It’s been a good year for digital marketing, from having a record setting month of March for online video to the increased use of QR codes and mobile marketing. The future is bright in our fast paced industry!
With 2013 just around the corner, it’s worth predicting opportunities and challenges ahead. Here’s what we think will dominate the digital marketing sphere in 2013:
As video continues to grow in online ad spending and production, advertisers are beginning to seek out more for their dollar. The demand is shifting away from total number of video views, to different level of engagement and brands want to know that their video is actually impacting viewers. This can refer to watching an ad, starting the ad, clicking on the ad, finishing the ad within three distinct genres of online video ads: in-stream video ads (like pre-roll or post-roll), in-banner video ads, and branded video content.
Overall engagement levels are on the rise, as brands figure out the best distribution methods and locations for their material. As an example, recently Longo’s market has opened up a new location in Leaside. The grocery store chain approached VMG with wanting to not only create a video series to showcase the new store but to also encourage people from the area to visit the location and increase awareness. VMG came up with a series of 3 videos and a targeted acquisition campaign. Each of the videos is targeting viewers who live within a 7km radius of the store. Once the ad is seen, a clickable ad-overlay is displayed at the bottom of the video saying “Longo’s Gift Card Draw” where users are encouraged to click on the ad. Once clicked, users are directed to Longo’s Facebook page where they can enter the contest and/or redeem a coupon for the Leaside location.
The average click through rate of an ad is 0.05%; however, this campaign has experienced a 10% click through with over 5 500 views, making the video an engagement success.
Increase in native advertising:
As we discussed in an earlier blog, native advertising refers to brand content such as videos, photos and articles that are mixed in directly into the content of a website. Although “interruptive ads” are not going anywhere just yet, 2013 is bound to show an increase of sponsored stories and promoted integrated content for a customized user experience.
Advanced social media metrics:
When social media was first adopted, success was measured as volume of friends, followers, and ‘Likes’ but gear up for more in 2013. Companies will want more detailed metrics and analytics as they no longer feel satisfied with simple statistics and with the current software available, it will be easy to provide deep analytics and tracking. On top of advanced software, this should also open up room for human analysis of the information for successful campaigns.
Further Integration of Traditional and Digital:
We began seeing this shift in early 2011 with brands morphing campaigns for traditional and digital spheres. Take one of the many examples - the Gillette Library of styles How To Series that we at VMG produced. This series complimented a TV ad campaign that featured Andre 3000, Adrian Brody and Gael Garcia Bernal, presenting a successful case study. Similarly, it is not only companies who are blending the two realms. Events such as “Social Media Day” where people who have conversed with each other online come together for networking and in person interactions are becoming more popular.
Dramatic shift of smartphone and tablet users
With predictions such as by having more smartphones on the planet than humans by the end of 2012, this year will mark another year of increased smartphone and tablet adoption, as well as increased viewership of online videos. It is also said that smartphones are also predicted to account for around 90% of all mobile phones by 2013 and almost a quarter of internet users will own tablets by end of 2012. The concept of “social, local, mobile” (SoLoMo) has come true in how consumers want content. Things such as location based marketing, combined with innovations such as Google Wallet will transform the way consumers buy while improving campaigns visibility and response rates.
Increase of online video consumptions and potential decrease in email
It is predicted that as the Facebook generation and Gen Y start to enter the workforce, the use of traditional communication tools such as e-mail will reduce. The use of e-mail declined last year for every age group but 55-64 and 65+. It is also said that video as a communication tool will become dominant and will be supported by social networks. Similarly, mobile networks will handle video calls.
However, the most important prediction to note is one that is forecasted to take place in a couple of years: Cisco states that 85% of all internet traffic in 2015 will be video.
The (Further) Empowered Consumer
Today’s consumers are empowered more than ever before. They seek and accept advice from peers, family, friends and even strangers while bringing attitudes and expectations, ultimately to decide who has earned their trust. With the increase of social networks and more brands jumping on the social channels to interact with consumers and gain trust, expect to see an improvement in consumer experiences. Consumers want transparency and if they don’t receive it, they will not only move on to a competitor but also spread the word. Businesses must develop trusted relationships to win over empowered consumers if they want to succeed. If a brand can listen, learn, anticipate, adapt, and execute, they will earn the consumer’s trust.
The growth, cost effectiveness and adoption of social media is something that cannot be ignored. This is a fast paced and ever changing industry and it’s those companies who embrace these changes that will succeed as they respond to where their customers are by providing them with content, investing more into the consumer and improving the customized experience.