Latest digital marketing trends in the UK: what’s hot and what’s not.



The digital marketing space is ever evolving, and trends change like the seasons. Following digital marketing trends is key for staying relevant and keeping up with the competition. But it’s also important for brands to adapt each trend to their own story and strategy.

According to data from BT, over a quarter of small businesses in the UK generate more sales from social media than other channels – including e-commerce and high street stores. One in three businesses feel enthusiastic about using digital in their marketing strategy, but more than half feel they need more support.

Whether you’re at the helm of your own business or marketing to the masses in an agency, discover the latest digital marketing innovations and sensations with Adobe Express.

1. Short-form vertical videos.

Short-form, vertical video marketing is the star of today’s digital marketing strategy. It captures users’ attention and encourages them to engage with your business.

TikTok videos, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are the most popular short-form video formats, boasting the highest return on investment (ROI) compared to alternative marketing strategies. It’s no wonder 67% of social media marketers plan to invest more in short-form content, according to HubSpot.

Don’t get left behind on the short-form video train. Video marketing is an economical and accessible way to market your brand, and it’s easier to do than you might think. With little more than a smartphone, tripod, a few bright ideas and a dollop of your time, you could be reaching new users in no time.

2. TikTok remains at the top.

No longer the new kid on the block, TikTok is one powerhouse of a marketing tool. If video marketing is on your list – and it should be – then don’t shy away from creating a healthy TikTok presence for your brand.

Boasting a phenomenal one billion active monthly users, TikTok acquires new fans faster than any other social media platform. According to TikTok shopping behaviour insights, almost three-quarters of users say that the app inspires them to look up products and brands online.

Check out some of the latest UK TikTok trends to help you get inspired.

3. All in for authenticity.

Now more than ever, consumers are reaching for brands that reflect their values. Interest in social responsibility, ethics and sustainability is growing, and users are searching for personalised experiences and transparency.

In 2024, authenticity will be the key to building trust and brand loyalty. So, try to be open with your consumers about:

Sharing user-generated content is another way to show that you’re not afraid of being real. Consumers appreciate genuine reviews, experiences and stories and these can help encourage organic buzz around your brand. Customer photos, videos and comments can all help boost credibility and engagement.

Free digital marketing templates to try.

4. Be mobile-friendly.

It may seem obvious, but being mobile-friendly is one digital marketing innovation you shouldn’t overlook. Your website content needs to be accessible whether consumers are browsing on a laptop, smartphone or tablet. If users can’t access your website or it takes too long to navigate, they won’t stick around. Having a responsive web design is just one method of keeping your brand mobile-friendly.

Mobile optimisation is a long-term investment, but it’s essential to stay competitive in the world of e-commerce. Keep testing your website on different mobile devices, monitor your performance and adapt to new updates or trends.

5. Social shopping.

Heart. Save. Add to basket. Social media is a great tool for understanding consumer shopping habits, boosting product discovery and inspiring purchases.

From new shoes to kitchenware, millions of consumers head to social media to find inspiration for what to buy. Now, brands can harness the power of social media as a sales channel with shoppable content.

Try using social content tools such as:

6. Artificial intelligence.

You will have noticed a shift into all things artificial intelligence (AI) lately. Thanks to recent advancements in AI over the last few years, marketers are increasingly adopting this digital marketing innovation into their everyday toolset.

AI is helping marketers accelerate their productivity and expand their capacity in a number of ways, including:

Editable digital marketing ads and examples.

7. Virtual and augmented reality.

Virtual and augmented reality is one digital marketing trend that’s transformed the consumer experience and created a new opportunity for marketers to capture engagement. With VR and AR, you can bring products to customers in seconds, showcasing your brand and services in a range of creative and interactive ways.

Create virtual environments, design product demonstrations and offer virtual try-ons to help drive brand awareness and increase conversion rates.

8. EEAT.

Experience. Expertise. Authoritativeness. Trustworthiness. These are the four pillars that Google uses to measure the quality of online content. When consumers use Google to explore products, services and information, these quality signals help bring the most helpful and relevant content to the top of the ranks.

EEAT is a concept that marketers need to become fast friends with to stay competitive – particularly in the wake of rapid-scale AI-generated web content.

Creating authentic and helpful content is the way to achieve your marketing goals. You can do this by:

9. First-party data.

One of the biggest digital marketing innovations marketers will have to face this year is the phasing out of third-party cookies. Third-party cookies have long been a vital digital marketing tool, used to track user activity and create personalised and targeted advertising.

But a realigned focus on user privacy and protection means marketers will need to rely on valuable first-party data to continue delivering personalised and targeted marketing.

First-party data is collected directly from consumers and allows brands to understand their audience better to curate more relevant campaigns. First-party data can include:

Marketers who get ahead of this trend can place themselves in promising shape as we head into the uncharted waters of marketing without third-party cookies.

10. Influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is another useful trend to take note of this year. Leading on from current themes of authenticity and relevancy, finding the right influencer to help market your brand is key. Partnering with micro and nano influencers can help you connect with smaller, but often more loyal and engaged audiences.

Partnering with relatable influencers can be a great way for certain brands to resonate with consumers, while also reaching new audiences.

Start your digital marketing journey with Adobe Express.

Don’t put the brakes on just yet. Take a look at what digital marketing trends could lie ahead for your business.

Metaverse marketing.

In one way or another, the metaverse is gaining attention in the digital marketing space. Thanks to the metaverse, users can access an interactive, 360-degree virtual experience that expands opportunities for brand storytelling and engagement.

Whether it’s mini games or cultural celebrations, consider how your brand could use virtual reality to capture audience’s interest over the next few years.

AI image generation.

Imagery and graphics created by generative AI will be one of the key digital marketing innovations of the next decade. Marketers will have the ability to create anything they imagine with the likes of AI image generators such as Adobe Firefly.

Simply paste in a well-considered prompt and watch the reels of content appear. Play around with enchanting graphics and colour psychology using image and text effect generation tools.

AI Automation.

Wider adoption of AI marketing automation is on the horizon. From social posts and email automation to chatbots and virtual assistants – there are plenty of ways AI can help boost your efficiency as a brand.

Moving away from traditional media.

Content preferences can vary by age group, but we’re seeing more audiences drawn to streaming, podcasts and short-form video. While TikTok and Instagram Reels tend to take the spotlight, don’t forget to utilise YouTube and YouTube Shorts – especially when trying to reach Gen Z audiences.

Useful things to know.

Will AI replace digital marketing?

AI can assist digital marketing in various ways, such as helping marketers achieve their goals and tasks. While its capabilities are expanding every day, there will always be a need for human touch, authenticity and expertise.

What do consumers want in 2024?

Modern consumers are all for positive vibes and personal connection. According to a survey conducted by Sprout Social, consumers want digital marketing to resonate with them and connect them with others. More than half of consumers will increase their spending if they feel connected to a brand, and 76% will opt for that brand over a competitor.

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