As 2010 comes to a close, we’re recapping Mindgruve’s Top 3 Predictions for 2010 and looking forward to what 2011 will bring.

First, at the beginning of 2010, we said SEO and social media would be huge and they were. In addition to Google and Bing’s search results that feature Facebook and Twitter posts, Clickz notes that link building through social media can help generate leads, while the recent Facebook-Bing partnership indicates the growing importance of social media’s relationship with search.

Second, as the use of smartphones and location based mobile apps increased, so too did the growth of geo-targeted special offers. Keeping in line with American Express’ research which finds that one of the top five consumer buying trends is checking in to claim deals.

Finally, though Twitter was big for business, we believe Facebook’s ability to customize and personalize content took the lead as it launched Facebook Places and Facebook Deals (Gap’s overwhelmingly successful Facebook deal comes to mind), while use of FBML tabs increased with many companies, such as Procter & Gamble, creating branded shops within Facebook.

Moving into 2011, we’re armed with our three predictions for what will make its mark on digital media.

1. Visual Impact
The launch of Yelp’s Augmented Reality marked the beginning of visual search and helped pave the way for other visually focused apps/tools, such as Google Goggles, which is placing increased importance on instant information retrieval through images.

With technology like Google Goggles, we believe we will see more brands extend their traditional marketing by directing consumers, who will snap pictures of products or promotions, to conversion-centric mobile hubs. Though only a handful of brands are testing out the popularity of the goggles, it’s worth mentioning that mobile photo application Instagram sees “two to three photo uploads per second” and mobile photo sharing applications are increasing. This is important because it’s highlighting the visual shift away from text-based content in real-world settings, giving us a glimpse of consumer interests and their willingness to view the world through a phone.

2. Television Plus
Television + interactive + mobile + ______. The point is that we saw traditional TV shift in 2010 with social media’s growing role in television and the increase of timeshifting TV viewers, giving way to a less traditional, more engaged television experience in 2011. With enhanced television technology, such as the new Apple TV and AT&T U-Verse capabilities (e.g. mobile TV applications, pause and play from multiple TVs, XBOX connectivity), consumers are given the opportunity to view what they want, when they want it and on the platform of their choice. This leads to what Advertising Age aptly refers to as a fractured media market.

To leverage the user’s new viewing habits advertisers must take advantage of existing channels (social sites, websites and online broadcasters) to deliver ever-increasing opportunities for personalized engagement through the new technology. We’ve already begun to see advertisers seamlessly adapt to the shift in television with shorter ad formats. Furthermore, with the introduction of more integrated marketing like that of Columbia Sportswear and a “real-world testing environment” for interactive TV (backed by CBS and Time Warner), it’s clear that the need to provide branded, engaging experiences doesn’t end with TV, but could now start there.

3. On the Move Marketing
Mobile is BIG and getting bigger every day. According to a study by Wilson Electronics, 4.6 billion phones are in use around the world. In addition, a recent Nielsen survey shows that mobile e-mail is used more than desktop email, while mobile social media use has increased to an average of 3.1 hours per week by user. Furthermore, out of 300,000 mobile users, 30% preferred using their mobile phone to discover breaking news.

The takeaway: consumers are on the move and unlikely to sit still in 2011, meaning  marketing efforts will have to move as well. With mobile phones, as well as tablets and laptops, the need for instant gratification and convenience is growing, as is the use of QR codes, in-app advertising and geo-targeted mobile ads. Brands will need to adjust their mobile websites, traditional and digital marketing campaigns, and mobile email strategy (an important factor to play up since RingCentral discovered a large majority of business professionals do business through a smartphone) in order to fit into a consumer’s on the go lifestyle by offering targeted, topical points of interaction.

There you have it! Our predictions for 2011. Since new trends are rapidly developing,  we’ll continue to keep our finger on the pulse of the industry, bringing you insights and best practices. We wish you a happy holiday and an even happier new year!