The past twelve months have seen significant events in domestic politics, international affairs, the environment, and a handful of other areas, including digital marketing. With 2018 coming to a close, now is the perfect time to reflect on some of the major developments affecting the digital world.

Facebook had a terrible year. In March, the Cambridge Analytica scandal graced front pages around the world. In December, the New York Times unearthed yet another massive privacy breach. The months in between were freckled with stock price declines, senatorial hearings, and a series of additional controversies. At year’s end, the company has shed billions in market value and is massively distrusted by the public.

Mounting suspicion. Facebook isn’t the only tech company being eyed with suspicion. Twitter and WhatsApp, along with Facebook, have been implicated in the international spread of ‘fake news,’ propaganda, and hate speech. In October, Google announced it would shutter Google+ following a significant data breach. Apple admitted to throttling old iOS devices to stunt performance. Even as technology becomes increasingly ingrained in public life, trust in major tech companies is waning.

Unwavering commitment to digital marketing. Despite growing mistrust of the largest tech firms, advertisers have continued to throw money their way. Digital ad revenues surpassed 50 per cent of total ad spending in the United States this year, and digital ad revenue is forecasted to reach an all-time high of $106-billion. Facebook remained the biggest beneficiary of social media advertising dollars, with Instagram accounting for the bulk of increased spending.

New advertising approaches. Advertisers invested in a range of novel digital marketing approaches in 2018, including immersive marketing (virtual and augmented reality) and influencer marketing. Expect these trends to continue in 2019, alongside increased investment in video marketing, voice search optimization, and mobile efforts.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media would like to wish all our clients a productive and successful New Year!