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  • 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013

    Every year for the past 4 years the SEOptimise blog has predicted trends within the online marketing industry.  In keeping with this tradition, I’ve listed 25 trends that I think we’ll see becoming more and more mainstream in 2013. Considering the rate of change within the online marketing space, most of these listed may not even be new. So, without further ado, here’s my list of online marketing trends for 2013:

    1. The notion that ‘content is king’ will slowly diminish, being replaced with “context is king”. I know this sounds blasphemous right now, but let me elaborate.  Your website could have the most outstanding piece of content written about pizzas; but someone who’s looking to order pizza at 1 am in the morning wouldn’t be interested in your awesome content. Therefore, brands and publishers will need to focus their efforts on gaining a greater understanding of ‘context’ to guide them with their content creation.
    2. In order to provide context to content, semantic mark-up will become increasingly important. In the example above, search engines can look up all the Pizzerias around that particular user and display which ones are open at 1am in the morning based on their ‘opening times’ and figure out distance based on their address. Imagine if Google knew your dietary requirements and only displayed search results that met them. Semantic mark-up makes it easier for Google to make these judgements. Although most SEOs wouldn’t have paid much attention to structured mark-up in the past, in 2013 we will see more and more SEOs learning and executing semantic markup as part of the optimisation process.
    3. Quality of content suffers as channel tacticians succumb to pressures of audience content demands and editorial calendars. The ones who will succeed are those that follow the following (or similar) customer focused content creation model:

    Purchase decision making journey

    Problem recognition Solution comparison Supplier comparison Validation
    Persona 1 Content? Content? Content? Content?
    Persona 2 Content? Content? Content? Content?
    Persona 3 Content? Content? Content? Content?
    Persona 4 Content? Content? Content? Content?

    Source: The digital Evolution in B2B marketing (2012), The Corporate Executive Board Company. Find the pdf here.

    The above model outlines a framework for content creation focused on the customers’ information needs. The question essentially is, what information needs will you satisfy your diverse customers at varying stages of the buying cycle?

    1. Perception of visual content (video, image, custom illustrations, illustrative animation, and infographics) will change among marketers from “it’s a ‘nice-to-have’ marketing collateral”, to a key strategy in acquiring and increasing customer engagement and influence within target audiences.
    2. Creative teams will expand the core skill set by including web developers, digital experts, and freelance specialists based on project needs.
    3. Conversely, more and more SEO agencies will begin to forge strategic partnerships with PR and creative agencies in order to increase impact on client service delivery.
    4. Mobile specific marketing strategies will be a core customer acquisition channel, especially for local and small businesses.
    5. With the increase in devices that content is consumed, websites designed in 2013 will largely incorporate ‘responsive web design’.
    6. Google’s intentions of becoming an ‘answer engine’ will become even more obvious in 2013. Google’s ability to answer complex questions gets better.
    7. More and more businesses will begin taking their Google plus strategies much more seriously. This will help unify all their Google specific campaigns.
    8. Continuing from the last point, Google plus will be looked at as an important digital fingerprint for not only businesses but for regular users.
    9. With smartphones increasingly becoming our trusted companion at all times, faith in email marketing as an acquisition channel will increase.
    10. With the increasing complexity and maturity of the SEO industry, and due to Google’s algorithm updates such as Panda, top-heavy, and Penguin, the cost of SEO will continue to increase.
    11. Users will continue to have contradicting needs. On the one hand, they want personalised and customised service and product offerings, but on the other, will be increasingly uncomfortable over the amount of personal data being mined.
    12. Google will continue to mine more and more data about people and their relationships via Google plus and Gmail.
    13. Marketers will create assets from a multi-screen perspective. Based on how consumers engage with different devices; content creators will need to start focusing on channel-specific marketing strategies and content.
    14. More and more companies begin to dedicate a greater proportion of their marketing budgets towards going beyond online contact-level web analytics to incorporating important off-site social behaviours. Marketers will begin to make a greater effort to place estimates of digital impact in proper proportion and context of broader marketing strategy and the market environment.
    15. Marketing teams, typically in slower moving industries, will graduate from digital experimentation (via pilot tests) into actually defining their digital marketing strategy.
    16. Marketing teams that have gone further than that will look to approach the more sophisticated tasks of aligning and integrating activities across organizational siloes to deliver a more cumulative impact on their audience.
    17. Brands will continue to build communities on social media and blog platforms. We will begin to hear the role ‘community manager’ or ‘community relationship manager’ in the UK more and more.
    18. We all know that increased digital marketing efforts demand continuous and collective management, something few companies are designed to support at this point in time. The value destroyed by this misfit approach—although hard to quantify—is potentially very large. Several companies will be looking to take steps to restructure internal teams as a result.
    19. Companies looking to make structural changes will begin to look for individuals who can take ownership in executing processes and bringing the following disparate functions together: paid search, online community, corporate website, advertising, social media and blogging, and SEO.
    20. Television advertising is far from dead. On the contrary, television ads will begin to incorporate more and more social integration. Television advertising will also incorporate “second screen experiences”, where a TV programme’s tablet app, mobile app, and even discussions will be promoted and encouraged on social media platforms. Content creators will need to create assets that can live across multiple screens seamlessly.
    21. There will be an increased push for social marketing among businesses. Companies will look to align their brands with social causes.
    22. And finally, Facebook will finally figure out their eco-system. Businesses will have to use Facebook advertising to build a relevant audience and use Facebook advertising to reach their audience. 

    Have I missed anything? What do you think will be among next year’s online marketing trends? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below.

    Image credit: futureshape

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    41 Responses to “25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013”

    1. Steven Doig says:

      Fantastic article Shaad. Well written and thought out.

    2. Evan Weisel says:

      Great post. Looking at the points on content – Do you think poor readability or complex language in Web copy hurts brand integrity? 

    3. Shaad Hamid says:

      Thanks so much for your comments guys. I’m glad you found the post useful!

      Evan – it really depends on your audience. I think especially in the B2B industry (such as security, manufacturing or pharmaceutical industries for example), you’ll need to speak your customer’s language. So you would probably say “our product helps you maximise production efficiencies, yielding a higher ROI and cutting down costs”.

      But in the consumer markets, you will need to be fairly straightforward. I think the bigger supermarket chains do this quite well: “we are cheaper than Asda, Tesco, Sainbury’s and Morrisons”.

      So it really depends on who your target consumer is.

    4. [...] thrown around. This leads me to the conclusion that not everyone realizes either what RCS …25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013SEOptimise (blog)all 2 news [...]

    5. Karen Martin says:

      Great article and particularly agree with:
      22.Companies looking to make structural changes will begin to look for individuals who can take ownership in executing processes and bringing the following disparate functions together: paid search, online community, corporate website, advertising, social media and blogging, and SEO. (this is pretty much my role now and through a tightly managed plan, the company has grown over 40% in the past 2 and half years (through recession!)
      23.Television advertising is far from dead. On the contrary, television ads will begin to incorporate more and more social integration. Television advertising will also incorporate “second screen experiences”, where a TV programme’s tablet app, mobile app, and even discussions will be promoted and encouraged on social media platforms. Content creators will need to create assets that can live across multiple screens seamlessly. – thoroughly agree! :-)

      • Shaad Hamid says:

        Thanks Karen, and many congratulations on your exciting (but challenging) new role; those are indeed some incredible results!
        Also, would love to read a case study of how you achieved those results :-)

    6. Great article Shaad. I particularly agree with you on the contextual nature of search. With the popularity of smart phones and the tight integration of search and pretty much all our daily activities, context is definitely the way forward. Keep it up. It’s a pleasure to read what you write.

    7. Great post! I agree that the cost of SEO and Internet Marketing management is going to increase and so is the demand of creative SEOs skilled in different areas like graphic design, video editing or programming. Creating content is going to be more than just articles. Google is surely going to get far more advanced on detecting active and unique businesses.

    8. [...] light of inevitable future changes, Shaad Hamid of SEOptimize shares his own 25 online marketing trends for 2013, many of which forecast continual changes made by Google to deliver better, more appropriate [...]

    9. Kirsi Kommonen says:

      Thanks for an insightful post! It would be great to hear how you see Pinterest’s potential for business marketing?
      Kirsi Kommonen

    10. Tayyaba says:

      A good read and great insights.

      About the context being the king, do you think loading up on the content would be a waste, knowing that consumers want control through knowledge? And this knowledge is very much linked to valuable and original content?.

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    12. [...] 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013 by Shaad Hamid [...]

    13. I think you’re dead on with those points. I do feel that Facebook and other ads which are incorperated into social media outlets like Twitter will have a huge role to play.

      Over the past couple years these sites have been gathering followings and demographic data. They’re only just finally starting to properly monetize them and now that Facebook ads have external conversion tracking they won’t just be for getting content in front of potential clients they’ll also be for driving leads. Social is huge but I think we’ll see more progress with advertising on these previously under-monitized sites before we see the focus on content (not to say it won’t be there I just think it will take a back seat as these sites figure out how to properly target ads and deliver them to advertisers).

    14. [...] out this article about the 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013 Posted in Online Marketing (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; [...]

    15. [...] 25 online marketing trends for 2013 – SEOptimise [...]

    16. Very nice post Shaad, these factors which you mentioned here in this post are going to be very crucial in year 2013. I feel that Mobile SEO & marketing is going to be by hand to hand.

    17. Infas Iqbal says:

      A very good insightful post!

      I 100% agree with you on the potential of G+ for brands, digital marketers will be bound to consider G+ seriously to play a powerful role in overall Digital strategy of the brand.

    18. [...] SEOptimize went big with 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013 [...]

    19. [...] de las nuevas tendencias y corrientes del marketing online y el social media. Algo que desde Seoptimise, no han querido pasar por alto una año más, para ofrernos lo que 2013 nos [...]

    20. Great post and very good insights. I especially like points 7, 8, and 12 that deal with mobile and email. For 2013 and beyond the mobile experience will be huge. With more and more smartphones out there email is definitely not dead. You will have to make sure your creative works on mobile email clients or be passed by. The one point I am not sure about is #25. I feel that Facebook is missing the boat on brands and their advertising unless they make some big changes. I like where Twitter is headed for brands. Thanks for the great read.

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    22. mary says:

      Great post! The truth is SEO is the heart of internet marketing.

    23. [...] 25 de trenduri în Online marketing pentru anul 2013. Se pare că sintagma “content is king” va fi înlocuită de “context is king”. Din ce în ce mai multe site-uri vor folosi design-uri responsive, iar brandurile vor continua să dezvolte comunităţi în Social Media şi o să auzim astfel din ce în ce mai des termenul de “Community Manager”. [...]

    24. First of all, congrats on the awesome article. I think you are absolutely right about the context being more important in 2013. People need to pay attention to relevancy. I also believe that mobile SEO would grow bigger than we imagine right now. But we can only guess what’s in store for the SEO industry.

    25. [...] en el artículo de SEOptimise http://white.net/noise/blog/2012/11/online-marketing-trends-2013.html vamos a exponer las que, a nuestro juicio resultan más interesantes de cara al año que está por [...]

    26. I can’t wait for the new year in order to try out new approaches to marketing and selling. After all, with the trends shifting once more, it is interesting to see whether some old habits will still work and whether it’s time to switch to new ones. Here is another great read for 2013 marketing! http://smallbusinessology.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/a-look-into-the-future-planning-ahead-for-2013-trends/

    27. Sam Dave says:

      Online marketing is sure to have a new face in the coming year. The pace at which online marketing is growing all over the world, it will be sure to touch an all new level next year.Thanks for sharing.

    28. [...] SEOptimise, 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013. [...]

    29. Kapil says:

      Hi,

      We have included your post in our latest blog post “List of Trends, Ideas, Predictions for 2013″ http://www.futurescape.in/list-of-trends-ideas-predictions-for-2013/

    30. First of all, congratulation on the great article and very good insights. I do believe that, “in order to have impact, you have to stand out, you have to be different”. So, I am quite agreeing that Facebook will help. Businesses will have to use Facebook advertising to build a relevant audience and use Facebook advertising to reach their audience.

    31. Pix says:

      Great Article! Very Informative :)

    32. Dale Nelson says:

      Hi Shaad,

      You have a particularly different take on trends for this year compared to what I have read on other sites. I have to agree with you though that for businesses to simply rely on being found in their geographical location by google maps is not going to be enough and they will certainly need to look at social media and video entries to gain momentum and secure their place on the web.
      A really informative article
      Many thanks Dale

    33. Good Article. I too strongly agree that today’s businesses need to depend on Facebook ads to build a relevant audience. Social media is the core area of Internet marketing now a days. As per the survey there is a drastic increase in the number of consumers using social media to carry out preliminary product and price research before making final decisions.

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