The Internet and social media have changed everything. They are not fads. They are a new way for people to connect, gather information, share, collaborate and build their business.

Here are a few top branding and marketing trends to watch in 2011…

Mobile

From mobile devices to Apps and iPad’s, the instant sensation of the mobile and touch-tablet computing shows the way we use the internet is significantly changing. Mobile marketing and location-aware technology gives marketers the ability to not only publish information to mobile users in a distinct area, but it allows users to receive and engage with content based on where they are physically and what they are interested in. With mobile advertising, branded mobile apps and mobile marketing apps, consumers will expect businesses to have a mobile presence in 2011.

Analytics

With Social Media, Websites, Video Blogging etc, real-time analytics is a big milestone in marketing. It’s not just about knowing who is doing what on your website, but it will be about knowing who those people are, who they are connected to, how much of an influencer they are and what that could mean to our businesses – all in real time. If you thought we were already drowning in data, prepare to be swamped with valuable insights on top of that.

One-line

You will no longer be “online” and then on your mobile device. It’s just one-line. Many businesses still divide how they develop, strategize and execute on the Internet with what’s happening in the mobile space. Yes, the iPad is one kind of link between a desktop or laptop and a mobile device, but the bridge is extended even further as all devices become untethered from wires and fixed locations. The “online experience” is just that – something you can experience in front of a big screen at your home or office, or in the palm of your hand.

Social Conversation

They’re Talking to Each Other Before Talking to the Brand

Social Networking and DIY media-exchange of information outside of the brand space will increase as consumers become more comfortable with their power to get the true story on products from total strangers. Brands will need to drive positive feedback out in the virtual world like never before, necessitating a deep understand of their categories.

Increase in Online Experience

Simply having a Twitter account or Facebook page isn’t enough this year. Businesses must surround consumers with branded online destinations such as a blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel, Flickr profile and so on. Consumers can then pick and choose how they want to interact with your brand. Of course, quality trumps quantity, so extending a brand across the social Web must be done strategically to maximize opportunities without compromising content and communications.