2018 Digital Marketing Trends (From the Experts)

Kiley Peters

Content Marketing,
Digital Marketing

2018 Digital Marketing Trends

Happy New Year! Another year means new digital marketing trends coming in at lightning speed. Last year, it was all about influencer marketing and the massive expansion of social media. 2018 is the year of video, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. This industry never sleeps and is constantly changing. These are just predictions, but they're coming from a few industry professionals that have been around the block and have seen how changes in digital shift strategies and momentum. Stay on top of your brand's digital strategy by keeping these things in mind!

  1. Authenticity. I think 2018 is going to weed out a lot of fluff and crap that we consume. The Facebook algorithm update at the beginning of January 2018 is already a movement in the industry that supports this concept. I think marketers are going to get smarter about more succinct messaging and adding more heart to their content.
  2. Content Marketing. We've been saying this forever, and Andy Crestodina, CMO and  (listed below) is the king of content marketing, but I think more and more brands are going to realize the importance of having something to say and creating owned assets to say it across multiple different platforms. Below are the results of a recent poll from Smart Insights showing content marketing to be the top focus for businesses in 2018.
  3. Diversification of Distribution. I think marketers are going to start getting more creative and intentional about the platforms they participate on. While certain social media platforms seem to be a necessity, marketers are going to need to diversify their content strategies to stand out from the crowd. I anticipate seeing more creative content (video included) on platforms we haven't necessarily considered before. It should be pretty fun and exciting to see how marketers use these new outlets!
  4. Amazon Surge. Amazon has created an incredible e-commerce platform and distribution system. I see this expanding in ways that will surprise us in 2018 and 2019. With such a powerful platform, there are a number of endless opportunities.
  5. Influencer Marketing Plateau. While the last few years have placed a heavy focus on influencer marketing, it almost feels as if anyone could be an influencer these days. I see more micro-influencer strategies on the horizon, but anticipate more of these influencers turning into publishers if they haven't already. Creating a more multi-pronged approach, but not stealing the spotlight as they have over the past few years.
  6. Augmented Reality Becomes More Real. The marketplace is already moving in this direction and I think for a lot of marketers this seems so far-fetched. However, with more and more emphasis being placed on this being one of the next big things in digital, marketers should begin to prepare for this in long-term marketing strategies. We may not see it explode in 2018, but come 2019 and 2020, we should be prepared.

- Kiley Peters, Owner & CEO, Brainchild Studios

Artificial Intelligence.
"The 2018 digital marketing trend is hands down more cats. #morecats In all seriousness, we're faced with so many uncertainties and fake news and alternative facts and terrorism that it's sometimes nice to hang out online with cats. But if we can't do that for work, the thing you should be prepared to embrace is artificial intelligence. It is here and it's here to stay. Between chatbots, Facebook messenger acting as your assistant, better and smarter marketing automation, and data (ohhhhh, the data!), the time is ripe to evolve your work and make your life even easier. You'll have more time. You'll find the elusive work/life balance. Your days will be filled with rainbows and unicorns. It's time to embrace artificial intelligence. Do it for the unicorns."

- Gini Dietrich, CEO, Arment Dietrich, Inc.


"It’s video, baby! As more and more digital platforms become video publishers and streamers like LinkedIn, who added video uploads to their platform in October 2018, and Facebook, who is becoming an actual video channel with original programing those platforms will optimize video content. There is no escaping the need to be in the video game, the questions remain how all of that video will play with consumers, how will it be aggregated and played. Ultimately, for everyone it comes down to money. How do we get the cost of video down to become affordable for everyone and what will it cost to climb the video heap to get to the audience, or in the case of marketing - to the consumer.

American politics isn’t the only place in this country living in silos. The same is true of the internal systems at companies. The fact is that content is expensive to make and needs to do more work for the money. That means everyone needs to play nicely together. Content strategists are finding this is even truer in the area of video content. That stuff is expensive, but here is the cool part, analytically speaking this moving images boosts every spots you put it. So all of the departments from e-commerce to email need to team up with social media and find ways to create content, especially video content that can be shared. Everyone should be at the table when the content team starts talking concepts so maybe, just maybe, everyone can get a little piece of the video pie."

- Tracy Hatfield, Co-Founder & CEO, Social Snacks

Decreased Search Traffic.
"I predict less traffic for websites in 2018. I know that doesn't sound good, but it's happening. Google has added so many features to search results pages that clickthrough rates to websites is on the decline. More than ever, people expect to find answers right there within Google search results. Especially for informational queries, they want an immediate answer, without having to go to another page. Featured snippets and local search results are keeping visitors off of websites.

And for transactional queries, the visual prominence of Google products and ads is dominant. Even if you do rank number one, you may find yourself 2000 pixels down the page. Take a look at this search results page for "wedding dresses." I've highlighted in light blue the organic listing ...waaay down there at the bottom.


Brace yourself for a bit less search traffic in 2018. How to adapt? Double down on content and keywords or start budgeting for advertising!"

- Andy Crestodina, CMO & Co-Founder, Orbit Media


Founder & CEO

Kiley Peters is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a boutique audience research, content strategy, and website creation agency primarily serving brands targeting Millennial Moms or business owners. She is also the Founder of the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurial moms through the steps of starting a virtual business. She also launched the Brainchild Fund, a nonprofit initiative to support women and girls in business and entrepreneurship Follow her on Instagram.

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