Preparing Your Online Marketing for 2024—and Beyond
What Does the Future of Digital Marketing Look Like?
As I’m going into my 10th year here at Alter Endeavors, it’s made me reflect on what’s changed since I started, what’s to come in 2024, and what the future looks like overall for digital marketing. I always joke that technology is similar to dog years in how things age, and looking back, maybe technology ages faster. Some of the main points of emphasis for our agency 10 years ago are now obsolete, and some were just the starting point.
Thinking back to 2014, here were the three main platitudes of Alter Endeavors:
- You have to have a central platform.
- If you build it, they will come.
- SEO and Social Media are not imperative, but they can give you a competitive edge.
I’ll address these quickly one by one based on where we’re at now, in 2024.
- Depending on the brand, a central platform is not always necessary but the exceptions are rare. We’ve seen brands use only social media as their platform but there are limiting factors and ultimately a ceiling to what you can achieve online in 2024 without a platform.
- In 2014, simply having a mobile website was good enough to get you positioned extremely well on Google. Not so much anymore. The way users engage with websites has changed drastically and the way Google’s algorithm ranks sites has changed as such. You can build the most functional, beautiful site in the world, but without being optimized for search, it might as well be a museum piece in 2024.
- One of our first clients at Alter Endeavors was ultimately a huge success because they recognized early that SEO and Social Media were the future of digital marketing and generating online leads. Fast forward to 2024, they were 100% correct. Their entire brand was built off social engagement, then maximized by making sure they owned every possible search term/result in their industry.
So where will we be in 2024? We now live in a world where 4 year olds can spend $400 online in 4 minutes… online behavior has changed. And fast.
Here are my three biggest factors to consider when preparing your online marketing for 2024:
- It takes an Ecosystem for your online and digital marketing.
- Proper SEO optimization is the new secret sauce.
- Your strategy must be driven by data, not by experience or “feel.”
So let’s dive into what each of these three mean to you and your brand when preparing your digital marketing strategy for 2024—and into the future.
It takes an Ecosystem for your online and digital marketing.
In 2014, one of my close friends ran a t-shirt company that absolutely crushed social media advertising. So much so to the point that their entire online lead generation was dependent on these ads, but as early adopters, they were able carve out a huge customer base and build brand loyalty.
This strategy, while effective 10 years ago, is now for the dinosaurs.
In 2024, your brand will have to utilize an omni-channel strategy with your customer base to drive consistent leads. Here’s an example:
An Instagram ad drives a user to your website where they learn more about your brand and sign up for discounts through your newsletter. Through a nurture campaign of newsletters educating about your brand, over time, the user eventually clicks a link on your newsletter and makes a purchase/fills out a contact form.
Brands sometimes confuse building a “community” with building an “ecosystem.” Building a community doesn’t equate to a sustainable lead generation strategy. Building an ecosystem keeps users and customers engaged with your brand in more ways than one.
Proper SEO is the new secret sauce.
In 2014, we had a battle of “black hat” vs “white hat” tactics. “Black Hat” SEO included tactics such as “keyword stuffing” or putting white text on white backgrounds to drive SEO results—and oftentimes it worked. “White Hat” tactics involved utilizing Google’s algorithm properly.
Well, maybe it’s not surprising that one of the largest companies in the world, and the premier online search engine, put a halt to the black hat actors.
The biggest pivot we’ve made in recent years (and into 2024) is to focus on making sure our client’s sites are optimized correctly for their target audience and focusing on high-quality content audiences actually want to read. General terms like “business coach” are not achievable for most folks, especially with brand-new websites. Instead, we’ve dialed in on identifying niches to make sure our clients rank for more specific yet high-value terms, such as “business leadership coach austin.”
As expected, a more niched down audience might not have the same quantity of traffic, but instead drives better results as you stand a better chance of actually ranking.
Your strategy must be data driven.
The days of developing a marketing strategy like they do on shows such as Mad Men are so far gone, it’s analogous to planning a cruise ship route with 1800s maps.
Data is everywhere now. Data on user behavior. Data on your website performance. Data on keywords. Data on your newsletters.
Your marketing strategy should utilize this data and build a roadmap for sustainable results, not rely on “experience” or “feel.” The tactics and strategies that worked in 2014 are most likely only somewhat relevant. Ten years ago, Tik Toks were something clocks did.
In 2024, use data to constantly refine and improve your marketing strategy. The data will always tell the truth. Here’s an example:
We had a client dead set on running extensive PPC ads to get a quick return. The data, when run by our team, showed that PPC ads would be cost prohibitive if we didn’t actually find a way to engage these users through ads.
Our plan of action? Lessening the ad budget, focusing on newsletters, focusing more on organic traffic, and now finding a way in the budget to get those short term results by building an ecosystem, optimized for SEO, AND using the data to find an opportunity in social media ads. That’s a mouthful, right? We were able to do a lot more—and see better results—for the same amount using a data driven approach.
Let AE Be Your Guide for the Future of Digital Marketing
In 2014, the online marketing world was still new and an uncharted territory. Fast forward to now, we have a much clearer understanding of how to use online marketing and digital marketing to drive more leads and sustainable traffic. While some of the concepts from 10 years ago are still relevant, your digital marketing ecosystem is likely far more mature.
If you feel like your marketing is stuck in 2014, or that you’re looking for 2024 to be the year your brand takes the next step, reach out to us today to schedule an exploratory call.
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