2024 is expected to be a crucial year for digital marketing. The Professional Services industry is expected to face several challenges as they navigate the predicted changes for the digital marketing landscape in the New Year:
Incorporating language into digital marketing content that mirrors natural speech patterns will be key for Professional Services to adapt for the increasing popularity of voice search As consumer preferences shift towards more ethical and sustainable practices, Professional Services brands might struggle to communicate these values to their target audience as part of their marketing strategy Integrating social commerce platforms into their strategy may pose a challenge for Professional Services, as these platforms are currently more geared towards selling products rather than services. That being said, moving into 2024 with a strong marketing strategy that considers these challenges, and takes into account the following predictions, will likely lead to a year in which Professional Services brands will continue to thrive!
1. 2024 will revolutionise the way we search “Search has expanded far beyond traditional search engines. More people are using YouTube, voice search, TikTok, image search, etc. as ways of finding information. They can even gather large amounts of data from other social media users with tools like the Instagram question box so you can get recommendations from people that have made similar purchases or experiences. These kinds of ‘real world’ recommendations may be seen as more useful as they come from other users and not a biased brand.” – Sarah Macklin, Click Consult
Voice search is predicted to escalate in significance in 2024. Due to this evolving method of search, it becomes crucial for Professional Services to optimise their online presence for voice queries, ensuring easy discoverability by potential clients. It is crucial for Professional Services to incorporate long-tail keywords and phrases in their strategy that mirror natural speech patterns. This entails tailoring website content, blogs, and other online materials to align with colloquial expressions and diverse linguistic styles associated with voice interactions. Prioritising investment in local SEO is vital, considering that voice searches often involve location-based queries.
The use of generative AI tools presents an opportunity for Professional Services to automate routine tasks, enhancing efficiency and elevating the overall customer experience.
Adapting to these evolving trends is essential for Professional Services to maintain visibility in an era where search extends beyond traditional text-based methods.
2. Changing consumer preferences will impact brand messaging “Today’s audience, armed with a wealth of information about global cultures and perspectives, seeks brands that align with their ideals and actively contribute to positive change.” – Julie Sowa, Managing Director, Click Consult
For years, the driving force behind consumer purchase decisions lay in weighing up the differences between quality and price; but in 2024, it is predicted that we will see more consumers taking into account factors such as brand values, company position on sustainability, and increased concerns about data privacy before making a purchase.
To align with these shifting preferences in 2024, Professional Services have the opportunity to exhibit their dedication to inclusivity and ethical standards through concrete actions. Law firms, for example, can demonstrate their commitment to equality by providing pro bono services to underprivileged communities.
Addressing data privacy concerns involves the implementation of strong cybersecurity measures and transparent communication of privacy policies to your audience, and potential clients.
Engaging with the community can be achieved through knowledge-sharing initiatives like free workshops or webinars, not only showcasing the firm’s expertise but also contributing to the local professional development.
3. Social media will become the new PR platform “As we approach 2024, social media is not just a channel for brand visibility, it’s emerging as the new digital PR platform.” – Lara Harding, Senior Content & Social Media Marketing Executive, Click Consult
The Professional Services sector requires a strategic adjustment in their digital marketing strategy, to accommodate for the growing significance of social media as a digital PR platform. The industry will need to rethink how service-oriented businesses oversee their online presence.
Effective reputation management will become essential, with an emphasis on adeptly responding to user-generated content. This may involve highlighting success stories, sharing client testimonials, and transparently addressing any negative feedback.
Professional Services can leverage social media as a means for client engagement, brand awareness, and maintaining a positive online reputation. This, in turn, can significantly influence their capacity to attract and retain clients in 2024.
4. Paid Media channels will continue to expand “I predict that we will see a continued rise of ‘new’ paid media channels. TikTok will continue to grow in popularity and available volume – but we are also expecting (hoping) the advertising interface to take on a step or two allowing for even more tactical targeting on the platform.” – Will Dixon, Head of Paid Media – Click Consult
Following the success of Netflix’s ad-supported tier, causing other similar platforms to follow suit in 2024, the continued popularity of video-first social media platforms, and the rise of Connected TV (CTV) – the platforms available for paid media are only going to grow in the New Year.
Professional Services can explore CTV as a strategic platform to launch a sponsored thought leadership series; through the development of thought-provoking and informative content relevant to their industry, Professional Services can use CTV to effectively connect with a more engaged audience. This approach involves carefully selecting CTV channels that align with business-related content, ensuring that the sponsored series reaches a target audience interested in the specific services offered. This allows Professional Services to establish a meaningful presence, developing trust and recognition with viewers and potential clients alike.
This strategic use of CTV enables Professional Services to leverage the visual and interactive nature of the platform to convey expertise, ultimately solidifying their position as leaders in their specialised areas.
5. AI will redefine digital marketing “AI-driven Augmented Reality will transform how brands engage with audiences… with its ability to merge digital and real-life experiences we will see an unprecedented level of customer engagement.” – Sarah Boyd, Content Marketing Manager, Click Consult
In 2024 Professional Services firms should incorporate AI technology into their digital marketing strategies to maintain a competitive advantage. Augmented Reality (AR) can be particularly beneficial to provide clients with interactive visualisations, presenting tailored solutions and simulated scenarios. This application can involve showcasing data visuals and illustrating proposed strategies within a real-world context. Furthermore, AR facilitates virtual walk-throughs of projects, offering clients a tangible preview of architectural designs or anticipated process improvements.
These immersive experiences play a pivotal role in engaging clients, making the services more compelling and significantly enhancing the potential to secure their business.
6. Social Commerce will be the new way to shop in 2024 “Social commerce is stepping up big time. We’re not just talking platforms anymore; it’s about turning everything into a shopping opportunity. It’s this whole blend of content and commerce, making it feel like you’re not even shopping—just living an experience. It’s not just clicks; it’s a whole new way businesses are getting us to buy without even feeling like we’re buying”. – Andrew Smith, Marketing Director, Click Consult
Professional Services might struggle initially to adopt social commerce platforms into their strategy, as currently this is used more for selling products rather than services. However, with the potential for social commerce to expand to CTV channels in 2024, the Professional Services industry has the opportunity to integrate this as a strategic channel for captivating clients. By infusing interactive elements into television programs, they can go beyond traditional advertising to provide simulations or illustrative examples of the outcomes that their services deliver. This innovative approach transforms the viewing experience into an interactive journey, offering a preview of the value and benefits clients can expect from their services.
7. Video content will continue to dominate “There’s likely to be more of a shift towards video content by advertisers. User behaviour has been moving towards video for a while, and now with Google launching Demand Gen to compete with the more visual social channels, there’s more opportunity to target users through video. Despite this, video creation is still something a lot of businesses struggle with, making it a big opportunity for those that do create high-quality video ads.” – Tom Reynolds, Senior Paid Media Executive at Click Consult
From the enduring popularity of short-form videos to the pivotal role video plays in advertising strategies, video content stands to maintain its reign as a dominant force in 2024.
Live streaming presents an array of opportunities for professional services to broadcast behind-the-scenes glimpses into the day-to-day operations, interactive webinars, and real-time problem-solving sessions. By adopting this approach, professional service firms not only humanise their brand but also establish a strong authoritative presence in their respective fields by giving audiences an authentic and unfiltered look at their expertise.
Summary & final remarks The marketing landscape of 2024 is set to undergo a transformation, driven by several key trends in technological advancements and shifting consumer behaviours. Harnessing the potential of these trends is not just a matter of survival, it is an opportunity for Professional Services brands to thrive and differentiate themselves in a competitive market.
For more information on how the emerging trends are predicted to shape the search landscape in 2024, download our latest guide “Expert Digital Marketing Predictions for 2024”