2018 is here, and with the New Year comes new trends. It’s time to take a look at what worked and what didn’t for your organization in 2017. Let’s make room for the top 2018 digital marketing trends and web design trends of the coming year. Take a look into Savy’s crystal ball and see what’s rising in our 2018 digital marketing trends.

1. Video—Especially YouTube—Will Reign

Marketing companies and business owners know it’s getting harder to reach consumers through traditional avenues. The good news is that even though more Americans are cutting cable, there’s an easy way to reach the consumers who watch TV, cut their cords, and don’t even own a television set: online video. In 2015, 18 to 49 year-olds spent 4% less time watching TV—but they spent 74% more time watching YouTube than the year before.

YouTube has over a billion users. This is about one-third of all people on the web. Everyday, people view billions of YouTube videos. In an average month, 8 out of 10 18 to 49-year-olds watch YouTube. The average viewing session on mobile is now over 40 minutes. Reaching your audience where they’re already consuming content is crucial to your brand, so we expect to see a significant increase in brands adding Google AdWords for Video to their existing campaigns.

2. Branded Photography Beats Generic

We’ve already warned you against generic stock photography in our 2017 preview. We expect to see businesses use more original, branded photography and commit to small photoshoots of their facility, team, and products to infuse their brands into their websites and social media content. Likewise, even employee photos are straying away from traditional headshots against flat backgrounds in favor of shots taken inside the office or in their natural lives.

Ten years ago, the top selling picture for the search term “woman” in Getty Image’s stock photography library was a naked woman lying on a bed, gazing at the camera with a towel draped over. In 2017, the most purchased stock photo for the search term “woman” in Getty Image’s library is of a woman hiking alone in Banff National Park. That’s because the second photo tells a story.

3. Target The Buyer’s Full Journey

Savvy marketers know that a sale isn’t a single step. It’s a journey. Rather than focusing only on the end of the sales funnel, marketers and businesses in 2018 should emphasize each step of the buyer’s full journey. By managing separate campaigns geared toward building awareness, influencing consideration, and driving action, businesses can get a client’s attention whether they’ve never heard of you or they’re on the fence about who they should work with. We expect to see more content driven, informative ads this year than ever before.

4. Strategic Content Will Drive Conversions

Today’s audiences are becoming more progressive all the time. As a result, they expect companies to be more authentic, transparent, and more helpful than before. The buckshot approach from earlier years that strives to sell to anyone within range will no longer succeed. That’s why it’s crucial to craft helpful and informative content for users. Posting less often, but more strategically, may be the secret ingredient you need to double your sales in the coming year.

Content marketing is defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” According to the Content Marketing Institute, it’s the businesses who have consistent, strategic plans who succeed more than those who post as often as possible: 85% of the study’s most successful organizations always or frequently deliver content consistently.

What 2018 digital marketing trends and strategies do you expect to see more businesses adopt this year? What worked and what didn’t in 2017 for you? Share with us in the comments below!