When it comes to marketing, the only constant is change.

Because every year brings shifts in tactics, trends, and consumer buying habits.

Which means the only way for your local business to thrive is to keep your finger on the pulse of local business trends.

But don’t worry — we did that part for you.

Here are the biggest local business marketing trends for 2024.

1. Customer experience expectations will spike

Believe it or not, high-quality products and services aren’t the only thing customers are looking for these days — they want more than that. When a consumer enters your store, visits your website, or places an e-commerce order, they expect a seamless customer experience. With dozens of local businesses to choose from, they’ll patronize the ones that set themselves apart by offering an exceptional experience.

Your marketing should reflect this 2024 business trend, too.

Here’s how you can provide the best possible customer experience across every stage of the buyers’ journey:

  • Incorporate personalization: Consumers want to feel like more than just a number — and they want you to feel like more than just a business. By sending personalized emails, using location-based marketing tactics, providing custom product recommendations, and more, you can provide a more meaningful customer experience and boost loyalty.
  • Leverage an omnichannel marketing strategy: Ensure that your customers can interact with your brand on- or offline by embracing traditional and digital marketing channels, such as social media, digital ads, events, and direct mail. Meeting customers where they are offers a level of convenience while expanding your reach.
  • Elevate your website: Your website should load quickly, be easy to navigate, and look visually pleasing to keep customers on your page.
  • Implement chatbots: AI-powered chatbots are a good way to provide consumers with personalized support that gets them the answers they need faster.
  • Invest in stunning POS materials: Point-of-sale displays provide an engaging in-store shopping experience by presenting products in an eye-catching and exciting way.

2. More businesses will use micro-influencers

More and more businesses are discovering that micro-influencers are great for boosting awareness, engagement, and sales at a fairly affordable cost (at least compared to working with, say, Kylie Jenner). These social media influencers have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, typically within a highly targeted geographic area.

When using micro-influencers to promote your brand, it’s important to choose creators whose audience and expertise are relevant to your industry. For example, you wouldn’t hire a gaming influencer to promote your new line of non-stick cookware. It would make more sense to partner with a food or lifestyle influencer whose audience looks to them for advice on those topics.

3. Generative AI is in

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, this 2024 local business trend probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Artificial intelligence is bigger than ever — and business owners have begun recognizing its potential to make their lives easier.

(And no, it’s not going to take your job. Pinky promise.)

Generative AI, in particular, has skyrocketed in popularity. These tools create high-quality content in seconds when prompted by the user. By implementing generative AI tools into your marketing strategy, you can produce content in seconds, including:

  • Emails
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Review responses
  • Press releases
  • Ad copy

That means no more spending hours writing marketing copy. With generative AI, you can dedicate your time to higher-priority tasks.

4. Social media ad spend will increase

In 2024, having a social media presence is basically a non-negotiable (if you want to see results, that is). That’s because 67.1% of the world’s population is on social media — which means a good chunk of your target audience is on there, too. As a result, businesses are increasing their investment in social media ads and will continue to do so in the future.

Want better-performing paid media ads? Hyper-local social media marketing is the answer. This strategy focuses on targeting individuals at the device or household level rather than by region, city, or zip code. As a result, you can better appeal to your target audience, resulting in better engagement.

5. TikTok marketing will continue to grow

If your business still isn’t on TikTok, it’s time to create your account. Why? Because 2 out of 3 TikTok users are likely to make a purchase while using the app — and this trend doesn’t look like it’s letting up any time soon.

So, unless you hate making sales, we suggest hopping on the TikTok train, like, yesterday.

Here are a few ways you can increase your chances of conversion through TikTok ads:

  • Feature popular songs: By implementing trending music into your ads and posts, you can boost visibility.
  • Include your logo: Add your logo to your TikTok ads to put your business top of mind while driving purchase intent.
  • Create product demonstrations: Showing how your products work through demos increases awareness by 64%.
  • Use hashtags: Using popular hashtags can boost your content’s visibility.
  • Post multiple times a week: Brands that post at least twice a week see 129% greater purchase intent.

6. SEO will be more complex

Google recently kicked its AI model into high gear with Search Generative Experience (SGE). When a user enters a search query, the generative AI technology provides a summarized response by compiling information from its database.

Screenshot of Google's generative AI overview response to "how to brew coffee"

For web users, SGE is great.

For marketers, not so much.

Because Google has begun providing searchers with direct, concise responses to their queries, the likelihood of users clicking on site links has gone down significantly. And fewer clicks mean fewer conversions.

But the good news is, if Google uses information from one of your web pages in the AI overview, it’ll list that page as a reference — and position 0 is a great place for your content to be if you want clicks. But to get there, your content needs to be better optimized than ever.

Consider reevaluating (or establishing) your SEO content strategy to make a greater impact.

7. Sustainability will take priority

These days, consumers care where their products are coming from. As climate change continues to persist, people are becoming more aware of how their decisions impact the environment — and businesses need to do the same.

Sustainability and environmental consciousness have become key considerations for consumers when making purchasing decisions. In fact, 62% of consumers are willing to change their buying habits to minimize their environmental impact, and 50% will even pay a higher price for sustainable products.

To give your company an edge over competitors, consider implementing more sustainable processes, materials, or products into your business. If you already use sustainable practices, make your efforts known!

Here are a few ways you can shout your environmental responsibility from the rooftops:

  • Create a page on your website dedicated to your sustainability efforts
  • Post about your sustainable achievements on social media
  • Use in-store signage to showcase eco-friendly products and processes

8. User-generated content will boom

If you haven’t heard of user-generated content (UGC) by now, you’ve definitely encountered it. UGC refers to any customer-created content that promotes a brand, such as:

  • Testimonials and reviews
  • Social media posts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Blogs

So, if you’ve ever read a Yelp review or watched a TikTok creator gush over their favorite moisturizer, you’ve seen user-generated content.

Companies that leverage UGC in their marketing can expect excellent results this year. Studies show that 83% of consumers are more likely to buy products from brands that share user-generated content. So, if you get a positive review or find your business tagged in a social media post, consider referencing it in your marketing!

Streamline your local business marketing with expert support

Now that you know the biggest local business marketing trends of 2024, it’s time to get to work.

Want expert assistance? BrandMuscle helps over 1.5 million local businesses streamline their marketing with a complete ecosystem of solutions.

Get in touch with one of our experts to learn more.

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