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Digital marketing SMB essentials: Navigating 2024’s top trends

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Online shopping has established itself among Filipino consumers, with NielsenIQ revealing that 67% of those who turned to ecommerce during the pandemic plan to keep shopping online.  For small and medium businesses (SMBs), the key to unlocking business growth could be in enhancing SMB digital marketing strategies.

As we move further into 2024, digital marketing trends have changed to match new consumer behaviors and tech advancements. This shift is a great chance for SMBs to adjust and succeed. In this article, we explore the trends shaping the digital marketing playbook for SMBs this year.

5 Digital marketing trends for SMBs this 2024

1. Influencer marketing will continue to rise

In 2021, social media platforms in the Philippines saw an increase in the number of influencers led by Facebook (67.06%), Instagram (37.42%), and YouTube (35.96%). TikTok has become a significant player locally, with flourishing content creators driving its rise from sixth to the third most-used social media platform from 2020 to 2021.

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Arthur Fernandez, Chief Growth Officer of JCurve Solutions

Arthur Fernandez, Chief Growth Officer of JCurve Solutions, shared that influencer marketing is very popular because of content creators’ ability to attract people and impact their followers’ purchase decisions. “By collaborating with the right influencer or content creator, you can technically target specific demographics based on their content,” Fernandez said.

In 2024, influencer marketing will be vital for SMB online marketing. Many consumers trust influencers for product insights, making influencer campaigns valuable. Notably, the preference for micro-influencers (those with 10,000 to 100,000 followers) underscores a shift towards authenticity and relatability, offering businesses a cost-effective yet impactful way to boost their brand visibility.


2. Video marketing
has become more potent than ever before

Content creators on YouTube have dominated during the “COVID era,” with their reaction videos, explainers, and compilations of every topic. According to Hubspot, explainer videos, for instance, have been watched by as much as 94% of the video-consuming public, with 84% influenced to make a purchase. TikTok has taken the world over in recent years, so other social media platforms, notably Instagram, have enhanced their apps to include better live streaming control and features like Reels.

With the rise of home-based small businesses across the globe, more SMBs are using video to influence their audience. “When it comes to (video) marketing trends, brands and businesses should always consider data and analytics,” Fernandez noted. “There’s a lot of data available internally and externally through different marketing platforms. What’s important is to identify how or what data should guide your campaign and monitor it correctly.”

Given the state of digital marketing in the Philippines, video marketing proves more powerful than ever as small businesses embrace visual storytelling. The surge in short-form video content stands out, meeting the short attention spans of modern consumers. This SMB digital marketing trend highlights the need for easily shareable content, ideal for small businesses engaging with Gen Z and Millennial audiences.

3. Google Search will have a significant impact on your conversions

According to ecommerce agency Transaction, 81% of shoppers research products online before purchasing. However, Fernandez noted that local SMBs often overlook providing vital information online. “Whether through their social media pages or Google Business Profile listing, they should provide contact details, opening hours, and other relevant information online. People now start their research through search engines or social platforms. If you don’t have the right or basic information in the first place, you won’t even get considered.”

Online marketing for SMBs should consider exploring Featured Snippets by Google, as per Fernandez. “Notice how when you type in a query on Google, it shows different types of results now? You get maps, you get a list of questions that drops down to show answers, and sometimes it even highlights parts of the text that answers your query at the top. It is called featured snippets, which Google designs to assist the user in finding the answer they are looking for quickly. While businesses can’t dictate to be part of the featured snippets, there are optimization techniques to influence it.”

Another digital marketing trend this 2024 involves optimizing for voice search, essential for small businesses looking to boost their online visibility and conversions. According to studies, 31% of mobile users now use voice search at least once a week. The increasing popularity of virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa highlights a shift in how businesses should approach their digital content.

By using conversational keywords and phrases that mirror natural speech, small businesses can ensure they are discovered by users utilizing voice search. This SMB digital marketing strategy is key to meeting the changing search habits of consumers and tapping into new audiences, making voice search optimization a vital part of digital marketing for small businesses in 2024.

4. Enhanced ecommerce sites will engage more potential customers

Ecommerce sites are continuing to use new technologies such as augmented reality to feature their products. For example, an online store selling sunglasses can show how products look on you. The user uploads their photo onto the site and chooses sunglasses to “try on” virtually.

In 2024, ecommerce platforms providing enhanced and highly personalized experiences are attracting a larger customer base. With over 70% of consumers desiring personalized shopping encounters, businesses are turning to data analytics and AI tools such as chatbots for tailored interactions.

Chatbots, in particular, are becoming a staple in digital marketing strategies, automating conversations and providing immediate, personalized service to customers. This trend meets consumer expectations for customized shopping experiences, establishing personalized engagement as a crucial factor for ecommerce success in 2024.

5. Artificial intelligence will continue to make SMB online marketing more efficient

With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, small businesses are streamlining operations, personalizing customer experiences, and enhancing engagement like never before. The global AI marketing market is projected to reach $40.09 billion by 2025, highlighting the expanding role of AI in transforming marketing and customer engagement strategies.

While some consumers prefer human interaction, AI technologies, like chatbots, meet the demand for real-time engagement, especially in customer service. These tools provide personalized communication 24/7, meeting a crucial consumer expectation.

AI in digital marketing goes beyond customer service. It includes content creation, ad testing, and data analysis. This allows small businesses to offer tailored services and compete on a level previously dominated by larger corporations. For instance, a small ecommerce platform can use AI to analyze customer behavior and customize marketing communications, significantly boosting engagement and conversion rates.

As AI continues to shape the future of digital marketing, emphasis on responsible AI, legal compliance, and data ethics is crucial. These considerations ensure that AI applications in marketing not only drive business success but also maintain trust and transparency with consumers.

Charting the course for SMB digital marketing in the Philippines

The growth of influencer marketing, video content impact, SEO, AI integration, and enhanced ecommerce experiences are molding the future of digital marketing for small and medium businesses in the Philippines. These trends pave the way for success while highlighting a shift towards personalized and efficient marketing strategies.

By adopting these strategies in 2024, SMBs have significant opportunities to connect with their audiences in innovative ways, driving growth and enhancing customer satisfaction. The key to success lies in continuous adaptation, learning, and innovation, pointing to a promising future for SMB digital marketing in the country.

JCurve Solutions is the parent company of Dygiq, which offers full-service marketing capabilities for any business looking to improve its current market position or enter new markets.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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One Comment

  1. Great read regarding the various types of digital marketing trends nowadays and their benefits for continued business success. Thanks for this.

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