Digital trends in 2013
We’re knee deep in the 21st century and the ubiquitous nature of our ongoing relationship with digital technology is quickly developing. In the fast-moving online world, it can be difficult to keep appraised of the latest trends – so we’ve compiled recent research and predictions from industry luminaries for your perusal.
Content to retain its Throne
The adage of ‘Content is King’ will remain true throughout 2013, although the types of content are likely to differ as technology improves and becomes more widespread. Econsultancy highlighted the birth of content marketing as a standalone discipline as its most significant trend for this year.
“Content in all its shapes and forms is core to everything we do as marketers,” said its report. “There is now a widespread realisation that optimisation of all types of content, both on-site and off-site and across a range of different formats and devices, is absolutely critical.”
Similarly, the group also heralded the emergence of ‘native advertising’, whereby brands can promote themselves with high-quality content in a way that is un-intrusive and relevant to consumers.
Video Killed the Conventional Content Star
Media-rich content has also been popular throughout 2012 and is only set to blossom further this year. Hubspot found that photos on Facebook generate more than 50 per cent more likes than conventional posts. Also, more brands are set to leap on the video content bandwagon in 2013 – with this standing as a top strategy among content marketers.
If a picture paints a thousand words, a minute of video is worth approximately 1.8 million and this seems to reflect in how consumers engage with this type of content. In 2012, MediaMind found that North American users clicked on more rich-media adverts, as well as visiting brand sites associated with the ad after viewing.
Call me Maybe?
Our increasing infatuation with mobile is only set to continue in 2013 and as devices become more powerful and pervasive, the boundaries between on and offline will become thinner. Although smartphones and their ilk have had the ability to process payments for some time, uptake of this has been lukewarm at best. However, Forrester Research has high hopes for this area – predicting that mobile optimisation and commerce will top the billing of priorities for many retailers in 2013.
The global smartphone market witnessed growth of more than 36 per cent in 2012 and this has undeniably affected the way consumers interact with the web. Stats back this up, with the UK Internet Advertising Bureau finding that mobile-optimised sites see visitors dwell for two minutes more than those that aren’t.
Around 30 per cent of the world is thought to be on the internet and one of their favourite activities is social media. Networks of this genre penetrate around 22 per cent of the global population and North America seems to be the most active.
Brands are enamoured with the opportunities presented by these channels and have been acquiring Facebook Fans at a rate of nine per cent each month. Econsultancy claims businesses have become so comfortable with social media that these channels have simply become merely another way to disseminate and broaden the impact of content.
Next year will see consolidation and expansion of the digital arena and brands ignore the online world at their peril. There’s a wealth of opportunities awaiting businesses that are willing to brave unfamiliar areas and embrace the web, while those that linger or whose efforts are lacklustre are bound to be left at a disadvantage.
This article was brought to you by Gerald Heneghan on behalf of PR Fire, an online press release distributor and repository that offers a range of services for brands and journalists alike.
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