Tending to trends: marketing memes of 2013

The marketing industry is one of the fastest moving industries in the UK, driven as it is by emerging technologies and unpredictable audience trends. Last year alone we saw a host of new marketing memes sweep through the industry, some of which businesses were happy to include in their marketing activities and others that were more problematic. With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the marketing trends already having a big impact in 2013. Is your brand prepared for these five marketing memes?

Written content – Content marketing is becoming increasingly relevant as the top brands look for more innovative ways to engage audiences through digital media marketing. The days of mindless keywording to increase Google ranks are behind us, and these days, anyone who is anyone has a dedicated corporate blog with which to bring engaging content to potential or existing customers. If you don’t already have one, trust us – you will soon.

Visual content – Content marketing isn’t just about the written word, however. A large number of modern businesses are looking to visual content as a means of engaging audiences, too. Sites like Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube allow companies to share and distribute exciting visual (and frequently viral) content, reaching all new markets and encouraging engagement with the brand, its products and services.

PR disasters – Gone are the days when a PR blunder could be swept under the rug and simply forgotten about. These days, if a company makes a mistake it only takes a couple of hours before it’s trending on Twitter. The ability to share and disseminate information instantaneously means that PR blunders can go global in mere moments – social media can be more damaging for modern businesses than the traditional press.

PR stunts – There are two sides of the PR coin, and modern marketers are beginning to come to terms with the fact that social media exposure can work in their favour, too. The greatest example of a PR stunt in 2012 was Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking freefall attempt – watched live by 8 million people and organised, sponsored and branded by Red Bull. We can expect to see a great deal more such stunts in 2013, as image and reputation becomes increasingly important to brands’ marketing activities.

Social influence – Social media is integral to 21st century digital marketing, and it’s a tool that cuts both ways. Social media has the power to influence a brand – audience sentiment analytics have never been easier to come by, so reacting to audience trends is now a quick and easy process. The most enterprising brands are now looking to exert their own influence via social media, however – instigating trends, communicating with customers and taking an active role in social and environmental responsibility.

All of these trends are likely to enjoy a great deal of influence throughout 2013, and if you want your marketing activities to remain up to date, you’ll want to follow as many of them as possible.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.