2013 is not yet over, however, I’ve been spending some time over the past few days thinking about how digital marketing has played out this year. Last year I sliced down my thoughts into 140 character (or less) chunks, and I thought I’d do the same this time round…

Social media

  • 2013 was the year that businesses started demanding real ROI from social media
  • Awareness and other fluffy metrics were flushed down the pan! (about time)
  • Brands started to be way more comfortable in their social media skins
  • Those who displayed some balls in their interactions have prospered. See Tesco Mobile on Twitter
  • Facebook and Twitter still dominate the game, but G+ is finally making a dent
  • The image-centric worlds of Instagram, Vine and Pinterest have changed the way we think about content
  • Yet many brands have dived in and delivered a poor experience across them all!
  • Twitter is still the powerhouse of social sharing and web traffic driving
  • Planning social media activity has finally been given the same attention as ads etc
  • The continued increase of ‘the 2nd screen’ has brought Twitter to new audiences
  • Google Analytics made our lives a lot easier by adding great social features
  • Though it amazes me how many people still don’t couple their social analysis with GA data
  • The majority of marketers don’t know their arse from their elbow when it comes to analysing social media data
  • I shared more photos of food, my face and my clothes than ever before. I’m going selfie soft
Fluff and bunnies = WIN. Fluff and metrics = FAIL

Fluff and bunnies = WIN. Fluff and metrics = FAIL

The platforms

  • Facebook continued to alienate users with the fight to make even more money
  • They made marketers lives harder by strangling reach and forcing payment. Read No Budget? Forget About Easy Facebook Success 
  • But they did help those who want to run cheap and nasty comps on their Timelines
  • And they made the scheduling tool easier to use. Thank Zuck for that.
  • Zuckerberg still creeps me out. I think it’s the fleeces
  • Twitter moved towards being a profitable company, but I worry about the user experience suffering
  • They really don’t want us using 3rd party apps. I think they may cause a lot of pain with this in 2014
  • Their media blog is a great place to get ideas and read about Twitter success
  • Instagram still didn’t allow linking. How dare they try and keep people on the platform?!?
  • Vine gave us all a laugh and also proved to be marketing hit for the likes of Lowes
  • Pinterest remains one of the most time-consuming platforms to maintain
  • I nearly cried when I saw a divorce lawyer on there. Why?
  • Google+ is great. No it really is. Sexy apps. Oh so sexy.
  • LinkedIn spent time and money on company pages and their ad model
  • But is still the bastion of spammers and vanity connectors. Read – LinkedIn, The Ultimate Vanity Connection Engine?
  • Tumblr is a tricky place for brands. You don’t want to be Dad dancing at the disco
  • Will a new platform emerge that makes a splash in 2014? I don’t think so

Content Marketing

  • Was still the thing I got asked most about
  • You can’t market without content. Doing it well takes time, planning and analysis
  • Content marketing started in Egyptian times
  • Re-active content (or real-time) was the big piece of hype in the content world. Read – The Importance of Re-active Content Creation
  • We all got bored of hearing about how Oreo made a picture and zzzzzzzzzz
  • Video is now required to tell a story in 6 seconds. Or 15. Or 3 minutes. Or 20 minutes. It’s not the length it’s what you do with it
  • Blogs still rock. Google Hummingbird is a huge opportunity for blogging
  • Blogs are a damn fine source of leads and actual business. Read – What has 100 Blog Posts Done for my Business?
  • Brands/businesses still struggle to see what they have to contribute to content. Your job is to enlighten…
  • Van Damme is the man…

General observations

  • There’s a real lack of digital skills out there, and I’m not sure higher education is changing fast enough
  • Having said that, there are still a number of students taking it upon themselves to learn
  • I will never go back to PC. FANBOI.
  • We are all still products of the social networks
  • Three coffees before lunch is a bad move
  • Employing your first staff member is scary, but wonderful at the same time
  • Red wine. Who knew it was so good?
  • This is the year I felt old in bars. I’m 31
  • Google Glass. Meh.
  • Evernote became essential for me this year. As did Dropbox.
  • In general, tech and marketing blogs had a good year
  • Having a child has changed my perspective on business
  • I’ve found my fighting weight
  • But I’m not mean enough to be a boxer
  • We’ll never know how much wood a Woodchuck could chuck if a Woodchuck could chuck wood
  • I’ve always enjoyed it, but I really love public speaking
  • Always use two tins of tomatoes. Just do it.

Of course, these thoughts don’t cover the whole of digital marketing, but I’m sure other people will ensure that areas like SEO (although it is all one and the same now), email marketing and PPC are well covered over the coming month. I hope you enjoyed this, and thanks for reading all of our content over the year.

If you’d like to take me to task on any of these thoughts, please feel free to contact me.

Photo credit (used under CC) – http://www.flickr.com/photos/75702178@N05/

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