2013 Digital Review

2013 in Digital

2013 in Digital

As we are approaching the end of 2013, I thought now would be a good time to review the most significant digital marketing stories of the year.  And what a year it has been, eh?!

Facebook Graph Search is launched:  This relies on people having pretty relaxed privacy settings, as only public info can be shared in search results.  Hmmm….don’t think Google will be losing too much sleep over this yet.

Twitter Vine launched:  Feels like a product with a great fit for the 21st Century – short, visual, lots of feline potential.  I think that in 2014, brands are going to start to see this as an opportunity (there are already some brands and sports teams using it excellently).

Google releases enhanced PPC campaigns:  The best advertising channel in the world just got better.  The level of detail which you can set your ad up with now is fantastic, and it’s tough to think of a business that would not benefit from PPC now and into 2014.

Google hits Interflora…hard:  Following Google algorithm updates, Interflora found itself on the receiving end of a Google penalty.  It sent its product out to bloggers in the hope that they would write about the product and provide a link.  Result – Interflora temporarily disappears.  Expect more updates and penalties in 2014.

Google Glass:  Hipsters of the world unite!  Google Glass is being trialled by a select group of volunteers (and their $1500).  I think it’s too early to tell what impact this is going to have, but with 2014 due to see a rise in 4G coverage, this could be big in 2014.

Facebook hashtags:  As part of Facebook’s plan to encourage its network to interact, the hashtag was released onto Facebook in 2013.  Like Graph Search, this relies on people relaxing their privacy settings, which I think is unlikely right now.

Hummingbird long-tail search:  Google introduces the Hummingbird update, to understand the context which the user is searching with in order to provide more accurate search results.  This encouraged most SEO experts to push the virtues of the long-tail search in response.

Rise of Not Provided:  The same SEO experts were disappointed if not surprised that Google has started to not provide keyword data for SEO keyword referral.  The rise of ‘Not Provided’ was happening throughout 2013, so no shocks – just a hole in the data right now until someone finds a solution!

Facebook loses teens:  Teenagers are switching from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram – after all, what teenager wants to be on a social network where their whole family hang out? This is a key demographic for future growth, so expect Facebook to address this in 2014.

Mobile consumption doubles over last 12 months:  Mobile is becoming more and more important, with consumption doubling over the last 12 months.  This will continue into 2014, with the reduction in smart phone cost and the rise of 4G.

What does 2014 hold?  I’ll let you know on the 20th December, so remember to check back!

5 Hot Topics for 2013

What does 2015 hold?

What does 2013 hold?

So, the world hasn’t ended and its the first week of 2013!

January is a great time to take stock of 2012 and look forward to how the digital environment is going to affect your organisation.  To help you out, here are my thoughts on the top 5 topics to watch in the next twelve months.

Second-Screening:
This has already grown massively in 2012.  If you are active on Twitter, then you will be used to people tweeting their opinions on the TV show they are watching – indeed, many TV shows encourage viewers to do so by helpfully providing a ready-made hash-tag for users to tweet with.  However, in 2013, second-screening is going to develop – the number of devices that people can use to get online is growing all the time, so watch out for the rise of the Xbox and Wii U.  Also, the UK will follow the US and see significant growth in connected Smart TVs which may cut the number of devices required to multi-task down to one.

Mobile:
Perhaps the most predictable of hot topics!  It will come as no surprise that the number of smart-phones will increase (hopefully in line with people being able to use them!), but how people use them will change.  Mobile payment started to gather momentum at the end of 2012 with Starbucks accepting payment in 7,000 outlets via the Square Wallet app.  Apple’s offering, Passbook, has great potential for redeeming vouchers but the take-up rates suggest that it will need to develop in 2013.  However, adoption may be the issue in 2013 – consumer trust in mobile payments is yet to be fully understood.

Content is still King:
Search engine algorithms have become more and more sophisticated in the last couple of years – they are now capable of sniffing out and prioritising articles which are original, well written and informative.  Content marketing got some very positive PR in 2012 after Coke announced that it was one of their key priorities, but now its up to everyone else to develop their plan – make sure your frequency, themes and distribution plans are sorted for 2013.

Social Commerce:
This has struggled to gain traction over the last couple of years – ask 99% of organisations how their Facebook store is performing!  Organisations need to become more sophisticated and subtle about the way that they sell – Pinterest will continue to deliver referral success (look out for Instagram this year too).  After a couple of year’s ‘grace’, organisations will expect social media to start delivering revenue, particularly as social can be resource heavy.

Demographics out, Behaviour In:
Advertising is unrecognisable over the last ten years – the channels by which organisations communicate with their audience has changed dramatically.  However, many organisations still target their audience by demographics – age, gender, location, eduction.  In the digital age, the opportunity is in behaviour.  Let’s say you sell guitars (one of my favourite subjects!) – instead of targeting by demographics, target users who follow guitar manufacturers on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or people who use guitar forums.  Those who unlock this in 2013 will have a good year.

So, those are my 5 hot topics for 2013 – what would be in your list?  Leave a comment and let me know!