The advertising world spins at a frantic pace.The advertising world spins at a frantic pace.

Its landscape is constantly evolving, pruned by consumer trends and habits. The once seemingly insurmountable hedge between brand and purchaser has been trimmed down, with technology wielding the clippers.

Many brands are overwhelmed by the mere thought of staying relevant in an ad world whose terrain is always changing. That’s where advertisers come into play. Brands lean heavily on these out-of-the-box thinkers, like the ones who call M2 home, to match the pace of the rapidly-revolving ad world.

As 2017 draws to a close, we’re excited to see what’s in store for us during the next trip around the sun. Folks in the know have a few predictions of their own, forecasting the trends they expect to emerge in 2018.

1. Quality will continue to prevail over quantity.

As social media becomes more cluttered with sharable videos and the digital space gets increasingly crowded with clickable content, only the best of the best will rise to the top. Today’s consumers are inundated by marketing, which means top brands have stopped pumping out an endless stream of mediocre content in favor of content that makes purchasers take a second glance. Consumer expectations have spiked 28% in the last five years, and there’s no reason to think this quest for quality will slow in 2018.

2. Video becomes a vital part of marketing strategy.

 The use of video in digital marketing has been on the rise recently, but is expected to move front and center in 2018. With statistics like these, it’s not hard to see why: Social videos generate 1,200% more shares than pictures and text combined. Video helps spread a brand’s message effectively, with 95% of the message being retained when it’s viewed in video form. In contrast, only 10% sticks when consumers simply read words on a screen. But remember, with all the video content circulating on the web, consumers won’t tolerate anything but the highest quality.

3. Native ads will make an impact by simply blending in.

Reaching consumers where they are, online and especially on mobile, has been a marketing staple for years. But the most effective methods for ad placement will continue to evolve. Native advertising, the type of paid ads that blend in with surrounding content, boast 400% higher click-through rates on mobile than standard display ads. Consumers are more likely to engage with content that’s relevant or helpful to them – especially if it doesn’t feel like a typical advertisement.

4. Marketing will show its sensitive side.

Creative storytelling, aimed at tapping into consumers’ emotions, will take center stage in 2018. Brands will focus less on the product itself (and the logical reasons to buy it) and instead, rely on emotional engagement to shape a consumer’s journey from start to sold. Identifying the values that targeted consumers hold dear is the first step toward writing a story that ends happily for both brand and buyer.

5. Email marketing is expected to become more interactive.

No one wants their carefully-crafted email to end up in a digital trash can. And it’s no secret that making emails more fun to read is the way to engage recipients – AND fulfill a call to action. In 2018, focus will shift from image-heavy emails that do little more than please the eye to content that encourages interaction. 27% of marketers believe interactive emails, including images, sliders, surveys and clickable buttons, upped their email marketing game.

These 5 trends are likely just a few of many that will emerge in the new year, but at M2, we’re ready to embrace any ad fads that emerge. If stepping into 2018 with M2 as your guide sounds like a reason to celebrate, get in touch today! After all, nothing says new partnership like a champagne toast!