As the end of 2017 approaches, digital marketers are doing more than running tinsel-bordered Facebook ads and attending office holiday parties.

No, we’re gearing up for 2018 and learning what to expect.

Maybe this includes investigating the best Facebook ads from this year.

Or, brushing up on conversion optimization techniques (yeah, we know how to have fun).

Like any other year, 2018 is going to bring with it new opportunities and strategies for digital marketers.

Similarly, the year will render certain practices and techniques obsolete.

Just look at augmented reality: In the course of just one year, expected spend on AR jumped over 130% from $6.1 billion in 2016 to a predicted $13.7 billion by the end of 2017.

The rise of AR reflects the rapidly shifting nature of digital advertising.

Marketers can best predict and leverage these changes when they know what to expect.

We’re at a time when display ad spend has surpassed search ads, and experts predict total revenue from display ads to reach $108 billion.

Clearly, now more than ever is the time to get acquainted with the current and future conditions of display advertising.

Therefore, we’ve rounded up the information you need to know about the current state of display advertising, and what to expect for 2018 and beyond.

Social Media Advertising Continues Its Rise

When it comes to display advertising, Facebook already overshadows Google for share of ad spend.

Facebook controls 39.1% of ad spend, whereas Google’s allocation is 12.5%.

display advertising - ad spend forecast

Image source: https://marketingland.com

The steady rise to power of Facebook and other social media advertising platforms is their ability to offer more targeted, relevant, and compelling content to consumers.

They’ve also been aided by the advent of mobile advertising, which has made adoption of these platforms far more widespread and improved their ability to directly boost ROI.

To speak to this, about 90% of marketers believe social media ads can reach people that TV advertisements cannot.

Social media’s appeal is centered around better content, more venues for deployment, and greater data tracking abilities.

This has led to a spending increase of over 60% social media outlets when compared with 2016.

The power of these platforms only continues to grow.

Look out for additional venues for ad content and new ways to reach customer through social media in the future.

Mobile Display Ads Drive Growth

The shift from desktop to mobile ads reached a zenith in late 2016 when mobile ad spend surpassed desktop ads.

That year, it took in 51% of the share of total digital ad spend, an increase of 22% from 2015.

And expectations remain high for mobile ad growth into the future.

display advertising - ad spend YoY

By 2019, researchers are predicting it to reach $156 billion and account for almost 63% of all digital ad spend.

The retail industry alone owns over 23% of total mobile advertising spend, funneling about 67% of its digital ad spend to mobile.

Meanwhile, marketers expect desktop advertising to decline 3%.

This indicates a larger trend of continued reduction moving forward.

Mobile ads, whether mobile internet or in-app, are a way of reaching consumers where they spend a majority of their time: on their phones.

With advertising platforms like Facebook offering mobile features and behaviors as targeting options, it becomes even easier and more effective to reach these users.

For example, Home Depot deployed location targeting in their mobile display ads with Google.

Their intention was to drive customers from their ads to nearby stores.

The results? Over 8X ROI on their mobile ad spend, and 93% of the sales that were made occurred in-store.

In the future, we can expect to see additional targeting options for mobile.

Additionally, these platforms will continue to expand their options for digital marketers to deliver content.

Programmatic Advertising Becomes the Only Option

Gone are the days of having to speak with a human representative or present an RFP to have your ad go live.

Instead, programmatic advertising has allowed digital marketers to leverage software to do the creation, launch, and tracking of ads for them.

display advertising - programmatic ad spend

Image source: https://www.mediapost.com

Despite setbacks regarding ad fraud, brand safety, and user security, programmatic advertising is still expected to reach $33 billion by the end of this year.

By 2019, researchers expect this figure to grow so programmatic funnels consume over 84% of total display ad spend.

The trend expands to digital video ads, too, where for the first time marketers purchased over half of digital video advertisements programmatically.

On mobile, this figure is outstanding: Advertisers buy almost 80% of all digital mobile ads in the U.S. programmatically.

For a digital marketing agency, the ability to conduct programmatic advertising means greater efficiency while yielding better results for clients.

With this method, ad testing, optimization, and scaling become far easier.

Programmatic advertising automates the entire advertising process.

Thus, it saves marketers time, money, and the other headaches most often associated with traditional ad buying.

Eventually, we may see the day that programmatic advertising becomes the only option for ad purchasing and deployment.

Display advertising has already outstripped search ads in terms of revenue.

Besides being the more profitable options, display ads offer greater usability, optimization, and versatility to digital marketers.

Keep these above trends in mind for where display ads are heading.

Doing so means you can capitalize on the advantages it offers well into the future.