Trends in digital marketing have evolved throughout 2018. Let’s take a look at some of the marketing trends that made an appearance in the digital world and changed how advertising was viewed by users over the past year.


SEO is typically optimized for the #1 (first) position, being its end-goal in the Google Search Engine results.

But did you know there is actually a position #0?

This “snippet” before any organic rank is considered position #0. Why does this matter? Position #0 is getting known for its importance as voice-assisted searches are actually using this result in voice responses. Want to know how many voice-activated searches there are? Hint: ask Siri (or Alexa)!

With this transition in mind, we will be keeping a pulse on this trend and adjusting our SEO offerings to fit with ever-changing user behaviours.

Voice Search

As mentioned with SEO trends, 2018 saw an increase in voice search and voice commands.

“Voice assistants are empowering mobile users to access information online.” – Forbes

With such positive growth in 2018, it is fair to state that digital marketers must change their way of marketing to consumers. Some strategic tactics include using natural conversational language and/or viewing longer sentences as keyphrase, rather than keywords.

More Integrated Strategies

As the world is becoming more interconnected every year, marketing initiatives are becoming more complex to follow suit. Small and medium businesses are gaining more experience with their digital marketing plays. We are seeing that once these businesses are getting their feet wet with a few isolated advertising channels, many of them are beginning to explore a variety of different configurations of their marketing mix in order to further reach and nurture their target audiences. What does this mean for digital marketers? It demands a higher level of skill, integrated knowledge, and more communication among all service teams within the marketing ecosystem.

Bold Typography

As the digital marketing sphere is flooded with integrated strategies, the ability to capture a user’s attention is more than necessary.

Think of your first impressions as digital billboards. You are driving by at 80 km. per hour and advertisers have only a few seconds to captivate you.

Here are some examples of landing pages that keep the primary message clear and to-the-point.

Gradients – Color Transitions

Flat design is maturing, and gradients are making their modern-day comeback as a flat design enhancement. Its subtle change in colour is eye-catching, yet simple enough to keep the marketing message intact. It was seen in 2018 that gradients were used frequently on website buttons, page headers and in PowerPoint presentations as well.

Live Streaming Video

Live streaming video has been an emerging popular trend in 2018. Used by many influencers and celebrities, the tool of live-streaming has been implemented as a new feature by many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Some advantages that we have observed with live-streaming video include:

  • Authenticity 
    Real-time broadcasting is perceived as more transparent and personable among audiences
  • Cost-Effective
    Cuts on production costs – no editing required with live-streaming
  • High Engagement
    Users spend 3x longer watching live videos
  • Interactive
    Audiences are able to participate by providing instant feedback

Social Media

Social Media is a popular advertising channel now. Its features are always being updated and renovated to encourage more interactive marketing from both the business and the consumer. Some innovative social media features or announcements that were introduced in 2018 are:

  • Instagram rolled out its Shopping Feature. This feature has turned Instagram into a social marketplace. As you scroll those your followed brands, it gives a seamless user experience for those who want more information on products and potentially increases the business’ product exposure and conversions.
  • The growth of Instagram Stories. This feature expands your social narrative while having more engagement metrics for your brand to take part in. With an estimated 300 million users (source: SproutSocial), Instagram Stories is vital when curating your social media marketing strategy for 2019.
  • Privacy & Data. In 2018, Cambridge Analytica Scandal forced Facebook to review and tighten its privacy policy. This created a domino effect in North America for the safety of its users and advertiser. To follow, Facebook also cut off third-party data access to advertisers. This has changed the way advertisers harvest data on their consumers.

Thumb-Friendly Navigation

Mobile-first design is not something new. However, recent studies such as Josh Clark’s book “Designing for Touch” shows how the phone holder’s behaviour, especially the movement of their thumbs, affects the design thinking process. Moving the hamburger menu to the bottom is just a quick example of this trend. Read More.


Adwords underwent a rebrand in 2018 by changing product branding from Adwords to Google Ads. To embody the shortening of its name, keywords selection plays a lesser role in paid search marketing. Google Ads now includes a dozen ad formats across Search, YouTube, Gmail and other partner site platforms. There is more variety in terms of targeting by rejigging the user interface to be more of a command center rather than a dashboard. We envision 2019 to be the year of exploration in Google Ads and how it can segment data.


Programmatic has been a long-time player in digital advertising. There has been some tactics that are re-emerged with popularity or introduced a new feature in 2018:

  1. Geo-Fence 
    This tactic has been used since 2017. However, it was not until 2018 when Geo-fence was the star tactic for all programmatic campaigns. This tactic takes programmatic display to the next tier with its many perks and features. For example, with Geo-fencing, we are able to create a virtual fence and track people who end up in that specific fence. This is beneficial when clients have a storefront and would like to track online vs offline conversions. Its accuracy as a digital advertising tactic is profound as geo-fencing can be customizable to fit your needs. Furthermore, geo-fencing can also be narrowed down to a specific date, time, or even event. How cool is that?
  2. Dynamic Creative

    Another powerful tactic that was introduced in 2018 – Dynamic Creative is a programmatic tactic that enables us to pull client’s inventory directly from their website. This tactic is very popular among auto dealerships where there can be a lot of inventory on their websites. Not only does Dynamic Creative pull inventory, but the accuracy of the corresponding and relevant information is impressive. Users can see VIN#, an image of the car, model and the price. Users can find exactly what they’re looking for all in one go.
    For more information on Dynamic Creative, check out our Dynamic Creative blog.

Responsive Logos

Responsive logos are probably the most challenging form of digital design. A well-designed logo should represent the core idea of one’s business. Not only does the logo need to be strong conceptually but it should also be identifiable on multiple sizes. Be it a tiny icon your mobile phone to printed on the side of a moving bus, your logo should stand out enough of your audience to see and recognize what your business is about.

What a way to end 2018! It’s beneficial to remind ourselves that with this industry, the learning never stops as new innovations and ideas are sprouted on a daily basis. These trends are now considered as the paths digital marketing will take in 2019.