Ryan Laing, digital strategy and intelligence director at Ogilvy Social Lab
Ryan’s top four insights:
1. Culture is (still) at the centre of social in 2024:
Culture has long been a buzzword within the broader marketing community, however it is now clear that it sits right at the centre of social 3.0. Brands will need to understand and tap into to culture in a more nuanced and empathetic way than ever before, going beyond simply reacting to trends but rather playing an active role in shaping and leading them by embedding culture into the brand’s meaning. The key to this will be a clear understanding of culture, powered by a customised cultural intelligence model.
2. We are living in the era of authenticity:
In case you’ve been living under a rock, creators are now an essential part of any winning social strategy. The numbers are staggering, with the creator economy expected to hit $480bn by 2027. For brands, creators provide a more agile and scalable way to stay at the forefront of culture. As creator-led content becomes more integrated, its impact will spread across categories, even ones not traditionally associated with these types of partnerships – the rise of healthcare professionals on TikTok being one such example. Brands will need to consider more permanent (and meaningful) creator engagement plans in 2024 to really take advantage.
3. From snackable to serious storytelling, video will drive valuable attention:
‘TikTok is the new TV’ really says everything you need to know about the proliferation of video content in the past few years. Users spend more time consuming video on social that any other social media activity. The dominance of TikTok and Instagram Reels, and uptake of YouTube Shorts speaks to consumers’ love for punchy short clips – and we know this works. However, longform content offers huge potential for extended, creative brand content. We’ve even seen TikTok testing 30 minute uploads in 2024 already. Most importantly, longform video can potentially be an indicator of the most valuable metric of them all – attention.
4. AI will continue to have an everyday impact on our industry:
This was always going to be part of any trends list and in 2024 we see AI propelling brand social teams forward. It’s set to take over community management tasks such as social monitoring and customer service. AI will shorten the process of equipping brand teams with invaluable insights into customer behaviour, sentiment, and social trends, enabling deeper connections targeting and personalisation in content distribution. Creatively, AI is clearly going to play a massive role in supporting conceptual development all the way to execution through generative content creation. All of this will result in freeing up valuable human resources for more strategic (and creative) initiatives, hopefully leading to bigger and better work.
Ryan Laing: digital strategy and intelligence director at Ogilvy Social Lab
Ryan Laing is a seasoned strategist and social intelligence expert with over ten years of experience in crafting strategic advantage for brands. Leading the strategy and intelligence team at Ogilvy Social.Lab since 2022, he has spearheaded impactful, data-driven projects for iconic global brands. Laing thrives whilst connecting the strategy, media, and creative disciplines, navigating the complexities of today’s business and branding world.