Digital marketing is always moving. A tactic that performed beautifully in raising the profile of your business last year may no longer be effective. As technology evolves, so do the digital tactics you can use to grow your company and get your audience’s attention.

With only a few months until 2018, it’s time to start thinking about the strategies you use to attract your audience to your business and its products or services. To get you started, here are 5 digital marketing trends you should be on the lookout for as you begin to plan for the future.

Mobile is Dominant

First things first: we’re past the point at which your digital marketing strategy should include a mobile component. Moving into 2018, your strategy should revolve around that component.

Over the past couple of years, mobile devices have moved past their desktop counterpart to become the dominant way in which audiences of all demographics experience the internet. Google is now working to adjust its search algorithm in a way that will rank for mobile-friendliness, even on desktop searches. In short, mobile and digital are becoming increasingly interchangeable.

Visual Content is No Longer Optional

Hand in hand with the increasing dominance of mobile devices goes the need for visual content. Basing your digital efforts on text is no longer enough, as it will cause your audience to pay more attention to more image and graphics-based content.

Within this trend, we’re also seeing a move toward more than simple images and video. Virtual reality is at the forefront of content marketing, resulting in more audience engagement and higher conversion rates. To succeed with digital marketing in 2018, a visual focus is essential.

The Integration of Promotion into Value

If you’re familiar with the rapid rise of ad blockers, you know how weary audiences have become of promotional messages. Millions of users now install software specifically designed to reduce the advertisements they see. That trend, in turn, will require an adjustment in how you build your marketing framework.

The focus needs to switch from promotion to value. When your audience actually enjoys and engages with your content, they will continue to seek it out. Value-based content can still include subtle promotional elements, but needs to put them secondary to providing tangible benefits and insights to your potential customers.

Next-Level Personalization

We all want to feel like we’re being personally addressed when consuming online content. In 2017, however, that desire has switched from simply substituting a recipient’s first name into an email to a more truly personalized marketing strategy.

This trend is nowhere more obvious than in smart concept, which allows you to build web pages designed to adjust dynamically based on the individual visitor. Micro-segmenting follows a similar trend, designed to make sure that every message you send is as relevant as possible to each individual member of your target audience.

Leveraging Your Influencers

Finally, we’re seeing the evolution of influencer marketing as a significant digital trend in 2018 and beyond. Rather than focusing their efforts on getting the attention of a few, major influencers within their audience networks, brands are now practicing outreach to micro-influencer in an attempt to gain credibility.

Your audience will be much more likely to believe your product’s benefit if they hear it from someone like them. Influencer marketing on the micro level requires significant effort in unearthing and working with different members of your target audience, but could pay significant returns for your brand in the long run.

Of course, these are just a few of the many trends awaiting us as we move closer to 2018. Digital marketing is constantly changing, evolving continually to adjust to and meet audience behaviors and needs. Staying up-to-date with these trends is vital in making sure that your brand will continue to effectively reach your audience, and grow your business as a result.