The rapidly increasing power and relevance of digital marketing tools and tactics are causing a dramatic shift in the way marketing is done, and where marketing dollars are spent. The following are a few of the most important marketing trends you should be aware of:

Content marketing is increasingly important (and valued)

Content marketing — loosely defined as the marketing of company-owned blogs, articles, infographics, and similar items — is becoming increasingly important. No longer is it enough to throw some keywords into a post for SEO purposes; companies are instead expected to provide genuinely valuable and interesting content to gain prominence in Google searches. Companies clearly understand the importance and value of content marketing, as an estimated 59 percent will be increasing their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months.

Social media marketing is becoming increasingly refined

As the analytics tools on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter continue to become increasingly robust, expect to see greater spending — and greater returns on investment — associated with these marketing channels. Of course, social media users are particularly susceptible to marketing fatigue, so it is even more important for marketers to provide interesting and engaging content (supported by analytics data) to those users.

Video — especially mobile video — is one of the most effective marketing strategies

Video has quickly been growing in importance within the marketing industry for the past couple of years — helped along significantly by the growing capability of mobile devices and mobile network speeds. It should come as little surprise that YouTube is now the second-largest search engine in the world (behind Google, which owns YouTube), and it is only positioned to grow in the coming quarters and years. Video advertising on mobile devices has also proven to be particularly valuable because of the significantly increased user engagement those marketing efforts receive when compared to desktop and laptop browsers.

Mobile optimization is no longer optional

Mobile optimization — responsive interfaces for smartphone and tablet use — is no longer an option, thanks to a recent Google update that severely penalizes websites that are not optimized for mobile devices. Expect to see increasing functionality of mobile websites, along with innovative ways to make those websites even more user-friendly.

These are just a few ways that marketing is trending. Keep an eye out for new developments in this rapidly evolving field!