2024: Trends & Spends

It’s no surprise that New Year insights pieces have focussed on there “being an unprecedented change in how businesses approach their PR and marketing strategy’.  


You’ve also probably seen that the market is volatile and new threats have appeared on the horizon, as well as new opportunities. 


These are things we’ve all said before and many of us will likely be saying it again, come January ’25.  


But the last 12 months were certainly unique and presented agency-land with an entirely different set of challenges. Many of which look set to continue well into 2024.. 


This is where our Communications Trends and How to Spend report  comes in. Looking ahead to the coming 12 months, we’ve identified key areas for businesses to focus their comms efforts; from understanding Google’s next steps and why this makes ORM so important, to leading with empathy and why doing less, might be the best thing for you. 



Empathetic engagement:  a strategy for 2024 and beyond  


If you want to be anything in 2024… be empathetic.  


In 2024, empathy and authenticity will be the key driver for successful communications strategies.  


Many people will be facing financial struggles from inflation, rising costs and ongoing societal tensions. These kinds of conditions do not fit with a heavy, sales-led comms approach. 


Also, considering that the marketing funnel is already heaving with competing content, we see the potential for strategies that don’t recognise these issues failing to gain traction.  


Connect with your audiences on a deeper level, encouraging loyalty, while positioning you as socially responsible and genuinely customer-centric, making it a more holistic longer-term strategy for 2024 and beyond. 



Quality over Quantity  


Being the loudest, or the most persistent, doesn’t guarantee any level of cut-through and this dovetails nicely with our first point. 


Competition is stiff and everyone is shouting loud and often to be heard.  


But this becomes a dangerous tactic in an oversaturated market. Consumer burnout quickly follows and from this point, it isn’t long before a customer – potential or otherwise – switches off to your brand entirely. 


This is why investing in quality, over quantity, should be a key focus this year. 


Less can be more… if the strategies and tactics that are in place are carefully considered and empowered with the right levels of insight and expertise.  



Why Google’s next update may be its biggest yet!  


2023 was a year of massive upheaval in SEO land.  


Four core updates left even the most seasoned SEO professionals scrambling. For a lot of businesses, the early updates deeply impacted their online presence. Hitting organic search figures hard and removing a lot of hard-earned ranking keywords.  


What changed, was Google’s E-E-A-T definitions. These impactful guidelines are what the search engine uses to define and rank content as having experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.  


This was a lot of change to digest and adjust to for many businesses. But it seems the biggest  is yet to come. 


Google’s hidden gem update was announced in May ’23 but will be rolling out in 2024.  


This update will seek to showcase personal opinions on the SERP (search engine results pages), which means that we could see social media accounts getting airtime on SERPs, blog posts being returned, and even forums such as Reddit could get page one visibility. 



Online Reputation gets even more critical  


The impending hidden gems update has huge ramifications around trust signals and online brand and reputation management.  


Online reputation management is all about ensuring that your digital presence is resilient in the face of online threats and risks. 


Negative feedback, hostile actors, disgruntled customers, misinformation and disinformation, are always going to be threats to your reputation. This is why a proactive digital approach is critical to protecting brands, as well as ensuring you’re prepared for a crisis. 


Add to that, the ongoing task of developing and executing a winning keyword strategy, to make sure that your most positive and favourable content and stories are ranking high in the SERP, then ORM and digital PR may arguably be the two most important things you do in 2024.  



Read the full report 


At AMBITIOUS we are committed to staying at the cutting edge of our industry.   


With our comprehensive approach that follows our insights, ideas and impact model, we have the structure, expertise and services to ensure resilience to market changes. Werecognise that effective and authentic comms can help businesses stay ahead of the competition, in an increasingly competitive digital and traditional comms landscape.  


To read our Communications Trends and How to Spend report in full visit:  https://www.ambitiouspr.co.uk/trends-spends-24/