Our predictions for 2018

Guess who’s back, back again, contentgroupies back, tell a friend. (too much for so early on in the year?)

Fine. But we are back, done reflecting on the successes in 2017 and intent on making 2018 our best yet. While we brush the dust off our keyboards, here are our team’s predictions for 2018!

Surprise, surprise; we have a heavy focus on digital media, AI, the future of digital advertising and why Canberra is a 10/10 ideal city to call home.

David PolglaseLinkedIn

Short and simple: Australia to win the Ashes 5-0*.

*will be okay with 4-0.

Ben Curry – LinkedIn

Machine learning will continue to influence the multimedia space. We can now tag photos without metadata as image recognition is doing it instead, bots are already mixing DJ’s setlists, and automated video editing tools are becoming more sophisticated. The flip side of this technology is that everything can look and sound the same. Don’t be afraid of this though; creative people will still be essential as their instincts and experience can create content that connects on an emotional level. Robots don’t have emotions, at least not yet…

Samantha Doyle – LinkedIn

The latest stats and insights from the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on Employee Advocacy revealed an organisation’s employees are still a more credible source of information than the CEO. To put in perspective, in 2011 the CEO was considered credible compared to staff who were moderately credible. In 2013 these figures flipped with staff credible and the CEO moderately credible. Now, it’s the people like you and me who are most credible sitting at 60%, with general employees at 48% and the CEO at 35%.

Armed with this information, I think we will see organisations (particularly those in the private sector) continue to invest more in employee engagement and use employees as brand ambassadors to promote, recruit and speak on behalf of the organisation.

Jorie Soderberg – LinkedIn

For the latter part of 2017, in an attempt to overcome a year of stagnant growth, we saw Twitter reinvent itself with the release of a string of new publisher-friendly features such as increased character limits and updates to the way we tweet threads. In 2018 the platform is set to continue updating its publishing features but also predicted to build on its strong reputation as the go-to for breaking news and trends. One way this will be done is by incorporating more live video options into the mix, especially where important communication and breaking information is concerned.

Donovan McComb-Gray – LinkedIn

2018 will be the year of Snapchat – we will either see them return to their position as the leading image-based messenger service, taking back what Instagram took from them; or we will watch the beginning of their slow demise. While Instagram stories grow in popularity, Snapchat stories will remain the go-to for friend-to-friend interactions giving the platform room to grow, especially if advertising on the platform becomes more accessible to brands.

Though we are seeing Facebook, and more importantly Instagram, push ‘story’ functionality, Snapchat is known to never back down from a fight. And though Facebook has joined in on the augmented reality race, Snapchat continues to fight back. Plus, they seem to throw pretty exclusive new year’s parties

Lucy Hillyard – LinkedIn

I’m predicting that, as people (like myself) start to realise how busy Sydney is and how long you spend commuting, we will see an increase in professionals heading to the Nation’s Capital.  When you add to this the staggering price of housing in Sydney and Melbourne, it’s no surprise that people are starting to look elsewhere.  We look forward to welcoming interstate visitors to our contentgroup team in the New Year.

Lydia Stevens – LinkedIn 

The only thing we can be sure of in the communications space is that it will continue to change. While innovations in technology will impact our work, we shouldn’t get distracted by the newest or shiniest tool on the block. Central to good comms is user-centred strategic thinking, storytelling and well thought out distribution. This won’t change. 2018 will be the year we get even better at it.

Christopher RitchieLinkedIn

In 2018, we will witness an increasingly polarised public and media discourse. Much of it will continue to be dominated by identity politics, virtue signalling and a growing sense of victimhood and self-entitlement. Lamentably, social media will predominantly remain an echo chamber of self-affirming views and paroxysms driven by emotion. An escalating censorious and Orwellian-esque atmosphere will see growing illiberal tendencies which present new threats to freedom of speech. The ‘no-platforming’ of those with alternative viewpoints through ad hominem and smear will become more prevalent.

It is within this fragile and damaged ecosystem that critical thinking and listening need to be more readily encouraged; that discussion based on fact, evidence, reason and logic must be championed; and that speaking up on inconvenient truths must be done unapologetically. Those working in professional communication have a crucial role to play in this regard, particularly to safeguard the tenets of our liberal democratic society.

Chloe Wheeler – LinkedIn

While there are some who delight in telling a curly tail or two when it comes to organisational communication honesty rules! In 2018 there will be even more focus on creating a transparent working environment. And when it comes to the daily grind, the good news is being upfront with employees will have a positive effect for all, with studies reporting a link between transparency, trust, happy employees, increased motivation, and all-around commitment to the business.

Trent Pollard – LinkedIn

It’s a bold one, but I genuinely believe that clickbait is on the out, and similarly, forced advertising too – especially that before video content. We have reached a stage where the user has complete control of the content they consume and the content they avoid. On the clickbait front, it’s going to hit a breaking point where the four seconds you have to wait to load the content for a frustrating, suggestive, yet subtle headline is genuinely not worth it.

Whoever decides to swallow their pride and put their lead in the most visible and accessible way possible, will outperform the rest. Likewise, the demand for high-quality advertising is so ridiculously high – just think about how often you find yourself counting down the seconds to skip an ad to play your video! Watermark logo placements within directly embedded videos will become the norm, hopefully replacing the sickening 15-second ad before the video that you suddenly don’t feel the need to watch.

Jess Bauer – LinkedIn

With video content proving to be popular in 2017 and years prior, 2018 will see content communicators continue to prioritise video over graphics, text and imagery, while also adding a real-time element to communications through the use of social media live streaming.

Emma O’Connor

Blogger backlash – consumers will continue to grow tired of ‘cash for comment’ bloggers, demanding even more authentic endorsements of products and services.

Callum, our work experience student, December 2017

For 2018, connecting to younger people through content will be as challenging as ever. 60% of young people aged 18-29 are using Instagram, compared to only 35% using Twitter.

Platforms such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat provide an exciting opportunity to share ideas and create engaging stories. As online attention spans become shorter, creating fast and impactful content will be vital for communicating to young audiences in 2018.

And what about you – what do you think 2018 holds?

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