It’s been one year since our last list of digital predictions (which by the way, we got right!) and yet we’ve got plenty more exciting expectations for 2018 – it’s hardly surprising – we all know the digital world moves quickly.
Take a look at what we think will be the graphic design, SEO, social media, AdWords and web design trends for 2018.
1. Flat design with more depth
So, everyone decided to skip skeuomorphism in favour of flat and minimal design, but things have to progress and the only way is up, so depth is coming back in!
Expect large soft shadows behind User Interface (UI) elements, gradients and subtle lighting effects. Google material design is spearheading this as they try to bring unity to their product range and compete with Apple’s user experience.
2. Authenticity and realism
We already believe (and so should you) that marketing yourself authentically and truthfully is always critical, but is it time to step it up in your website photography?
In 2018 we’re expecting to see a fall in cheesy, conceptual graphics.
Real images will make a breakthrough this year, but if you want our top tips – they still need to be well done – high resolution images to convey high values.
3. Video media
Video has been on the rise, according to Forbes half a billion people are watching video on Facebook everyday. We’re not expecting those numbers to drop! Entice your audience with video this year – remember to add those all-important captions to increase your viewings – those who are watching from their office desks don’t always have the luxury of sound.
4. Fast checkout for ecommerce
How quickly can your customer order a product and see it at their door? You’ve probably heard of Amazon’s Prime Air – a delivery service using drones that allows customers to receive their package within 30 minutes or less!
Alibaba may have taken the record in 2017 with their rapid delivery of 12 minutes and 18 seconds – from order, packaging and delivery.
Expect events to become bigger and bigger in 2018 - there’s even been talk of a dedicated events app that people can download.
By the end of 2018 we’re wondering if Facebook will start working more with charities – could Facebook become the new JustGiving? You have to admit, it makes sense…
You’ve heard of image recognition, ASOS image recognition allows you to take a picture of a piece of clothing and find it online using their app.
We think Twitter might step up their image recognition game with triggered ads activated by taking a photo of a billboard then tweeting it.
7. Digital display screens
Digital display screens are popping up everywhere now – in shop windows and outside. Have you considered the possibility of animated adverts?
8. Marketing via messaging services
We’re expecting a see another avenue to advertise to your customers using Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.
People are already engaging with businesses' via Whatsapp and we think that sponsored ads could be the next step. It’s already happening in China with their version of Whatsapp. WeChat allows users to send e-newsletters via their mobile devices.
9. Voice search
Voice search will continue to grow, changing the average length of search queries and making question-based content more important than ever. Voice search is quicker and more accurate than typing now on a smartphone.
There’s still a reluctance to use voice search at the risk of looking stupid, but we think devices like Amazon Echo are going to help people break the taboo.
10. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will continue to grow
We started telling you about AMP back in August – this year it’s going to become more common.
Structured data and rich snippits will become more popular - structured data allows you to categorise your page - giving Google more information about the page information and context.
11. New Adwords Interface
Google will finally launch the new AdWords user interface that’s currently in Beta, forcing everyone to use it. If you’re still using the old one, it might be time to start familiarising yourself with the new one.
12. Showcasing shopping ads
Google’s brand-new ad format will be arriving next year. Similar to shopping ads, showcase shopping ads will appear for broad and commercial searches (such as “evening dresses”) alongside normal product shopping ads. The difference you will see is the showcase ads allows the user to click on the ad which then expands to a catalog of relevant products. The first click is free and you will only pay if someone clicks through a product on the expanded catalog and arrives on your website. It will be interesting to see how cost effective they will be compared to regular shopping ads.
13. 'Days to conversion’
AdWords will include a ‘days to conversion’ metric, meaning you’ll be able to see how long an ad took to get to a conversion.