Published on February 10th, 2024
One of the greatest factors in the success or failure of a business is its willingness to adapt.
Companies, and their people, need to be able to change with the times and the demands of their customers.
Another factor is knowing who those customers are and figuring out how to reach them.
The beginning of the year is an ideal time to try out new ideas in your advertising approach to find and reach your clients.
The better you get at that game, the more likely you are to thrive in your industry.
Here are a few ways to improve your approach to advertising.
1. Drop Cookies And Turn To Predictive Audiences
One new shift coming whether you like it or not is that cookies are fading away.
For years, you’ve been hearing about how cookies on sites are an invasion of privacy, and more browsers have started blocking them.
Still, many businesses relied on them to provide what they thought of as critical consumer information.
Cookies gather user information from websites and deliver that info to businesses.
Companies could then take that data and create large, sweeping advertising campaigns.
Now that Google has announced it will phase out cookies for Chrome users in 2024, businesses will have to innovate.
By far one of the best new approaches is the use of predictive audiences.
As opposed to data collected from cookies, this type of first-party, contextual data collection identifies your audience more effectively.
Modern machine learning now draws on analytics and algorithms so users provide consent, and businesses can speak more directly to engaged audiences.
It’s the difference between shouting your message to the entire world and having an enlightening conversation with an interested party.
2. Ensure Your Content Is Helpful
Another Google change important to business advertising is the recent Helpful Content Update.
Many businesses have been scrambling to figure out the role of blogs and web copy since the rollout back in September 2023.
Google has said on the topic that the recent update will not punish the use of AI tools but that the days of keyword stuffing have passed.
In short, the goal of blogs and web copy should be to actually provide helpful content.
This shift is a tremendous one for many businesses that once relied on keyword-heavy blogs to drive traffic to their sites.
Yes, you’ll still need to include keywords and key phrases your clients may enter into Google.
But, more importantly, you’ll need to ensure the blogs and other content you create genuinely relate to that Google search and answer the questions.
You can do this by first understanding your clients and their searches. Next, you’ll need to design engaging content that informs and educates those clients — basically, truly helpful content.
3. Don’t Fear AI
And don’t be afraid to use Artificial Intelligence! In the world of blogging and content creation, quite a bit of pushback has occurred over writers and content creators being replaced by AI.
The truth is that while AI can mimic human behavior, it is unlikely to ever be truly human.
It has no empathy, so it can’t appeal to audiences in fun and interesting ways the same way people can.
But, it can be an incredibly valuable tool to humans, saving you time and money.
This point seems to be the one Google is making in not punishing the use of AI tools.
Writers and marketing agencies can rely on applications like Chat GPT for outlines and insight.
It is here that AI excels — in the gathering of vast amounts of information that would take humans hours or days to collect.
Businesses would do well to trust their writers to use those tools for inspiration to generate fresh content.
It can be the best of both worlds from an advertising and marketing perspective.
4. Integrate, Or Increase, Video Content
While short and long-form blogs are not going anywhere, more consumers are turning to video for information.
It may be a result of shorter attention spans, or it could simply be that people feel more engaged, or some combination of both. But video isn’t a medium to be ignored.
Short-form videos, videos less than one minute long, allow you to get your point across quickly and in fun and exciting ways.
Again, integrating or increasing your video content doesn’t mean eliminating your written content.
Instead, you can build on your blogs and web copy by adding a quick video that sparks interest in the longer copy.
Sum up the information quickly in a fun video, and use it to direct engaged viewers to the blog.
Video should be a tool in your toolbox that can expand your audience and keep the clients you have excited about your brand.
5. Spend Some Time On Alternative Platforms
One of the benefits of video is that it allows you to explore new platforms. TikTok continues to grow in popularity at a rapid pace.
YouTube is still one of the first places people turn for educational content like how-to videos.
And while every platform isn’t right for every business, you should consider all your options. Audiences turn to different platforms for a variety of needs.
This means you need to know all three — your audience, their platforms, and their needs.
So, while you may not want to invest heavily in TikTok or Pinterest, for example, alternative platforms are worth investigating.
Try posting Instagram Reels, creating articles on LinkedIn, or including links to your site on X. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t spread yourself too thin.
You don’t have to be everywhere at once. See what kind of response you get and use insights to tell you how effective they are over time.
As cookies go by the wayside and audiences want a more personal touch, it can’t hurt to reach out in new ways and new spaces.
While each year offers a fresh new chance to find and target your audience, this year is an especially exciting one.
You’ve now got machine learning data, new tools for creating videos, new platforms to explore, and consensual data from clients.
These shifts mean you can be more helpful in your marketing and, ideally, be rewarded for it.
Your advertising approach in 2024 has the potential to discover who your niche customer base truly is. And once you do that, the sky’s the limit.