5 Marketing Trends To Watch For In 2018

It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting colder, Christmas decorations are coming out and Christmas music has started being played in the malls.  2017 is coming to an end which means 2018 is just around the corner.

What a year 2017 has been? This past year has seen the digital marketing industry grow by leaps and bounds. Check out these practices with the highest growth:

  1. 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2017) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
  2. 53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2017) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
  3. 11% of marketers plan to add podcasting to their marketing efforts in the next 12 months. (HubSpot, 2017) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
  4. 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in the next year. (HubSpot, 2017) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
  5. 46% of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their content strategy in the next year. (HubSpot, 2017) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)


As a small business owner you mightbe asking yourself, What should I be looking at for next years marketing budget? Should I keep using what I am using or diversify further?

These are very good but somewhat complicated questions. For example, if you are currently using Facebook ads, Instagram and Twitter to advertise your business online and your not sure what to add. Consider these upcoming trends:

  1. Machine Learning

    97% of business leaders feel the future of marketing will consist of clever human marketers working in collaboration with machine learning-based automation entities.

    According to Digital Marketing Institute,

    “The ability to respond quickly and accurately to shifts in customer behavior will be vital in tomorrow’s world as people become more demanding, as well as tech savvy. Machine learning will assist in those efforts, offering nuggets of predictive knowledge in the waves of structured and unstructured data that can be leveraged to your advantage. Machine learning has already made an impact in healthcare and fraud detection, with PayPal using predictive technology to fight against money laundering. In 2018, it’s going to take the marketing world by storm, assisting with automated data visualization as well as content management and analysis.”

    Some examples of machine learning include: Programmatic Marketing (Facebook and Instagram Ads) and Chatbots.


    2. Integrating personalization into the user journey / customer experience

    To increase relevance and response of comms, website personalization has been widely used within transactional ecommerce sectors like retail, travel and financial services for a long time now.

    This past year has introduced many lower cost options for those businesses with small budgets. For example, there are options for web personalization varying from those integrated into content or commerce management systems to those integrated into analytics solutions or standalone Software as a Service (SaaS) personalization options that integrate with your CMS and analytics.

    3. The Evolution of StoryTelling

    Storytelling has been part of the marketer’s toolbox for the past few years. Marketers and salespeople has trained in listening to the customer and using personal experiences to convince them to purchase a product or service.

    Last year, this practice was updated with training in emotional engagement.


    Emotional engagement is the sister to rational engagement. Rational engagement is based on the stimulation of the mind, whereas emotional engagement is based upon the stimulation of the heart. In today’s age of brand experience, it seems that emotional engagement is proving to be more and more critical to achieving winning results and effective storytelling and digital marketing are at the heart of this movement.

    4. Dark social

    In today’s consumer-led market, people aren’t just sharing links to articles, videos and images on their social platform feeds. Now they’re engaging socially using other, less monitored channels, which include:

  • Messaging apps: Platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger
  • Email: To protect the privacy of users, referrers aren’t shared
  • Native mobile apps: the likes of dedicated Facebook and Instagram developments
  • Secure browsing: If you click from HTTPS to HTTP, the referrer won’t be passed on

With dark social reported to be responsible for 84% of outbound sharing it’s not an area to ignore in 2018. Driven by mobile and messaging, it is gaining serious momentum – and understanding it is crucial. If social traffic is only tracked with regular web analytics, a business may dramatically underreport the value that social media adds to your brand or business.

A report from RadiumOne shows that 46% of consumers aged 55 and older share via dark social only, compared to those aged 16 to 34, where only 19% do so.

Dark social offers a world of opportunity for brands and businesses and in 2018, investing time and money into this broad range of channels will not only help you reach a host of niche demographics but expand your reach significantly.

5. Video advertising

The demand for video is growing at an incredible rate. In fact, 52% of marketing professionals across the globe feel that video is the type of content with the best ROI. What’s more, 43% of people said they want to see more video content from marketers.

With the  younger demographic viewing more video on a wider range of devices than ever before, in 2018, video advertising will prove very fruitful for brands or businesses looking to market their products or services.

In a bid to increase usage and drive social engagement, the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter are embarking on a huge land grab for video content. In 2017, Facebook even embarked on a new format of video investing in 6-second ads developed with advertisers to hit consumers with faster messages.

For brands to stand out and build meaningful consumer or professional relationships, they must learn how to leverage video-based advertising across a range of channels to grab the attention of their target audience; be it 6 seconds or longer.

Thank you for reading!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts and ideas! I always welcome new ideas.

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