TL;DR: We’re sharing our take on the top ten marketing trends to watch in 2024, plus a free downloadable report full of powerful insights and stats to power your marketing strategy this year and beyond.

Marketing as we know it is evolving at an unprecedented pace. From the rise of ChatGPT and short-form videos to the rapid fall of Threads and heavy social filters, 2023 brought major changes to small business marketing. As we venture into 2024, now is the time for small businesses to get ahead of emerging trends and understand where to focus their efforts for the best results. 

If you’re a small business owner or marketer, keep reading. We’re sharing our take on the top 2024 trends you should look out for with hot takes from Flodesk members and our team. And to help you achieve your best year in business yet, we’ve created a free downloadable report full of valuable insights and benchmark data you can leverage for your email marketing strategy in 2024. 

Small Business Marketing Trends Report 2024

Get powerful insights and email marketing data to fuel your marketing strategy this year and beyond.

Trend #1: Community-led growth

In an era where brand mistrust is at an all-time high, fostering meaningful connections with your audience is paramount. Community-led growth allows brands of all sizes to scale by investing in the people they serve, increasing referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. “What a customer says about you today is way more important than what you say about yourself,” says Flodesk Head of Community Natalie Franke.

The current challenge lies in community-building on social media platforms that often favor algorithms over authentic engagement. As a result, we expect to see more entrepreneurs reallocating time and resources toward other digital marketing channels this year, like email marketing. 

Email is the secret to deepening relationships and rallying your audience around your brand. Tech and YouTube educator LaShonda Brown says, “Use email not only to communicate value but to build community. Subscribers want to be included in your journey.”

Fostering meaningful relationships doesn’t have to be overly complicated or time-consuming—many small businesses leverage tools like ManyChat and Link in bio forms to instantaneously deliver value on autopilot while growing their community. 

Trend #2: Personalized AI

AI is seemingly everywhere. And in 2024, personalizing all AI-generated content with a human touch will be essential. Humans will always crave connection with other humans, so establishing trust and engagement with your audience demands that content feels human-first, not robotic. 

Web designer and educator Rosanna Clark adds, “In an age of AI-generated content where it’s never been easier to share ‘facts’ and ‘tips’ to your audience, your business NEEDS a real human feel and personality to stand out in 2024. Face-to-camera video content will show you’re a real human. But even if you don’t like being on video, you can personalize your content through sharing your own stories and personal anecdotes.”  

We don’t recommend looking to AI as an easy way out—instead, you should view it as a way to raise the bar and generate rich content worth someone’s time to read. Adapt AI-generated content to give it a flare of personal branding, authenticity, and fact-checking. This will help differentiate your brand from competitors and strengthen your online presence.

Trend #3: Unfiltered content and opinions

There’s been a growing shift towards raw, unfiltered content across platforms. Why? Because people are craving something real. No one has time to just be educated or marketed to—brands need to infuse entertainment and authenticity into their marketing.

We’ll continue to see more sass, wit, snark, and personality in the form of unpolished content, unpopular opinions, and unfiltered videos. “Super polished, curated content has definitely been on the way out in 2023, and I think we’ll see this even more in 2024—where more laid-back, informal content gets better engagement. Think: phone-captured pictures and videos, random memes, and rough ‘BTS’ over production-quality visuals,” says Rosanna.

LaShonda adds, “Customers are craving connection over curation. Content that used to be reserved for friends is a welcome breath of fresh air on the feed. Go live. Leave the filter off. Be you.”

Trend #4: Unconventional storytelling

Brand storytelling is a long-standing marketing trend, but we predict it will become the most essential component of marketing success this year. In 2023, we continued to see new storytelling strategies used across channels—from content creators starting a story mid-way through to hook viewers instantly to using multiple story arcs at once or sharing branded UGC content. In 2024, we’ll continue to see brands tap into diverse voices and turn everything we know about traditional storytelling on its head.

Flodesk Content Marketing Manager Jordyn Kerr says, “Stories make things stick. When people hear a story, they become psychologically engaged. Someone is way more likely to remember and connect with a well-told story than a marketing ad. That’s why we’ll see even more brands of all sizes and industries doubling down on storytelling in 2024.”

In an age of frequent misinformation, stories supported by social proof are more impactful than ever. Flodesk Social Media and Partnerships Manager Madeline Eddi adds, “People don’t trust brands anymore.” 

Storytelling can help you forge greater customer retention and memorability. By sharing case studies, customer results, UGC, and real stories, you allow people to see themselves in your brand and create an emotional connection.

Trend #5: The entrepreneurship era

Gen Z is revolutionizing career norms. According to Instagram’s report, 1 in 3 say the best way to achieve wealth is through self-employment. In 2024, we’ll continue to see a rise in entrepreneurship as younger generations pursue side hustles or ditch the traditional 9-5 workplace in favor of self-employment. 

This shift in the workforce could pave the way for a future in which small businesses and entrepreneurs dominate the world’s economy rather than big corporations. As fierce supporters of small business, that’s a world we’d love to see. 

Small Business Marketing Trends Report 2024

Get access to powerful insights and email marketing data to fuel your marketing strategy this year and beyond.

Trend #6: Social search and commerce

How consumers search and shop has changed. You no longer need a traditional website to build a profitable business—you can leverage free tools like social media, Link in bio forms, and landing page forms to reach new audiences and convert them into paying customers.

Flodesk’s Head of Community, Natalie Franke, says, “TikTok search is becoming Gen Z’s Google—younger generations are using TikTok as their preferred search engine. This means that small business owners need to optimize their content with SEO-rich keywords, including in the video content itself.”

According to Google’s internal data, nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers using TikTok and Instagram for search over Google. This new wave of search and e-commerce presents abundant opportunities for small businesses and solopreneurs to launch a profitable online business without investing the time or money needed to set up a website.  

Trend #7: Mass video repurposing

Video marketing is here to stay—and for good reason. 97% of marketers say that video has helped increase user understanding of their offers, while 76% say it has helped them increase sales and revenue. And last year, online videos reached an audience of nearly 92.3% of the world’s internet users.

While there continues to be high demand for short-form video content, like TikTok videos and Instagram Reels, long-form video content is making a comeback. To tackle both demands, we expect video content repurposing to be a growing marketing strategy across the industry in 2024. Rather than producing new videos for every channel, we’ll see brands getting creative with content repurposing by leveraging tactics such as:

  • Sharing duplicate short-form video content on Tiktok and Instagram
  • Creating more videos exceeding 30-second lengths across YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok
  • Producing shorter cuts of long-form videos to leverage across marketing channels

LaShonda says, “The demand for short-form content on YouTube will increase, so vertical content creators on Instagram and TikTok should start saving their content without watermarks and repurposing now.”

Trend #8: The ready-made revolution

Many businesses are time-poor and eager for quick results, with a growing demand for proven, template-ized approaches to growth. People are willing to pay for the foundational support needed to accomplish tasks with templates.

From website and social media templates to email funnels and everything in between, we expect an uptick in ready-made marketing templates in 2024.

Trend #9: Holistic brand experiences

The days of single-channel marketing are long gone. To succeed, businesses must create holistic brand experiences by leveraging omnichannel marketing strategies that serve their audience at every point in their journey—no matter what platform or medium their audience is engaging with them on.

Brand marketer and creator Taylor Loren says, “In 2024, we will see more SMBs invest in brand awareness and storytelling to reach their customers at multiple touchpoints through email, social, influencer marketing, events, and free content that provides value. But it’s not just about creating more content—you also need to be intentional about building the foundation of your brand and ensuring you have a strong point of view that you can clearly communicate to your customers and have them not only get it but love it.”

Small businesses will need to be increasingly strategic about each platform’s role in their marketing strategy and consistent in how they show up across brand touchpoints.

Trend #10: Hyper-personalized marketing

People no longer have the time or attention span to engage with irrelevant content—they want to receive tailored marketing specific to their interests, needs, and values. The easiest way to share hyper-relevant content is by growing a list of email subscribers and segmenting them based on their preferences. 

“Lots of brands focus on getting people to join their list without putting a lot of thought into keeping them subscribed when they’re signed up! This is where ‘relevance’ is key. Make sure your emails always contain content that is super specific to your target audience and their desires or needs, so it’s a no-brainer for them to open all your emails, remain a long-time subscriber, and become a loyal customer,” says Rosanna.

Hyper-personalize your marketing emails

Segmentation isn’t just great for improving conversions—it’s also crucial for maintaining your sender reputation. In 2024, email providers like Gmail and Yahoo are implementing new spam complaint rate mandates, making it essential for brands to share relevant content with subscribers.

Flodesk Lifecycle Marketing Manager Fer Villanueva adds, “If you’re going to focus on one thing in your email marketing, make it personalization. Focus on creating a connection and making your customers feel seen and understood.”

Small Business Marketing Trends Report 2024

Get access to powerful insights and email marketing data to fuel your marketing strategy this year and beyond.

As you dive into these trends further and prepare your 2024 marketing strategies, we’re sharing our first-ever downloadable trends report full of insights and email marketing data to help your business thrive in the year ahead.

Inside the free report, you’ll learn:

  • The best day to send an email
  • Open rate, click rate, and bounce rate benchmarks
  • How segmentation impacts open and click rates
  • Which opt-in forms convert best

And more. Click here to download your free copy of Flodesk’s 2024 marketing trends report.

This is your year to shine. We’re rooting for you every step of the way.