Can you believe 2017 is almost over?! The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the progress we’ve made in the past 12 months and look forward to continued growth and change in the new year. Here at Keystone Click, it’s no different! We’ve seen some exciting happenings in the digital space (video, video, video!) within the past year and we think that there are even bigger changes to come in 2018!
We asked the Keystone Click team members what their predictions are for the future of social media, design, and marketing. You might be surprised by some of the answers!
Lori - President and Owner
Video becomes even more interactive and engaging-
2017 has seen the rise of so many innovations in video that I think this trend can only continue to grow throughout the new year. Social channels are expanding on their video capabilities in so many ways. Not only are there multiple options for video chats, live video has absolutely exploded and the ability to engage in real-time with your audience provides a lot of opportunities. This year alone - Twitter added video, Instagram added stories and two-person live video, Facebook added video channels to profiles, and LinkedIn started allowing videos to be uploaded. Every channel continues to outdo the next and video has proven itself to be the most engaged form of content. It only makes sense that this medium will continue to evolve into a more engaging tool.
Google will become more important than ever in your marketing strategy-
Websites will need to be totally plugged into Google to ensure that they are getting the most out of leveraging rich snippets to work within Google's algorithms and to ultimately take over the results page. Rich snippets provide a small sample of your website’s content on the Search Engine Results Page so that your viewers are getting a preview of what is on your site without clicking a link. Think concert ticket prices, recipes, how- to instructions, etc. Making sure that these rich snippets show up in search is going to be more vital than ever to your SEO efforts.
Measuring ROI on marketing will continue to become an easier task-
With the incredible amount of data that is being collected in the digital space and the constant evolution of measuring tools and resources, it’s becoming easier and easier to communicate the story of where your marketing dollars are going. It will become clear what specific activities are producing a measurable return on investment.
Kyle - Marketing Coordinator
2018 will be a big year for social media and for one channel especially - Facebook. With all of the new features they have been adding such as Facebook Local, The Creator App for Facebook, and Video Services, Facebook will soon decide that the next phase of their plan is ready. My prediction is that Facebook Search will be the next big thing. Yes, it does already exist - there's a search bar and it will bring you everything from friends to companies and events. Nonetheless, I believe it will be reworked and optimized to do one thing: keep you on Facebook services.
This idea that Facebook is trying to keep you in their services is nothing new, but the element of a search engine inside Facebook would be the final piece to the puzzle. How else do you tie together all of their features into one neat kit and kaboodle? We've seen this type of play before from Google where it thought it could invade the social space, but in most eyes, Google+, was a fail.
Min - Visual Communications Specialist
More focus on personalization-
Interfaces are starting to focus more on the experience of individuals instead of being designed one-size-fits-all. In 2018, I think we will begin to see a greater focus on small details that make the experience unique to each person. It can be as small as just displaying a custom welcome message when a user logs in to a site or as big as the ability to customize an entire interface to match the user's needs. We can expect to see this stretch into marketing as well with email campaigns becoming more and more personalized.
An emphasis on being BOLD-
This already started trending the second half of 2017, but I think we are going to see even bolder font and color choices when it comes to 2018. I think we'll continue to see this type of design expand beyond digital as well! Designers are simplifying their designs, but using large, bold fonts and bright, vivid colors to attract the attention of the user.
Ashley - Front End Developer
Websites will become more interactive and engaging-
Animation effects will occur when scrolling down a page or clicking on an element and video will replace static backgrounds and banners on a site, increasing conversion. Motion UI and GIFs have become very popular, and I see this trend growing in the new year along with the use of videos. I practically live on YouTube, so I understand how engaging video can be, and see how it can be used to build a connection with your audience and drive sales.
There seems to be a growing shift away from flat design into more modular design and semi-flat design (uses 3D elements and materialistic design with flat design); along with a rise in the utilization of geometric shapes instead of squares and rectangles. This concept excites me as it would make for more unique, less templatey designs, and I imagine it will only get more popular throughout 2018.
Rai - Marketing Coordinator
The end of Snapchat-
Snap Inc. recently announced that they are in the process of a complete redesign of the Snapchat app for 2018. With all the issues that Snapchat has had since going public in March 2017, including losing over 3 billion dollars and stock that hasn’t traded above its IPO price since July, Snapchat now must make a major change to stay afloat. The changes that they’re proposing are supposed to automate the ad buying process which in theory will make it easier to monetize the platform (a major issue they’ve been having) and completely revamping the design make the app easier to use.
Personally, I have seen declining use of Snapchat among my friends (and myself) in recent months. Now that other apps like Facebook and Instagram offer most of the features that Snapchat offers, people are beginning to migrate away from that platform. I think that unless the app redesign includes some amazing and innovative new features, the change will be the last straw for current users and they’ll begin looking to other apps to fill the void.
Jim - Operations Manager
No resolution to net neutrality issues-
The Net Neutrality debate has been gaining prominence in the news again since the FCC has recently announced their plans to repeal net neutrality provisions that were approved in 2015. My prediction for 2018 is that absolutely no headway will be made on this issue and we’ll continue the debate into 2019 and beyond.
Elizabeth - Administrative Assistant
An increase in embedded AI-
Checkmate. Artificial Intelligence has come a long way since 1997 and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov’s stunning loss to IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. Flash forward twenty years and AI has rapidly progressed, consistently providing innovators and social scientists with meaningful insights into the mysteries of intelligence and human nature.
Using embedded AI, businesses will be able to create more finely tuned and meaningful consumer content. And in the immortal words of Nam June Paik, “The Future is Now”. Those without a clear strategy going forward will find themselves falling further behind, lapped by the competition.
Otters will become the new sloth-
Also, feline celebrities will continue their quest to dominate internet video feeds and "haz all the cheezburgerz". Enough said.
There you have it! Keystone Click’s digital predictions for 2018. Do you have any predictions of your own? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to include them in a future blog post. Until then, have a great rest of your year and a happy 2018!