New year, new digital marketing trends that will dominate—and transform—the landscape. At The Moak Group, we’re on the cutting-edge of this space. Here’s what we see changing the game in 2018.

Say goodbye to organic reach

It’s a pay-to-play world and we’re all just living in it—especially today’s marketers. Slowly but surely, Facebook has been killing off organic reach (the number of followers who see your posts that aren’t boosted by ad dollars). Companies’ organic reach on Facebook is now just 2%. So, if you want to reach your audience in 2018, it’s time to embrace Facebook ads… AKA it’s time to pay for it.

Need more evidence of organic reach’s demise? Recently, Facebook rolled out the “Explore Feed,” a stream exclusively for company page posts. The News Feed, where most Facebook users spend their time, is now almost entirely comprised of paid ads—plus your Aunt Bertha’s latest cat pic.

The good news? Thanks to all of your oversharing, Facebook advertising is hyper-targeted, meaning you will reach your audience. Not only that, but the in-platform analytics offer great insights to help you spend your ad dollars wisely.

Video focus switches from viral to ROI

It’s 2018, and 82% of all consumer internet traffic is now video. If content is king, video content is the emperor of the world. But video’s dominance isn’t what’s changing in the new year—it’s the intent behind it. Videos make it easy for companies to engage consumers, but the emphasis has long been on the wrong goal.

Getting video content to go viral is considered the pinnacle of digital advertising, and while earning views and shares is great, ask yourself: how is it contributing to your bottom line? Instead, companies should focus on what consumers do after viewing your video. Have you convinced them to click through to your website, and then make a purchase? This year, trade vanity metrics for real return.

Acquisition becomes costlier but pays off

The internet has empowered advertisers to target and cultivate customer acquisition seamlessly, but it has also empowered consumers to research their options more than ever. Heightened competition, plus the addition of new platforms and technologies, means that acquisition in 2018 will be harder to achieve and maintain. In today’s landscape, it takes an average of 10 months to acquire a customer, and twice as long to steal a customer from a competitor.

Although it sounds daunting—it’s worth it. Today’s consumers are looking to use their research to simplify and streamline their lives, and are more likely to develop a fierce loyalty to their favorite brands (and use social media to make sure their friends know it). Once you win a consumer over, you can bet they’ll stick with what they like, resulting in high ROI.

Automation intensifies

Perhaps the most exciting trend to watch in 2018 is automation that results in true optimization. New technologies are quickly improving targeting algorithms and testing hundreds of ad variations simultaneously so that only your best-performing ads are placed. Instead of simply hoping that your audience responds well to an ad, automation can now test it in a matter of milliseconds—removing the guesswork and delivering results. The creative concepts are still on you to develop, but in 2018, you can swap your under-performing ads for the best option without lifting a finger.

Is your company looking to make 2018 the year you get ahead in digital marketing? The Moak Group is here to get it done.

Ellen Huber