Technology continues to advance to unprecedented levels. As a result, digital advertising is working hard to keep up. Consumers are more ad savvy and more wary of being constantly sold to. Digital advertising in 2018 will be a combination of building on proven methods and inventing new avenues of revenue.

1. Google and Facebook are the Key Players

Google controls internet searches and Facebook controls social media. It’s no secret that Google is the king of the internet.

The term ‘to google’ has become a part of our daily vocabulary. Advertising, then, must adhere to whatever Google wants. In order to be a part of the search results, companies need to be aware of Google’s expectations. Thus, while other search engines should be researched, the one that matters the most is Google.

Facebook has survived the volatility of the internet thanks to its ability to change. While it was once a platform to connect with friends, it is now the primary source of news for most people. And when Facebook allowed ads in the newsfeed, it revolutionized advertising. Facebook, more than any other social media platform, is important for advertising.

Look for Google and Facebook to focus on what they do best in 2018. They have a solid foundation. But the online world can be fickle.

2. Don’t discount Amazon

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has just been announced as the richest person of all time. His net worth is $105 billion. That’s billion, with a b! This is a sign of just how huge Amazon is. While Google and Facebook are still the two major players of digital advertising, Amazon is becoming a threat.

More and more people turn to Amazon for their online purchases. The advent of Amazon Prime is revolutionizing the online marketplace. And Amazon is now in the brick and mortar sphere with its purchase of Whole Foods.

Amazon can use tools such as direct marketing. It can also use promotional recommendations. Amazon also relies on blogger redirection. The point is, there is still an untapped digital advertising potential that Amazon can tap into.

3. Subscriptions over commercials

Today’s generation is trying its best to stomp out mandatory advertisements. TV shows are recorded to eliminate commercials. The mouse button hovers over the ‘skip ad’ button on YouTube videos.

Innovative companies understand this, and the move has been towards subscription services instead. Spotify blasts commercials every 30 minutes in the hopes that listeners will give in and pay for a subscription. Netflix capitalizes on the disdain for commercials with their model. More and more services will pop up this year to try to mimic these models.

One big subscription to look out for is Disney. While Disney currently has a contract with Netflix, it is phasing this relationship out. And, as Netflix viewers are aware of, classic Disney movies are still not available. Disney wants to put together movies from both their old and new catalogues. They also want to add TV shows that they produce. And they are betting, quite rightly, that viewers will pay for this service.

4. Crossover TV Episodes

TV show ratings are in decline and it is harder than ever to attract new viewers. Crossover episodes have become the new way to boost viewership. The CW has become the leader in this advertising trend. Their DC Universe TV shows, Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow have elaborate crossover episodes each season.

Last year, Fox’s New Girl and Brooklyn 99 had crossover episodes. And this year, the revival of Will and Grace will have Jennifer Lopez as a guest star playing her character on her own TV show, Shades of Blue.

TV executives know that you may not tune into a brand-new show, but if there is a familiar element, it is easier to try.

5. The immediacy of Chatbots

Gone are the days of telephoning a help desk. Indeed, most company websites don’t even post a phone number anymore. Instead, customer service is done through email or instant messaging. A new player that has emerged and will continue to grow in 2018, is the chatbot.

Chatbots are immediate. They use keyword recognition to take personal messages and link to suggested answers. Chatbots still have some kinks to work out. Customers expect to talk to someone, even online. As a result, chatbots can lead to annoyances.

As well, chatbots are definitely not as reliable as their real-world counterparts. But technology is working to improve them.

Chatbots tie into digital advertising by recommending certain products via chat. Retail websites, such as Kayak, use chatbots to help book trips with specific partners.