2018 Digital Marketing Trends: 40 Influencers Share their Predictions and Expectations
2017 was rough.
We had to deal with setbacks such as catching Facebook spying on us and the repeal of Net Neutrality, all while handling the unexpected deaths of our most favorite celebrities. There’s no denying 2017 had its fair share of disappointments.
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On the bright side, 2018 is here, which means a fresh, new start.
What do we have to look forward to in 2018? Well, we asked hundreds of influencers, entrepreneurs, and marketers what they were looking forward to and their marketing expectations for the new year.
From videos to segmenting to AI to being more human – the future is looking bright and it’s time to pull out our shades.
Predictions and Expectations for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018
Below are the best responses we received from 40 of marketing’s most influential thought leaders. Dig into this epic post to learn what we should expect from marketing in 2018.
And most importantly, always remember to keep moving forward.
Vice President of Marketing, Infusionsoft
Paul’s Prediction for More Digital Marketing Data in 2018:
"Knowing how to effectively measure the impact of digital marketing."
Most entrepreneurs didn’t start a business to become digital marketing experts, but they understand its importance because customers are online. The challenge they face is knowing how to effectively measure the impact of digital marketing, which is why 30 percent plan to get by in 2018 with the same investment as this year.
I would bet that most small businesses would double down on digital marketing if it was easier to assess and track return on investment. Fortunately, there is a lot of exciting innovation in tech enabling small businesses to mine the gold in their customer data and digital marketing in the coming year.
Digital Marketer and Strategist, Convince and Convert
Adam’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Strategies in 2018:
"Refining their overall approach in automation and nurturing their customers."
I believe marketing automation will become more important than ever and companies will do a better job refining their overall approach in automation and nurturing their customers.
Trust. If companies infuse more reliable and valuable content they will increase the amount of trust their customers have in them. This can be done through sharing more user generated content and being more authentic as a business. Consumers buy from who they trust and I believe if companies took trust more seriously they would see more growth.
Nicole Martins Ferreira
eCommerce Entrepreneur and Writer, Oberlo
Nicole’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"We're going to see a lot more gamification marketing in eCommerce."
In 2018, we're going to see a lot more gamification marketing in eCommerce. We've started seeing it recently with countless online stores gamifying their exit-intent pop-ups to collect emails and offer discounts.
We've also seen it with top brands using quizzes to gamify the personalization experience before showing product collections to customers.
Many of these gamified experiences have been proven to boost conversions and average order value. Brands who experiment with gamified features on their store will likely see great returns.
Samuel’s Expectations for Social Media Marketing in 2018:
"Social media is a medium and a set of tools, not a tactic."
In 2018, marketers will realize more and more that social media is a medium and a set of tools, not a tactic. There is no such thing as "social media marketing" or "doing social media." Those phrases make as much sense as saying "television marketing" or "doing television."
Rather, social media is a collection of mediums and tools that can be incorporated into existing marketing communications roles and functions. Advertisers can do advertising over social media. Direct marketers can do direct marketing over social media. Public relations executives can do PR over social media. Salespeople can do sales over social media. Customer support representatives can do customer service over social media.
Commerce Marketing Analyst and Speaker, Oracle + Bronto
Greg’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Strategies in 2018:
"We will see a stronger focus on refining current strategies."
I don’t think 2018 will bring radical changes to digital marketing as we know it. I believe we will see a stronger focus on refining current strategies in order to make them more effective.
For instance, in email marketing, segmentation has been the talk of the town for years. I believe companies will finally begin to use segmentation in more meaningful ways, including the use of personalized product recommendations (in both email and on the web), and targeted, automated messages based on user behavior, such as website browsing. The right message, at the right time, with the right content is achievable. It is up to the retailer to put resources into accomplishing it.
Greg’s 2018 Expectations for Growing Your Commerce Business:
The biggest growth opportunities for online retailers are in utilizing the marketing tools available to them, such as with email and social media. No one competes with Amazon. They live alongside them.
In order to retain and grow business, online retailers need to establish relationships and engage with their consumers. They need to provide a foundational reason why people would choose to shop with them. Implementing email marketing techniques that are intuitive to the user, such as product recommendations and behavior-based messages is a good start. Integrating user-generated content (UGC) into their marketing should also be an increasingly-used tactic.
Social media plays a critical role. Engaging in conversations with consumers will be integral in establishing this connection. Amazon wins because of convenience, but they lack personal engagement. Online retailers need to make shopping with them as convenient as possible, but add a personal touch, whether that is on social media or with their customer service.
John Leo Weber
Vice President of Marketing, Project Manager
John’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Strategies in 2018:
"2018 will mark the shift away from the traditional content strategy of 'more, more, more!"
2018 will mark the shift away from the traditional content strategy of “more, more, more!” With over 50% of online searches now done on mobile, digital marketers will have to start thinking about how to achieve “more with less”. A mobile phone searcher doesn’t want to read and scroll through your SEO-driven 10,000 word super content – they want quick, digestible content that is easily readable.
John’s Expectations for SEO in 2018:
For the first time, SEO and content teams will have to consider that adding massive amounts of content for ranking purposes might actually be harming the conversion rates of their clients. In 2018, we might actually hear SEOs preaching “less content”, which would be a massive change for the industry.
Entrepreneur and Founder of OptinMonster and WPBeginner
Syed’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Changes in 2018:
"The use of email marketing in connection with other acquisition channels."
I think the biggest change in 2018 will be the use of email marketing in connection with other acquisition channels such as Facebook ads, chat bots, and more. With recent native integration with FB ads in MailChimp, Drip, and other providers, I see more businesses becoming aware and running targeted ads to their email subscribers.
Syed’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Growth Opportunities in 2018:
I think the biggest growth opportunity for online businesses in 2018 will be the use of interactive marketing channels such as chatbots, quizzes, and behavioral live chat boxes. The companies that focus on these will find a lot of success in customer acquisition.
Founder, Thrive Themes
Shane’s Prediction for Net Neutrality's Impact in 2018:
"New regulations and privacy features in browsers will pose challenges."
Ad blocking is becoming a norm, with browsers adopting some form of ad blocking as standard. At the same time, new regulations and privacy features in browsers will pose challenges for 3rd party tracking and retargeting and I believe in 2018, we're likely to see the first significant impacts of these trends. Also, the US repeal of net neutrality could be a big threat to small online businesses, depending on how ruthlessly it is exploited by ISPs.
Shane’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Growth Opportunities in 2018:
That depends mostly on the scale of the business. For small to medium sized businesses, I believe the best opportunity lies in creating stronger connections with an audience. Focus on building a real fan base, instead of trying to reach everyone. You may not be able to get the reach you used to with retargeting and lookalike audiences and such, but your loyal fans will always find you again.
Gareth’s Prediction for Digital Marketing in 2018:
"One big change will be the rise of AI."
There is going to be a lot of big changes in the coming years, especially in 2018. We are already seeing a big increase in video, influencer marketing and the like, but one big change will be the rise of AI.
Automation has been around for awhile now, but it's beginning to get a lot more serious. With how AI is developing, we will see a lot of changes especially after how chatbots are coming along. They will soon be able to solve most customers inquiries, help with answering questions on social and much more.
We can no longer rely on outdated marketing efforts. This digital world is constantly changing and it's vital we keep up to date. Failure to do so, may result in loss of business.
How Companies Can Grow in 2018
One of the biggest growth opportunities in 2018 will be from influencer marketing. Brands are receiving a very high ROI from this, especially after working with targeted influencers that have a solid reach. Micro-influencers are also becoming more popular and brands have found great success working with those too.
People tend to trust influencers and customers more than what the brand states itself. This is why user-generated content is also doing extremely well - which is only going to become one of the best types of content.
Bottom Line: AI is going to be one of the biggest trends in digital marketing in 2018. With the success of chatbots and how brands are already implementing them to help with answering inquiries across their social channels, there's no doubt in seeing this rise in 2018. We can already see business growth from influencer marketing is on the high. People trust influencers, people trust those that are customers of a brand more than the brand itself. Influencer marketing and the use of user-generated content will help with business growth as it will show people trust your brand, especially if you use the content on your website.
Chief Executive Officer, Sigstr
Bryan’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Customers have wised-up to automated messaging and are burned-out."
We are in the third phase of marketing communications. Phase I was all about segmentation. Phase II was all about 1:1 marketing automation. This third phase is about authentic, helpful and human-to-human marketing.
This will be achieved by humans getting involved in the process. Customers have wised-up to automated messaging and are burned-out on irrelevant mass communication. Even really smart experiences, like landing page personalization, have become suspect to visitors. Everyone thinks AI will take over. However, I believe that the technology that can empower real, authentic communication will be in high demand.
With many different communications channels like Slack, Whatsapp, and Snapchat that have had such stratospheric success, a lot of people were expecting employee email to become less relevant. While the usage of these channels is remarkable – with Whatsapp on a pace to have 60 billion messages this year alone – they're still dwarfed by good old email, of which 274 billion will be sent this year!
Vice President, Lucktastic
Alex’s Expectations for 2018's Digital Marketing Trends:
"Building automated systems to help retain audiences will become commonplace."
The rise in user acquisition fraud. Attribution partners continue to build out solutions but black hat marketing is always one step ahead. I see more companies building internal fraud detection algorithms, moving towards a qualified user model, and doing direct traffic deals with their best sources to avoid paying for fake users.
As acquisition costs continue to rise, building automated systems to help retain audiences will become commonplace. Marketers will turn into data scientists, diving into their app’s specific metrics to build algorithms that predict lagging metrics, like LTV (lifetime value). Services like AWS machine learning make formerly complex correlation analysis affordable and relatively quick. Machine learning will become a commonplace tool for growth focused businesses.
Director of Digital Marketing, Solodev
Wes’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Expect chatbots to become part of a much larger conversation in marketing strategy."
Expect chatbots to become part of a much larger conversation in marketing strategy. Chatbots hold enormous potential for 2018 and beyond. They might seem like afterthoughts to most marketing strategies, but they’ll play a much more prominent role next year.
Thanks to AI, chatbots are becoming more sophisticated in conversations with a target audience. And after Facebook allowed third-party apps to build chatbots in Facebook Messenger, the price of using them lowered drastically. Pair that knowledge with rapidly advancing AI and Deep Learning, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the biggest marketing opportunities in recent years.
Photographer and Founder, Gridfiti
Nick’s Prediction for 2018's Biggest Digital Marketing Changes:
"Users want to be able to find it all in one spot."
The biggest change that will happen in digital marketing will be an increased focus on content curation. There is so much noise on social media and with so much good content out there, users want to be able to find it all in one spot. Accounts that are curating the best content in a specific interest will have great success and will become the new go-to for influencer marketing.
The biggest growth opportunity online will continue to be in video. Video platforms are growing at a high rate and it is the most engaging form of content. As high-quality video becomes easier to produce, brands that can capitalize on this will see plenty of success.
Head of Global Marketing, SEMrush
Olga’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Make 2018 a year of your brand, its values, understanding why the brand exists."
Have you checked if your marketing team works together? If they don’t, then you’re staying in 2017. Make sure your PR, content, SEO, social and PPC are all aligned. They impact each other more than they have ever done.
If your PR team felt they could experiment before on some market and that wouldn’t affect other departments, then now be sure that the social media team will have to put some of their projects on hold to clean up the PR mess. Yep, people won’t leave the comments below your blog posts, feel free to find active discussions about your content in closed Facebook communities and involve PR team if they are far from nice.
It all comes down to having an aligned efforts of people who are motivated to work together. And only a strong team can form and/or sustain a strong brand. Make 2018 a year of your brand, its values, understanding why the brand exists and then translating this clear purpose through all of the channels. A collective effort and aligned goals of the teams will make your brand unbeatable whatever comes - Google updates, budget cut-downs, PR crisis.
Our most recent Ranking Factors study proved that brand authority and strength has a serious impact even on your SEO efforts. The gap between traditional and digital marketing is narrowing down, and both branches of marketing can and have to learn a big deal from each other.
Chief Marketing Officer, VitaMedica
Stuart’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Look for more and more companies to accompany videos with their outreach campaigns."
In 2018, look for more and more companies to accompany videos with their outreach campaigns. Videos now appear on over 70% of search results, and according to studies, 46% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a video.
Seeing as videos can create backlink opportunities and most videos result in a solid 'average time on page,' different search engines benefit from companies using video as a marketing tactic. With social videos generating 1200% more shares than text and images combined, according to WordStream, look for video sharing to be a big SEO trend in 2018.
Ash’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"More video focused digital marketing versus text based."
You will see more video focused digital marketing versus text based. Video is dominating mobile and other forms of viewing which any expert can tell you. However video in the form of advertisements and position is becoming more custom, call to action based and clever in terms of creative.
Author and Fou
Josh’s Expectations for 2018's Digital Marketing Trends:
"Online businesses that want to thrive in 2018 will continue to create valuable content for their audiences."
While the full impact is likely years away, the blockchain appears to be set to impact marketing in ways not seen since the creation of the internet itself, and 2018 will the the year in which forward-thinking individuals and companies create their strategies around it so that when the time is right they can jump in full force and not get left behind.
I remain bullish on content, and I always will. Fundamentally, marketing has not changed in 20,000 years, since the days of the caveman. We create content, we deliver it to our audience, the audience responds to that content, we analyze the response, and react accordingly.
A few millennia ago we communicated through paintings on cave walls, then paintings on canvas, then telegraph, telephone, radio, TV, and now it's the internet. The channel or medium changes, the tactics change, but marketing is fundamentally content marketing and online businesses that want to thrive in 2018 will continue to create valuable content for their audiences.
Influencer and Chief Executive Officer, The Social Chain
Steven’s Prediction for 2018's Digital Marketing Trends:
"Social media will increasingly become an immersive experience with users engaging far beyond a like or a retweet."
Chatbots. The customer experience is about to be revolutionized for brands, who can now personally engage with users, at scale. At the moment there are over 10,000 bots on Facebook Messenger with 300 million users on the platform, so expect big increases in the use of bots in 2018.
Social media will increasingly become an immersive experience with users engaging far beyond a like or a retweet. With AI and 360 becoming prominent, the integration of social feeds and reality is predicted to be the next big thing.
This year we’ve seen social feeds being overlaid onto reality in the shape of AI lenses on the likes of Snapchat & Instagram, so it’s exciting to see what 2018 holds.
Chief Revenue Officer, Adyoulike
Francis’s Expectations for Digital Marketing Opportunities in 2018:
"Two opportunities will combine to make a content ecosystem that is a better fit for everyone."
While our abundant ad-tech arsenal has long supported super-precise targeting what it has not offered is personalized messaging with a format that is built to be personalized. This will be a key shift in 2018.
Publishers are rebooting long-held ambitions at personalizing content delivery for their users. It’s a smart idea - not only can personalized content engage users for longer, the data on which personalization depends can also be leveraged to make for better, more relevant ads. Now the two opportunities will combine to make a content ecosystem that is a better fit for everyone.
Jess’s Expectations for Digital Marketing Growth in 2018:
"More than ever, people want that personal connection."
I think in 2018, the biggest change we'll see is marketers using more personalized approaches in their promotions. These big blanket promotions aren't working as well, and more than ever, people want that personal connection. This is where more targeted ads will come into play, as well as more Facebook messenger bots.
The biggest growth opportunity in 2018 is going to continue to be more video. Every social platform is favoring live video more and more, yet, businesses are afraid to jump in. YouTube is great for growing your organic reach, but we can't forget about Facebook and Instagram live as well – it's another avenue to connect with your audience.
Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute
Robert’s Expectations for Digital Marketing Growth in 2018:
"Paid media in general will go through the most fundamental change in 2018."
Becoming more integrated and flexible with their business model. Most online businesses have the ability to look to multiple business models from content, product, services and the combinations each of these provide. Businesses that have the innovative spirit to continue to experiment with their lines of business - and follow the leaders such as Amazon, Google, Facebook etc. All - will be poised for huge growth in 2018.
I’ll call it the “great decline” of programmatic media. Paid Media in general will go through the most fundamental change in 2018. We will see native and other in-stream opportunities continue to grow, as the programmatic serving of banners begins to decline. Specifically on the B2B side, ABM (Account Based Marketing) will continue to grow - and will become the go-to for many growth strategies.
Finally, on the Content Marketing side - the move to focusing on addressable audiences and more holistic content “platforms”, rather than “ad hoc content production” will become the play. Watch for a move to centralize content marketing creation, production and distribution.
President, Nealon Solutions
Gary’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Chatbots are going to make it easier than ever before."
Ask any marketer and they will agree, 2018 is going to be the year of chatbots. For any small business owner that is looking to engage with their customers and potential customers on Facebook, chatbots are going to make it easier than ever before.
It also saves the business owner from having to hire or assign a full-time employee to that engagement. The best part about chatbots? You can acquire a lead much more affordably and get in touch with these potential customers on various platforms instead of just Facebook.
Influencer and Blogger, Savory Tooth
Julia’s Predictions for Engaging Audiences in 2018:
"The biggest change to digital marketing will be a primarily mobile audience."
The biggest change to digital marketing will be a primarily mobile audience, which is what all of our content should be designed for. The biggest growth opportunity for online businesses is to produce useful video content to engage readers.
Chief Executive Officer, Time Out Group
Julio’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"The growing variety of channels has the potential to change how companies evolve their content."
2018 will bring many changes to digital marketing. GDPR will have a significant impact; while it brings new, stricter regulations it will also improve the data advertisers have at their disposal which can result in more efficient campaigns for both brands and consumers.
Another hot topic will be brand safety as advertising clients and agencies are increasingly demanding much safer environments. At Time Out, content is king and we are seeing more and more brands who want to tap into this curated, high-quality content by professional writers.
Further to that, the growing variety of channels has the potential to change how companies evolve their content with video being one key driver of content consumption and traffic via social media to sites.
Finally, 2018 could be the year of voice and might really change how users engage with brands and content. Time Out just launched an app on the Google Assistant; users can “Talk to Time Out” to get inspiration for a night out or the weekend ahead, making it easier than ever to make the most of the city.
Chief Marketing Officer, Appirio
Latane’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Technology is at the forefront of creating personalized experiences."
CMO spending on technology is quickly catching up with that of CIOs. In 2012, Gartner predicted that by 2017, CMOs will be spending more on tech than CIOs.
In 2016, Gartner confirmed this prediction, writing that in “2016, CMOs allocated 3.24 percent of revenue to technology spending, which is very close indeed to the 3.4 percent of revenue CIOs earmark for IT.”
The analyst firm explains that marketing technology has now become one of the core technology systems that run a business. They write: “Customer preferences and behaviors have changed and buying journeys are increasingly self-directed and digitally led. Which means that, more than ever, multichannel marketing is among the most critical customer-facing, revenue-generating functions.”
At Appirio, we believe that Customer Experience (CX) has indeed emerged as what Gartner calls “the competitive battlefield”, and that technology is at the forefront of creating personalized experiences.
For example, we have seen a rise in the need for marketing technologies that enable data-driven decision making; tools that can pull and analyze customer data. In today’s digital landscape, marketers who can automate the timing, channel, and content of each communication with customers will stand the greatest chance for success.
Founder, Smarthome NX
Dhaval’s Prediction for Virtual Reality Trends in 2018:
"2018 is the year when digital goes beyond just our screens."
2018 is the year when digital goes beyond just our screens. With the recent developments in AR and VR as well as the Internet of Things; the internet, the cloud and information is going beyond the smartphones of the consumer. Therefore, 2018 is going to see mainstream media spends, creative spends happening directly by brands in VR, AR content, Amazon Echo skills and more.
It will be the first year when marketers will start building more immersive brand experiences that will not only be interactive but also present new opportunities to showcase their products in a new light. With e-commerce continuing to become mainstream, VR/AR will work as a means to move prospective consumers from a consideration stage to the decision stage.
With voice interfaces becoming more intelligent Siri and Alexa will provide personalized brand experiences to the customer at the right time and at the right place. 2018 will be the year when brands will be able to have "real-time" conversations literally with the consumers!
Director of Marketing, ShareIQ
Jonathan’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Brands will move away from a reliance on spray-and-pray advertising approaches to drive brand discovery."
In 2018, more brands will move away from a reliance on spray-and-pray advertising approaches to drive brand discovery. While digital ads can be effective at driving awareness, in a universe of screens and channels, it’s harder to get the attention -- and dollars -- of consumers at scale.
We’re seeing “challenger” brands eat into the dominance of large traditional marketers, in large part because they have abandoned expensive paid media programs and are making bigger bets on cost-effective earned media marketing campaigns.
Jonathan's Expectation for Growth Opportunities in 2018:
As we’re seeing from our own customers, the online brands that will grow in 2018 are those that push for a deep understanding of the value of their earned media investments and programs, on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, and across every screen and device.
As up-and-coming brands are showing, areas such as influencer, visual content and social media marketing can pay dividends over expensive traditional advertising campaigns. But these earned media programs must be held to the same standards, metrics and measurement as paid media.
There will be a tremendous opportunity for brands that understand new ways to engage consumers along the discover-to-buy pathway. Smart marketers will look to optimize their earned media programs, get deep insights about who, where, when and how their visual content is engaged with and use data and analytics to get the most value from these investments. The drive for 2018 is for earned media ROI.
Chief Marketing Officer, Datorama
Leah’s Expectations for Digital Marketing in 2018:
"The biggest change to digital marketing in 2018 will be the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) as a creativity enabler."
The biggest change to digital marketing in 2018 will be the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) as a creativity enabler. The role of the data analyst is changing thanks to AI. With studies indicating that up to 80% of an analyst’s daily routine was relegated to data cleansing and preparation, 2018 will be the year where that 80/20 rule gets flipped upside down. AI will also allow marketers to focus once again on the creative art of marketing — the days of data wrangling are coming to an end.
As today’s marketers are burdened by a plethora of siloed point solutions, 2018 will also be the year that marketing intelligence enables online marketers to take control of their data to better leverage insights for overall business growth.
By deploying solutions that leverage AI, flexible data modeling capabilities and automated insights, marketers will be able to connect and unify, analyze, and act on all of their respective marketing data immediately.
Co-Founder, Fit Small Business
Marc’s Expectations for Content Marketing in 2018:
"Adding webinars in 2018 to make our content marketing efforts more effective."
Fit Small Business is very much focused on adding webinars in 2018 to make our content marketing efforts more effective. The challenge we have is taking readers interested in more general high funnel content and moving them more towards consideration and purchase part of the buying process.
We think webinars are going to allow us to do this effectively. In 2017, we dipped our toe in the water and developed 5 different webinars. In 2018, we will be heavily promoting these webinars and regularly having them.
Head of Content, Whalar
Chelsea’s Prediction for Growth Opportunities for Online Businesses 2018:
"The biggest change to digital marketing in 2018 will be the democratization of creative. "
The biggest change to digital marketing in 2018 will be the democratization of creative. Brands are now able to grow their digital presence by working with a diverse group of creators, as opposed to just one agency, to produce content at scale.
The #1 growth opportunity for online businesses is to make the most of the rise of online creators to help produce amazing content for their digital marketing campaigns.
Shep’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"More and better personalization."
One of the big opportunities for digital marketing in 2018 will be more and better personalization. Brands will be marketing to the right person, at the right time, at the right place, and with the right message.
Data will give us great insights into our customers. Mobile apps and messaging to the customers’ favorite channels will make one-to-one (at least it will seem like one-to-one to the customer) messaging more effective than ever. The brands that get this will have the advantage and will turn casual customers into repeat customers.
Daniel’s Prediction for Growth Opportunities on Social Media in 2018:
"Companies should double down on creating both short form and long form video content."
Facebook is prioritizing video content more then ever. In 2018 companies should double down on creating both short form and long form video content. This is not necessarily a major change, but it is something that is working well and continues to be a major opportunity for any business online.
For 2018 businesses need to be taking advantage of Facebook Custom Engagement Audiences. Facebook Custom Engagement Audiences are incredibly powerful because they enable you to run your whole marketing funnel on Facebook.
For example, you can target people who has previously watched 10 seconds of a certain video of yours. Using "if, then" logic you can sequence people from one video to the next and then finally to a Lead Ad.
Sam’s Predictions for 2018's Digital Marketing Trends:
"Intelligence is paving the way to scaled marketing and sales on a personal level."
AI, without a doubt! Artificial Intelligence is paving the way to scaled marketing and sales on a personal level — and it's gradually becoming a part of EVERYTHING we do online, including Social Media, SEO and content creation / deployment (plus much more). It's been hyped to the moon and back, but it's here and it's happening — now. The gap between laggards and innovators will continually widen as the tech evolves. It will be clear who the winners are in digital as we journey through 2018.
Sam’s Predictions for Growth Opportunities in 2018:
Again, AI. This is especially the case for larger brands with many employees, marketing initiatives and operations. Time-heavy tasks can be set to autopilot, while promotions and sales processes are dramatically enhanced as resource is similarly reduced. The key to expedited growth!
Head of Marketing, BioClarity
Matt’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"With the depleting organic SERP space, digital marketers and SEOs will have to take a more diverse approach."
In 2018, I believe that Google will continue to push paid search ads and claim the majority of the above the fold organic search engine results page (SERP) - making paid search the biggest growth opportunity for online businesses. As we are currently experiencing at the tail end of 2017, Google continues to add more and more ad space leaving little to no room for organic listings above the fold.
That being said, digital marketers and SEOs will have to work extra hard to either claim local listing space or one of the top 3 positions. Even then, your organic listing will live beneath the standard top 3 ads that have been made to look more like organic listings, as well as under the more recently implemented Google Shopping Ads.
With the depleting organic SERP space, digital marketers and SEOs will have to take a more diverse approach to their overall digital marketing campaigns. Clients and marketers will need to begin implementing multiple forms of digital marketing tactics including paid search, social media marketing, local SEO, in addition to their current SEO and paid campaigns if they hope to dominate a given Google SERP.
Founder, Fortune Lords
Danny’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends and Opportunities in 2018:
"More marketers will invest their resources into influencer marketing, content marketing, and YouTube."
More marketers will invest their resources into influencer marketing, content marketing, and YouTube. The reasons are the increasing numbers of people who use ad-blockers and the growth of video usage.
Influencer marketing because it brings the highest ROI. The biggest mistake most marketers make with influencer marketing is that they count on one-off campaigns. The key is to build long-term relationships with influencers.
Author and Founder, Digital Press
Nicholas’s Predictions for Branding and Growth Opportunities in 2018:
"The biggest growth opportunity in 2018 will absolutely be more value-driven storytelling."
The biggest change in digital marketing will be a stronger focus on personal branding. It's a shift we've been seeing over the past few years, but more and more executives and entrepreneurs are starting to see the immense value in building an audience for themselves—making their company's message much more personal.
The biggest growth opportunity in 2018 will absolutely be more value-driven storytelling (which tends to be the result of personal branding). Even major brands and companies are learning that "advertising" in the conventional sense only accomplishes a small portion of their larger goals as a company.
Advertising is awareness, but it's not a good representation of more meaningful on-brand conversations. The more that companies and their founders can step out from behind the "brand veil," the more successful they will ultimately be.
Rachel Jo Silver
Founder, Love Stories TV
Rachel’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Those who find ways to leverage the real people and real stories talking about their brand will have the biggest growth opportunity."
The biggest change for digital marketing in 2018 will be a swing back to ‘organic feeling content’. Digital marketers have become so good at leveraging FB/IG’s custom & lookalike audiences and retargeting ads that they easily grab all of the low-hanging-fruit-purchasers when they launch a new product/SKU/or promotion. The challenge is how to get these customers coming back, spending more, and being loyalists who ‘choose’ your brand again and again.
This is achieved via organic ‘feeling’ content. Marketers will need to embrace IG stories, real customer advocates, and learn how to leverage existing content that features their products and services. Marketers who focus on polished, perfect, brand-made content will be the losers. Those who find ways to leverage the real people and real stories talking about their brand will have the biggest growth opportunity.
This urgency around high quality but authentic content is the insight that led me to found Love Stories TV. There’s been a huge uptick in the creation of high quality, cinematic, social-friendly wedding videos in recent years. These films are like commercials for the weddings’ products and services plus they feature real love stories. A perfect example of organic content that can drive people to shop. We’ve launched campaigns with brands including David’s Bridal and Bonobos and we’ll be scaling these types of partnerships in 2018.
Chief Executive Officer, DOmedia
Ken’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Changes in 2018:
"The biggest change for digital marketing will be a massive improvement to cross-channel advertising effectiveness."
I think the biggest change for digital marketing will be a massive improvement to cross-channel advertising effectiveness, driven by the dramatic rise in audience addressability within so-called “traditional” media formats. The data and granular ad-serving that underpins digital advertising makes it ideal for identifying and targeting niche audiences; broadcast media formats combined with programmatic tech make it possible to reach a huge share of that audience.
Then, mobile is there to facilitate activation. For example, this year saw out-of-home ads (OOH) being used to retarget consumers in a number of campaigns. When you compare the impact of a full-scale digital billboard with that of a banner ad, it is obvious which is going to move the needle more for major B2C brands.
I think the biggest growth opportunities for online businesses will continue to be in logistics. The real battle is always going to be getting consumers what they want, as close to the second they want it as is possible. Brick-and-mortar still has a bit of an advantage there. But automation, self-driving vehicles and AI give online businesses, which benefit more from scale, the chance to really erase the advantage of being physically proximate to the consumer.
Founder, Quarry Design Group
Brendan’s Prediction for Digital Marketing Trends in 2018:
"Audio content and voice user interface becoming increasingly more integral to consumer's daily behavior."
Based on the advancements that have occurred in the digital assistant race over the later part of 2017, combined with the explosion in podcast popularity over the past several years, I foresee audio content and voice user interface becoming increasingly more integral to consumer's daily behavior.
Quite simply, audio and VUI are the most convenient and efficient ways to consume content and interact with hardware, as both require the least amount of attention possible. Brands and businesses would be wise to position themselves ahead of this trend through things like Alexa skill/brief development, and shifting part of a blog content strategy over to a podcast or audio content strategy.
Dara’s Prediction for Social Media Marketing in 2018:
"There will be more of a focus on social video moving forward to the point where some brands become regular broadcasters."
With how all of the networks are prioritizing social video within their algorithms we think that there will be more of a focus on social video moving forward to the point where some brands become regular broadcasters from their social channels.
The #1 growth opportunity for online businesses in 2018, we'd say it's to connect with your audiences better through strong storytelling. Consumers have so many options when it comes to purchasing products and services, the brands that connect with their target audiences on an emotional level will be the ones who see the most success moving forward.
Digital Marketing Trends in 2018 and Beyond
2018 is looking bright for us marketers. Technology is coming to the forefront, while personalization and creative, engaging content is become more and more essential.
What do you predict for digital marketing trends in 2018? Let's keep up this conversation and let us know in the comments!