With fewer than 50 days left in 2017, you should be well into strategic planning for next year. Here are three marketing trends to help you prepare for a profitable 2018:

LEVERAGE BIG DATA

The term “big data” has been around awhile, and you’ve probably heard marketers use it. “Big data” refers to the massive amount of information that inundates your business each day. Your Google Analytics, social-media insights, photos, business transactions, texts, email sign-ups and videos are all data your business can leverage.

Using big data to help identify trends and patterns across all your platforms can improve your marketing strategy for the new year. If your organization is large, you’ll need to use big data software such as Hadoop. If yours is a smaller enterprise, you can likely do it yourself. But that means taking time to organize and assess the data.

The amount of data you collect isn’t as important as what you do with it. Linda Popky, an award-winning strategic marketing expert, reminds us, “It’s important to remember that this is not about data, but about the decisions that can be made as a result of having this data.”

ADD EVEN MORE VIDEO

Live streaming: I know, I know. We’re always telling you about the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy, but not just because we’re a video technology company. Video dominates social media. A continued shift toward video content, particularly live video, is certain. Seventy-five percent of all internet traffic this year has been video streaming, with no sign that it will decrease.

Studies show that viewers watch live streams three times longer than prerecorded video. Imagine that kind of access to viewership and what it can do for your brand. Use live video to show behind-the-scenes views of your company, hold Q&A sessions and to broadcast your events. Even if you’re not ready to livestream, video should be a part of your strategy. LinkedIn recently released its own video platform on which individuals and companies are leveraging visibility.

360 video: 360 cameras allow viewing videos in every direction. They’re shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback, the viewer can control the viewing direction like a panorama. These can be viewed with a virtual reality headset, a computer or a mobile device. 360 video, not yet a trend, may become an important part of customer engagement in 2018.

Facebook introduced its 360 platform, allowing you to take 360 photos inside the app, in August. While you can’t record video inside the app yet, this feature will probably pop up next year. You can still upload 360 video separately. No longer content just to watch, customers will be ready to jump directly into video in 2018.  

MAKE TIME FOR MOBILE

Your marketing must be mobile friendly in 2018. If your website is still not optimized for mobile viewing, schedule time with your web developer to ensure that it’s ready to handle all the new traffic you plan to generate next year. If you’re creating your own site, website builders such as Squarespace and Wix offer responsive templates so you don’t have to worry about programming it.

If your mobile site is already intact, focus on smart content that’s customer-centric and on native ads that are much less intrusive than pesky pop-ups.

Either way, focusing on mobile marketing will be a difference maker next year.

While this list of trends isn’t exhaustive, big data, video and mobile can help get you started. Check out these previous posts about digital marketing that will further help you prepare for a profitable 2018:

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