Three Leading Digital Branding Themes for 2013

December 19, 2012 2:29 pm

Three leading digital branding themes for 2013

We recently had 20 minutes to present to a room full of CEOs on the top digital branding trends to watch in 2013. With little time to spare, we summed up the outlook for 2013 in three words:

  • Mobility
  • Interactivity
  • Authenticity

Here’s the full story in a fraction of the time:

  1. Mobility

    There are more than 110 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone (according to comScore), so mobile interactivity for brands will only continue to grow in importance. But beyond the increase in numbers, we see 2013 as something of a “tipping point” with respect to the majority of SMBs shifting their marketing efforts from “thinking about it” to actually “doing something about it” and investing in their brand’s mobile experience.

    With smartphones and tablets accounting for one out of every eight web page views (comScore report), you pretty much have to be proactive with your mobile brand in the upcoming year if you want to stay competitive. Here’s another datapoint – from Google: 61% of all viewers will quickly jump to a different site if they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for on a mobile site.

    The download: Go mobile with commitment and consistency.

  2. Interactivity

    Info sites: rest in peace. We see the trend of cleaner, simpler messaging and design extending its presence on the web. Sites and digital communications that feature larger navigation buttons, highly relevant content and more direct calls to action that engage the viewer in multiple ways will continue to lead the way.

    For site content in 2013, videos will become the norm, rather than the exception. According to Forbes Insight almost 60% of executives indicate a preference for watching video to reading text and 45% report contacting the vendor after viewing. Landing pages with videos can increase conversion rates by as much as 80%. It has been our experience that by linking to a video in an email campaign, click-through rates will routinely double. These numbers reveal how video can have a big impact on the success of your brand in 2013.

    Video quality will also become increasingly important. It doesn’t have to be a “Spielberg” production, but grainy, scratchy and shaky won’t make the cut in 2013. The key to engagement and interaction: Give viewers a “grabber” in the first 10 seconds, and drive home the point in under two minutes.

    The download: Make some videos and make them count.

  3. Authenticity

    Corporate stock photography of clean-cut executives standing boldly in suits and ties with arms crossed is so last century. In 2013, authenticity and accountability will continue to drive customer relationships and keeping it “real” will be more important than ever. People want to know that organizations care and are involved from the top down. That means that more CEOs will be getting involved with social media and engaging in dialogue. They’ll be showing who they are and how they think. Hiding will be much harder for them because there’s really nowhere to hide anymore, and besides, there are more points to be gained when a company strives to be transparent, honest and demonstrates a willingness to listen.

    Across the board, expect to see more high-touch and genuine engagement among businesses when it comes to social media. We also believe companies will recognize that it’s more effective to focus their efforts and dominate a single social media channel rather than spread themselves thin across multiple channels. Past experience indicates that without the necessary bandwidth, those wall-to-wall efforts always lose momentum after a short period of time.

    The download: Choose a channel, drive the conversation and always be ready to listen.

So there you are, the big themes of 2013. If you’re open to some fresh ideas about your mobile brand, creating more interactivity, or delivering a greater sense of authenticity in your content, reach out to us.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!