As another year comes to a close, it's important to look back on all the changes and progress you made in 2023. However, it might be even more important to look forward to the future, and prepare for another year full of opportunity. During this time, tech savvy businesses like us enjoy planning and predicting what the upcoming year will hold. While we don't have a crystal ball, we do have keen insight and past data that can help us to, and determine the best course of action for your midwifery service.
Anticipating future trends is a vital part of any successful strategy. Whether you are making a birth plan or counseling an expectant mother, knowing what comes next is of vital importance. In an age marked by rapid technological advances, how your audience engages and reacts to just about everything is constantly evolving. Staying up to date with the latest marketing trends is crucial for any practice that doesn't want to be left in the dust. So, let's take a second to look at some of the quickest growing marketing trends, and how you can effectively implement them into your 2024 marketing strategy.
Artificial Intelligence: Making Your Practice Smarter
Let's start with the biggest change of all, the growing use of AI. Artificial intelligence has made great strides in recent years and will only continue to grow in new and exciting ways. We have all seen the amazing images created by AI art, but did you know even the big names like Google and Amazon also use AI on a regular basis? Human eyes don't read every social media post you make, every blog you post, or every change you make to your site. Instead AI “spiders” crawl through the web, linking the most important parts together in order to create a more comprehensive view of your total online presence.
However, AI is more than just a tool for the big corporations, even small, local businesses can benefit from their ability to rapidly analyze data and produce responses. Chat GPT and other AI software are quickly becoming mainstream for content generation across all industries, even birth services. However, it's important not to fall into the trap that ensnares so many businesses nowadays. AI writing is a tool, not a magic button that will produce award winning content with a snap of your fingers. Many search engines are trained to look for AI-generated content, and can even penalize your site for a lack of originality.
While everyone wants an easy win, you will still have to do some of the heavy lifting yourself. It's the personal connection that sets your practice apart from the others. That warmth and compassion is something no robot can reproduce. However, this amazing tool can certainly lessen the workload and act as a springboard to generate and combine new ideas.
Digital marketing is in a competition, every site is racing to be the best. Imagine if everyone in a race had a turbo button. If everyone used it, then it's almost like nothing changed, and the racers are still competing on equal footing. How you use your tools and your own skills still play an integral part in the success of any business, or any digital marketing campaign.
Personalization: Tailored Just For You
New technology isn't the only thing that has exploded in recent years. Nearly every industry has seen a rise in new businesses, new competition, and new challenges to grab customer attention. This trend isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, and 2024 we are expected to see even more aggressive marketing than ever before. One way businesses have cut through all the noise and glamor of their competitors is with highly targeted, personalized content.
While you personalize your care for each expectant mother, personalization in marketing means something else. It's a strategy that can be implemented to make your message more appealing to your target audience. Personalization takes on many forms, from adjusting content to match user preferences, editing the layout of your offers, making recommendations based on past search history, and even individualized calls-to-action. After-all, everyone wants to feel special, and personalization makes the customer feel like you truly understand them.
Personalization allows you to hyper-target potential customers by breaking up a larger audience into an audience of one. While this strategy has a much higher success rate, it's also a lot harder and more time consuming to implement. Without some additional software making the unique and individualized changes for each potential customer, you might find yourself doing a lot of tedious work. AI is amazing at auto-generating personalized content and offers. Which is why it's no surprise that the rise of AI has also led to a rise in personalization in the world of digital marketing.
Go Mobile, Or Go Home
It feels odd to say this, but you need a good looking mobile store or website. Being mobile friendly isn’t some new requirement for 2024, it's been the industry standard for over a decade. If you don't already have a website that is optimized for mobile viewers or has a responsive design, then you aren’t just behind the times, your site is ancient.
The digital world moves so fast that you either have to keep up with the latest trends and platforms, or you will be left in the dust. Technology that was new 10 years ago is considered old-school now. Today’s fast-paced and hyper-mobile lifestyle means more eyeballs on phone screens, less on computers, and even less on print and traditional media. Everything from your design, layout, UI, and software compatibility needs to integrate well on a mobile device. Even messaging has changed with Millennials and Gen Z responding better to texts than emails or phone calls.
The future of marketing automation is a mobile-first approach, meaning that some major players like Google are starting to consider a site’s mobile design to be more important than its web-based counterpart. It will be interesting to see how these trends sift in the upcoming year, and can spell disaster for businesses that don’t adapt to the times.
Video Marketing: A New Way To Express Yourself
Video isn't new, it's been around since the 1940s. What is new is the rise in video consumption, especially in the younger generations. While Gen Z might still feel like kids to you, it's important to note that many of them are entering adulthood and will be looking to start their own family very soon. In fact the oldest Gen Zs will be turning 25 this year.
Youtube has been popular for the last 20 years, and new short-form video apps like Youtube Shorts and Tiktok have recently seen a massive increase in views. The audio/visual appeal along with the rapid barrage of stimuli aligns perfectly with today’s dwindling attention spans.
On the bright side, these changes in technology and consumer habits have made producing video content easier than ever. Shorter attention spans means that shorter videos rank better. Which saves you time on script writing and video editing. Enhanced cameras mean that almost anyone with a smartphone can shoot professional quality videos anywhere, anytime. There’s also the rise of AI-generated videos. A new technology that's still not quite perfect, but should see some amazing strides forward in 2024.
The viral factor also plays a major role in how popular videos are becoming for new businesses. Even simple shots or an amusing voice line can go viral, skyrocketing your video to top of the ranks and spreading its message for millions to see. Something as cute as a newborn or as heartwarming as a mother’s smile is also highly shareable content. Unfortunately, the rise in self-made videos also means a lot more competition and it can be difficult to get your entire message across in a quick and concise manner.
Voice Search: You Speak it, We Sell It
Virtual assistants also saw a significant rise in 2023, and are expected to continue to grow in the upcoming year. Many of these products such as Amazon Alexa and Google Echo are making their way into homes across the US. One amazing feature of these assistants is that they are operated almost entirely via voice.
While voice search functions similarly to the old typed-out method, you will want to optimize your content for natural language patterns if you want to stay ahead of the curve. Voice search also has its own unique rules for featured snippets and local search results.
Consider how you speak, I bet it's different from how you type. Optimizing for voice search goes beyond standard SEO practices. In order to be successful with voice search, you will need to understand the conversational nature of voice requests. For example; it's perfectly acceptable to give a bullet point list of information if the info will be displayed on a screen. However, have you ever tried to memorize a list as someone read it out-loud? Or tried to copy it down as quickly as someone spoke? I’m guessing you failed to retain the knowledge or keep up.
Technology is always moving forward, and each year it gets a little faster. Our world is so heavily interconnected and each new connection allows for a new marketing opportunity. It's exciting to think of all the changes that will come with 2024, and if you are a savvy business owner, the opportunities to grow.