A Hyundai Motor Co. next generation fuel-cell electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) powertrain system is seen on an augmented reality (AR) monitor during an unveiling event in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Hyundai said that electric vehicles will underpin its push into environmentally friendly cars, the latest automaker to embrace battery-powered vehicles after earlier bets on hydrogen fuel-cell cars. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Augmented reality will be a significant tool for marketers in 2018. SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg

Top digital marketing trends to adopt in 2018

With 2018 right around the corner you're probably on a vacation or trying to finalise your business plan for next year.

It's never too late to adjust your marketing plan to incorporate next year's biggest marketing trends. Here are seven digital marketing trends you'll want to watch out for:

Augmented reality with social media

Pokemon Go was a pioneer of this idea when it launched last year. But we can expect to see more of it. Augmented reality (AR) solution studios, such as Holition in London, are working on providing such concepts to their retail clients. What this means is that as social media becomes more integrated with AR software, more brands will be using it to integrate with customers. For instance, if you will be at a certain location, then brand X's content will only be accessible there. The content will differ depending on the location.

Influencer marketing

One thing I constantly hear from my clients is how investing in influencer marketing results in more brand awareness. From a personal business perspective, I am seeing businesses invest more in a few selected social influencers, even if they have to pay them more versus middle-tier social influencers. I believe we will see more of that across the market, and businesses will invest more in organic grass-root advertising campaigns.

This takes us to the next important point.


Read more:

To compete with e-retail, shops should offer unique experiences 

Three ways to sabotage your own business


Targeted advertisements

People have shorter attention spans for sure, and we are bombarded by various advertisements on desktop and mobile, and in order to have an effective message and to be heard amid the noise, brands will need to ensure their message is tailored to a device or platform. We are seeing more of this across social media platforms. In addition, since more people are relying on their mobile devices to receive information, we will see more ads designed with mobile in mind. For 2018, the majority of my clients are depending solely on mobile advertisements whether they're using SnapChat, Instagram, or Twitter.

Video is king

As my agency creates and produces different forms of content, video is the most preferable and effective medium to receive information for our customers. I believe we will be seeing more sophisticated and professionally produced video content in 2018 not only by brands and businesses but also by social media influencers. The Kuwaiti fashion influencer Ascia Al Faraj, one of the leading influencers in the GCC, has taken her video content to the next level by sharing professionally shot video content on her social media platforms. I believe that we will be seeing less-shaky videos by influencers and more professional curated content.

Live video viewership

Live video is nothing new, but it's growing exponentially. Different social media platforms from Instagram to Facebook provide it, and it's increasingly popular. This is also a popular marketing tool for businesses as they work with influencers to take their viewers live through an event, or behind the scenes. For the Victoria's Secret fashion show that took place in China last month, the brand worked with social influencers from across the world, including a couple from Dubai who took their viewers behind the scenes where they interviewed the models and talked about fashion trends. Travel social media influencers also use the tool to show their viewers the destination or the hotel property they are staying in. 

Focus on algorithms

It's not enough to just get the message out there, but you want to measure who has seen it when and who is currently live on your page, and what are their preferences, likes and dislikes. Google provides those metric tools, as well as Facebook and Instagram. More and more businesses are demanding such algorithms for measurement especially when investing in social influencers. 

‘New’ TV advertising

As Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, Apple TV, and Netflix are becoming the go-to TV for viewers worldwide with their exclusive shows and content, this means that more and more brands will be considering those outlets for advertisements as opposed to old school local television show commercials.

This will mean that platforms like Netflix which have no commercials, will be seeing more and product placements embedded.

As it stands now, marketing is likely to become more analytical, more targeted, entering new mediums, incorporating new technologies and focused on organic growth.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer who manages her branding and marketing consultancy in Abu Dhabi

Mental health support in the UAE

● Estijaba helpline: 8001717
● UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention hotline: 045192519
● UAE Mental health support line: 800 4673 (Hope)
More information at hope.hw.gov.ae


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone


Norway 1 Spain 1
Norway: King (90+4')
Spain: Niguez (47')

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5


Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera
Rating: 4/5


Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)


Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5


Director: Meshal Al Jaser

Starring: Adwa Bader, Yazeed Almajyul, Khalid Bin Shaddad

Rating: 4/5

Awar Qalb

Director: Jamal Salem

Starring: Abdulla Zaid, Joma Ali, Neven Madi and Khadija Sleiman

Two stars

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Director: James Wan

Starring: Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II 

Rating: 2/5


DECEMBER 19 (6pm)
Kites v Eagles
Aliassime v Kyrgios
Swiatek v Garcia
Entertainment: Tiesto

DECEMBER 20 (6pm)
Falcons v Hawks
Djokovic v Zverev
Sabalenka v Rybakina
Entertainment: Wizkid

DECEMBER 21 (6pm)
Falcons v Eagles
Djokovic v Kyrgios
Badosa v Garcia
Entertainment: Ne-Yo

DECEMBER 22 (6pm)
Hawks v Kites
Thiem v Aliassime
Kontaveit v Swiatek
Entertainment: deadmau5

DECEMBER 23 (2pm)
Eagles v Hawks
Kyrgios v Zverev
Garcia v Rybakina
Entertainment: Mohammed Ramadan

DECEMBER 23 (6pm)
Falcons v Kites
Djokovic v Aliassime
Sabalenka v Swiatek
Entertainment: Mohammed Ramadan

DECEMBER 24 (6pm)
Entertainment: Armin Van Buuren

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Charlotte Gainsbourg


(Because Music)


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets