The Mobile Tide Rolls On
In last year’s post I said that addressing your mobile audience would be a requirement by the end of 2012. With recent data showing mobile already accounting for 30% of total internet traffic, mobile users expected to surpass desktop users and mobile orders more valuable than desktop orders, if you haven’t already incorporated mobile into your marketing plans it’s time to catch up!
With the tide of smartphones and tablets flooding the market and the wide range of screen resolutions that come along with them, responsive design will be the biggest design trend in 2013. Also keep an eye out for a lot more mobile integration with all other marketing channels.
Google+ Reaches a Tipping Point…?
Last year I predicted that 2012 would see Google+ hit a tipping point. I made an assumption that Google would treat Google Plus the same as their previous social attempts, coming in with one big push, but as I’ve been watching it’s very apparent that Google had a different strategy this time. While I expected to see some new partnerships to bring a flood of active social users into Google+, instead Google has taken a slow and steady approach, integrating all of their other services into Google+ so that one day soon every one of their existing users (which you have to admit is all of us) will be using Google+ whether we like it or not. In 2013, I predict that you will start using Google+.
One particular feature pushing this along is Google+ Authorship. Authorship ties all of your content together across the web with Google+ as the hub and is going to be an important piece of every SEO strategy in 2013. Speaking of…
2012 saw a lot of changes to the SEO world with Panda, Penguin and many other search algorithm changes. Sometimes you’ll hear cries that SEO is dead, but it is far from it! If anything SEO is more alive than ever, it’s just mirroring the rapid evolution of the industry.
In 2013 I expect to see a lot of algorithm changes around social. Instead of viewing each social channel in a silo, a more integrated approach is going to be possible and necessary.
The focus on quality content will also continue and I predict this will expand to include imagery like never before. With the huge growth of image sharing sites like Pinterest, image marketing is going to see a lot of growth. Companies will be devoting more marketing dollars to create infographics, motion graphics and other visual content. Paired with advances in the search engines ability to recognize and catalog images, image marketing could have a big impact on your SEO strategy and your bottom line.
Real Time Marketing
With the rise of social and mobile as well as real time analytical data, brands now have the opportunity to engage with customers in real time conversations. Many corporations have embraced this when it comes to customer service (Twitter has completely changed Comcast’s corporate culture), but the marketing teams have been slower to catch on.
Traditionally marketing messages go through a sometimes lengthy creation and approval process. Embracing real time marketing means giving up some control and understanding that mistakes will be made (here’s the top 10 corporate Twitter goofs from 2012), but the brands that are willing to take that risk are reaping the benefits (Taco Bell’s social channels are great for a laugh and some marketing inspiration). In 2013 I’m looking forward to a big shift in the marketing world with more companies empowering not just their marketing teams but every area of their business to proactively join the conversation.
PS – I still stand by my last prediction from 2012, I think I was just a bit early