The Future of Marketing: Social Media ROI, Video Content & Influencer Impact | 2024 Forecast

by | Marketing & Branding

Top Marketing Channels

Social media is the highest-ROI marketing channel as it continues to evolve with ecommerce.

Social media is indisputably the #1 marketing channel. Not only does it offer the highest ROI, but it’s used by 43% of marketers. Email, still powerful, came in second at 33%, and Blog SEO came in at 32%. So you can see how social media is still dominating and growing. (source: Hubspot Q4 2023 Marketing Trends Survey.)

The reason social media is so effective is that it’s become a leading product discovery and purchasing channel as shopping takes center stage across platforms.

Marketers can set up virtual stores to give shoppers an all-in-one frictionless shopping experience, from discovery through influencer recommendations to in-app purchases and customer service via DMs.

Mid 2023, Hubster’s Consumer Trend Survey found that 64% of Gen Z, 59% of Millennials, and 47% of Gen X discovered a product on social media in the past 3 months.

On top of that, social media is the most preferred product discovery channel for Gen Z and Millennials, with Gen X and Boomers warming up to it quickly.

What’s more, 17% of social media users bought a product in-app in the past three months. In that time, one in four bought something based on an influencer’s recommendation, and 19% sent a DM for customer service. (source: Hubspot Blog Research, State of Consumer Trends Survey, run in summer 2023.)

Hubspot states, every time they run and rerun they’re Consumer Trends survey, these numbers increase significantly. So, it’s no surprise marketers are quickly embracing social selling.

Hubspot’s social selling survey even found that 87% of marketers who sell on social say it’s effective, and 59% say they’re making more sales in 2023 than they did last year.

The survey also shows currently, 27% of marketers use social selling tools, 23% leverage influencer marketing, and 22% use social media DMs for customer service. Marketers plan to invest heavily in these channels for 2024.

Now that we’ve gone over the benefits of social selling, let’s take a look at the most effective platforms for marketers in 2024.

Emerging Content Trends & Formats

Video-focused platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube are rapidly growing, yet Facebook remains relevant.

Recent trends in social media highlight the predominance of video content, with platforms centered around video identified as the most effective and offering optimal ROI.

Instagram and Facebook are at the forefront for ROI, closely followed by YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, and X.

Facebook leads as the most utilized platform by marketers (57%), with Instagram (55%), YouTube (52%), TikTok (44%), X (39%), and LinkedIn (37%) following. (source: Hubspot Blog Research, Marketing Trends Report, Sept.2023)

Despite Facebook’s ongoing dominance, platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram are expected to attract more investment in 2024.

TikTok, with 56% of its marketers planning to increase their investment next year, tops the list for investment growth. YouTube and Instagram will also experience notable investment increases.

Regarding initial adoption, 27% of non-YouTube marketers plan to start using it in 2024, followed by TikTok (25%), Facebook (24%), and Instagram (23%). (source: Hubspot Blog Research, Marketing Trends Report, Sept.2023)

The competition between X and Threads is a significant trend, with 68% of marketers favoring X over Threads for 2024. (source: Hubspot Blog Research, Marketing Trends Report, Sept.2023)

Currently, Threads is used by only 11% of marketers, with just 13% considering its first-time use in 2024.

Short-form video is set to be the most lucrative and rapidly growing marketing content format in 2024.

Following TikTok’s success, a resurgence in short-form video content has been predicted.

Today, short-form video is the leading content marketing format, offering the highest ROI and used by 44% of marketers.

Expected to maintain its growth trajectory in 2024, short-form video will receive the most marketing investment compared to other formats.

26% of marketers are planning to invest more in short-form video in 2024, more than any other format. Additionally, 57% of current users will increase their investment, the most significant rise among formats. Also, 30% of marketers not using short-form video are planning to start in 2024.
(source: Hubspot Blog Research, Marketing Trends Report, Sept.2023)

Investment in micro-influencers is expected to continue, tapping into niche and loyal communities.

Influencer marketing’s effectiveness is growing, with influencers increasingly influencing purchase decisions.

86% of influencer marketers found it effective in 2023, and according to Hubster’s consumer trends survey, one in four social media users made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past three months, a 33% increase from the previous year.

Influencing Marketing ROI

33% more social media users purchased products recommended by influencers in 2023 compared to 2022.

Influencing Marketing ROI

20% of marketers are not using influencers plan to start using influencers in 2024.

Influencing Marketing ROI

50% of marketers currently using influencers will increase this investment in 2024.

In 2024, influencer marketing is poised for growth, with 50% of marketers planning to increase their investment and 20% of non-users planning to start using it.

Interestingly, marketers are finding more success with micro-influencers, who have 10,000 to 100,000 followers, than with celebrities with larger followings.

About half of marketers collaborated with influencers in 2023, with 64% choosing micro-influencers, making them the most popular influencer type.

These influencers are also the most successful, according to 47% of influencer marketers.
(source: Hubspot Blog Research, Marketing Trends Report, Sept.2023)

Key reasons include lower costs, easier establishment of long-term partnerships, and access to engaged, loyal communities.

This trend indicates that the quality of content is becoming more crucial than follower count in influencer partnerships, as per Hubspot’s 2023 Social Media Trends Report

Foremost Marketing Challenges Ahead

Adapting to Chrome’s Third-Party Cookie Phase-Out: Marketers Focus on Social Media Targeting and First-Party Data

Heightened data privacy regulations have presented challenges for marketers, from iOS updates to GDPR and Google’s planned elimination of third-party cookies.

Hubster’s consumer trend survey reveals that 84% of consumers view data privacy as a fundamental right, indicating a shift towards greater protection of personal data.

From a marketer’s perspective, 84% acknowledge that changes in data privacy have influenced their strategies in 2023, with the phase-out of third-party cookies by Google being the most significant factor.

However, many marketers are unprepared for this change – 81% rely on third-party cookies to some degree, and approximately 20% are not ready to forfeit this resource.

Marketers and the Third-Party Cookie

81% depend on third-party cookies for their marketing activities.

Marketers and the Third-Party Cookie

76% believe marketing will be more challenging without third-party cookies.

Marketers and the Third-Party Cookie

20% are unprepared for the loss of third-party cookie access.
Moreover, 76% of marketers anticipate that the removal of third-party cookies by Google will complicate marketing efforts.

In response, 47% are investigating alternatives to third-party cookies, with targeted social media advertising and first-party data collection being top strategies.

25% of marketers are focusing on targeted social media ads, equalled by those collecting first-party data, followed by 21% utilizing Google Topics API, 15% considering contextual advertising, and 14% exploring universal identifiers.

Enhancing Personalized Marketing with First-Party Data and AI

Despite strides in personalization and emphasis on customer experience, there remains significant scope for enhancement.
Hubspot’s survey indicates that only 35% of marketers believe their brand offers a highly personalized experience, and merely 65% of consumers find brand content relatable.

Furthermore, many marketers lack essential audience information, with just 65% having high-quality data on their target demographic.

When queried about their knowledge of their target audience, less than half of marketers are aware of their content consumption habits, demographic details, interests, product preferences, and shopping behaviors.

The importance of this data lies in its ability to foster a genuinely personalized experience, which 96% of marketers agree increases repeat purchase likelihood, and 94% confirm it boosts sales.

Additionally, marketers providing personalized experiences are 215% more likely to report highly effective marketing strategies compared to those who don’t.

Data privacy regulations complicate personalization by limiting data access, yet this also opens avenues for leveraging first-party data – information gathered directly from customers. This data is not only of superior quality but is also distinctive to your customers and business, offering more insightful analysis and further enhanced by AI.

Utilizing generative AI tools that incorporate public information is common, but the true potential unfolds when AI is combined with your business data, enabling marketers to deliver highly relevant, personalized experiences.

77% of marketers using generative AI report it aids in crafting more personalized content, enhancing customer experiences (72%), improving overall customer interactions (71%), and deepening customer understanding (71%).

While the full impact of AI and first-party data integration remains to be seen, all indications suggest this combination will be pivotal for scalable personalized experiences.

A crucial factor in optimizing data usage is maintaining a centralized and accessible data source. Let’s examine why having such unified data is crucial for success in 2024.


As we step into 2024, the landscape of marketing continues to be shaped by dynamic and powerful channels, with social media standing at the forefront. The overwhelming preference for social media among both marketers and consumers, as highlighted in the Hubspot Q4 2023 Marketing Trends Survey, underscores its unparalleled return on investment and growing influence in ecommerce. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube are not just content delivery channels; they have evolved into integral parts of the consumer journey, offering seamless shopping experiences that blend discovery, influence, and purchase.

The rise of short-form video content, primarily driven by TikTok’s success, represents a significant shift in content marketing, demanding more investment and attention from marketers. This aligns with the growing emphasis on micro-influencers, who are proving more effective than their high-profile counterparts due to their niche appeal and engaged audiences. These trends are set against the backdrop of major industry challenges, such as adapting to data privacy regulations and the phasing out of third-party cookies, which compel marketers to explore innovative strategies like targeted social media advertising and the use of first-party data.

As we move forward, the integration of AI and first-party data emerges as a key strategy, offering the potential for highly personalized marketing that resonates with today’s discerning consumers. This, combined with the ongoing evolution of social media and content formats, paints a picture of a marketing environment that is more connected, interactive, and consumer-centric than ever before.

The road ahead for marketers in 2024 will be about embracing these changes, leveraging new technologies, and staying ahead in a rapidly evolving digital marketplace.

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