Before the holiday break, we highlighted some of the top trends and social campaigns from 2013. Now that we’ve all settled back in and are ready take on a new year, here are some over-arching trends to keep at top of mind as you dive into 2014.
1. Visually Speaking
Both JWT Intelligence and Forbes reported that visual fluency will be a must for brands’ content strategy in the coming year. As mobile usage continues to rise and dominate the digital space, consumers are shifting their media consumption to short videos, emojis and immersive photography. Consumers increasingly expect to see more visuals and fewer words from brands. Likewise, they also expect brands to provide unique, photo-worthy experiences. Make sure your strategies include rich visual content because it’ll be just as important as writing within 140 characters.
2. The War for Privacy
Ironically, the more excited we get about social sharing platforms the more concerned the audiences we most want to influence become about privacy invasion. While we know that the most valuable brands in 2013 were shared brands—as described by Edelman’s Consumer Marketing study—concern of over-sharing and privacy also bubbled in 2013. Privacy concerns will no doubt continue to rise in 2014 as a lifestyle concern. Dictionary.com even highlighted the rising trend of privacy concerns in this infographic. Consider the recent breach Target suffered when hackers managed to steal the credit card information of 40 million customers. Snapchat started the year off by having its servers breached releasing the usernames and phone numbers of 4.8 million members. Crisis management teams will most likely need to prepare for privacy issues, while digital strategies will need to address their audiences’ concerns.
3. YouTube Channels Challenging TV
YouTube channels may start to challenge the power of television. Take for example, when DreamWorks Animation purchased AwesomenessTV’s YouTube channel—which attracts over 60 million unique viewers—for $33 million. Or the rise of Vice Media, from a small magazine start-up to representing the global disenfranchised youth through its online content and an original documentary series. Digital entertainment mediums are on the rise because they understand what Edelman has dubbed the Six Dimensions of Sharing. A recent Fast Company article said, ” The difference, say YouTube creators … is threefold: They make videos that are shareable, not just watchable; they interact directly with viewers; and they support and cross-promote each other’s programs.
YouTube Channels to keep an eye on:
- Young Hollywood: An E!-like online channel
- Big Frame: Recently launched a multi-cultural channel
- The Moms View: Tap into the Gen Y/Z DIY Mom’s
There is no doubt that the video gaming industry is reaching new heights. According to Gartner Inc., an IT research and advisory company, the video gaming industry is a $93 billion industry. Digital Trends reports how the gaming industry is continuously growing and VentureBeat spotlights five trends to watch out for in 2014.
One particular trend that has been flying under the radar, yet gaining momentum is e-Sporting, or competitive video game competitions. Like almost any sport, with competitions and championships comes spectatorship. As it turns out, watching people play video games is increasingly popular online. Twitch TV is a rising online channel dedicated to all-things spectator-gaming. The rising popularity of competitive gaming is fueling much of Twitch’s growth. The platform has more than 600,000 broadcasters and viewers tune in for 100 minutes a day on average, according to Fast Company. Be on the lookout in 2014 for the continued growth and popularity in e-Sporting and the spectatorship that comes with it. It may be a very valuable niche audience for brands.
5. Sensory Perception, The Always-On Consumer
In a recent piece by Nick Bilton of The New York Times, Bilton discusses a very important topic of how the proliferation of mobile—such as wearable technology and smart watches—will yield smarter sensory mechanics. He envisions that smart technology will become more aware of its surroundings without the user’s input. Bolton mentions that FourSquare is at the forefront of this technology and imagines what other social media giants like Twitter and Facebook could do with their information; reacting to you depending on your current location, time, or even activity.
What are some other trends you expect to see in 2014?
Image credit: vancouverfilmschool