Content copywriting trends to keep on top of in 2024

A must-read for marketing managers and digital marketers: our BOW team of high-performance UX writers, SEO writers, social media writers and content strategists look in their crystal balls and lay out their forecasts for 2024.

Nice - can you present to my team?

To predict the digital writing trends of 2024, look no further than the scrolling ticker tape on Wall Street. The top-performing stocks on the NASDAQ in 2023 were Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta Platforms, Nvidia and Telsa. All tech companies.

Their dominance is an accurate bell weather of what we’ll see more of in 2024 – mobile, search, social media, sustainability, voice-recognition and, last but not least, generative AI.

Collectively, they are also proof of the power of online platforms - and the increasing need for marketers to get ahead of this copy curve.

As specialists in content copywriting, we are lucky enough to work with some of the cleverest marketers, digital teams and developers globally. It's an incubator for innovation. Our thoughts below are based on what we are seeing in the line of battle so to speak!

The four biggest trends with website writing are:

1. Less spin, more trust

The pandemic, the untrammelled scourge of social media misinformation, scams and sophistry has seen credible website content become a trusted oasis of truth. And this is set to continue in 2024.

By embedding honesty, authority, and simplicity into the heart of our content design/writing principles, we can protect and amplify the credibility of our clients.

Customers, browsers or users are tired of being sold to, misled and/or misdirected. They want information, sometimes very specific information, and they want it fast, verified and often independently endorsed.   

Content and IA that empowers browsers, and makes customers’ lives better, richer, and more meaningful is the standard now, not the exception, and as professionals we’d best deliver it. If meeting their specific need is not at the beating heart of their online experience, they’ll be quick to dismiss what you say and offer, and the brand with it.  

And so they should. So, ditch the hyperbole, the superfluous adjectives and the sales jargon, and focus on their needs.

The good news is, in this current maze of social media misinformation, consumers are desperate to find brands they can trust, so authenticity rules. If we deliver content that meets that criteria our customers will elevate our content and brand to ‘authority' status. They’ll use us as a benchmark, measuring other information or experience they acquire against it.  

Editor's Note: This is a huge insight. We are seeing this come up time and time again in focus groups whatever the media.

2. Fast and functional

Consumers navigate websites like they do an airport departures board. They want to scan the board and know where they need to go, so they can get from A to B easily and without confusion or distraction.  

So, refine once and then refine your on-page IA again. Hone your customer journeys until your navigation is intuitive for your customers to get to their destination, asap.  

Good digital writing in 2024 is inextricably linked to good logic flow, which comes from real customer insight; so don’t skimp on your user testing, and use the feedback to genuinely improve the journey.  

And while we’re on the analogy, make check-in seamless. If there’s a portal or log in process, make sure it works and doesn’t loop them into log in hell.

A good idea before you pick up your pen, or mouse, is to scan this 10-point checklist for exceptional web-copy.

3. Have a conversation

Even if it’s technical, or very specific, we’re still humans.  So, if you’re using AI to help with complex content in 2024, make sure to tweak and craft it, (or have us do it,) so it speaks as if you were standing in front of your reader, human to human.

Example; We’ve written an online resource of very specific content for kiwifruit growers recently, to help them grow, pack and export high quality fruit to the world. But talk about spray application or pest treatment in a robotic, formulaic way and people switch off. To overcome that, we approached the writing as though we were having a yarn about it over the orchard gate.  

When we do that, our user testing tells us it’s a completely different story and leads to high levels of enjoyable engagement. If reading or interacting with your content is truly enjoyable, you’ve succeeded.

4. Personalise your content

It’s commonplace now for BOW to craft website content that incorporates quite sophisticated personalisation.

We give our clients’ customers a dynamic online experience that is unique to them, based on their profile interests and self-selected preferences. 2024 will see this continue to be nuanced.

Generating content based on customers’ demographics, behaviour and environment is simply so powerful and so engaging. Any digital experience manager worth their salt knows the direct correlation between delighting customers, building a strong relationship, and personalisation. Numerous McKinsey and Forrester studies support this and we’re enthusiastic endorsers that one size fitting one, is way better than one size fits all, and we’ll see more of it in 2024.

This should be baked in before any writing starts. Follow this 10-point content audit and strategy blueprint and you'll be right!

There are three things to keep in mind when creating your content strategy for SEO 2024:  

  • Changing search behaviour 
  • The role of search engines as ‘answer engines’  
  • Expertise Experience Authority Trust (EEAT)  

SEO continues to demand excellent content. It’s humans that keep changing – we’re constantly evolving what we want, how we want it and how we search and find it. And the search engines need to keep up with that.    

Remember that SEO should be baked into your content strategy and your writing. It’s not something you can shoehorn in afterwards. Start with the needs and desires of your ideal audience, then do your research. Once you’ve got your topics and keyword research buttoned down, create well-structured content that answers your audience’s questions and is easy for them to engage with. Good user experience is about more than pretty designs.  

Here’s what we see.

1. Changing search behaviour   

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in Commercial type keyword searches (keywords related to buying stuff) and a decline in Informational type searches (looking for information). Voice search has grown, and video content is becoming more popular (and competitive). 

Just as you monitor social media trends to stay relevant, you should monitor search trends. What keywords and topics are becoming more popular? How are people consuming this content?  

A common mistake we see content managers make is to enthusiastically create new pages and content tailored to a trending keyword. Check to see if you have existing content that you could refresh and update first. You may have a page that could be tweaked to bring in more contemporary search terms or be converted to optimised video content.  

2. Search engines as answer engines

The People Also Ask section is a gold mine that far too many content creators overlook; it gives us an insight into what our target audience wants to know. Don’t forget that the purpose of a search is to find an answer.  

Yes, informational searches are trending down, and zero-click searches (where searchers don’t click on any of the search results) are trending up. But that doesn’t mean traditional questions-and-answer style content isn’t valuable. FAQs are an efficient way to share critical information that doesn’t need much elaboration. If it’s well-written and relevant, this type of content can make position zero (the featured snippet), and while it drives marketers up the wall that engagement here can’t be easily tracked, don’t underestimate the power of having your brand in that position for key search terms.  

This is precisely the space that enterprise-level businesses should be playing in. It’s about leading the way as a brand with your expertise, which brings us nicely to…  

3. Don’t be afraid of hairy topics in the pursuit of EEAT excellence

The internet – particularly social media – has enabled everyone, everywhere, to have an opinion. Search engines are trying to combat that to an extent, particularly for your ‘your money and your life’ topics. If you’re in finance, insurance, fintech, medical, health, or a related industry, your website needs to show that you have the expertise, experience and authority that your target audience can trust.  

This can be tricky to write. Too often, we see businesses shying away from important topics because it’s hard to find consensus across compliance, legal and marketing teams.

Don’t work in a silo. Bring in your experts, compliance team, sales team – whomever it takes – to find and create content around these ‘hairy’ topics. Conduct interviews with your experts, cross-reference with reputable resources and take the time to get it right. Spending extra time on this can get you much better results than creating fluff content that’s a bit off-topic. 

If your brand truly is the leading, most trustworthy and experienced authority in its field – show it in your content.   

Upskill your team with a content writing workshop

2024 promises to be another transformative year for marketers when it comes to social and content writing trends, with heaps of exciting opportunities in content and tech popping up.  

Trends like social commerce, new automation tools (like AI generated copy and video), and growing tech like augmented reality are all the talk. But for the purpose of this topic, we’ve focused on ‘words’. After all, words are STILL the primary way we communicate with each other on social platforms.  

Here are some predictions to ponder.

1. Quality over quantity

Surprise, surprise, but authenticity and genuine engagement are more valuable than the number of likes or followers you have. We can see there’s finally more of a shift in this direction where the focus is on building enthused, niche communities (and creating a robust sales funnel off the back of this).

In our experience, when you take a step back and target brand-lovers with authentic, personalised content, the ongoing trust and ‘return’ builds organically. Take time to respond to and reward your most loyal followers and don’t be in a rush (sorry, but it will take time).

Then, we encourage clients to really drill down on measurability, tracking all qualitative insights you get and to consider sales funnels to your website. For smaller clients – there are new payment opportunities too where conversion takes place on social platforms rather than a separate site (check out ‘social commerce’).

We’ve also noticed that relying on micro-influencers can be more effective in community building, over those with tonnes of followers. The term ‘influencer’ makes some of us cringe with its rather clinical vibe – but the truth is when you find well-aligned social partners, their genuine passion for you, your product or service will shine, as opposed to the over-commercial content that many users see nowadays in sponsored posts.  

Of course – if you can get J-Lo to talk up your organic beauty brand, then, this will be an exception :)

2. Share good news about sustainability and social responsibility – but take care

It’s no secret that social users of all ages are increasingly concerned about sustainability, environmental and social responsibility. If your brand can authentically demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social values or challenges– you should definitely talk about it in 2024.  

But, as with any comms in this space, make sure to have a robust strategy around this. Users see through puffery – and any whiff of greenwashing comes with regulatory / legal risk, and huge reputational risk.  

We encourage our clients to take great care positioning their ESG comms and reporting with honesty and openness, displaying gaps and areas for improvement and plans. Audiences appreciate the transparency, and there is grace in knowing you’re on a long journey.  

Most marketers (and consumers for that matter) get that greenwashing is about misrepresentation, misstatement and false / misleading practices when it comes to environmental, social and governance credentials and activities. There are now also different sub-types of greenwashing in the wider ESG industry (suggest you Google these terms: greencrowding, greenlighting, greenshifting, greenlabelling, greenrinsing, greenhushing).  

Get this strategy right from the beginning, with those ‘on the tools,’ well-informed and passionate about the right way of talking about this and how to respond to any queries.

3. Stay on the pulse with more reactive content

Reactive content is about incorporating timely, relevant posts in response to current or unfolding events, popular ‘trending’ conversations and topics on social. The key to this is adding something of value to the discussion, or having a brand-aligned opinion or response to things that are going on in the wider world. It makes for memorable conversation starters and even wins awards when done well.  

But – take heed. Misjudged or insincere attempts at capitalising on a trending topic can backfire and harm your reputation too.

Ideally your social teams have autonomy to respond swiftly. We’ve worked with corporates that used to require six sign offs for each post and we’ve helped them to change this process so it’s more productive and faster. If you’re too slow, you’ll miss the boat for newsworthy content.

Any social media teams should be experienced in basic PR with a good nose for opportunity but also what not to do. Don’t invite controversy unless it’s clever, purposeful and aligned to your core values, and be careful ‘taking a side’ unless it fits with your brand.  

Make sure those on the tools have creative initiative, the right tone of voice (always a must), and work closely with PR, marketing and other digital teams. Silos simply don’t work and this type of content needs to be company-aligned to your wider comms strategy.

Creating reactive content is more risky but the rewards are plenty, giving you much better cut through.  

Generative AI is a game-changer – there’s no doubt about it.

But the fundamentals of good writing haven’t changed. It’s still about human connection, originality, and authenticity. And in 2024, those skills will be more in demand than ever.

Here are three trends we’re predicting...  

1. A rise in human-based content

When creating any new content, a good rule of thumb is to ask: ‘could my competitors also do this?’

You both have access to the same AI tools – but only you have access to your people. Lived experiences and opinions can’t be created by a machine. And certain types of copy can only be generated by humans.

Consider formats that capture fresh insights, ideas and opinion – the likes of thought leadership, white papers, or op-eds. Or that capture human experiences and real-world happenings – with case studies, podcasts and personalised video content.  

Another thing AI can’t do (yet) is run a good interview.

A machine doesn’t understand the nuanced responses of a real human. It can’t read the subtleties of human emotion, or the room. But more importantly, it can’t spot those ‘aha, that’s interesting’ moments in a conversation, and pivot to find the gold.  

2. Building audience trust

With its plagiarism lawsuits, scandals and high-profile sackings – there’s never a dull moment in the AI space. But it’s also not surprising that audiences are wary of AI-generated content.

Brand owners need to restore their faith. More than ever, the onus is on them (and their writers) to ensure information is interrogated, verified, fact-checked, and authoritative.  

Another way to build trust is to be transparent about how you’re using AI. Consider using descriptive bylines, disclosure statements, verification stamps... generally just being upfront with your audience about where your content has come from.

Above all, content must be useful. Large language models are still prone to hallucinations, people-pleasing, and never getting to the point. The worst AI-generated copy is easy to spot. It’s vague, meandering, words-on-a-page. When creating any piece of content, it’s critical to keep interrogating its quality. Prompt, refine and repeat. (Or better still, interview one of your own experts).  

3. Plenty of (cautious) experimentation

Our clients at BOW work in highly-regulated environments – and while AI is still so new, they’re treading very carefully.  

In 2024, we’ll probably start to see more businesses use their own private sandboxes to explore their AI capabilities. Technologies like RAG (Retrieval-Augmented Generation) allow them to silo off their information and keep it out of the public domain.  

In the bigger picture, those in the creative industries will be looking to create their own AI-based products and IP. That’s about creating repeatable, scalable processes that can be applied across different marketing and writing functions.  

By leveraging their existing skills to adapt to AI formats, agencies will deliver even more value to their clients. It’s going to be a steep learning curve for everyone – and for much of it, we’ll be learning alongside our clients.  

In the near future we see Generative AI being a good creative partner for writers but our belief is you the tipping point will be 50% human 50% AI because you still have to THINK about the problem you are solving and differentiate your brand from others. Looks like 2024 is going to be a cracker year!

This article has been written by the following BOW contributors:  

Web writing trends: Gary Norris

SEO trends: Bethany Rogers

AI trends: Libby Schultz

Social media trends: Sarah Davies

Upskill your team on online performance

Kick of the year with a lunch-hour Q & A presentation on any of these topics:

  1. 2024 online writing trends - practical tips and strategies
  2. The 10 rules of good web-writing with real live examples
  3. What a good content audit and strategy should cover
  4. Why do I need to optimise and what should I be optomising?
Contact Ben or Sue

More Yarns


Like to know more about who we are?