With so much to talk flying about, we’ve focussed on five areas that we feel will be big this year, starting with Social TV and the continued surge in Interactions.
Social TV Interactions
In 2012 we saw the rise of what many people called the second screen, with TV viewers reaching for their laptops, mobiles and tablets to interact with TV programmes including sporting events, reality shows and even cartoons.
According to Neilsen research, every month of 2012 drew at least double the number of social interactions in comparison to 2011; and we think this trend is set to continue, especially as shows find more compelling ways to engage with viewers.
With continued developments in technologies and the availability of social TVs, if Social Engagement isn’t in your brand’s plans, then you’re missing out on big opportunities to connect with your audience.
Insight and Analytics
With so much data available to us the question we often ask ourselves is “What do we do with it all?”; well we think that insights and analytics will take a big step forward in 2013 in providing us with more efficient tools to interpret data.
We read Rand Fishkins’ post on 10 predictions for inbound marketing in 2013, as well as Russ Jones’ post on Dropping Google Analytics for Piwik and it really hit home. Jones talks about data ownership and how Google uses your site data, and the scepticism this brings. Many people rely on Google but if other analytical options become available, we may see a small migration of people who opt for alternatives. In the grand scheme of things, this theme may be small, but it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
Mobile Applications and Optimisation
The world is going mobile and there’s no sign of this slowing down. Both mobile and tablet usage is increasing, and in order to meet the demands of users, you’re going to have to make sure their online experience is an enjoyable one. Mobile optimised websites will be a must, and the ability to engage socially should be a big consideration. As Jordan Kasteler say’s; engaging, well-designed sites lead to higher traffic and increased social shares (more eyes on more content > higher chance of sharing > more referral traffic from shares).
As users become savvier with apps, the challenge will be for brands to build or design applications that enhance the users’ experience, rather than being created as a second thought. It’s not about building an app for app’s sake, 2013 will be about being creative with apps and offering something unique and engaging.
With Google the main player in search with no sign of anyone else really getting close to them, then Google Plus is sure to push on in 2013, along with authorship. It was towards the end of 2012 that the topic of authorship became more of a talking point, and we think authorship will have more significance in 2013. Blogs and social media articles could carry more weight in SEO strategies, especially as the synergy between SEO and SM becomes stronger. You may have heard the term ‘inbound marketing’, and we feel that a person/company’s authorship will help their overall inbound strategy and visibility in search.
Video and Visualisation
In 2013 we believe the boundaries of video and rich content will be pushed. With growing access to mobile devices and 4G data, video is sure to play a more important role in brand communications. Developments in digital signage could also see video become a prominent feature for brands and with the recent release of the ‘Vine’ video sharing platform for Twitter, we think social video could be here to stay.
Towards the latter end of 2012, we had a look at animated GIFs and cinemagraphs as ways connecting with users on a more emotive level; and although we don’t see this going mainstream just yet, we do feel that people will start to experiment to find creative ways to connect with site visitors.
We’ve already mentioned the advances in technology and when it comes to video, we feel that the likes of Vine for Twitter and Google’s Hangout functionality will become more mainstream as social networks look to expand their offerings.
No one knows for sure what lies ahead in 2013, but we for one will be keeping a close eye on developments in the above themes. We would also love to hear from you and see if you have any themes you think will be big in 2013. Here’s to another exciting year ahead!