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Grading the 2018 Digital Marketing Predictions

One year ago, we were all gearing up for the explosion of what experts told us would be the big marketing trends in 2018. Now, one year later, we can look back to see how these predictions panned out. A word to the wise: Looking back on 2018 predictions can be especially valuable as you plan for what you can really expect in 2019. But remember, nobody is right all the time. Let’s take a look back as experts predict . . . the future (cue spooky music).

Marketing predictions: Instagram becomes more valuable than Facebook

Instagram becomes a more valuable channel than Facebook 

Entrepreneur.com

Reality: Facebook fell from grace earlier this year with marketers after the company announced it would be focused more on one-on-one connections, which led to a significant decrease in engagements on brand pages. This news, coupled with Instagram’s continued rapid growth (now more than 1 billion global monthly users) shows that this prediction has aged pretty well — even if the signs were pointing to it already.

Grade: B+

Amazon will own 50 percent of U.S.-based eCommerce by 2021Forrester.com

Reality: Not only is this prediction on pace to be true — it’s basically true already. This eMarketer report from July shows that the amount in sales revenue that Amazon brought in during 2018 is a full 29.2 percent higher than last year, thus leading to it capturing 49.1 percent of the market.

Grade: A

Content marketing predictions: 2018 was to be a big year for stories

2018 is sure to be a big year for stories — TheDrum.com

Reality: Following Snapchat’s introduction of stories to the world, Instagram Stories continued to blossom in 2018. By the middle of 2018, Instagram Stories had left Snapchat in the dust. The success of stories isn’t true on every platform, however. Facebook Stories have still yet to completely take off despite Facebook’s best efforts and it remains to be seen what happens with YouTube Stories.

Grade: B-

The rise of 360-degree video/virtual reality campaignsWordstream.com

Reality: There is no evidence to show that 360-degree video and virtual reality are not growing somewhat in use, but it would certainly be a stretch to say we saw the “rise” of these tactics in 2018. We’re not there yet.

Grade: D

Brand purpose will grow upMarketingWeek.com

Reality: You need to look no further than Nike’s “Believe in Something” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick to see what sort of response a brand can receive when embracing a political idea that has caused dissension. For Nike, the account was — and continues to be — a tremendous success. Thanks to the success of the campaign, Nike’s stock reached an all-time high in 2018.

Grade: A

Content marketing predictions that failed: the death of Twitter

Twitter dies a quiet deathEntrepreneur.com

Reality: If Twitter is going down, it isn’t going down without a fight. Twitter focused on improving the user experience in 2018 and in making the platform a safer space to be. It’s true that Twitter did lose daily active users in 2018, but if it goes down, Twitter seems committed to go down swinging.

Grade: C

Stricter conduct policies — Impactbnd.com

Reality: The impending GDPR set the stage for discussions about more regulation and stricter conduct policies, but then things took on a life of their own after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica drama. Even before the dust had settled, consumers were demanding greater insight regarding how their data is used and special interest groups and government bodies were itching to take a stand. Web and social users are now seeing more transparency from websites and social platforms than ever before.

Grade: A+

Live video content will only continue to growHubspot.com

Reality: Before we delve into the numbers on this, didn’t live videos feel like a much more exciting tool one year ago? Facebook and Instagram both were heavily promoting them with in-app notifications in ways that we don’t seem to see as much anymore (remember Instagram’s “Top Live” button?). But, just because we don’t see the same sort of excitement, that doesn’t mean live video isn’t growing. In fact, according to this information from Yahoo!, several data points point back to the fact that live video viewership has increased in significant ways in the past 12 months.

Grade: B

Grading content marketing predictions: What about Snapchat?

Snapchat wins — or losesAdAge.com

Reality: This prediction (which is kind of weak anyway) didn’t really come to fruition in one way or the other. The app’s usage dropped from 191 million daily active users in Q1 to 186 million daily active users in Q3. On the other hand, the company is reportedly seeing more engagement than Instagram Stories sees from the Gen Z market, perhaps giving reason to believe that the younger audience might continue to stick with and build up the app. So, for now, Snapchat continues to just exist with a bright (or dark) future ahead of it.

Grade: F

 

Catch up on some of the most popular #ContentRadars of 2018:

 

Chad Buleen

About Chad

Chad Buleen is an award-winning journalist, the manager of social messaging for a large international nonprofit, a digital media enthusiast and father of four. Follow him on Twitter .

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