Part of any effective content marketing strategy is keeping up with the latest web design trends. As content has evolved significantly within the past 12-18 months, so has the web design used to present content. The emergence of breakout trends like Instagram, Pinterest and the visual Facebook timeline, not to mention the growth in the use of mobile apps and the mobile web, has led most content marketers to begin focusing on visual content. Even with the many new trends, content still is an essential part of any business’ marketing strategy. However, while content remains “king,” design must be an integral part of every content marketing strategy if it is to succeed. Instead of cramming a website with content, content must incorporate the latest in web design to grab attention, appeal to emotions and convert prospects into clients. Here are a few of the latest web design trends that businesses should explore for successful content marketing in 2013.

Trend #1 – Responsive Website Design

One of the top trends in web design right now is responsive website design, which is an essential part of web development due to the growth of tablet and mobile browsing. It is important to have websites that adapt to fit any device being used to view the site. With responsible website design, businesses can ensure that their content is viewed the way they intent, no matter what device is being use to access it. Why is this important to content marketing? With a huge section of individuals accessing the web via tablets and smartphone    s, businesses must ensure that their content is viewed successfully on these devices. Failure to use responsive design increases the chance that website visitors will ignore your content and move on to another website that they can easily view and use on their device of choice.

Trend #2 – The Use of Special Effects

The use of special effects is another of the latest web design trends that must be considered as a part of any business’ content marketing strategy. Since individuals continue to spend more time using smartphone    s and tablets, older navigation paradigms for desktop computers are being left behind. This has led to new designs that feature visual effects and complex interactions with the use of new technologies, such as CSS3 and HTML5. The focus on special effects resulted in an increase in fading and sliding visual elements, interactive buttons, parallax scrolling and more.

Trend #3 – Minimalist, User Friendly Designs

Minimalist, user-friendly designs have also become trendy recently and businesses will do well to consider this trend as they focus on their content marketing strategy. The idea that less is more is a popular approach that has caught on across the web, since websites, such as Tumblr, have profited from offering users such easy to use, minimalist designs. This includes leaving more white space on a page, which makes a website seem more knowledgeable and more professional. Presenting content in a way that seems professional is important and every business wants to appear knowledgeable. With minimalist designs, businesses can focus on offering exactly what users need, providing content in this design that works to convey the most important information.

Trend #4 – Embedded Video on Websites

Video has become more and more important in the past few years, and now, embedding video on websites is one of the biggest web design trends of 2013. Since video offers such a powerful way to keep an audience engaged, it’s easy to see why website designers are deciding to embed videos in websites. Video is an essential part of any content marketing strategy and with this website design trend, video can be used to its fullest potential by embedding it in key places of a website.

Trend #5 – Increased Social Media Integration

Increased social media integration is yet another trend in website design that content marketers must carefully consider. Although the use of sharing buttons is not a new concept, integration of websites with social media networks will continue to go deeper in the future. While responsive website design helps businesses with the delivery of their content, sharing through increased social media integration will help keep content crowned as “king.” The hub for content continues to be websites, but increased integration with social media will facilitate sharing across a variety of different platforms. Social media integration must be a priority for everyone who desires success in content marketing.

Many of the latest web design trends show content marketers that the beautification of content is essential, since websites like Instagram and Pinterest have shown that design has the potential to make a company stand out from its competitors, leading to a priceless form of user loyalty. Web users, whether they use the web on their computer, smartphone or tablet, want to see beautiful content that engages their emotions. Implementing these new design trends helps take content marketing to the next level.

Author bio: Mark Gavalda is the CEO of MandLoys Web Design Agency. He did ana amazing job with the Content Marketing Essentials project and I would definitely recommend following Mark on Twitter as well.