When the presents are all unwrapped and the radios have returned to their normal streaming, it’s a sign that the new year is upon us. This is that bittersweet time of the year when we get to reflect on everything that’s happened in 2017 and prepare for all that will be 2018.

2017 was a great year for strategic digital marketing trends. We got to watch as video marketing reached the mainstream media, infographics became all the rage, and minimalistic styles and palettes became the go to aesthetic. Cloud technology became more prevalent across businesses and live streaming was a huge hit with users across the board. But we’re all eager to know, what are the next digital media trends 2018?

Brand Design Trends 2018

We saw geometric patterns make a statement in 2017, but you can expect to see them even more so in 2018. From a prominent international clothing brand like Nike, to an SEO Agency like Aumcore, creating geometric and futuristic looking patterns seem to be one of the top marketing trends 2018. Across the board, brands are embracing the technological revolution. The line between what is seen as science fiction and science reality is blurring and users are ecstatic. Geometric patterns mimic these ideas in art form and brands are playing on shapes to create simple, yet elegant designs that draw users in.

Brand Design Trends 2018

Another design trend you can expect to see a lot more of in the upcoming months is vibrant palettes. Minimalism and monochromatic color schemes definitely had their time in the limelight, but brands are shifting back to bigger, bolder, and more vibrant colors. We haven’t reached the return of the neon phase yet, but don’t be surprised if neons make a comeback in the warmer months!

Small Business Trends 2018

Is water wet? No, it is not. Is offline marketing dead? No, it is not. Glad we got that out of the way! One of the biggest debates in 2017 for marketers was whether or not offline marketing had any value to brands anymore. The conclusion: it pays to invest some of your time in offline marketing tactics, especially if you’re a local business. Did you know that 43% of businesses still rely on newspaper advertisements for local promotions? This traditional marketing tactic goes back years and is still one of the most effective in the game.

But in this Digital Age, what is the right call when mixing offline and online marketing? Social media! Write out your social handles so readers can translate from print to digital. If you’re not sure how to create a robust offline and online marketing strategy, you can always look to your local SEO agency for help. Offline marketing isn’t about detraction, it’s about supplementation!

Speaking of supplementation, as a small business it can be hard to accommodate customers when demand is high but the hands on deck are low. One of the emerging digital trends seen in 2017 that is sure to prevail in 2018 is the use of chatbots. Artificial intelligence has always been a hot topic, and we’re just beginning to see what these capabilities mean for business interactions. One presenter and SMX East, Purna Virji of Microsoft, noted that 1 in 3 Americans (37%) would be willing to make a purchase through a chatbot. Users have become more accustomed to AI and expect to see it integrated into their user journeys. In fact, by 2020 80% of brands will use chatbots for customer interactions.

Networking in offline marketing

Branding Trends 2018

Influencer marketing was the crown jewel for branding in 2017, and will be one of the top marketing trends 2018 will see. Reaching niche audiences, creating tailored content, and producing imagery that felt native to social platforms was how big brands like Covergirl, which feature  superstars like Zendaya, were able to reach out to “the everygirl.” Social celebrities make for great brand ambassadors because they’ve already fostered a loyal following.

For brands, this means having the ability to tap into those specific users and reach them on a more intimate level. Plus, influencers tend to have more than one social account, which means your products or services can be advertised in multiple places without much heavy lifting done on your team’s part! You can also choose different influencers for different social platforms. Determine this by figuring out what kinds of users you’re trying to target and what you want those conversions to look like. Create unique funnels for different social platforms in order to drive the best results in 2018.

Creative Brand Identity Trends 2018

Social Media Marketing Trends 2018

One of the new marketing trends for 2018 will be catering content towards Generation Z. Millennials have already made their mark in the digital space, and apparently they’ve ruined everything (with the exception of avocado toast). In all seriousness, many brands seem to have perfected their millennial marketing strategy and are ready for the next group of youngins. Gen Z is the demographic cohort after millennials. This generation starts with those who were born in 1998, and what makes them different from their predecessors is their exposure to technology early on in their childhoods.

When the first babies of Gen Z turned 10, it was 2008, and by then much of the technology we use everyday was in development. For Gen Z it wasn’t Myspace that defined their social lives, it was and is Instagram and Snapchat. New trends in social media began to turn mainstream and gave rise to new features that included more video content. 2017 was the rise of video and there is still more to come for video marketing trends 2018. There are over 10 million videos watched on Snapchat everyday and Instagram stories has upwards of 250 million daily active users. These numbers are expected to increase in the upcoming year, and users and marketers alike are eager to see how video will evolve.

The Wrap Up

In 2017, we saw more companies go out of their comfort zones and break traditional marketing molds. We saw users take control of how they want to be interacted with and really take charge of their individual journeys. Instead of the advertising agency or SEO agency side telling consumers what they should like, users very much so determined what was in and what wasn’t. Power to the user! To ensure your strategic digital marketing success in 2018, here are the top trends one more time:

  1. Geometric patterns are on the rise
  2. Vibrant colors are breaking the mold from the 2017 monochromatic palettes
  3. Offline marketing is not dead and local businesses can use newspaper ads to reach out to local audiences
  4. Chatbots can help you out when your staff is low
  5. Influencer marketing helps brands reach niche audiences
  6. Different social platforms call for different influencers
  7. Generation Z is the generation to keep your eyes on in 2018
  8. Video usage and marketing is still evolving with users expected to rise in the coming months

Good luck to everyone and remember if you need help, just ask your local Digital Agency!