Online Advertising Trends to Watch Out for in 2018


In 2018, we will see advertising trends like integrated advertising and geofencing being employed to offer potential customers relevant and useful opportunities. Machine learning will assist with analyzing data to allow companies to forecast more accurately. Chatbots will keep in constant dialogue with customers 24/7 offering instant answers to any product queries. Personalization remains key to any companies advertising success. Video and social advertising will continue to rise as an essential element of any ad campaign.

A Statista study predicts that by 2020, the US will be spending $113.18 Billion on digital advertising. Innovations in technology keep offering incredible advertising opportunities, and it is vital to analyze which of these are most beneficial to your particular industry.

One of the biggest marketing disrupters is machine learning. It offers up ways to analyze big data (structured and unstructured) to be able to predict customer behavior in the future. It can also be leveraged for intent signal monitoring where advertising can be displayed at the moment the target audience starts their buying journey.

Integrated advertising is one trend to focus on as it is an approach where multiple communication channels are combined to execute a successful advertising campaign. This is where TV, print, radio spots, social media search engine, and in-bound advertising all need to work together to ensure the target audience with a great brand experience. The amount of skills required today for a robust email marketing campaign is extensive. You have to be able to integrate the know-how of UX designer for the template, a content writer to create the copy, a designer to determine the visual look and feel, a programmer to provide the code, an analyst on standby to measure the KPI’s, perhaps a videographer to film an interview that can be embedded into the email and the account manager to put it all together. This is a significant amount of human resources that will be needed for each advertising initiative you create. We are in a multi-media world, and our advertising efforts must all be in sync to be effective. 

At the moment, dark social is set to constitute 84% of outbound sharing according to Radium One’s white paper, with 46% of consumers 55 and older only sharing via dark social channels. When we talk of dark social, we are talking about people who are engaging on channels like messenger apps, email, native mobile apps and secure browsing which are less monitored. Usually, we analyze the metrics regarding the number of people who are sharing links and interacting with social media platforms. It goes untracked by regular web analytics which means you are not getting the full picture of all of your advertising efforts. It’s a great area to invest some time and money to reach a particular demographic.

Geofencing will continue to gain traction. This technology for mobile users allows advertisers to use GPS and RFID tech to establish a specific physical boundary. If a mobile user enters that space, the advertiser can send out a relevant text, email or push notification to draw the potential customer to their location. This is hyper-local marketing that allows brands to offer location-specific discounts and offers at the moment. 

Some 2017 trends that will spill over into 2018 include:

  • Chatbots: These programs can engage a potential customer in a text conversation to provide relevant information 24/7 using natural language. You can always be advertising your products through these helpful, data driven dialogues.
  • Niche Marketing: Establish the needs of a targeted, segmented audience that have been ignored and fulfill their demands and requirements with the relevant goods they want.
  • Video advertising: 2017 saw the rise of the 6-second ad which has become extremely popular on various social media platforms. Adobe stated in 2015 that across the globe 52% of marketing professionals said that video was the content that provided the best ROI.
  • Social Advertising: The advertising spend on all of these platforms is astronomical and continues to rise. You can reach customers in an entirely new way on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with ads that are highly targeted toward everything from location to behaviors.
  • Personalization: Brands are envisioning a 6% increase in annual revenue due to increased personalization advertising efforts. Marketing strategies that embrace personalization to reach their segmented groups will get buy-in from treating their customers like a person instead of a number. 
  • Ephemeral content: This is advertising or content that disappears within 24 hours. It creates a sense of urgency in the customer so that they want to continually check back to the site to keep up with the latest announcements/offers/discounts because they know it will disappear by the following day.
  • In-Store Advertising: When a potential customer walks into a brick and mortar store, they can receive an instant alert about any promotional offers currently happening inside the store.

These are some of the trends that will dominate the 2018 advertising landscape. Technology keeps pushing us towards offering more personalized, relevant advertising. When we fully integrate these advancements, our revenue naturally increases. How many of these ad trends are you currently employing?

About Ideas Made Measurable!

At IMM, creating action isn’t just what we do — it’s who we are. Our agency is built to deliver full service capabilities while also delivering measurable results. Big data is the marketing buzzword everyone talks about but few understand. We are here to explain in plain English how data-driven, bottoms-up marketing strategies can help generate leads, drive sales and build your brand. We leverage the expertise of the staff at IMM, a data-driven, full-service digital advertising agency based in Boulder, Colorado.

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