As we enter what promises to be a complicated and challenging year for markets, having an up-to-date game plan for success is more important than ever before. The key is to set achievable goals, break them down into manageable steps and execute them — all without burning yourself out in the process. If that sounds easier said than done, the good news is that many of the major marketing trends in the coming year will ultimately save you time, energy and money.

1. Automate Your Processes

Automation is probably the single biggest labor-saving story that will unfold in real estate in the coming year. With text messaging campaign organizers, automated email drip campaigns that can target specific preferences and chatbots that can gather basic information on your web page and on social media, you can outsource basic marketing tasks in ways that free up time for high-level engagement and lead conversion. Marketing analytics tools can also help with the crucial step of tracking your marketing ROI.

2. Add Value With Your Content

Exposure is important, but adding value with content that authentically reflects your interests and your connections to the local community is the real key to effective marketing and lead generation. If you have “hyper-local” interests — particular bike paths, a picturesque walking tour, favorite small cafes you can cross-promote with — they can make for great website content or social media posts. You can showcase your overall knowledge with informative profiles of neighborhoods you work in. Or you can help prospective buyers and sellers navigate the network of local lenders and state- and municipality-specific regulations.

3. Use the Combination of Formats That Works Best for You

The last few years have seen widespread recognition of the power of video in marketing. Notwithstanding that some social media platforms have since been caught using faulty metrics to measure the usage of video on their platforms, there is still no denying the considerable connective power and immediacy of video. It’s a popular choice of successive influencers and marketers for good reason.

That said, the “text versus video” debate is misleading in some ways and tends to downplay some genuine advantages of text for certain customers. There are inevitably some people who will prefer to learn about what you do in text format, for example, which offers them more choice about the pacing of their experience and the chance to easily reread and revisit content that particularly interests them. Video advertising also requires a specific investment of resources, a certain kind of creativity and a willingness to take the necessary steps to ensure your video gets exposure.

This means that when finding the best format for your marketing content, it’s important to go beyond “use video for everything” and honestly assess what the most effective combination of text and video will be for your resources and capabilities. Good text is worth more than poorly executed video, and an optimal combination of both is likely to hold more value in the long term.

4. Use Social Media to Build Trust

Some social media platforms may be struggling with issues of public trust and confidence, but social media, in general, remains a supremely effective way of connecting with prospective leads in an era where most prospects begin their searches for information online. Used truthfully and carefully, social media can help you build a trusted brand by allowing you to regularly communicate your business process, give periodic insight into the quirks of your personality and the specific traits you bring to the table that customers will value, and allow you to provide regular, helpful and informative content that will keep prospective clients coming back for more. The more you build your social media presence, in concert with maintaining a strong website, the more reach and impact your marketing will have.