Marketing Trends and Predictions for DMOs
We surveyed destination marketers all over North America to find out how their 2024 strategies are shaping up. Then we scrubbed through hundreds of reports, articles, podcasts, and posts to see what the experts are saying. From platform shuffles to a creator economy in flux to the accelerating influence of AI, it’s clear that 2024 will demand not just tactical adjustments, but total evolution.
A majority of destination marketers agree that short-form video will *still* be the talk of the town in 2024, with Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts taking the buzziest channel spots.
78% of respondents plan to prioritize Reels, but only 30% will be focusing on their IG Stories strategy.
Almost every respondent in every budget bracket plans to distribute creator-made content through Instagram ads.
66% of respondents wish they could dump X from their channel mix.
On Meta’s suite of apps, old-school social tools and features are falling by the wayside in favor of celebrity chatbots, AI-recommended short-form video feeds, metaverse-style avatars, and mixed reality gaming. Meanwhile, TikTok’s new content creator monetization system could signal a long-form comeback, while YouTube marches in the opposite direction towards a Shorts-heavy year.
Keep your video library stockpiled — short-form video promises to stay on top in 2024 while demand for longer-form content will start to resurface across social channels.
Social algorithms are shifting focus to high entertainment value content (video, video, video) to keep users on the apps.
Destination marketers are in the crosshairs, forced to meet competing demands for entertainment — entertainment made for algorithms that are hungry for viral potential, and entertainment made for users that seek authenticity and relatability.
Social dominates the awareness stage. 77% of travelers start their trip planning on a social channel [source].
Traditional social tactics just won’t float: 34% of consumers say excessive self-promotion will turn them off a brand [source].
As social channels create more incentive to stay on their apps, more search and discovery patterns happen there.
To drive awareness in the entertainment era, destination marketers should continually play with new storytelling formats, prioritize social SEO, and deep dive into metrics that help them uncover the sweet spot between virality and relatability.
The last decade of social media was all about being polished and put together, aspirational and inspiring. Now, everyone’s sick of it.
Demand for authentic and relatable content is giving rise to a micro-influencer revolution that will change the way destination marketers approach storytelling and the content partnerships they pursue.
The most common payout for influencer and creator content is $500 or less — 31% of DMOs spend within this range.
88% of consumers say it’s important for influencers to be authentic and genuinely care about their interests [source].
81% of the destination marketers we surveyed have seen an increase in engagement on social media through UGC.
Destination marketers can appeal to travelers by pursuing more relatable and emotionally authentic storytelling through partnerships with micro-content creators and passive marketing tactics.
AI use has exploded, especially for tasks related to content creation, like copywriting, content writing, and photo editing. This has helped social media and content practitioners focus more on rapid testing and strategy. And that’s just at the individual level.
At 79%, DMOs with budgets between $100k-$200k are the most likely to use AI in 2024.
Only 20% of the destination marketers we surveyed are worried that AI will threaten the work they do.
74% of destination marketers we surveyed who use AI work at the director level in their DMO.
Destination marketers should not only continue to learn about this technology, but also use it and experience how it works. In the years ahead, many of us will be more than AI users — we’ll be AI tinkerers.