In our fast-paced digital age, businesses have to continually evolve their strategies to engage with audiences—and branded content is a pivotal tool in this effort. With every single company out there in the running to capture people’s attention, creating a strong brand identity is crucial to standing out. Nowadays, consumers are spoiled for choice, so it's up to your branding expertise to make your business the best choice around.
Branded content speaks volumes about who you are, what you're offering, and why people should want it. It’s more than a unique name, a pretty logo, and a catchy tagline. It’s about defining the qualities you want people to associate with your brand, like quality, trustworthiness, innovation, and convenience.
Here are the top branded content trends we expect to see in 2024!
Breaking tech barriers left and right, AI has become an integral part of content creation. Thanks to its capacity to analyze large volumes of data and make predictions about relevant material, AI is a supercharged personalized content-creating machine.
AI can analyze images and videos to categorize content, detect objects, recognize faces, and determine sentiment. Similarly, AI-powered audio analysis tools can transcribe spoken words, recognize emotions, and identify audio patterns, aiding in content optimization and targeting.
It’s seriously changed the game for creative professionals, becoming a tool to generate reference imagery and guide their processes. Not only is AI changing what content you see, it’s changing how people make that content, too.
Short-form video content had its moment, but long-form is back!
One of the primary reasons for this revival is the brand-to-consumer connection. People love to get invested in a good narrative or thematic series. If you don’t believe us, then explain why some sappy TV shows run for 20+ seasons.
Whether it’s podcasts or videos, the key to long-form content is establishing your brand as a reliable source of information. Put in the effort to create amazing videos that teach people things or open their eyes like never before.
Branded content in 2024 is going to be all about simplicity. Sure, dipping your content in glitter and neon will surely get attention, but can it keep that attention?
Less is more. Minimalism isn't just a trend; it's a lifestyle. If you can incorporate it into your brand's identity, your target audience is bound to recognize its value.
Hard-hitting simplicity—not to be confused with yawn-inducing disinterest—gets your message across quickly and effectively, and that's what you are looking for. This goes for any visual content used on your website, ads, and in your social media posts.
Gone are the days when people wanted picture-perfect images that were worthy to be a default screensaver. 2024 will be the year of fast editing, breaking the fourth wall, and a generally unpolished aesthetic. This shift can be attributed to several factors that have reshaped the way content is perceived and consumed online.
Consumers gravitate towards visuals that seem more natural and relatable versus visual content that is overly edited, planned, or rehearsed. In an era of curated social media feeds and meticulously edited images, users appreciate glimpses of real, unfiltered moments that showcase genuine experiences and emotions. Many brands and content creators will prioritize a less polished style to align with these evolving aesthetic trends, reflecting a sense of authenticity and genuine storytelling.
In 2024, branded content needs to work on all platforms—better yet if it’s uniquely tailored to them. If you want to maximize reach and engagement, you’ll need to adopt platform-specific best practices.
Visuals, for example, should be adjusted for what works best on various social media platforms. Lazily copying things across platforms is so 2023, people. Consumers’ expectations are higher, and brands are going to be taking their attention to detail to another level in 2024.
Multi-platform optimization is the key to a winning content strategy.
Any list of branded content trends for 2024 would not be complete without immersive experiences via virtual and augmented reality. No matter the industry of your business, you can leverage VR and AR to build unique experiences for your customers.
Immersive brand storytelling using AR and VR is driven by the desire to offer unforgettable experiences, differentiate brands, showcase products in a virtual space, and harness the potential of cutting-edge technology to engage and resonate with a modern and tech-savvy audience.
High-quality content doesn’t just tell the story; it shows the story.
When content resonates with a person's interests, behaviours, and demographics, they are more likely to engage with it and find value in the experience. If something is made just for you, it instantly upgrades its value, doesn’t it?
In 2024, expect branded content to feel more curated than ever. Hyper-personalization allows for a customized user journey. Content can be created and sequenced in a way that aligns with an individual consumer’s preferences and needs, optimizing their overall user experience.
There’s immense power in making someone feel as if something was created just for them, and we expect to see a lot of that going forward.
There are billions of mobile devices out there. That should come as no surprise considering most of us have become nearly symbiotic with our phones and tablets. You’re probably reading this on your phone right now, aren't you?
With that in mind, we expect brands to focus on creating more mobile-first photography and videography in 2024, largely influenced by the advanced capabilities of smartphones. Rather than large-scale productions designed to be watched on giant screens, social media platforms are optimized for mobile viewing, encouraging creatives to tailor their visuals for mobile screens. Content creators can capture moments anytime, anywhere right on their phone, eliminating the need for specialized equipment.
No organization wants to seem like they’re into the copy-paste lifestyle. As such, we expect to see plenty of custom art, illustrations, and animation in 2024.
Oftentimes, high-end cinematography comes across as stock footage (even when it isn’t and your people worked hard on it). Animation allows for unlimited creativity in storytelling, design, and visual effects. It can bring any concept, no matter how imaginative or abstract, to life without the limitations of reality—making sure your brand stands out as unique.
Inclusivity and diversity in branded content has been a growing trend in recent years, driven by societal changes, increased consumer awareness, and corporate responsibility. People genuinely care about these things—and rightfully so!
Today’s consumers—younger generations in particular—have high expectations for businesses to reflect diversity and inclusivity in their branding. Rather than just selling a great product or service, it’s about being authentic and socially responsible.
Representation in the media matters. Brands that make a genuine effort to be inclusive can connect more deeply with their audiences. And it’s easy to spot the ones who are doing it just to check a box.
We expect to see a lot of diversity and inclusion-focused content in 2024 and we’re super excited about it!
There you have it: 10 creative media trends we expect to dominate content marketing strategies in 2024 and beyond.
Branded content is no longer confined to conventional advertising; it has transformed into a dynamic fusion of creativity, technology, and audience-centric strategies. From the rise of hyper-personalization and immersive experiences to the seamless integration of mobile-first approaches and animation, brands are embracing innovative avenues to captivate and connect with their audiences.
As we move forward, the key takeaway is the emphasis on authentic, relatable storytelling that adds value to the audience's lives. And we want to help.
Contact us to get started!