For over a decade, I’ve written an annual prediction for the next year based on reader trends, my research, and how the digital landscape is developing. So here goes for 2018:
Augmented reality edges more towards the mainstream
AR technology (and adoption) is catching up. People are trying virtual Ikea furniture in their home and virtual make up at the beauty counter.
Developers are now able to create augmented reality apps more easily, new phones are AR-ready, and VR is increasingly more accessible in the home – this stuff is already here and just waiting for us to find uses for it.
More focus on Generation Z
Those born between 1995 and 2010 are part of Generation Z. They are, at the oldest, 22 and are just starting to enter the workplace.
According to ‘lore’, they are used to a high standard of living and total connectivity. Allegedly, they have shorter attention spans, due to the availability of easy-to-consume data and information. They are security conscious, and value transparency and personal engagement from brands – something businesses will need to adapt to.
More ‘disappearing’ content
Expect to see more short-lived content that disappears after a user has seen it or after 24 hours, such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories.
Businesses are increasingly using such stories to give their customers a behind-the-scenes-view, transforming their online presence in the process.
Watch for Facebook rolling this out for business pages next year – I’ll bet my dog on it.
More and more and more mobile visitors
Take a look at your analytics data – nearly half of your visitors are already hitting your site from smartphones.
Facebook will be almost entirely mobile, with 80% of ads being served to mobile devices already.
The continued influence of Influencers
Younger customers especially look to fellow customers, who they trust through experience, to inform their purchasing decisions.
If you’re not looking at influencer marketing in 2018, you’re missing out on a massive revenue generator, and your competition will take full advantage of the gap in your strategy – give us a call.
Video and live streaming
Facebook has already tested giving content creators the ability to add 15-second advertising breaks into their videos, and is actively paying publishers, such as CNN to create more video content.
Expect more video advertising, and easier ways to create your content through social media ads.
Crushing fake news and spam
The Collins Dictionary word of the year for 2017 was actually two words, thanks to Mr. Trump: ‘fake news’.
Link-bait sites and urban myth publishers are being filtered out by Facebook – expect increased vetting and more layers of accountability.
So there you go. 2018 promises to be another busy year for us here at Tank and it pays to have an eye to the future of our digital markets – hey, it’s my job.