By Eigen Escario
The world of digital marketing is a rapidly evolving landscape that continuously analyzes and integrates consumer information and trends into more effective models for large companies and smaller businesses. With the prominence of social media in driving consumption, Jen Riley, Senior Lecturer of Marketing at Vanderbilt Business, discusses 3 effective strategies for digital marketing in 2024.
Video & Short-Form Content
In the age of TikTok and oversaturated content, Riley points out the decreasing consumer attention span and its impact on the most effective format for video marketing.
“Digital marketing as a whole is leaning heavily into video and short-form content as attention spans continue to decrease,” Riley says. “Company metrics need to gauge what’s engaging consumers; for example, if 50% of the people that view my content also share it, the probability of those people buying a service or product mentioned increases.”
The rise of video content also touches on the role of Artificial Intelligence in creating compelling content for consumers. Although there is no definitive expectation that AI applications will yield significant outcomes for video creation, Riley says that strategies continue to develop.
“Artificial intelligence is expediting everything, whether it’s on the research side or ideation process,” Riley says. “There’s a lot of different ways to utilize AI, and I definitely see people trying to leverage this technology to keep up with video content creation.”
User-Generated Content & Product Listings
Content creation has been increasingly accessible to consumers who highlight a product or service with their self-generated content, whether it be videos or reviews. Riley sees the integration of user-generated content and product listing as a potentially effective digital marketing strategy moving forward.
“With the rise of short-form video, we’re seeing its connection to e-commerce platforms as an emerging field,” Riley says. “I think it’s interesting to look at how digital strategies mirror the way companies change the monetization of different types of commerce, whether it be social commerce versus e-commerce versus mobile commerce.”
This phenomenon has manifested in different ways, whether it’s Amazon product reviews or TikTok shop listings on For You Page videos. These mediums are particularly attractive because consumers are exposed to other consumers who are testing and recommending these products and services.
“Going back to the point about influencers, the reason that they are so successful in the marketing landscape is because people will trust another person before they’ll trust a company,” Riley says. “The research supports this idea, and I think we’re really seeing that in execution now.”
The Rise Of The Influencer
With the rise of streaming that disrupted traditional marketing channels like commercials, more people are consuming content and information through social media. However, there is a shift in the public perception when it comes to trusting companies versus individual influencers.
“Influencers and the act of individual people on social media influencing consumer decisions is really on the rise,” Riley says. “The idea of F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) and its role within our current society impact how influencers are driving heavy consumerism.”
A significant demographic targeted by this development is Gen Z, who are more engaged with personalized content and interesting experiences. Increasingly, campaigns that are becoming more effective are grassroots as Riley explains the evolving idea of the influencer.
“The statistics tell us that Gen Z is less materialistic and they want more experiences,” Riley says. “I also see a lot of experiential influencers emerging on the scene, which are not necessarily celebrity-level influencers, but local, smaller-scale influencers that interact with brands and influence the consumer buying process.”