2024 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch For in the Trades

With the digital marketing arena continually evolving, 2024 holds promise for groundbreaking shifts in strategy and approach, especially for businesses involving home services. Here are some of the top emerging trends in digital marketing that will shape the success of the home service industry this year.

AI in Digital Marketing

Open AI’s ChatGPT/GPT4 and Google’s Bard have already made significant changes to the way marketers approach consumers. In 2024, marketers can expect:

  • AI-powered search results (like Google’s Search Generative Experience, or SGE) will redefine SEO strategy. Marketers will have to turn to strategies like citing sources, incorporating quotations, and using statistics to maintain their expertise.
  • Marketers will also be able to create content faster using AI-powered tools. The caveat to leveraging AI is that there will need to be a greater emphasis on attaining authenticity and accuracy.
  • Growing skepticism towards AI-generated content may prompt an emphasis on fostering trust with consumers.

2024 digital chart

What It Means For Home Service Companies

As home service marketers rely more heavily on AI tools, it will become necessary to make content stand out with organic, human elements. AI might speed up the marketing process, but without human intervention, it produces bland regurgitations of existing information. Google will continue to highlight expert-written content that stands out from this sea of auto-generated text.

In 2024, marketers will want to leverage deliverables like comprehensive informational content, first-person blog posts, and video content. While AI-powered tools can speed up the production process, it’s important to use the time saved to ensure content is accurate and exceeds the quality of information presented in competitor’s content.

Microsoft Ads Platforms

Google isn’t the only big player in paid ads anymore. While Google still holds a large portion of the market share, branching out into Ad platforms like Microsoft can increase ROI for specific industries like home services, which often rely on older, more affluent customers. In 2024, marketers may consider:

  • Utilizing Microsoft Ads, which offers a higher click-through rate than Google for HVAC and Climate Control industries, and a 33% lower Cost-Per-Click than Google Ads across all industries.
  • Using Microsoft’s Professional Service Ads, which offer greater ad optimization and customization, and allows advertisers to highlight specific services that may better pique consumer interest. In initial pilot testing, it delivered 60% increased conversions over regular text ads.
  • Using PMAX Ads, which utilize AI automation to optimize ad performance while decreasing the workload for ad teams. Designed to be a competitor of Google’s PMAX, this campaign strategy may be beneficial to trade companies with limited ad budgets.

What It Means For Home Service Companies

At the end of the day, Google’s Local Search Ads remain one of the strongest tools for home service advertising. However, diversifying ad spend and testing out smaller, more strategic ad platforms might be valuable following Bing’s steady growth in 2023. This is especially true for trade businesses that rely on one of Bing’s highest user demographics—older, high-income individuals with families.

Changing Economy

Inflation has taken a significant toll on the US economy and drastically changed how people approach home improvement projects in 2023. According to the October 2023 report of the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), spending trends in owner-occupied homes show that home improvement projects and other major services are on the decline.

With consumers more reluctant to seek out installations and repairs, home service companies should:

  • Spend more resources targeting maintenance, repairs, and emergency services, as homeowners attempt to stretch the lifespan of their equipment.
  • Frame maintenance as preventative maintenance, which will encourage homeowners to preemptively schedule service for their equipment.
  • Advertise a maintenance subscription program with major benefits for consumers. This program could include priority scheduling and free repairs during quarterly maintenance visits. For contractors, this creates a more consistent revenue stream and a stronger connection with customers, which can pay off when it comes time for customers to replace their equipment.

What It Means For Home Service Companies

As consumers become more reluctant to seek out installations, home services companies will need to shift their focus. Lower-cost, preventative services, subscription-based maintenance programs, and emergency repairs will become a higher priority for many homeowners.

Promoting Sustainability

Consumers are increasingly prioritizing energy efficiency and sustainability when choosing systems for their homes. They seek systems that reduce energy consumption, lower utility bills, and have a smaller environmental footprint. As a result, in 2024, home service companies should:

  • Invest in and promote high-efficiency units that align with sustainability preferences.
  • Capitalize on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in 2022, which allocates $8.8 billion toward energy rebates for homeowners.
  • Advertise the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit and the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program to customers.

What It Means For Home Service Companies

For home service providers, staying ahead in 2024 involves promoting the above-mentioned benefits, while also focusing on:

  • The integration of smart thermostats
  • The adoption of energy-efficient systems
  • The consideration of SEER ratings for AC units
  • The utilization of ductless systems to meet growing demand

Conclusion

While there are many new and significant changes facing the home services industry as we move into 2024, some key principles remain. Here are the main takeaways for your digital marketing strategy in 2024:

  • Leverage existing tools like AI to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
  • Expand marketing efforts to new platforms to reach target customers.
  • Shift budgets and energy toward the services that matter most to customers.
  • Provide potential customers with solutions that are tailored to their lifestyle, interests, and budget.

Navigating the evolving digital marketing terrain for trades demands a fine balance. Technological integration, consumer-centric strategies, and a commitment to authenticity must be equally prioritized. Companies adapting to these trends will not only meet but also exceed customer expectations. They will position themselves well for ongoing success in the new year.

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