The 4 Most Important Online Advertising Opportunities in 2013

In a flurry of end-of-year reports, analysts at places like Forrester and eMarketer have proclaimed that online advertising spend will again grow in 2013 and beyond – and at a good clip.

While this isn’t surprising, as the growth has been consistent for many years, this isn’t the same old story.

A few major themes are emerging that digital marketers and their media teams must plan for in the new year, all of which translate into four advertising opportunities that can’t be ignored.

1. Facebook is changing the game, again. Now that Facebook is through the turmoil of its IPO and can get back to work, 2013 will a big year. Focused on expanding its advertising ecosystem with new formats, better attribution, and, of course, more targeting, analysts predict Facebook advertising will grow by bounds in 2013 and that the opportunity for early adopters is huge. CPMs are low, new formats are incredibly effective (see below), and the opportunities to drive significant business outcomes are improving.

To many marketers’ chagrin, paid media will become more and more essential to scaling returns from social media marketing.

2. Mobile (and Facebook and customers) is changing the game, again. Mobile advertising has been dominated by search (Google), display (ad networks), and a few rich media options like iAds. EMarketer announced recently that surprisingly, Facebook has taken the lead in mobile display, almost overnight. Additionally, Facebook shared that its mobile ads, which are primarily promoted posts in the mobile newsfeed, are 42 percent more effective than its standard display ads, and the performance increases when richer post types like photo, video, and interactive are used, and eMarketer found the same thing.

It looks like social just became the best way to reach your mobile customers.

3. Rich media is back. Rich media ads on traditional websites are well-established. But as consumers increasingly move toward social and mobile – and away from websites – we’re seeing ad technology shift as well.

We all felt it in 2012: social streams, from Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and Instagram, became richer and richer. More photos, more video, more interaction, all right there in the streams. This trend, according to Forrester and eMarketer, will continue in 2013, improving the opportunity for marketers to get more value out of their growing digital media budgets.

Keep an eye out for vendors creating innovative new solutions for publishing interactive campaigns in social streams across both desktop and mobile.

4. Video, video, video. Much of the growth in digital media in 2013 will be because of the expanding video opportunity. As shared above, social and mobile are fertile ground for video, but we’ll also see innovation from YouTube, Vimeo, and others in the video ad world well beyond pre- and post-roll, interstitials, and pop-overs.

As we’ve seen for the last few years, the pressure on marketers to aggregate and produce more and richer content, especially around products, will intensify. If the utopian vision of a true Apple TV materializes, then the next golden age of video will accelerate even more.

Now is the time to seek boutique agencies that understand current customer trends and technology, and can create lots of compelling video efficiently.

So, 2013 will be another exciting and surprising year in digital marketing, with one thing very clear: it’s time to get serious about moving media dollars and applying end-to-end marketing strategies to social and mobile. Capitalize on these four opportunities and transform into the digital marketing hero that lives inside you!

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