5 key digital content marketing trends for 2018

News and Insights 05 Feb 2018 06:36


Ashwin Saddul, managing director at Better than Paper, highlights the key changes we’ll be seeing across the fast-changing digital marketing landscape – to cater for consumers’ increasing demand for a personalised, on-demand content

New video formats

This year, there will be marked increase in the use of video – with live video being the favoured route. Although live video is proving a great way to connect with audiences, they now demand a professional finish– so the shaky, holding-a-phone-in-your-hand style – won’t be acceptable anymore.

With good video content proving highly popular on social media, to achieve better results, every platform is focusing on live video and adding new features and formats – such as 360. Social video engagement, especially on mobile devices – will also be sky high in 2018. With stats showing that YouTube viewers watch a billion hours of video daily, 82% of Twitter’s audience view videos and Facebook users consume over 8 billion videos daily – will ensure that marketers focus even more on these channels.

We’ll also see the increased use of programmatic video – where marketers can instantly target and purchase any video inventory on the Internet. Google will continue to evolve the YouTube proposition, so brands can more easily curate and promote this content. In fact, I expect to see more brands seize the opportunity to become content creators or be lead sponsors of digital-only content, while others will start to more accurately target individuals online – based on engagement.

New technology

As mobile devices become more powerful and social apps integrate better with augmented reality (AR), brands will use it to more effectively engage with consumers. For example, using a customer’s location, brands could trigger sponsored AR content, which can only be accessed at that spot, and at that time.

Other new technologies such as machine-learning algorithms, natural language processing and artificial intelligence (AI) are all coming of age. This will enable marketers to better predict spend, to optimize their overall budget and remove entrenched biases in their existing methodologies. However, marketers will need to better understand how AI and other types of software developments – from the likes of Google, Apple and Amazon – will impact on how consumers make decisions.


Social media “stories” will be highly popular with marketers this year and the “stories” format pioneered by Snapchat has now inspired alternative offerings. With Instagram’s ‘Stories’ and YouTube’s “Reels” format, they both offer unique features and presentation – but follow the same concept. Most of these stories vanish after a set period of time – to create a sense of fear of missing out for users and they’re also a fun, bite-sized way to present video content.

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