5 Major Digital Trends for 2018

Kyle CassanoBlog,Featured,Politics

As 2017 comes to a close it’s time for us to evaluate our media mix to identify which tools served us best. In doing this, it might be best if we had some foresight into what the market is saying about digital in 2018.

So, to help you plan for 2018, we’re going to go through five major trends below, from audience segmentation to analyzing quality data, we will go through all the best strategies for opt-in coalition building, cost-per-click platforms, user ID-based constituent connections and engagement. 

  1. Companies are Ditching Programmatic Display Advertising: Every day we hear about companies moving away from programmatic display advertising platforms towards better performing and cost-effective Pay-Per-Click (PPC) platforms like Google and Facebook. Most notably, Procter & Gamble cut about $140 Million in digital ad spending, specific to programmatic display advertising because of:
    • Brand Safety Concerns – There’s not much control over where your ads are shown and what content appears next to them. Imagine running a pro oil production campaign and having your ad appear next to an article about a recent oil spill—Yikes. With AdWords and Facebook we have immediate, customizable control over where our content is seen and not seen.
    • Wasted spend on non-viewable impressions – Programmatic display platforms charge on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions). That means you pay for every impression, whether or not someone actually saw it. I.e. Non-viewable impressions that occur below the fold are never seen by a human, or ads that appear in an article that get passed in a second as someone scrolls down the screen. These non-viewable impressions make up about 560/1,000 (56%) of the impressions that you (or your client) end up paying for. NOTE: Google is the only company that offers viewable impressions.
    • Attribution – It’s hard to drive acquisition campaigns with display. Most conversions happen on the search side, or much later and it’s hard to link that conversion back to display advertising, unless the conversion came as a direct result of clicking on the ad which is rare in display. The average CTR on a display ad is 0.08… that’s less that 1/10 people who see the add actually click. If you run search and display campaigns in AdWords simultaneously you have clarity and can attribute conversions.
    • Poor quality targeting – Programmatic targeting is behavioral in nature. Segments are created based on online behavior. The issue? It’s device based, not user-based. That means targeting may be flawed if mom, dad, sister, brother, or friend use the same machine. Furthermore, the segments vanish as soon as a cache or browser is cleared. If your data is more than 2 weeks old it is safe to say that it’s completely worthless. Good luck for a campaign that lasts longer that 14 days. Platforms like Google and Facebook are user-based and make up about 70% of digital placements today. Focus on the user, not the device.
  2. Video Is More Important Than Ever: With video, we see that people tend to adopt ideas and connect on a much deeper level, especially when advertisers are trying to communicate a complex message or story. And as a result, we see that the audience is much more apt to take considerable action, in terms of likes, sharing, commenting, etc. when they connect emotionally. Also, with more people accessing the internet via their mobile devices than desktop, it is important to note that mobile users are spending more time than ever with their smartphones, with the excitement to watch videos online being proportionate as well. It is clear from the following stats that online video is growing rapidly in popularity right alongside mobile growth, which surpassed desktop back in 2016.
    • YouTube registers more 18 and above years-old audience during peak TV hours than any cable TV network.
    • Advertisers on prime time broadcasting TV could gain 56% more audience of 18 to 49 years-old through advertising on YouTube.
    • Plainly from statistics, it does not come as a surprise that Facebook recently revealed the count of 1.65 billion active users (data from April 2016) watching about 8 billion videos each day.
    • Consumers are more tempted from videos because of the deeper attachment they experience from the visual on-screen elements. Realizing the need, the trend of promoting high-quality video content is very much likely to soar high in future.
  3. A shift to quality data generated via user-ID opt-in campaigns: Quality data is the foundation of every successful campaign. If the data is purchased from programmatic vendors that rely on cookie-based acquisition, or acquired in a manner other than opt-in you may have serious issues delivering a win for your client. Highly data-oriented agencies are 3 times more likely to improve their decision-making processes and deliver successful campaigns.
  4. Audience Segmentation and Creating Smart Content: What is smart content? Content that is intelligently personalized to your user’s needs. Creating a smart content addresses the individual topics that resonate with different audiences, which in turn creates a communication that fits each segment’s needs and requirements individually.For example, if our overall goal is to activate 100 people to show up for a town hall meeting, we might fall short if we speak to all 100 people with a single message. We see better results when we speak to what each segment cares about most. We know that 25 people care about the environment, 25 people care about education, and the remaining 50 people care about tax revenue for their city—therefore we come with three unique messages and tailor our content strategy accordingly.The idea is self-explanatory. Creating personalized messages drives better performance!
  5. Using Influencers and Coalition Members: Although paid media drives the majority of a digital campaign’s engagement, it may not be enough at times. There is a need to engage coalition supporters and influencers who will echo your message organically on social channels. These are your faithful advocates. An influencer is someone with credibility amongst your coalition members and a large online following. If they advocate for your position, their support could mean the support of their followers and your coalition.Have you ever gone on to Twitter and looked at the hashtag for a specific campaign to see what people are saying? If you answered yes to this, then you have probably noticed that there’s almost always overwhelming support for one side over the other. How do we come to this conclusion? Well, we look at the number of tweets and see what the majority seems to be saying—YES or NO. That voice share gives us a good idea of where the support lies. Your constituents see this as well. It’s hard to garner support for your side if the masses seem to be supporting the other side.There should be an organic component involving the use of influencers in every digital campaign you use. Think of it as a way to increase authenticity and enhance voice share.

The recap:

Here is a summary of our top 5 digital trends for 2018. Some of you may already be using these approaches in your digital mixes (I know our clients are), but for those of you that are not, we encourage you to leverage the power of digital and enhance your campaign efforts in 2018.

  1. Companies are ditching programmatic display advertising
  2. Video is more important than ever
  3. A shift to quality data generated via user-ID opt-in campaigns
  4. Audience segmentation and creating smart content
  5. Using Influencers and coalition members

What next?

Okay, you know the top five digital trends for 2018, now what? Well, if you have any upcoming campaigns or projects with a digital component give us a call! Our digital specialists will happily chat with you about our ideas on how we can work together!

To see what else we’ve been up to and are capable of doing, please take a look at our Capabilities Deck… hooray! (Click the BIG red button below to download the deck)

If you have any digital needs or know someone who does, please shoot me a call at 916.601.7527 or email us directly at hello@digitaladvocacy.com!

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