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  • Conor Mc Niffe

The Latest Trends in Digital Advertising

The digital advertising space is in constant growth and 2024 shows further progression. In the past year alone, digital ad spend globally has surged to over $600 billion, with projections to continue growing and reach $667.6 billion in 2024 and surpass $730 billion in 2025. This post will navigate the current and emerging digital advertising trends we recommend keeping a close eye on for 2024. We’ll explore how AI and automation are revolutionizing marketing strategies, the ever unyielding power of video content, and how data privacy affects targeted advertising, amongst plenty more!

1. Harnessing AI and Automation for Productivity Enhancements & Strategic Advertising

AI and automation stand at the forefront of the 2024 evolution of digital marketing, offering significant productivity enhancements. AI is already serving to allow marketers to focus on creative and strategic endeavors, reducing the manual burden of campaign management and optimization. Campaign creative ideas, graphic design, social post regeneration, blog titles, on-site SEO support, brand narrative crafting, video production, presentation optimization; the list is long and varied in terms of the potential AI tools can have for streamlining marketing operations. Encourage your teams to experiment and create a culture of collaboration promoting AI tools that are evidencing efficiency-gains for your business.

It is no surprise that all major digital platforms are integrating AI in their platforms, e.g. YouTube's integration of Dream Track for Shorts and Music AI tools or LinkedIn offering premium users AI-powered profile writing. On the paid advertising side, innovations stemming from AI were unparalleled in 2023, and expect further expansion in 2024. Learn more about the different digital advertising platforms available in 2024.

A noticeable paradigm shift occurred with Meta Advertising in 2023. Historically hailed for its granular targeting options, many verticals were stripped of this perceived luxury due to privacy laws mandating changes to the targeting options available in Meta Ads Manager. What was initially presumed to be a sharp deterioration to the power of Meta Ads proved altogether different; with less targeting options, advertisers put more faith in Broad Targeting (i.e. targeting by location only) leveraging Meta's sophisticated algorithms to secure prospects to advertise to, that are likely to be interested based on their demographic attributes, interests, and behaviors. At Seamount Marketing, we saw very strong performance for custom conversions across a significant scale of advertising revenue when targeting Broad Audience, to the point it replaced selective prospect targeting for many of our advertising partners. Review the ad types available on Meta Ads

One final point on Broad Targeting should you wish to test it for your business: it is imperative to underscore the significance of avoiding the reset of your campaigns to 'learning mode'. The learning phase is a period when Meta's algorithms are gaining insights from your campaign performance to optimize delivery. Resetting this process by making substantial alterations to your campaign can disrupt this learning and compromise the effectiveness of your broad targeting strategy. While minor tweaks are acceptable, significant changes, such as altering your ad creative, can reset the learning phase, leading to fluctuations in your ad performance. Avoiding major campaign changes ensures that your broad targeting campaign maintains its momentum, capitalizing on the knowledge gained over time to optimize ad delivery and maximize your return on investment.

2. Video Advertising in 2024

Video is not a new phenomenon in the digital marketing space however its growth projections and associated technologies continue to steer its course as a pivotal component of marketing. According to Wyzowl, 92% of marketers consider video an intrinsic component of their marketing strategy. What can we forecast with regard to video for 2024?

Cutting the Cord

The era of cable TV dominance has been gradually giving way to the emergence of Connected TV (CTV). As we move to a more digital age, viewers are 'cutting the cable', opting for a more personalized, ad-friendly viewing experience that CTV platforms offer. These platforms, delivering over-the-top (OTT) content, have transformed the traditional TV landscape, paving the way for advertisers to reach their audience in a more targeted and measurable manner. This shift not only indicates a change in consumer viewing preferences but also presents a unique opportunity for businesses to interact with their audience on a platform that combines the visual appeal of traditional television with the intelligent targeting capabilities of digital advertising. Expect to see CTV become a much more common marketing execution especially as major platforms increase their advertising yield with tiered membership advancements, e.g. Netflix Ad-supported Plans in Canada.

Diversification of Short Form & Long Form Strategy

The balance between short-form and long-form content will be a fascinating study from both the marketer and consumer behavior perspectives. Short videos, typically less than a minute long, are the lifeblood of platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. They thrive on the viewer's shorter attention spans, serving bite-sized entertainment that's easily digestible. Conversely, long-form content, often found on YouTube, allows for deeper storytelling and can build stronger emotional connections with audiences. These formats cater to different viewer needs and preferences, highlighting the importance of a diverse video strategy in digital advertising. Expect to see more proliferation of brands leveraging short video content for brand recall and longer form content for deeper audience engagement.

As video become more penetrated in your marketing arsenal, ensure you understand the nuances of crafting compelling video ads that influence your prospective customers!

More Live Streaming:

Live streaming on platforms like YouTube and Instagram has offered brands a unique avenue to connect with their audiences in real-time. These unedited, real-time videos can showcase behind-the-scenes peeks, Q&A sessions, or product launches, creating a sense of authenticity, transparency and togetherness that pre-recorded content often lacks. Live streams can also facilitate immediate interaction, further strengthening the bond between a brand and its audience. Furthermore, studies show that 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video to social posts. Expect to see more brands running live streaming video events in 2024 offering unique opportunities for authenticity and transparency that resonate with modern consumers.

3. Privacy Concerns Demand a Refined Targeting Approach

The evolving landscape of data privacy is marked by a heightened emphasis on user consent, transparent data practices, and the responsible handling of personal information. We expect 2024 to continue strongly in this fashion. Advertisers must adapt to a new paradigm where compliance is not only a legal requirement but also a crucial element in maintaining brand credibility. Transparent communication about data collection practices, providing users with meaningful choices regarding their data, and implementing robust security measures are becoming standard practices. Learn more about IT security and protect your online business with these steps.

4. Ephemeral Content and Stories: An Evolving Narrative

Ephemeral content, such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat, is rewriting the rules of engagement. These bite-sized, vanishing pieces of content offer a sense of urgency, prompting immediate response from viewers. For advertisers, this means a move towards real-time, agile content creation that echoes the day's pulse. It's the chance to showcase behind-the-scenes peeks, exclusive offers, or time-limited events, amplifying interest and driving action from an audience always on the lookout for novel experiences.

5. Cookie-Less 2024

The cookie-less future refers primarily to Google's aim to phase out the use of third-party cookies in the Chrome browser by the latter half of 2024. This forthcoming change in the digital landscape represents a fundamental shift in online tracking and advertising, requiring us to rethink traditional methods of measuring media effectiveness. New attribution models will need to be developed and adopted to accurately assess the impact of advertising strategies in a world without third-party cookies.

What should you be doing now in advance of this cookie-less future? Firstly, understand the implications of this change; educate yourself and your team about Topics API and other privacy-preserving technologies. Secondly, start testing and adapting to first-party data collection strategies immediately. Thirdly, explore and implement new attribution models. Lastly, communicate transparently with your audience. Enhance trust by showing them that their privacy is your priority.

6. More Marketing Allocation Toward Email Marketing

Email marketing has always been a reliable and direct method of communication, offering a high degree of segmentation and personalization, that few channels can match.

In a world moving away from third-party data, this direct line to customers becomes even more valuable. Moreover, as businesses likely face further economic pressures in 2024, the cost-effectiveness of email marketing becomes increasingly attractive. Recommendation: Invest time and resources into refining your email marketing strategies for 2024!

7. Virtual and Augmented Reality Ads: Engaging the Senses

Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies are tearing down the walls of advertising engagement. These immersive tools offer consumers a unique opportunity to step into worlds cleverly designed by brands, allowing them to not just witness, but to actively participate in vivid demonstrations of products and services. Whether it’s trying on clothes virtually, touring real estate properties, or interactive game-like advertising, VR and AR introduce a level of interactivity that’s leaps and bounds ahead of conventional advertising methods. Expect to see more penetration of VR/AR across major global brands and more infrastructure for SMBs to enter this space in future years.

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8. Chatbots Revolutionizing Customer Real-Time Interactions

Following on from 2023, we expect to see more utilization of chatbots across website, apps, and social pages for all manner of businesses. By fostering real-time communication, chatbots alleviate customer concerns promptly, improving customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Furthermore, their potential for personalized interaction enables an unparalleled level of customer engagement. Looking ahead to 2024, the prominence of chatbots is poised to surge even further due to ongoing advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, increasing the customization and efficacy of chat functions while reducing the cost to set up a chatbot. Expect enhanced customer satisfaction and better conversion rates from chat if transitioning to a chatbot (but keep in mind your overall traffic and whether or not it is a sound financial investment based on potential interactions!). Learn more about chatbots, their influence on lead generation and the challenges they present.


Each trend we've explored paves the way for a more connected, responsive, and immersive brand-consumer relationship especially through the expected transcendence of AI. At the same time, 2024 is expected to present formidable challenges for marketers with attribution models deprecating with the cookie-less future, Universal Analytics sunsetting, consumers expecting more real-time engagement and diversification of content. Remain agile, adopting and adapting to these trends to stay ahead in the game. As ever, digital marketing is a vast landscape for exploration and experimentation, of learning and harnessing the newest tools to craft strategies that not just reach but reverberate with prospective customers in your market. Keep informed, keep imaginative, and let the digital transformation shape not just your adverts but your ethos.

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