State of Social in 2018
by Ashley Reed, 17 Jan 2018
This year, social will hit major milestones, from record-breaking social ad revenue and an explosion of video content, to strides in visual search and the evolution of influencer marketing. Below are top trends to watch for in 2018 and how marketers can prepare.
Paid Social Revenue Will Soar
In 2018, US social ad spending will account for 28% of all digital ad spending (reaching $26 billion!). As expected, the vast majority of revenue will be driven by Facebook, making up 23% of all digital ad spending. The social behemoth will claim $1 of every $10 spent on both digital and traditional marketing combined. Instagram will follow, accounting for $5.6 billion, surpassing Snapchat ($1.18 billion) and Twitter ($1.14 billion, a 4% decline from 2017). (Note that Pinterest revenues aren’t available since they are still privately held).
What’s fueling this trend? First, the widespread adoption of social usage. 199 million US adults will be social network users this year (that’s 6 in 10 people). Second, the rapid decline of organic reach, especially on Facebook, has forced brands to pay for eyeballs.
With this explosive advertising growth, marketers will need to be increasingly strategic in their paid social campaigns as competition increases and inventory becomes more limited. Zuckerberg’s most recent announcement will make this more important than ever. Brands must invest in thoughtful content strategies that bring value to users and develop creative that is aligned to each audience and stage of their customer journey in order to stay relevant in an incredibly noisy space.
Social Video Will Explode
It’s no surprise that mobile video will continue to be a big focus in 2018. With Mark Zuckerberg’s prediction that Facebook will be mostly video by 2020, and Cisco estimating that video will account for 69% of all internet traffic this year alone, marketers are beginning to take notice and invest accordingly. (70% of media companies said they would increase video spending in 2018). No longer just an awareness play, social video has been shown to influence purchase decisions and even drive last-click sales. But with this growth comes challenges. Marketers will need to strategize around video length, placements, and which social platforms deserve their ad dollars.
Pinterest Will Lead Visual Search
This year Pinterest will make big strides in visual search, making ad offerings even more valuable. In 2017 they announced their new Search offering, giving advertisers the ability to buy promoted pins at a granular level, similar to what Google and Bing offers (keyword level bidding). In addition to keyword buying, the new Search interface allows for shopping campaigns which are similar to Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLA’s) and pull the pin creative directly from a brand’s product feed. This is huge for advertisers who previously didn’t have the creative resources necessary to run on Pinterest. Pinners are highly valuable, with most being in a mindset to purchase and actively searching for products, inspiration or ideas; with these advancements we can expect advertisers to increase their Pinterest investments accordingly.
Influencer Marketing Will Grow Up
Marketers will continue to evolve their influencer marketing programs in 2018, shifting away from celebrity-only partnerships to a mix of influencer types, such as bloggers, micro-influencers, brand advocates and celebrities.
With this growth will come more regulation and enforcement from the FTC, cracking down on influencers who do not disclose posts that are sponsored. Instagram, which has become a key platform for influencer marketing, will also continue to roll out their paid-partnership content label, possibly even making this a requirement.
Social AR (Augmented Reality) Will Expand
Many AR developments will emerge on social this year. Snapchat will lead the charge in making AR functional rather than just entertaining. Specifically, they will enhance the capabilities of Context Cards, which overlay helpful information on top of images and videos. Facebook will also make headway in AR, offering AR tools and developer resources for advertisers.
So What Does This all Mean?
Marketers must learn to build a custom, customer-focused social content strategy and walk away from the one size fits all solution. In 2017, clients started to understand that just having a presence isn't enough. In 2018, we'll start to see brands getting smarter and investing more in strategic content and targeting strategies that deliver real business results from each channel—results that will impact the company’s bottom line.
Want to learn more? Our social media experts would love to chat.Contact us!
Get updates; just enter your email below. Simple as that.
The Top Three Tips to Make You King of the SERP This Black Friday and Cyber Monday
by Margaret Davis, 20 Nov 2018
Voice applications and natural language are bigger than the kitchen.
by Bryan Knouse, 29 Oct 2018
Are you ready for Amazon advertising?
by Debra Wang, 25 Oct 2018
Even Mighty Amazon Can’t Deliver on Grocery Delivery
by David Randolph, 15 Aug 2018
Google’s ready for Its face-lift
by DRUM Media, 25 Jul 2018
Why it’s important to invest in non-branded paid search
by Kelsey Chadwick, 27 Jun 2018
Why paid search should be your go-to media
by Katherine Jianas, 18 Jun 2018
Why Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal makes me thrilled for the future of content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 21 May 2018
YouTube for Nonprofits
by Virginia Doty, 15 May 2018
Takeaways from MarTech 2018
by Michael Cruz, Chief Content Officer, 15 May 2018
Which do your consumers prefer? Inbox or Mailbox? (Infographic)
by DRUM, 14 May 2018
Get smart with Google smart bidding
by Hailee Sosnowski, 27 Apr 2018
The amazing power of personalization
by DRUM, 19 Apr 2018
Beyond once upon a time: dialogue and the art of storytelling 2.0
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, VP/Creative Director, 17 Apr 2018
SEM 101 for Nonprofits
by Jay Reyes & Chase Bender, 12 Apr 2018
How to inspire workplace creativity
by Stephen Steger, 03 Apr 2018
Local SEO for brands and franchises: Top 3 tips from 15 SEO experts
by Greg Lee, 02 Apr 2018
Next steps for advertisers after the Cambridge Analytica Facebook breach
by Traci Hendrix, 26 Mar 2018
Are you ready for the GDPR? A guide for advertising agencies
by Jerelle Gainey and Debra Wang, 15 Mar 2018
Q&A: Experts dish on the future of paid search
by Chelsea Huston, 06 Mar 2018
Why content moments are the key to understanding content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 28 Feb 2018
Why bad advertising is a form of bad manners: lessons from a Ugandan storefront
by Scott Johnson, 20 Feb 2018
Retailers and the lower funnel trap
by David Randolph, 06 Feb 2018
What’s the body language of your content really saying?
by Zoë Courtman-Smith, 31 Jan 2018
10 things to look for in enterprise SEO software: 2018 tool review
by Greg Lee, 30 Jan 2018
The top 3 PPC marketing search engines of 2018
by Debra Wang and Vladimir Bradic, 26 Jan 2018
How new changes to Google Grant will affect your nonprofit
by Shelby Huckeba, 19 Jan 2018
Latest Giving Tuesday campaign ideas from marketing-minded nonprofits
by Adam Binkley, Jay Reyes and Ruby Wustrak, 18 Jan 2018
Top 7 posts of 2017
by Jamie Wigington, 17 Jan 2018
How should SEM experts prepare for voice search? [INFOGRAPHIC]
by DRUM, 17 Jan 2018
7 Digital trends that will change how you market in 2018
by DRUM Media, 17 Jan 2018
What advertisers need to know about Apple's intelligent tracking prevention
by Jerelle Gainey, 06 Oct 2017
Using direct mail to reactivate online customers
by Rosann Bartle, 22 Sep 2017
Bing shop ‘til you drop
by Hailee Sosnowski, 14 Aug 2017
Finding a web design process that works
by Todd Chambers, 02 Aug 2017
3 Commandments for creating incredibly engaging content
by Ben Heiser, 02 Aug 2017
Twitter ads and targeting techniques that work
by Annie Green, 27 Jul 2017
5 benefits of paid social advertising
by Karina Khemani, 14 Jul 2017
Oh snap! Snapchat just upped their ad game
by Traci Hendrix, 12 Jul 2017
Dying is easy, comedy is hard
by Scott Johnson, 10 Jul 2017
Marketing and the meteor test
by Scott Johnson, 05 Jul 2017
The value of local SEO (Even when your customers aren't)
by Gregory Lee, 23 Jun 2017
The best Facebook ad types and targeting options for driving sales
by Annie Green, 15 Jun 2017
Linking online marketing to offline consumer behavior
by Heather Roach, 08 Jun 2017
To push a nonprofit's mission, you have to push with passion
by Nicole Bendel, 05 Jun 2017
7 ways B2B marketers can find success in social media
by Traci Hendrix, 31 May 2017
Google’s data-driven attribution: what you need to know
by Kimberly Honore, 23 May 2017
The skinny on Yahoo's native search retargeting feature
by Shelby Huckeba, 15 May 2017
Why you should always include brand search in your digital strategy
by Katherine Jianas, 04 May 2017
How to use content marketing to finally unify marketing strategies
by Gregory Lee, 16 Apr 2017
5 things we learned at Google’s “Search in 2017 & Beyond” event
by Kimberly Honore, 05 Apr 2017
To sell to the ego, you gotta talk to the id.
by Zoe Courtman-Smith, 04 Apr 2017
Social listening inspires smarter business strategies
by Alicia Trahan, 03 Apr 2017
Brand safety: how programmatic partners protect our clients' brands
by Brittany Altman, 31 Mar 2017
How inactive subscribers can affect deliverability
by Billy McNair, 27 Mar 2017
5 reasons to insist on 1st party data for CRM targeting
by Samantha Halpin, 22 Mar 2017
Conversation, not content, is king
by Scott Johnson, 15 Mar 2017