Social media developments, marketing best practices, innovation in communication, advice for retailers in the digital age and real-time response were among key industry trends most sought out by Warc readers over the last 12 months.

The top trend report published on Warc in 2013, in terms of views, was Seriously Social: A casebook of effectiveness trends in social media campaigns, which identified and explored effectiveness trends across roughly 800 recent Warc case studies that contained a social media element.

In addition to discussing the key issues facing social media marketers, the report provided quantitative analysis of patterns in media channel selection, duration and campaign budgets as well as comparing award-winning cases that had social media elements with those that did not.

Warc's Toolkit 2013, written in association with Deloitte, was the second most-read trend report of the year and it identified ten of the greatest challenges facing marketers in 2013 and suggested ways to meet them.

Subjects covered in the report included how to win over disaffected consumers, how a brand can embed itself into everyday life, the ways that mobile changes the shopper journey, how brands should respond to multi-screening, and the role of content in marketing.

Innovation in communication was the third most popular subject in 2013 and Warc's Innovation Casebook covered case studies drawn from the Warc Prize for Innovation. It explained, among other findings, that innovation can deliver significant business results and create new opportunities for brands to communicate with their customers without having to stretch marketing budgets.

The fourth most-read Warc Trends report explored the challenges facing brick-and-mortar retailers as a growing number of shoppers look at merchandise in stores but then purchase online at lower prices, identified a number of brands which have successfully adapted to this "showrooming" phenomenon.

Finally, the fifth most popular trend report of the year – Real-time Response: How brands are reacting instantly to news events – explored the growing popularity of real-time marketing, but warned the technique has its limitations, not least because of its tactical nature.

For more details about the most read papers on Warc in 2013 on other topics, visit our Most Read page.

Data sourced from Warc