“What do you think will happen next?”

Predictions. We all like to think we can offer our unique vision of what the online landscape will hold in the coming year.

While predicting the future can be a gamble, strategically planning ahead can give you the exact boost you need to stay competitive between now and next December.

So why not get a jump-start on plotting your digital marketing game plan with our insider glimpse into the ever-changing digital environment. Below, we outline the top upcoming trends in digital marketing we predict you will see in 2017:

1. Content marketing will continue to surpass traditional ads.

Traditional advertising appears to be gradually diminishing. With the rise of digital, as well as the power of the Internet, it is evident that the future of marketing is online. Content marketing brings numerous benefits as it results in more social traffic, enhanced SEO and increased conversion potential.

2. Infographics.

Infographics have dominated social media channels. And it doesn’t seem like they’re going to slip away anytime soon. Everyone loves to laugh, and if you can incorporate a sense of humor into your digital marketing, then you are more likely to increase interaction and engagement.

3. Even more mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing is booming, so if you haven’t already hopped onboard, you must make sure all of your content is easily digestible for mobile devices. For 2017, the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 2.32 billion. Make sure that you are taking the necessary preparations to maximize your mobile marketing into the New Year.

4. Video (and live video) = content king.

This past year enjoyed its fair share of live video content, and 2017’s future of video is looking bright. This fundamental digital tool is one of the most engaging forms of content to date. Tools, such as Facebook Live, are now in full release to users and businesses across the platform. And regardless of what type of business you are in, or whether you sell products or services, live video streaming captures and creates new audiences that want to consume information and solutions.

5. User experience is more critical than ever before.

If you want to succeed in 2017, you must personalize your brand’s user experience. Think about how you are interacting with your customers throughout their buying journey. Is your messaging consistent with their level of intent? Are you effectively (and efficiently) moving them through the sales funnel? Every customer touch point is vital in the sales process, and it is increasingly crucial that you have a sound strategy in place. Providing the ultimate customer experience will increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, as well as keep people engaged with your brand.

What This All Means For Your Business

It’s actually pretty simple: in 2017, it’s critical to adjust your digital marketing strategy or risk being left behind. The best advice we can offer for moving forward is to keep your ears open and your eyes focused straight ahead. Be flexible, adjust your strategy when necessary, achieve your goals and conquer the market.

While adjusting to new trends can seem like a daunting task, a strong digital strategy is built on the ability to predict change and adapt campaigns accordingly.

Ensure your digital marketing team is dedicated to researching new developments and adapting your channels as the market evolves. After all, being digitally proactive is a sure step to success in 2017.

Courtesy of Sheila Kloefkorn is the President & CEO of KEO Marketing Inc.