complaints, purchase behavior, and macro/micro trends,” said Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls. “Using social listening, you can isolate the data you care about and watch for short-term indicators around consumer research to help identify actionable opportunities early.”

[Read more: Social Media Marketing Tools for Business]

Animation marketing

While visual elements like images and video have been trending for years now, Ray Pierce, CEO and Founder of Zippycashforcars, believes animated elements will become more popular in 2024.

“By animation, I mean that whenever you visit the website, the animations will interact with you through guides and tips, creating awareness about the brand, helping you sign up, and so on,” he explained. “This way, the customer gets engaged, and the company will get better retention and customer engagement. This can be done through tools and software, and there are tons of companies that provide this service.”

Native advertising

Native advertising is a strategic marketing approach that seamlessly embeds persuasive ads within platform content. Small businesses can prioritize this strategic marketing approach to ensure a smooth user experience, which can ultimately boost engagement and foster connections with audiences.

“[Native advertising] ensures a non-disruptive user experience while harnessing the power of contextual relevance,” said Gideon Rubin, CEO and Co-Founder of YourIAQ. “It only enhances engagement, establishes a more authentic connection with audiences, and increases the likelihood of conversion.”

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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