With the end of the year just weeks away, we’re excited to delve into what’s in store for 2018. Check out what we’re reading when it comes to what’s on the horizon for influencer marketing in the New Year.

Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Rise

By now, we’ve all seen firsthand, year after year, how influencer marketing continues to become an integral part of many marketers’ strategies. Large corporations, small businesses, and everyone in between are seeking out information and ways to leverage this smart strategy for their own brands. According to PR Daily, searches around “influencer marketing” have doubled in the first nine months of 2017, and in that same time span, searches for “Instagram influencer” have more than tripled.

Because the marketplace is so saturated, PR Daily also underscores the importance of having a clearly defined strategy in place for influencer marketing; a strategy that an influencer marketing agency – like The Motherhood – can help create and manage, so that it is a seamless extension of your overall marketing plan.

Augmented Reality Will Take a Greater Hold

Augmented reality has been around for several years now, but experts predict that in 2018, more brands will be using this technology to immerse their customers in their company’s offerings, thanks to recent technological advances from Apple (ARKit) and Google (ARCore) that make augmented reality applications more useable.

Social media ads are also predicted to incorporate augmented reality, creating experiences where prospective customers can actually visualize themselves with a product or service.

Instagram and Instagram Stories Will Continue to Be Important for Marketers

Just a year after they launched, Instagram Stories’ daily viewers surpassed those of SnapChat. Plus, those with more than 10,000 followers can also now add a link in their Stories, which on Instagram, has been a hurdle for brands to date (source).

This, combined with the fact that Instagram Story metrics are measurable, gives the platform a one-up on others from a marketer’s perspective, which is why we expect to see additional growth and interest in this platform in 2018 – especially for fashion brands and influencers.

Because more and more brands are disappearing from the news feed due to ever-changing algorithms, creating a stable of content in Instagram Stories is key to staying relevant and top-of-mind for brands, and can guide your followers back to your news feed to boost engagement with that content.

2018 social media predictions

Video Will Be More Relevant Than Ever

Video dominance (including live video) certainly isn’t a new trend, and we anticipate that video will continue to be a favored medium. After all, video is expected to account for 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021!

Experts continue to agree that in our mobile-first world, attention spans are shorter than ever, so videos that demonstrate value – using a “show don’t tell” model – will be vital for brands wanting to stay relevant.

Also, in 2018, mobile video is anticipated to grow by 25 percent, and video consumption is supposed to decline on laptops and desktop computers for the first time ever.

Real-Time Access and Messenger Marketing Will See Growth

This year, Facebook reported that there are 100,000 active bots on Messenger each month, and that number is slated to grow. In fact, artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to grow by 53 percent in the next few years.

This type of automation and real-time access to brands is almost required in the social media era, where brands and consumers are “always on.” In addition to more brands incorporating that kind of access into their marketing toolkit, we’re likely to see improvement in the quality of those interactions, as well as the response rate.

We want to hear from you. What do you predict will rise of fall for social media in 2018? Tell us in the comments!