1. Social Media Will “Grow Up” – Ashley Reed, Social Media Director
Total social network users will continue to increase in 2013 (US users are forecasted to grow by just 4.1 percent in North America alone), and 51% of marketers will allocate more budget on social. As spend increases, it will be exceedingly important that advertisers are able to justify their investment by measuring important metrics including ROI and conversions generated via social, as well as other KPIs such as retention, upsell/cross-sell, dollars saved in customer service, etc. 2013 will be the year that social media will be held up to the same standards as other media channels, and brands will be challenged to measure more than just ‘Likes’ and ‘followers.’
Additionally, with social giving companies’ access to unprecedented amounts of data, there will be a stronger emphasis on extracting actionable consumer insights to leverage for marketing decisions. To that end, new tools and software will likely emerge to address the current gap in connecting social activity to all of the other interactions consumers have with brands.
2. Big Data Will Become the Big Solution – Scot Prudhomme, Associate Media Director
Big Data entered the scene in 2009 and became a big deal because of the degree it overlaps other emerging technologies. Don’t be surprised if you see Big Data ranking on other 2013 trends lists - researchers everywhere agree it’s going to be huge because of it’s correlation with many other trends including mobile devices, apps, cloud computing and consumer analytics.
But how do you start to break down big data and maximize its benefits specifically for you? Check out our recent blog post “Big Data and Big Solutions” from our Analytics expert to learn more.
3. Local SEO will continue to be a Top Priority as Mobile Usage Soars – Greg Lee, SEO Manager
Closely related to social media and the biggest component in mobile search, local SEO provides Google authentication with the real world using manual human input via phone, mail and reviews. Google rolled out several updates to the Local algorithm this year, and this will undoubtedly continue to evolve in 2013.
As Mobile usage soars in 2013, Local SEO will become exceedingly important, and its authenticity signals will spill over into the general web results algorithm. The most important thing for businesses to keep in mind is to be honest when claiming local Google listings, as Google will penalize inaccurate information – (this includes writing phony reviews!)
4. Brands will Experiment with Native Advertising – Katherine Jianas, Media Supervisor
Native advertising is a “buzz” word for 2013. A recent study by Solve Media predicts that nearly half of media buyers will try Native Advertising in 2013. What is it? It adopts the appearance of the surrounding website or other content in which it appears. It seeks to be a seamless part of the content being consumed. According to many it is just a new name for an old practice. Things that come to mind are advertorials and Google’s constant yearning to have the sponsored search results appear as if they are organic listings. Other examples are Facebook sponsored stories, Twitter Promoted Tweets, Spotify branded apps and playlists, Outbrain’s placement of links to “related content” on sites like WSJ and CNN. The difference is, with more and more content out there, advertisers must learn to adapt to the new types of publishing. The biggest challenge is that producing good content that users expect takes time.
5. Video Advertising Spend will Increase by 35% - Kimberly Honore, Associate Media Director
Video advertising will continue to be one of the most promising online advertising formats. Video’s emotional draw, increased consumer consumption and advanced advertising capabilities will all contribute to driving this growth.