Public relations specialist Avery Amensen sat down with our digital marketing director Hillary Ferry to discuss trends she’s keeping an eye on in 2018.


In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, staying on top of all the changes can be overwhelming — not to mention trying to weed out lasting trends from fast-fading fads. That’s where our in-house expert can lend a hand.

We sat down with Hillary to get the scoop on what to watch for in 2018 and how to include new trends in your marketing strategy.

Q: What was the biggest trend of 2017 that will continue to be a factor in 2018?

A: Video — it was one of the biggest trends last year and will continue to evolve and grow in 2018. Live video continued to gain in popularity, and for good reason. It’s one of the most interactive ways to connect with an audience in real-time and allows for a new level of personalization that brands haven’t seen before. People love watching live video, too — 80 percent would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.

The amount of time spent watching video on mobile will also continue to grow. In 2018, mobile video consumption around the world is expected to grow by 25 percent and will decline on laptops and desktop computers for the first time ever. Typically, when we see a mobile usage trend surpass desktop like this we don’t see a return.

Consequently, this will push mobile video ad spending past non-mobile next year. In 2018, mobile video spending is expected to grow 49 percent to nearly $18 billion, while fixed online video ad spending will decline.

-Marketers should plan ahead for these trends by ensuring their video strategy includes live video and mobile optimization.

Q: What do you anticipate will change the most in 2018?

A: We saw a lot of big changes around search in 2017, and I anticipate that we’ll continue to see more in the coming year. A lot of this change was driven by the way people are searching for information online, including the rise of mobile and voice search through personal assistants, like Siri and Google Assistant, and smart speakers, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. These new devices make it easier than ever for people to simply ask a question and get information from their device.

Last year, 20 percent of online searches were conducted through voice search. By 2020, that number is expected to increase to 50 percent.

-Marketers must continue to adapt the content they’re creating to be more mobile-friendly and should consider a dual strategy for SEO optimization, including one for text-based searches and one for voice searches, which should incorporate more conversational language and long-tail keywords.

RELATED: 6 SEO trends to watch in 2017

Q: What takes priority moving into 2018?

A: Privacy protection will be a major priority. With the arrival of new privacy regulations around the world, brands that sell to customers in Europe and beyond must be prepared to comply. The new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will redefine what online privacy means for brands. Under the GDPR, they will face erasure requirements regarding customer information and restrictions about how prospect data is collected and used for marketing initiatives.

Furthermore, 2017’s massive data breaches — from the DNC email hack to the Equifax breach — have impacted how consumers everywhere think about their privacy and security. Moving into this next year, marketers will begin using privacy protection and data security as a value proposition across all industries.

RELATED: SSL certificate 101: What you need to know

-Brands should ensure that:

1. Their websites are secure (by using SSL).

2. Their privacy policy is up to date.

3. They’re proactively, transparently, and effectively communicating what they’re doing to protect customer data.

About Hillary Ferry

After launching her career at a firm in Los Angeles, Hillary’s family lured her back home to Des Moines as our digital marketing director. Outside of work you can find her coaching gymnastics. Reach out to her at for help with digital strategy — or your cartwheel technique.