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Online Advertising: 10 Experts Share Their 2018 Predictions

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There is no doubt that ad technologies are advancing at a neck-breaking pace, and marketers have more and more exciting opportunities to reach the audience they could never hope to connect to.

The statics has its say; digital advertising spending is expected to reach a record $335 Billion by 2020. This data leaves many of us wondering, how will we, advertisers and marketers, spend all these billions?

To find out how online advertising will continue to evolve in 2018, we’ve asked industry experts to share their predictions. Read to explore the potential of these emerging trends!

Brian Meert

Brian Meert, CEO of AdvertiseMint

When it comes to Facebook advertising, the big trends we are seeing is that shorter videos (3-10 seconds) are getting the best results. Advertisers that are able to get a single message across in a quick period of time are rewarded on the Facebook ad platform. Also, expect to see Facebook get very aggressive with video content on “Watch” as they are investing billions into creative content to compete against YouTube, Netflix, other video platforms and network TV. Last, expect to see vertical video formats used for Instagram Stories or Facebook newsfeed become more mainstream instead of a secondary creative option. These videos take up more space on a mobile phone and thus often get better results.

Fred Schebesta

Fred Schebesta, CEO & Co-Founder of

“Advertisers have been forced to adopt a ‘sink or swim’ mentality over recent years. The cause? Ad blockers and the massive change in how we consume media. In 2018, instead of simply testing and trying, advertisers will be mastering the new tools at their disposal.

“Ads are becoming more personalized and much more measurable. No longer do we have to guess how well our campaigns are tracking – we’ve got the data to back it up. All cards on the table now, with hard data, and subsequently, transparent evidence, available. Due to this transparency, advertisers will be paying more attention to their customer flow.

“Seeing the audience journey will help to design (and if necessary, redesign) campaigns to improve messaging. The good news is, improvements in profiling technology will enhance advertisers’ abilities to uncover audience interests to deliver the best results. Those of us who remain open-minded and take advantage of this data will adapt, not die, in our present technological evolution.

“Video content will also be heightened in 2018. Audiences now expect vibrant, engaging and high-quality content that is relatable, shareable and an enjoyable experience. Brands will need to show the world their personalities by making their campaigns and top-level management more human in order to build trust through this method. The pressure on advertisers will be greater than ever before, and I’m excited to see the outcome.”

Lorics Stravrinides

Loris Stavrinides, Creative Director at BLEND Digital Agency

Current and new technologies are driving the web more and more towards the engagement of users via unique and immersive experiences through interactivity, motion, sound, and vision on various digital platforms.

Every year users are becoming more engrossed into the digital world especially now with technologies available, like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. So, as expected online advertising will eventually follow where users become more engaged. Google is already working on advertising via Virtual Reality apps, which will help developers produce more free apps with ads and increase the platform’s popularity.

Shoppable Videos will also start becoming a thing, with start-ups like Cinematique that produce touchable videos where you can view more info, save or even buy anything you see in the video. This will open new creative roads for online advertising and videos on social media. In the app world, IKEA has already developed an Augmented Reality app where users can preview furniture in their home before buying; constituting a successful integration of eCommerce with AR in a fun and creative way, boosting user engagement and product sales. These are just a few examples from the past year, but we can already see the exciting and creative potentials that 2018 will bring in the world of online advertising.

Kenny Simon

Kenny Simon, Founder and Mentor at FXGEOMETRY

We may all know by now that to advertise efficiently on mobile especially; brands need to gain access to consumers through the few apps that dominate daily smartphone use. This could be the catalyst of why brands nowadays have incorporated practically the use of chatbots on Messenger, which is the brainchild of Facebook.

Chatbots are now consistently improved to ‘educate’ clients and traders in the world of Finance.

Take for instance a newly launched Chatbot named the Nami, powered by; it is an assistant to its human educators and mentors. But how that works for Marketing and advertising department?

15% to 60%  of people who receive a message from a Messenger chatbot with a link to an external URL click the link.”

Why would I use chatbots in advertising for any industry?

Whether it be for small businesses or bigger corporations, Chatbots may offer the following benefits: Firstly, they enhance service. Customers interact with chatbots like they would with human representatives, but they’re more costs effective as well as more efficient.

Secondly, chatbots can engage in complex conversations, and at Microsoft for example, chatbots have been used in education, teaching even the toughest subjects.

While chatbots primarily communicate in text, they also employ rich content such as images, landing pages, banners…etc. This is valuable as it means businesses can showcase their products, offers, services even their upcoming events to get registrations.

Josh Strivers

Josh Stivers, Video Advertising Product Management and Platforms at Immersion

Brands are fully embracing the shift to a mobile-first world and creating strategies which focus specifically on mobile channels. In 2018, haptics will play a major role in mobile ad strategies. Beyond being able to uniquely capture a mobile users’ attention through their hands, haptic ad technology brings together the senses and enables marketers to create a more immersive experience through sensory storytelling. Sensory storytelling will be key for advertisers and marketers over the next few years.

Most mobile devices today have the mechanics required to create rich haptic experiences, but not enough attention has been put into designing a touch experience. We expect to see this change in 2018. Creatives understand that ads are content with a brand message. And for consumers to want to watch, the content needs to be engaging and entertaining. The focus on creative storytelling will bring strong benefits to consumers, who are increasing their consumption of mobile video.

Haptics in mobile video is similar to adding surround sound to a movie. Once experienced, it becomes noticeable when absent, and users feel the experience is not as exciting and engaging. Brands like Stoli, Peugeot and Universal Studios have already leveraged mobile ad campaigns enhanced with haptics, and I think more brands will begin to weave in haptics to their mobile ad strategies in the coming year.

Seyhmus Olker

Seyhmus Olker, Co-founder and Head of Business Operations at App Samurai

It is evident that the mobile ecosystem will continue to prosper and shine in 2018! Mobile traffic exceeded desktop traffic, and mobile apps now make more than 57% of total digital media usage. So, it would not be an exaggeration to say advertising on mobile looks more attractive than ever to advertisers.

Yet, while the scale continues to grow with such high speed, the concerns of the advertisers also grow, regarding the quality of the service that they are provided with.

There is definitely a dark side of the mobile advertising industry that threatens the ad quality and this is ad fraud.

As a mobile martech company, backed by TechStars and 500 Startups, App Samurai sees ad fraud as the main concern that faces the mobile marketing industry in 2018 and we have already started working heavily on products that will identify & prevent fraudulent activity in real time. Our aim is to lead the industry and provide our advertisers with highest quality traffic in 2018 as well.

Nikolas Nikolaides

Nikolas Nikolaides, Founder & CEO of Hey Oliver

We are reaching a point where simple online marketing no longer gives companies an edge. Today’s most competitive companies use marketing automation tools that can anticipate exactly what will influence someone and deliver it at exactly the right time. Luckily though, marketing automation finally began making a name for itself thanks to faster internet connections and the ability of servers to handle heavy-duty data. While the classical online marketing might feel safe, you have to be willing to let it go in favor of software that can learn and grow with your company. For me, marketers will fall into different teams: those who’ll see the train coming, those who’ll jump into the train just in time, and those who won’t notice it until it passes them by.

Frank Ravanelli

Frank Ravanelli, Head of Affiliates for Asia & EMEA at FOREO

By the end of 2018, online advertising will look quite different from the way it is now. Instead of trying to list all the changes, I’ll focus on two key ones.

The first is international convergence and cross-pollination. There are services/platforms, that are big in Asia, and are offering a substantially superior experience to users. Especially in terms of integration between offline and online experiences. Similar services targeting other geos will have to learn from them, or leave on the table a big pile of cash from untapped opportunities. WeChat is a key example of such killer-app. The ones failing to do this in 2018, may be punished by losing substantial market share to these Asian giants by Q4 2018.

The second is taking a stake in the success of the advertisers, having a more performance-oriented billing structure. Yes the business model of the Big Two of online advertising, Google and Facebook, is still bullet-proof, at least for the whole 2018. But for all the other players competing for the remaining 40% or so of the ad spending, adding a performance-based component, available at least to tier one advertisers, will be vital in differentiating themselves from a jungle of “me too” networks and advertising options. And also in compensating for a much smaller inventory than the Big Two.

Kristian Haanes

Kristian Haanes, Founder and CEO of Webinara

Online advertising is increasingly moving towards community building and native advertising, both of which compliment retargeting and behavioral profiling. Communities can strengthen a brand in a lasting way, such as what Apple has done by creating an aura around their products that reflects a life style more than some impressive technical specification.

 Native advertising delivers valuable content that simultaneously acts as a lead magnet, allowing you to build a community around a core message that also initiates a lead funnel. With such a lead funnel you can engage leads using inbound marketing techniques that not only yield conversions but also learnings about the demographics that enter your funnel. This information lets you easily retarget leads in other mediums such as social media, as well as create look alike audiences that expand your community. You can even anticipate a leads actions based on their behavior in the past, allowing for dynamic marketing content.

 One of the best ways to attract leads to your brand is with webinars because they combine both community building and native advertising by attracting a group of people around a core message that simultaneously provides quality content while also acting as a lead magnet.

Phanos Demetriou

Phanos Demetriou, Digital Marketing Director at Opium Works Digital

If I could choose 3 words to describe 2018, it would be: VIDEO – AUTOMATION – PERSONALIZATION!

Video. We always knew video is the best form of content on Social Media. In 2017 It turned out that video content performs 60% better on Facebook than any other content type. In 2018 this will be even bigger. Many companies have already won big by using a lot of video first content strategy in their Digital communication and this will only get bigger. Consumers are thirsty for instant and authentic content and video is the way to go! To win in 2018, you need to find cost-effective ways to prepare efficient – consumable and storytelling video.

Automation. Marketing automation is a powerful tool for marketers as it allows them to create a rich profile of their brand’s audience and use targeted marketing messages to help drive conversions. This opens the doors to a whole new world of opportunities where brands can communicate immediately with their customers in ecommerce and social scenarios. This goes hand in hand with the next point.

Personalization. Personalized content is going to be the core focus when devising a marketing plan while running hand-in-hand with a very important goal: a personalized experience for each customer.

61% of customers rely more on a company that is inclined to create custom and individualized content. Hence, the probability to choose the same company for a future purchase is high.

Smart Marketers will take advantage of this upcoming trend, they will incorporate Personalization in their strategy and win big! The key here is to understand the data, frame it, identify consumer patterns and automate (previous point) personalized content directly with their consumers.



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