Content Marketing In’s and Out’s for 2024

April 2, 2024

In the ever-changing world of content marketing, staying ahead means knowing what's 'in' and what's 'out’ (and staying ahead of trends and best practices as they continue to evolve). As we settle into 2024, the landscape and consumer priorities and habits continue to shift, presenting both challenges and opportunities for brands and marketers alike. In this piece, we delve into the top trends shaping the content marketing sphere, uncovering the strategies that are gaining momentum and bidding farewell to those that no longer serve as well as they once did. Let’s get into it! 

Top Trends for Content Marketing in 2024

Here are our top predictions for content marketing plays that will be big in 2024.

Insight Led Campaigns

Insight-led campaigns have never really been out, but they’re less common to see in performance marketing which means you could be missing a trick. Insight-led campaigns take customer insights and data and pull meaning from the data, surfacing the most relevant pain points or desires of your audience. Campaigns that seek to recognise and empathise with customer POVs mean you can show empathy and convert it into the consumer truth.  The trick is to turn a relevant message into a resonant message.

Insight-led campaigns that hit the mark help to humanise your brand and connect with audiences on a deeper level. Research shows it’s far, far, far more effective than functional messaging.

Struggling to pull valuable insights and turn them into compelling campaigns? We can help with that. 

What we offer: 

  • A more holistic marketing approach
  • Connecting higher funnel brand strategies with lower funnel activities 
  • Either half-day or full-day Brand workshops where we explore a brand positioning 
  • Follow up with brand strategy recommendations

Original Research

AI works by analysing existing text and predicting to make something ‘new’.  Anyone can create content with AI, with varying results which means there’s never been more of a need to stand out. Enter; original research. Original research is the ultimate counter to commoditised content, offering audiences something they can’t get anywhere else. 

There are lots of different types of original research businesses can conduct like surveys, benchmark reports and internal data. Survey results can be utilised to create several outputs, from a hub of content, series of emails, social posts or ad assets, to name a few. Insights can also inform how we plan to reach our audiences and the messaging we use to connect and can be powerful when used as a lead-gen campaign tool. 

Top Tip: Approach original research as a long-term, high-value content initiative. Pick a niche or a topic, and own it, building trust with your audience. 

Unsure where to start with original research? 

What we offer: 

  • Bespoke content strategy or campaign plan with an original research element 
  • Industry tailored surveys
  • Lead gen campaigns with an original research component 
  • Content hub ideation based on original research findings 

Harnessing AI for Content Creation

If you’re not using AI tools for content creation in 2024, um, where have you been? We have been gaining efficiencies using AI tools to complete a range of mundane tasks, which frees up our time and brain power for cooler things. AI can also be great at assisting with several content outputs, and we’re across the industry's best practices (as they develop and evolve) when it comes to content creation powered by AI.  We even have an in-house Martech lead and AI specialist to guide our development here. As with any new writing tools, a healthy level of scepticism and so much editing is required to produce high-performing content, but we’re seeing great results from our AI-powered content products so far.  

Keen to jump on the bandwagon without losing your unique voice? 

What we offer: 

  • AI-assisted brief/blog writing
  • Safeguarded content with a human touch
  • Personalised GPT’s for each client in their tone of voice
  • Creative produced by AI

And so much more to come. Watch this space! 

Owned Media & Online Communities

The loss of third-party data and Google’s SERP shakeups mean there’s a renewed focus on audiences that you own and engage with. In the content marketing space, this is manifesting in a renewed focus on building email lists & brand communities. 

Email lists that are highly segmented, and comms that are personalised are making a huge difference to how consumers experience brands and their offerings. There is a growing trend towards niche and closed communities. People can’t control the amount of content out there, but they can control what communities they engage in and the emails they open. 

We love that email marketing and brand communities are less prone to algorithmic switch-ups. Owned media prioritises a more personal connection with the customer, which trends show is what they want! Brands that build communities on owned channels will buffer themselves against the turbulence of search and social media. 

There is an increasing demand for personalised, safe places and niche closed communities. Think close friends, private broadcast channels and VIP clubs.  Segmentation and considered approaches to building brand communities can see this realised more in 2024. 

What we offer: 

  • Email marketing audits, journey planning, messaging 
  • More personalisation and segment-specific content planning for email 
  • Ideating brand communities and modes of engagement 

Content Hubs (Yes, still!)

Content hubs remain a great tool for SEO and for moving audiences through a funnel, showing expertise and experience.  There’s joking in the industry that it’s 2017 in content marketing, and content hubs can be perceived as long play and a lot of work, but they still hold their value in 2024. While they’re not the quick-fix solution that many brands are reaching for when coming off the back of economic uncertainty, but they’re worth the investment of time and energy in the mid to long term.  

When it comes to showing your expertise, answering the questions of your audience and guiding them on their path to purchase, nothing is as effective as a compelling organic content hub. Content hubs give audiences an intuitive path to purchase, from inspiration to advice and on to purchases. Content can be easily integrated with e-commerce pages and enable you to build visibility of our shared voice across the whole customer search journey. 

Bang-for-buck content is also always in, and an SEO-optimised blog or article should always be more than that - it should be able to be turned into multiple pieces of content for social media across several platforms, as well as incorporated into wider marketing initiatives. 

Written, video and audio content needs to be technically excellent as well as future-proofed for the search landscape to play by Google’s rules. It should also be measured regularly to see what’s working and what’s driving meaningful impact for your business. 

Unsure where to start when it comes to creating organic content that performs for your audiences? Dropping the ball when it comes to measuring the impact of your content efforts? We’ve got you covered. 

What we offer: 

  • Bespoke Content Strategy 
  • Hub Wireframes 
  • Content Creation 

Ones to watch

Email Newsletters

Newsletters having a revival with Substack, a subscription model that lets you support and pay for content produced by creators. Got a tastemaker or thought leader in your business with a clear POV? Utilising them for a subscription-based newsletter and substack could be an avenue to explore. 


Podcasts offer an intimate form of communication allowing advertisers to promote their product or service to a highly engaged audience. The strong bond between podcast hosts and their audience also harbours a high level of trust for any advertised products or services. 

  • 30% of New Zealanders are weekly podcast listeners, outpacing the U.S., Canada, and Australia, each at 26%. Monthly podcast listeners in New Zealand subscribe to an average of four podcasts. - Edison Research 
  • Spotify revealed 2021 was the biggest year ever for podcasts, with the number of distinct podcast users aged 15-44 growing by 34% YoY

Still lots of options to explore for our clients, from concepting brand podcasts to podcast features and paid placements.

Content Marketing plays to ditch in 2024

AI Writing Without Edits

In the race to jump on the AI-writing bandwagon, many have been caught out by AI producing outputs that show a lack of contextual understanding, misinformation, inconsistent brand voice and unpredictable tangents. Blindly trusting the outputs without edits and humanising through brand tone, fact-checking and internal linking and referencing is a big no-no, and could see your content punished in search. 

Everything we do with ChatGPT/AI platforms are carefully checked by one of our humans. We are successfully upskilling in how to use prompts to our advantage to get more accurate outputs and efficiencies without compromising  

Top tip - Never use first output.

What we offer: 

  • Expertise in how chatGPT works, to finesse the output, to make it appropriate for the final product
  • A human touch!

Search Engines as a first port of call

Just ‘google it’ is no longer the first instinct for many consumers. Social media platforms are adding more search-focused features, and audience behaviour is changing rapidly.  

57% of Gen Z says they like TikTok more than Google as a search engine, citing the more relatable and personal answers they find on the video-sharing platform. Google has taken steps to integrate social media content into its web search results.  Social media profiles, tweets, and other social content now appear in Google search results and often rank very highly, especially for high-profile individuals and trending topics.

It is important to not overlook the value of organic social media. It’s never been more important to have a social strategy that’s channel-specific and optimised for how (and what) audiences are searching for. Creating quality content on time is crucial to capture demand and speak to current trends. 

 What we offer: 

  • Social Media Strategy and Playbooks 
  • Channel Testing 
  • Looking into the social / SEO space to see how we can play here 

Dull & stale campaigns

Any campaign can be successful if you throw enough money at it… but a dull campaign will cost you more to match the performance of an insightful and creative campaign.

Increasing spending every time you run paid campaigns is a thing of the past, research shows approx £10 million additional spend per brand if the advertising is dull, with estimated wastage in the US market sitting at $228 billion.

Spending more time on creating a vibrant and exciting campaign is cost-effective for your business, and helps to get cut-through in a noisy market. 

What we can offer: 

  • Creative audit and review to quality of creatives and messaging 
  • A ‘rating’ where we can score the quality of the creative to help diagnose the issues
  • Message testing framework
  • Best Practice guidelines,
  • Brand workshops and campaign creation 

Disjointed Marketing Strategies   

With so much confusion and noise in the marketing space, audiences crave one of 2 things:  

  • Comfort in the form of predictability and reliability from brands 
  • The element of surprise and delight 

Authenticity is increasingly important to audiences and experiencing brands who do and say different things on platforms without cohesion is likely to do more harm than good. 

The importance of a strategic, integrated approach to content marketing is set to rise. Siloed content initiatives will give way to cohesive, cross-functional strategies that align with broader business objectives. If you are more intertwined with other marketing disciplines like a thoroughly holistic approach that ensures unity in voice, message, and purpose across all customer touchpoints.

What we offer: 

  • Integrated campaigns and retainers
  • More cross-collaboration and working across all strengths in our business

As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of content marketing in 2024, it's crucial to stay informed about the latest trends and strategies that drive success. From insight-led campaigns and original research to harnessing AI for content creation and building owned media and online communities, there are numerous opportunities to connect with audiences in meaningful ways.

At Reason, we understand the complexities of modern content marketing and are here to help you navigate them. Whether you need assistance with crafting insightful campaigns, conducting original research, leveraging AI tools, or developing engaging content hubs, our team has the expertise and resources to support your goals.

Don't fall behind in 2024—partner with us to elevate your content marketing efforts and achieve lasting success. Reach out to have a chat about how we can help you smash your marketing goals with cutting-edge content this year. 

Written by:

Hannah Carr

Head of Content
at Reason

Written by the team at Reason.

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