Ultimate guide to digital marketing trends 2018

The Ultimate Guide To Digital Marketing Trends 2018

Ri Web

Innovations in digital marketing move at the speed of light.

This makes keeping up with the latest developments a nightmare.

And simply ‘keeping up’ isn’t enough if you truly want to take advantage of all the opportunities the online world affords.

For that, you need to be ahead of the game.

To get ahead and stay there it’s important to understand future trends. This will allow you to double-down your efforts in areas of big growth to catapult your business ahead of the competition – regardless of resources.

Because, whilst it is a minefield, digital is a great democratiser.

This guide was built as a way for small business owners and digital marketing pros to obtain that cutting edge for their 2018 strategies.

This extensive guide will put you ahead of the game this year.

To save you scouring the internet we’ve interviewed and compiled top experts in an array of fields to discover what the hottest trends of 2018 will be.

From SEO and web design to social media and content marketing, we’ve covered everything you need to know.

As ever, leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below and we’ll get straight back to you.


Table of Contents

Use the links below to navigate through the book.

1 – SEO Trends 

2 – Social Media Trends

3 – Web Design Trends

4 – Content Trends

5 – General Trends

6 – Final Thoughts   [bctt tweet=”Check out the Ultimate Guide To Digital Marketing Trends 2018! Everything you need to know for the year ahead! #DigitalMarketing #SocialMedia #SEO” username=”Ri_Web_”] [vc_empty_space height=”65px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″]2018 SEO Trends

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Will Craig, Digital Impact

   The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Trends 2018 - SEO Trends 2018Optimise For Voice

The way people search online is changing. And voice search is the new big thing of 2018.

With Google Voice, Amazon Echo, Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri all a part of our daily lives, chatting to your technology is now the norm.

With 20% of searches now performed through voice search, marketing strategies are going to need to adapt as that percentage continues to grow.

The big change for SEO is keywords. Rather than short keywords people are asking real questions as if in a conversation. But they want direct and local answers. And they want them now, not to trawl through pages of search results.

So how do you adapt? Think conversational and natural keywords. Make sure you are answering questions in your content. Know your target audience, how they search, what they search, and how they talk. Get on Google My Business and update all listings.

As a small business it’s important to stay ahead of the game and getting involved with voice search might have you ranking well before the others catch on.

Optimising for mobile was 2017, optimising for voice search is 2018.

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Andrew Wheller, The Pen Warehouse

   Andrew Wheller on the ultimate digital marketing trends guide 2018Mobile First Indexing

The SEO trend that will have the biggest impact in 2018 will be the introduction of mobile first indexing. Google have already been testing this new way of ranking in various industries and locations and the plan to start rolling it out during the year 2018.

Mobile first indexing basically means that desktop versions of a website will no longer be indexed, instead search engines (Google) will give preference to mobile versions of the website instead. The result of this means that any desktop only content will not be visible by search engines and won’t give any weighting towards rankings.

The outcome means that webmasters will need to ensure that their websites are fully optimised for mobile, the best solution in my opinion is either via a responsive or adaptive web design that help bridge the gap between desktop and mobile versions of the same website.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) will also become more and more popular as a result of this mobile first indexing.

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Tim Platt, Virtual Operations

   B2C’s Need To Think Voice Search

In 2017 we saw a continued increase in the use of mobile devices for accessing web content – smartphones and tablets.  That trend will continue in 2018 – especially for B2C businesses (maybe less so for B2B).  This shouldn’t be surprising, as everyone now has a super-computer in their pocket – and the speed of these devices has never been better.  But what is also on the rise is voice search.  Increasingly, consumers are using the voice search features of their phones – and also in their homes – thanks to Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Echo.  How can you capitalize on this?  Make sure your web site is ranking well in the search results for natural language phrases.  People can be more verbose when they speak , as opposed to composing a search on their keyboard.  So test your website results by using voice search, or at least simulating the verbose sort of queries that someone might be likely to use.   You can then optimize your content such that it will rank better.  A good idea is often an FAQ type of page done in a “question and answer” style – this is a golden opportunity to compose a lot of text that will be a direct match for how someone might search. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Eagan Heath, Get Found Madison

   Eagan Heaath on the top digital marketing trends of 2018 - SEO trends 2018Increasing Importance of Google My Business

  • We’ll continue to see an increase in voice search, which will only make being the top result in search even more valuable
  • I’d guess we might see a relative decline in the importance of backlinks for SEO authority as search engines like Google become smarter as serving relevant content in response to queries.
  • In the local search space, the website will continue to be displaced by the Google My Business results as Google serves up the information people need about businesses directly on the result page. That’s we’re including map result impressions and actions in our client dashboards; not all leads will even go to the website.

 [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] The Ri Web View: the murky world of SEO is still going strong despite many ‘experts’ suggesting it’s a dying art at every opportunity. We suggest you ignore such claims and instead listen to the experts.

SEO doesn’t die, it just frequently evolves and the latest evolution many of our contributors have pointed out is the move to voice search. The ferocity with which Google, Amazon and Apple are pushing voice makes it almost inevitable that searches using voice will increase exponentially in 2018 – so be prepared for it.

The other interesting development? Google My Business – brush up on this but we’ll be bringing you more information on the blog to help soon! [vc_empty_space height=”65px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″]Social Media Trends 2018

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Nick Le, Gridfiti


Nick Le on the ultimate digital marketing trends guide 2018 - social media trends 2018Niche Influencers

To succeed in the social media in 2018, there needs to be a focus on micro-influencers. An influencer who might not have a massive following, but a smaller following with high engagement. Using a micro-influencer will be more cost-effective for businesses and allow for a more targeted approach.

Additionally, content curation will see heavy growth in 2018. The internet is just filled with so much noise that makes it difficult for users to find the absolute best content for the topic they’re searching for. Doing roundups and collecting the best content from around the internet on a certain topic will be much more enticing for individuals. Users want to follow one account for one thing that they are interested in, instead of 10. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Ryan Redding, DP Digital Marketing

   Ryan Redding on the ultimate digital marketing trends of 2018Refine Your Social Media

Generally speaking, I see 2018 as being a year where focusing on the basics is hugely important.

By that- I mean that companies and brands have more marketing channels now more than ever: Facebook, Periscope, Blogs, YouTube Channels…. truly, there are hundreds of digital options a brand could choose to leverage.

However, with all those channels, there’s a very real risk of creating an issue called “the inoculation effect”. This is a phenomena discovered by social psychologists that helps explain that sometimes, the more often we’re exposed to a certain type of persuasion (“buy this product”, “follow our page”, “subscribe to our channel”, etc), the LESS impact they have over time.

In fact, NPR had a fascinating article that spoke about the long term pitfalls costs that social media strategies were creating in China. In that study, Chinese businesses experienced a short term increase in sales of 5%. But, over the long term, the negative relationship with companies and their customers deteriorated by nearly 300%. In other words, over time, social media might actually be decreasing sales for these companies.

As a marketer, this is scary information.

So, for 2018, I view this is a great opportunity to return to the basics. Focus less on the channel, and focus more on your customer. Create powerful reasons for people to want to engage with your brand. Which, for most marketers, means reminding us to become less tactical, and more empathetic.

As a species, we love the power of a good story. So, marketers, should build a powerful story that connects with the emotional drives of your customers. Remember that business is ultimately about people, and people aren’t rational beings who sometimes emote; we’re emotional beings who sometimes think.

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Steve Bartlett, Social Chain

   Steve Bartlett Social Chain on the Ultimate digital marketing trends guide 2018 - social media trends 2018Social Media & AI

Social media will becomeincreasingly 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. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Stephen Gibson, Vyteo


Stephen Gibson of Vyteo on the Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Trends 2018 - social media trendsThe Importance of Video

Video is in and anybody can get in on it. Small business owners can easily take a video and share it with their following. People like connecting with you and feeling like they know you. It goes far beyond what you can convey in an article. They can be shared anywhere- on a blog, social media, website, and also on the platform they’re on, such as YouTube. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Harrison Doan, Saatva

   Continued Rise of Social Influencers

2018 will see the continued rise of social influencers. 2017 left us unsure of which brands we should trust, but the added credibility of a social influencer means consumers will have a personality they already like vetting new products they’re interested in but haven’t committed to. Small business owners should approach local or budding influencers on platforms like Facebook or Instagram and figure out how to best partner with them on initiatives in the new year. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Jason Scott, Archway Cards

   Jason Scott shares the ultimate guide to digital marketing 2018 - social media trends 2018Influencer Marketing

The digital marketing trend that I’m most fascinated by going into 2018 is influencer marketing. We’ve already seen influencer marketing grow exponentially over the last 1-3 years, especially on Instagram.

So much so, that there are now individuals making a healthy living out of advertising products on their Instagram feed. Until now though, influencer marketing has been dominated by the fashion, health and beauty sectors. In 2018, I believe more and more companies will see the power of influencers and will therefore start to invest more heavily on them as a marketing strategy.

I believe small businesses can replicate the success of these bigger brands by investing in “micro-influencers”; users will a smaller audience, but are influential an a specific niche. This could be a single mum of 3 with 400 followers on Instagram, all of which are single mums who follow her for insightful parenting tips. As a company selling toys for toddlers, you could send out a few products for free and request that she thanks you via public post on her Instagram. The potential ROI of her 400 targeted followers seeing this post is huge, and the cost? Cost price of the products you send – peanuts! [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Joshua Feinberg, SP Home Run

   Pay to Play Social Media

Social media will become more about pay-to-play than developing organic reach. Unless you have the reach of a celebrity, your small business will almost certainly need at least some advertising budget to tap into leading social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Paul Ormerod, Nisbets Australia 

   Paul Ormerod Ultimate Digital Marketing Trends Guide 2018 - Social Media trends 2018 influencer marketingSubtle Sponsored Content 

In 2018 influencer marketing will continue to play an important role. While consumers might not be very brand-loyal, they often think highly of the opinions voiced by their favourite social influencer.  Subtle sponsored content promoted by influencers will build on the feelings of trust consumers have already developed for that influencer. Small businesses can easily connect with local or mico-influencers on social media platforms in order to begin a partnership. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] The Ri Web View: Across the board there’s going to be a decline in organic reach for businesses so you’re going to need to be highly creative and tenacious to be heard in 2018. In all likelihood, this is going to result in a pay to play situation where you will have to invest in ad-spend (even to reach your own audience) as Joshua suggests.

Micro-influencers is an incredibly interesting suggestion that Nick, Paul and Jason all touched on. This tactic may help you circumvent the algorithm changes that will undoubtedly inhibit your businesses reach on social media.

By using influential people in your network to shout out your product or service (perhaps in return for a freebie or two) you can reach your target market without parting with any cash.

Finally, we find a lot of truth in Ryan’s suggestion that sometimes spreading yourself across too many channels can be a turn-off for consumers.

To avoid being overbearing, our suggestion is to double-down efforts on the channel that works best for you. Focus on growing a big following on one platform and forget about other platforms for now, master one and own it for your niche – just make sure it’s the one where your target market hang out! [vc_empty_space height=”65px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″]Web Design Trends 2018

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David Jackson, Friday

   David Jackson of Friday on the Ultimate digital marketing trends of 2018Closer Alignment of UX and Marketing

“Marketing is the art of persuasion; UX is the art of service.”

The general purpose of Marketing is to drive the customer to a point of sale or contact, then it’s over to the UX people to make sure the user journey from there is as frictionless as possible in order to convert the lead. It amazes me that in 2018 there is still a clear divide between marketing and UX design. Websites and apps are often created in isolation to marketing activity and usually by a completely different team or agency.  If there is a weakness in the output of either it will make the sales funnel ineffective. Marketing and UX are inevitably required to work together because they share the common interests in building brand loyalty.

Sales and marketing professionals routinely deal with customers, unlike UX designers. As such, they have an in-depth knowledge of what people want and need when they visit a particular online channel. On the other hand, marketers have no idea of the principles behind UX design, so they may know how to sell, but not how to present it to the user effectively. Marketing and UX design must forge a very close, collaborative, working relationship built on mutual respect and a common vision.

A marketing approach to UX is simply about aligning, integrating and optimising two important elements of the conversion funnel together to make the user journey as smooth as possible from start to finish. If you can manage to do this successfully, it will maximise sales and marketing efforts to an incredible degree. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Damon Burton, SEO National UtahSites

   Damon Burton on the ultimate digital marketing trends guide 2018 - web design trends 2018Embrace 1-Click Tech

Expect to see more websites embrace 1-Click technology to simplify the purchasing process so consumers only register and provide payment information the first time they make a purchase. Amazon’s patent ended in September so they no longer have exclusive use of this technology. This gives other vendors and websites the freedom to have their own version of 1-Click, providing a path for the technology to be fully embraced, improved upon, and implemented into other websites. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

David Mulqueen, Odd Dog Media


Daivd Mulqueen on the ultimate guide to digital marketing trends 2018Google My Business

We’ve really made a push to utilize messaging and the appointment function availability. We’re seeing reduced times on our client’s websites and are doing everything possible to make it extremely easy for people to get in contact. With the new features available on Google My Business, we’re excited to capture those people at the first point of visibility without them having to visit our website and we’re really looking forward to getting a full data set to compare statistics year over year. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Julia Nickerson, Savory Tooth


Julia Nickerson on ultimate digital marketing trends 2018 - web design trends 2018Think Mobile

My tip is to assume that everyone is using a mobile device. If you’re getting a new website theme, you should design it with the mobile layout in mind and consider how accessible it is. Look at how your social profiles and marketing posts appear on mobile. Maybe your marketing collages have text that isn’t readable on mobile because you designed it on desktop. If you’re optimizing site speed and SEO, you should optimize for mobile first.

Anyone can capitalize on this trend by always keeping mobile users in mind. While it’s been obvious for a while how important mobile users are, we need to take that mindset a step further and assume that mobile users are the primary demographic to target, not desktop users. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Matt Edstrom, BioClarity

   Matt Edstrom on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018Think Beyond Aesthetics –

As we head into 2018, I believe web designers will begin designing sites that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also search engine friendly. The following aspects are trends I believe will be implemented into the overall thought process when designing a new site.

Web designers will begin putting a significant amount of emphasis on usability. Making sure that the user interface is simple and easy to navigate. The easier you make it for the user to get where they want to go, the more likely they will have a good experience on your site.

They will also begin designing sites with SEO in mind. Given that a site is useless if it can’t be found, web designers must make sure that the website they are designing can be easily optimized and easily crawlable by search engine spiders.

Lastly, web designers will be making site speed a top priority. Everyone hates a slow loading site, so it is essential that your site’s load speed is quick and doesn’t keep the user waiting. A high-speed load time is a strong driver of a great user experience for your visitors. [vc_empty_space height=”62px”] The Ri Web View: We’ve moved through a phase of design-led web design, where the industry concentrated on making things very visually appealing. The big trend we expect see in 2018 is a move back to thinking about the user experience first, with much more simplified web designs.

This ties in with our expert contributors predictions which are overwhelmingly focused on usability rather than design – mobile first, 1 click purchasing etc.

It brings us back to the principles of great design – beautiful websites that are strikingly easy to use. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″]Content Trends 2018

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Wes Marsh, Solodev

   Wes Marsh of Solodev on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018 guideVideo & Mobile

Savvy digital marketers need to keep an eye on two major trends: video and mobile. Video content will continue to outperform text-based content; studies have estimated that four times as many people would rather watch a video over text regarding the same subject. That preference for video only increases when live streaming video is involved. Viewers will stay engaged with a live video three times longer than standard video content. Live streams are also insanely affordable; all someone needs is a smartphone and a Facebook account. This affordability means small business owners can take advantage of video in fresh and creative ways. Rather than write a blog describing the product, you can host a livestream giving the details and answering questions in real time.

In 2018, more businesses will master mobile marketing. Mobile usage is expected to grow by 25 percent. If your website is still not optimized for a smartphone or other mobile devices, search engines (namely Google) will penalize you in search results. Mobile isn’t only where the SEO bots are; it’s where your human users and potential customers are! Small businesses especially should make sure their websites look great on mobile devices as they’re normally trying to grow an audience and cultivate brand loyalty. It’s hard to do that if people can’t easily access your information

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Ashley Deibert, Grapeshot

   Context Is King

Content is still king, but in 2018 context will become crucial to its continued rule. The last two years have seen advertisers make the shift away from transactional relationships and toward omni-channel customer experiences, designed to drive brand loyalty. Next up is seeing these customer experiences served up to consumers in the right context, on any medium—much in the same way they’re already receiving their go-to editorial content. Advertisers must pay attention and step up to do the same, by knowing what customers are seeking right now, where they like to communicate, and how to speak their language (literally).

No matter how good your content, the right experience delivered out of context, is the wrong experience. And the wrong experience doesn’t drive the desired behaviors. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Francis Turner, ADYOULIKE


Personalised Content

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.

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Matthew Haber, BeSide Digital

   All About The Experience

In 2018, brands will step out of their digital comfort zones to meet consumers offline. Even online-first brands will feel pressure to commit to the physical versions of themselves, so that consumers can experience them “in the flesh.” But they’ll do it the digital way, using tech to bridge their online origins with their newfound physical personas.

Brands’ foray into the physical could take shape as something as small as a single tech-driven installation to something as large as a completely experiential narrative environment. These experiences are created to strategically drive consumer engagement and loyalty rather than in-the-moment sales (think: Refinery 29’s “29 Rooms”).

In all cases, tech will be the thread that weaves together a consistent narrative between the digital and physical.  [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Michael Welts, Wasabi

   Michael Welts of Wasabi on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018 guide - content marketing trends 2018Unique Video For Customer Retention

Within the last few years, video and video streaming has exploded to the point where customers and potential buyers expect to watch something from your brand, whether it’s on your website or via a social channel. With statistics showing that marketeers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users, it makes sense that as the trend continues on an upward climb, the forward-thinking companies will start to think beyond the homepage video, and consider finding unique ways to keep the customer coming back. 

Some examples of this can be seen via social channels and email, where brands will start to deliver self-contained videos and turn your standard “blog” into a “vlog” where brands can deliver insightful messages, or record demos and tutorials for potential customers. Micro-Targeting, a trend where marketers can create engaging content geared to a specific buyer persona, and virtually and augmented reality are also tactics that should be on the radar of any sized company as we enter 2018. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Alex Yong, Journalist

   Alex Yong on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018 guide - content trendsoEmbed

With Storify set to close permanently in May 2018, there’ll be an upward trend in  the use of “oEmbed”, a tech created by Cal Henderson, the CTO of Slack.

oEmbed is where you paste any raw Twitter URL into something non-Twitter (for example a WordPress compose window) and the end result is something which looks almost identical to a  Storify (specifically, an embedded tweet which is fully clickable, and if it’s a video tweet, even the video will play right on your WordPress).

The forward-thinking facet is that a brand could, if they chose to, create easy video content which can then get tweeted and blogged nearly at the same moment.  Here is a page with many embedded video tweets. This type of  page would lack life if it were not for  the magic of  oEmbed. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Joshua Feinberg, SP Home Run 

   Joshua feinberg on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018 guideVideo

-Blogs will morph into blogs with embedded videos as small business owners realize that video educates and builds trust much faster and more effectively than the written word alone.

-Small businesses will get much better at measuring and optimizing their digital marketing (out of necessity) — and how it supports their full funnel revenue growth goals….all the way down to closed sales in their CRM system or e-commerce platform.

-Marketing spend on traditional interruption advertising will continue to be reallocated towards more accountable digital marketing campaigns. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] The Ri Web View – Content marketing looks set to be dominated by video in 2018 and for good reason. Video is easy to create and even easier to digest thanks to modern smartphones. This trend has been vigilantly spotted by a number of our contributors.

Social media platforms also love you using their latest features and organic reach seems to be higher when they are utilised. So think live video too – Facebook live, Instagram stories etc.

But here’s a word of warning – don’t ignore the written word.

Video captions, social media posts and intros to vlogs embedded on your website still require savvy copywriting to get the user to click play on that video. The top influencers are also great writers, whether it’s a short snappy caption that draws you into a video or a long-form blog post filled with value. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″]General Digital Marketing Trends 2018

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Regina Luttrell, Newhouse School of Public Communications

   Regina Luttrell on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018Predictive analytics, data-driven decisions, and artificial intelligence are the biggest trends set to make an impact in 2018. To develop smart strategies and strong marketing efforts, small businesses need to study their data in an effort to understand what drives their consumers. Companies should appreciate the benefits of AI and experiment with a campaign or two in the coming year.   A simple way to accomplish this is by listening and monitoring when their organization is being mentioned, by whom, and on which social media channels. Then use these rich insights to meet the customer where they are. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Richard Graves, Phy


Richard Graves of Phy on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018 - qr codesQR Codes – Consumer Engagement

In the latest version of its mobile operating system (iOS 11), Apple quietly upgraded the iPhone camera with an instant, built-in QR code scanner. It joins many popular social media apps — including Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter — that adopted QR codes in the last year. The ability to manage QR codes gives small business owners a simple-but-powerful way to engage with customers in physical places…

The moment your customer is in your store holding your product is the moment your customer is considering learning more about it, doing something with it or buying it. For a small business, putting a QR code on a product or on a shelf tag can be a way to: connect customers to deep links into apps, launch chats, play videos, or even seamlessly transition an in-store shopper to an online e-commerce platform. By employing the humble URL, a QR code can even launch internet-of-things experiences like controlling candy machines and video monitors.

In an enterprise physical-to-mobile CMS, QR codes can deliver premium user experiences like personalization to a partner mobile wallet, multiple websites displayed from a single QR code, and even the ability to include NFC tags and Bluetooth beacons into the proximity marketing mix. Small businesses looking for an edge can offer contextual mobile experiences by placing digital links on QR codes at places, on products, in packaging, and on media. Creative strategies around platform-managed QR codes are poised to make giant strides as a proximity technology in 2018. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Ben Carcio, Promoboxx

   Ben Carcio on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018In-Store Should Not Be Ignored

The future of retail is physical, in-store experiences. If #AmazonWholeFoods told us anything, it was that e-Commerce alone is not sustainable for growth in a market that values the service, customer experience, and community involvement that only independent, brick-and-mortar retailers can truly excel at. In 2018, small business owners should partner with the brands they sell to extend the brand’s national advertising content, targeting, and media mix out to the local retail level. Local Advertising helps small businesses strengthen their digital presence, while also building healthier businesses and stronger, connected communities. With over 8,000 active retailer locations partnering with Promoboxx, we’ve proven that local, independent retailers are essential to increase sales and build loyal brand advocates near every local storefront. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Kean Graham, MonetizeMore 

   Kean Graham CEO at MonetizeMore talks about his greatest failure to the Ri Web Blog

User Attribution: Marketers are not stopping at tracking users during their first visit. They are following the user via their interaction via email, mobile, social media and other marketing channels that brings them back to their site. CRM and other Analytics tools are making this more possible going into 2018.

– Value First Social Media: Marketers are approaching social media with more of a relationship perspective. Rather than pushing constant CTAs and promotions, they offer value first and bring them through funnels that build trust with potential customers by offering value first. An example of this is downloadable in-depth free content or a free customized consultation.

– Tech Tool Marketing Channels: Free tools are being used more intelligently as marketing channels. Free tools like WordPress plugins, mobile apps and browser extensions are being designed to have their own sales funnels in very clever ways. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Allen Greer, FUZE

   Allen Greer on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018Cognitive Content Engines

I feel one of the biggest game changers will be cognitive content engines that have the ability to create layouts for landing pages, emails and advertisements. Companies like Persado have already tapped into this potential, but it’s cost prohibitive for small brands, and the tech is in its infancy. As the tech grows in popularity, there will be solutions for small business owners to leverage.

In 10-15 years, machine learning platforms will produce layouts complete with images and copy with brand-specific imagery and copy. The traditional role of the designer and copywriter will be greatly diminished, as AI will prove to be more cost effective and will drive more ROI. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Mark Deruyter, Power Digital Marketing

   Allen Greer on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018Analyse The Data

The era of consumer data is now mature and a reachable asset for any size business, whether you have 2 employees or 5,000.  In 2018, the companies that thrive will have found ways to utilize data and build a capable data infrastructure (which is no longer expensive).  For a small business, start with collecting email data and increase this data set through a preference page or welcome email journey asking for a consumer’s interests.  Build data one channel at a time and be tenacious as this is the new gold of the modern economy.

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Steve Bartlett, Social Chain

   Steve Bartlett Social Chain on the Ultimate digital marketing trends guide 2018 - social media trends 2018Chatbots. 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.


E-commerce will be a big player on social media platforms throughout 2018, bringing audiences and buying closer together through platforms like Instagram. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Amy Inlow, Albert

   Autonomous Tech Will Usher in a Creative Renaissance in Digital Marketing

Over the last decade, big data has swooped in and dazzled companies with unprecedented access to customer and industry information. It also allowed marketers to address their audiences on deeply personal and individual levels. But as marketers began tailoring their strategies around this abundance of insights, something got lost: the creative. The demands of data gathering and analysis overshadowed the need for meaningful and engaging content to share with consumers.

Now that autonomous technologies are emerging to do the heavy lifting around data management and campaign execution, marketers will be freed up to return to creative—sparking a creative renaissance that’s informed by data and perhaps more meaningful than ever before. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Kevin Conner, Broadband Search

   Subscription Boxes For Older Demographics

We will see a pickup in the popularity of subscription boxes among an older demographic. The market SEEMS like it’s already supersaturated, but it’s really only among early-adapting millennials.Now that the model is becoming normalized, it’s less scary for those 35+ to partake. This is good news if you happen to service this age-group. Whether you’ve got a business that’s selling physical goods, digital items, or even services, you can package them in the “subscription box” model to capitalize on a fresh wave of people looking to purchase in this way. Just make sure that your sales pages address the specific fears of a non-millennial. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Zach Kwarta, Loud Reply

   Zach Kwarta digital marketing trends 2018Chat Bots

I believe one of the major trends in 2018 will be the prevalence of chatbots. Small businesses can utilize these chat bots to answer basic questions, take orders, or even solicit feedback from customers. These low-cost tools have already started popping up – I expect major companies such as Facebook to continue rolling them out – making them another must-have-tool in a small businesses online tool kit. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] 

Tyler Riddell, eSub Construction Software

   Tyler Riddell on the ultimate digital marketing trends 2018Big Data, Content Marketing & AI

Digital marketing trends that are bound to drive the market in the coming year include the use a Big Data, content marketing and AI. At the top of this list is content marketing, which has grown in popularity since 2014 when we saw a shift towards customers looking to real people for products reviews, advice and information. Content marketing is considered the ‘engagement’ fuel that powers all digital communications from a simple search to building a company’s social media reach. It also helps create website experiences that eventually lead to sale. [vc_empty_space height=”65px”] The Ri Web View: Data, chat bots, automation and creating a close connection between online and offline activity will become even more crucial in 2018.

The contributors to the general trends section greatly impressed us and you should take note of their suggestions. Look at ways in which you can implement their predictions in your small business and you will be well ahead of the curve.

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Final Thoughts

   Thanks for reading the Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing Trends 2018!

I’ve learnt a great deal from interviewing the experts and compiling their views, so I hope you’ve got some serious value from the e-book too!

We’ve summarised every chapter through the Ri Web View but here’s a quick synopsis of the key trends our experts highlighted.

Focus on incorporating these into your strategy through 2018 and you’ll be very ahead of the curve!


SEO Trends 2018

Google My Business

Voice Search


Social Media Trends 2018


Video /Live Video

Pay to play 🙁


Web Design Trends 2018

Focus on user experience


Content Marketing Trends 2018



General Digital Marketing Trends 2018


Chat Bots

Closer proximity of online and offline


Thanks for reading! Got any questions? Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Which trends do you agree/disagree with? Any you would add? [vc_empty_space height=”65px”]