Five trends that characterized online marketing in 2013

The ever-evolving world of online marketing saw new trends emerge in 2013. Some have been design based such as parallax layouts and others are a result of the impact of new technology (smartphones, tablet computers). What is apparent however, is that online marketing is no longer the preserve of link building, it is now subject to (and part of) the mainstream marketing machine.

So what were those trends that emerged from the ether in 2013? Take a look below:

The power of the image

Content maybe king, but marketers also know that images provide the visual hook that draws the punter in. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram make them the central part of their content. Infographics, though not new, continue to be a popular way of presenting information in an easy-to-digest graphic form. So what we have seen over the last year is an increase in content based around a single image or content that uses specially chosen images to break up text and emphasize points from the article. Expect more of this in 2014.

Going Mobile

The internet-enabled mobile device market is increasing. According to Forbes magazine, 87 per cent of internet connected devices sales will be tablets and smart-phones by 2017. In 2013, marketers and web developers began, in earnest, to tailor web content for mobile devices. How many times did you see your favorite magazine or newspaper advertise it's iPad version? Have you noticed how easy it is to pick an outfit with clothing retail sites on your mobile or tablet? The term 'responsive web design' is now a key item on the online marketing agenda.

Eye-catching design

Nothing shows how much influence the marketing world has on the evolution of the web, as the proliferation of attractive designs for both websites and their branding images. Great design captures peoples attention and imagination. It helps a company or product stick firmly in the consumers memory.

2013 saw new web design concepts such as parallax scrolling, where depth is created through background images scrolling slower than foreground images and has been used successfully by Activate and Volkswagen. Eye-catching designs such as these can be used (along with great content) to make your brand more successful.


Ad-retargeting is used by companies to keep their brand at the forefront of a web-users mind. This is achieved by utilizing browser cookies to track which web sites a user is visiting. Similar ads for that companies product will then be placed on different websites, creating more chances for a conversion. You may have noticed this type of ad-targeting on social media sites in particular over the last year.

Social media diversifies

2013 saw several social media sites take on the established giants of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ are now taking off with an increasing number of members, which means that businesses are now having to diversify their social media campaigns. Online marketers are currently experimenting with several social media networks to work out what is the best mix for their clients.

So those were some of the most prominent online marketing trends for 2013. It will be interesting to see if they are still in fashion next year or whether new ideas will have overtaken them!