Inbound marketing is fundamentally about making your company’s website an active component of the sales process rather than static “brochureware.” It combines a fresh stream of compelling content with interactivity to promote engagement and SEO to make your site more “findable” when prospects are looking for what you offer.
Its use is becoming widespread (though adoption varies somewhat by company size), and offers some compelling advantages over traditional outbound (advertising, direct response, cold calling, etc.) activities. The most successful marketers though are likely combine both approaches in a coordinated manner.
This infographic from Akken Cloud was developed for the staffing industry, but most of its findings apply much more broadly across industries. It explains inbound tactics and benefits, and provides several intriguing facts and statistics about inbound marketing, such as:
- • 85% of marketers now state they are using inbound marketing practices.
- • But this varies by size: a whopping 93% of companies with marketing budgets in the $1 million to $5 million range do inbound marketing.
- • Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve positive ROI.
- • It’s no surprise that different tactics are viewed as “rising in importance” among inbound and outbound marketers. However, both groups are in rough agreement regarding the importance of email, PPC advertising, and trade shows.
- • Content creation is viewed as the most important (65%) element of inbound marketing, but also cited as the most difficult by 57%. SEO (54%) was cited as the second most important inbound marketing tactic.
It’s interesting also to note the degree of overlap between inbound marketing (first image below) and web presence optimization (WPO – second image below).
WPO can be viewed as inbound marketing plus online advertising, content strategy, industry/community marketing (industry analysts, trade associations, event-related online tactics, community-based marketing, etc.), and business-level online marketing measurement.
This was post #3 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.
#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]
This guest post from Kirsten Chapman was originally published on LinkedIn.
Modern marketing and business are defined by one thing: The Web.
It’s safe to say that CMOs, CEOs and CFOs are keenly aware of the huge hole when it comes to measuring the business value of web marketing. When they want to know if all the time and money they’re pouring into web marketing is working, they’re handed reports generated by campaign management systems—Hubspot, Marketo, Vocus, and even Salesforce come to mind. Invariably, the next question is: so where are the KPIs?
Good question. And the answer lies in how the Web is viewed.
Not truly understanding the dynamics of the Web is what leaves executives making strategic decisions using tactical information. Intuitively they know this is wrong, but they can’t quite put their finger on what to measure.
The Web is extraordinary. Never before have we seen anything quite like it—it’s a business, it’s a market, and it’s channel all rolled up into one enormous and complex package. And that’s what makes it a struggle to measure and manage.
The goal here is to lay out an argument—for the first time—that the Web is an economic market. It’s more than just a channel for generating leads and engaging people, it’s genuinely a market with competitive forces.
Why is this important? Because it finally opens up new ways to measure the Web’s strategic value using a standard set of web marketing key performance indicators (KPIs).
The Web is a Market
Don’t be scared off—this isn’t a treatise on microeconomics. The Web as a market isn’t a complicated concept. However, it’s an extremely powerful one for those who understand its strategic import and who want to be able to quantify the business value of web marketing beyond only lead generation and engagement.
The best way to demonstrate that the Web is a market is to analyze three key elements of a market—structure, competition, and information exchange—then examine whether or not the Web exhibits these elements.
- Structure: A market is a place where buyers and sellers come together for the purchase and sale of products and services.
>>Yes, the Web is a marketplace.
- Competition: A market has a competitive structure. There are several types of market structures, each defined by the number of buyers and sellers, barriers to entry and exit, product differentiation, and pricing power.
>>Yes, the Web has competitive forces.
- Information Flow: A market allows products and services to be evaluated and priced.
>>Yes, the Web facilitates decisions on product offerings and their prices.
The conclusion? The Web is truly a market—of the economic sort.
So, why isn’t the Web a market in the sense that it represents potential customers? Because it’s a thing (network of content), it has both buyers and sellers, and it’s not a person or group of persons to be studied, segmented and targeted.
But wait, what about web lead generation? Isn’t that about studying, segmenting and targeting people on the Web? Yes it is, which is why the Web is also a channel. But it is not a target market, which is distinguished from an economic market.
Web Marketing Performance Measurement
By viewing the Web as a market, it presents the opportunity for a much-needed standard set of KPIs that can measure market-level web performance.
There are two types of web marketing measurements:
- Channel-level metrics that measure campaigns
- Market-level KPIs that measure brand web presence
Nearly all web marketing performance is measured at the channel level—degree of engagement and number of leads are two that come to mind. But the purpose here isn’t to weigh in on channel-level measurement, so let’s get to the meat.
The web is a network of content, so web presence is the unit to be measured.
To be considered a KPI, it must:
- Measure market-level brand web presence, and
- Produce a trend that acts as a leading indicator of possible future business success.
There are three categories of web marketing indicators—Brand, Competitiveness, and Website—each category has two KPIs.
To illustrate, we’ll explore one of the KPIs in more detail: Competitive Webshare™—an indicator of a brand’s market competitiveness.
Competitive Webshare is the percentage of paid, owned, and earned web presence that a brand holds vis-à-vis a defined set of competitors. It’s a bit like market share but focuses on comparing a brand’s web footprint to its most important competitors. By isolating the competitive set, executives are able to focus on developing competitive strategies that are most impactful to the business.
Like market share, Competitive Webshare is a critical trend to track. If a brand’s percentage goes up over time, it’s a leading indicator that the prospect for sustained business growth is promising. On the other hand, if the percentage is deteriorating, the business outlook isn’t rosy.
Having a set of indicators that work together to track and measure important aspects of how a brand is faring on the Web is paramount. It helps executives understand whether their investments in web marketing are creating conditions that can help put and keep the business on a path for future success.
Much of today’s confusion about how to measure web marketing performance is attributable to not fully understanding that the Web is not just a channel for generating leads and engaging audiences but is also a market in its own right. Viewing the Web as a market with competitive forces introduces new ways to measure its strategic value.
Through the use of market-level web marketing KPIs in the areas of Brand, Competitiveness and Website, CMOs, CEOs, and CFOs are finally able to gauge how effectively their investment in the Web is paying off.
Kirsten Chapman is a 30-year veteran of technology b2b marketing and PR, co-founder of MeasureMyBrand—where she pioneered the development of four of the industry’s first standard web marketing KPIs—and principle of b2b marketing and PR agency KC Associates.
Social may be sexy, but search still pays the bills.
As reported below, organic search drives 51% of all visitors to both B2B and and B2C Web sites, while paid-search drives 10% (and social 5%, on average). 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine.
- • Do feed the gorilla. Search doesn’t only mean Google, but the elephant in the room can’t be ignored either. While everyone knows Google is the big dog, the magnitude of its dominance still amazes. Google accounted for nearly 40% of all U.S. digital ad spending last year, while Facebook’s share was about 8%; and Google’s advertising revenue is larger than that of the entire U.S. print industry.
- • Be like Avis. As the company’s iconic slogan went, “When you’re number two, you try harder.” Or rather in the case of organic search, you need to try harder. While it’s great to be #1—the top result still generates nearly one-third of all organic search clicks—the share garnered by results two through four has increased significantly in the last decade. No matter the slot though, the key to getting clicks from any rank below #1 is to craft top-notch meta titles and page descriptions.
- • Get creative. The top challenges in organic SEO are link building (easy-to-get links no longer have much value) and keyword research (the low-hanging fruit is long gone). To rank well today, use a web presence optimization (WPO) approach in order to earn high-quality links from online publications and industry influencers, and write to “be the best answer” to search queries rather than stuffing content with repetitive phrases.
- • Open your wallet. Marketers spend a lot of money online; overall, U.S. marketers will spend more than $103 billion on search, display, social media, and email marketing by 2019—but search will remain the largest share of interactive spend (about 44%). And in PPC search ads, 86% of all ad impressions accrue to the top four spots.
For more insights, check out these 21 SEO and search engine marketing stats from top experts including Caroline Nicander Mohr, Laurie Sullivan, Berrie Pelser, Rob Petersen, Melissa Hoffmann, and John A. Lee.
3 General Search and Google Stats and Facts
1. Google estimates that the Internet now contains roughly five million terabytes of data – but the search giant has indexed only 0.04% of it all. (The Wonder of Tech)
2. Integrating PPC and organic SEO efforts results on average in a 25% increase in clicks and a 27% increase in profits over isolated or disconnected efforts. (Digital Marketing Philippines)
3. Google accounted for nearly 40% of all U.S. digital ad spending last year. Facebook’s share was about 8%. (eMarketer)
9 Organic SEO Stats and Facts
4. Lead generation (cited by 61% of corporate marketers) and Web site traffic (57%) are the top SEO objectives for marketers at enterprise companies in 2015. 54% want to improve traffic conversion rates. Just 24% cited attributing sales and revenue to SEO as a top goal. (MediaPost)
5. Organic search drives 51% of all visitors to business-to-business and business-to-consumer Web sites, whereas paid-search drives 10% and social 5%. (MediaPost)
6. Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google. (41 Stories)
7. A URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. (Ber|Art)
8. Ranking near the top of search results is great, but if you want the click, your title and description better be top-notch also. In 2005, searchers spent just under 2 seconds, on average, viewing each listing; in 2014 that has dropped to 1.17 seconds. (MarketingProfs)
9. The top organic result still captures about the same amount of click activity (32.8%) as it did in 2005. However, organic results that are positioned in the 2nd through 4th slots now receive a significantly higher share of clicks than in 2005–63% vs. 48%. (MarketingProfs)
10. 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine. (Biznology)
11. 72% of marketers from enterprises rate search engine optimization (SEO) as successful in achieving marketing objectives like lead generation and increased Web traffic. (MediaPost)
12. The top challenges in SEO are link building (cited by 41% of corporate marketers) and keyword research (39%). (MediaPost)
9 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Facts and Statistics
13. Google’s advertising revenue is larger than that of the entire U.S. print industry. (The Wonder of Tech)
14. 30% of companies outsource their paid search advertising, and 28% do so for display advertising. (MediaPost)
15. Total internet advertising spending is growing 16% per year. Mobile accounts for 11% of the total. (TechCrunch)
16. 61% of CMOs say search engines are an effective marketing channel. (AdWeek)
17. Nearly half of digital marketing budgets are spent on search, with 31% on paid search and 18% on SEO. (MarketingProfs)
18. In PPC search ads, 86% of all ad impressions accrue to the top four spots. (ClickZ)
19. Overall, U.S. marketers will spend more than $103 billion on search, display, social media, and email marketing by 2019 — growing at a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) — but search will remain the largest share of interactive spend. (MediaPost)
20. U.S. spending on search marketing will reach $31.6 billion in 2015. (MediaPost)
21. U.S. spending on paid search and organic optimization will top $45 billion by 2019. (MediaPost)
This was post #3 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.
#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts
Content marketing is now ubiquitous, with 93% of all marketers saying they do content marketing (it’s not clear what the other 7% are doing). But with so much content being produced, distributed and shared, how do you make your efforts stand out and grab the attention of your prospects?
- • Tell, don’t sell. Sales are a top goal of content marketing—but website traffic is the most common metric used to measure success. Only about half of marketers try to connect content to sales. Why? Because with the exception of direct response (a small part of content marketing), content supports sales rather than driving them directly. And trying to use content too blatantly to drive sales often backfires.
- • Blog. Blogs are one of the most effective tools for increasing organic search traffic, and are highly influential with buyers. Yet just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog.
- • Make email a key component. While most content sharing efforts by marketers are focused on the “big four” social networks, most (72%) content sharing done by buyers is on “dark social”–primarily email and apps.
- • And use video. Half of buyers say they are more likely to seek out more information about a product and more confident in making an online purchase after viewing related video. It’s also “sticky” (users spend, on average, 88% more time on sites with video) and attracts more inbound links than text-only content.
- • But get out and meet people, too. In-person events are still the most effective channel for B2B marketers.
Want to know more? Check out these 34 compelling content marketing statistics and facts from a variety of expert sources.
22 Content Marketing Facts and Statistics
1. 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing. (TopRank)
2. 42% of B2B marketers viewed themselves as successful with their content marketing efforts in 2014 – up from 36% in 2013. (TopRank)
3. The most effective content marketing tactics according to B2B marketers are:
– In-person events (70%)
– Case studies (65%)
– Videos (63%)
– Webinars (63%)
– Blogs (62%)
– eNewsletters (60%)
– White papers and research reports (59%)
4. More than 70% of B2B marketers use the “big four” social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to distribute content. Just 55% use Google+. And only 34% use Pinterest, 22% Instagram, 22% Vimeo, 15% StumbleUpon, and 14% Tumblr. (Digital Marketing Philippines)
5. However – only 28% of content sharing happens through the big social networks. The other 72% is shared through “Dark Social,” the private sharing that happens behind closed private communications such as emails, chats, and mobile apps. (Social Media Today)
6. Brands that use shortened URLs with a “vanity domain” experience an average increased click volume of 25% compared to long URLs or generic URL shorteners. (Social Media Today)
7. Content shared on Thursdays has the longest “link lifespan” (people still clicking on those links several days later). (Social Media Today)
8. 41% of marketers say driving sales is the No. 1 goal for their content marketing strategies; 94% put sales in their top five content marketing goals. Brand awareness was the second-most-popular goal with 88% adding it to their top five, while 21% ranked lead generation as their No. 1 goal. (MediaPost)
9. The most-trusted types of online promotional content include peer reviews, natural search results, and brand Web sites, while display advertising and push text messages are the least trusted. (MediaPost)
10. The top metrics used to measure content marketing success are website traffic (cited by 71% of marketers), revenue (57%), keyword traffic and conversions (46%), and search engine rankings (46%). (MediaPost)
11. The top content marketing goals for B2C companies are customer retention/loyalty (88%), engagement (88%), brand awareness (87%) and sales (77%). (Heidi Cohen)
12. The top metrics used by B2C marketers to measure content marketing success are website traffic (62%), sales (54%), higher conversion rates (39%), and SEO ranking (39%). (Heidi Cohen)
13. Companies spend, on average, 25% of total marketing budgets on content marketing. (Heidi Cohen)
14. The most effective B2B content marketing tactics are in-person events (cited by 69% of marketers), webinars/webcasts (64%), video (60%), and blogs (60%). (eMarketer)
15. 57% of purchase decisions are made before a customer ever talks to a supplier, and Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Target Marketing)
16. The top three reasons consumers share content online are to entertain (44%); to educate (25%); and to reflect their identity (families, friendships, values, etc. – 20%). (MarketingProfs)
17. Though men share more content on average, women expect more engagement: 69% of women expect five or more comments, likes, or shares on their posts. (MarketingProfs)
18. B2B marketing is often misfocused. While B2B marketers tend to emphasize corporate social responsibility, sustainability, global reach, and shaping the direction of the market, buyers care most about open honest dialog with customers, responsibility across the suppy chain, and market leadership. The only major area of overlap is in “high level of specialist expertise.” Neither group places much priority on having the lowest price. (Barraclough & Co)
19. The most useful forms of content when making online B2B purchases are technical brochures / specification sheets (cited by 61% of buyers), followed by instruction manuals / how-to documents (46%), videos (38%) and case studies (31%). Less than a third said webinars, while a quarter value inforgraphics and social media activity. (V3B Blog)
20. 85% of corporate marketers are using buyer personas for content marketing and messaging. But only 15% say their buyer personas are very to significantly effective. (Tony Zambito)
21. And 60% of corporate marketers say they have no to very little understanding of what the best practices are for buyer persona development. (Tony Zambito)
22. 54% of corporate marketers say that quality content is among the most effective SEO tactics their company uses, while 50% also cite (closely related) frequent website updates. (MediaPost)
5 Business Blogging Statistics and Facts
23. Trailing only retail and brand sites, blogs rank as the third most influential digital resource guiding consumer purchasing decisions. (Marketing Magazine)
24. A whopping 93% of bloggers say they either “don’t mind” or enjoy being approached by brands. (Marketing Magazine)
25. 55% of bloggers say the question of whether or not to expect payment from a brand in return for blogging was dependent on the agency, brand or the blogging activity in question. 26% said that they would always expect monetary compensation in return for blogging. This varies widely by blog subject matter, however; over 90% of bloggers in fashion, lifestyle and beauty now expect to receive payment or compensation in return for blogging. (Marketing Magazine)
26. Just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog, down from 34% in 2013. (Sword and the Script)
27. 28% of corporate marketers cite the difficulty of frequent blogging as a top SEO challenge. (MediaPost)
7 Video and Image Marketing Facts and Statistics
28. There are 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. (The Wonder of Tech)
29. The number of photos shared online increased 50% in 2014, primarily on Snapchat and WhatsApp. (TechCrunch)
30. Marketers looking to drive more traffic to their Web content without an overhaul of programs should rethink visual images; video and images drive 13% more traffic than traditional content. (MediaPost)
31. Nearly half (46%) of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (41 Stories)
32. Video is “sticky.” The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (41 Stories)
33. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (41 Stories)
34. 52% of consumers say watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Ber|Art)
This was post #2 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.
#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts
75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process1, and 88% of marketing professionals believe social media is important to their companies2. Yet social media accounts for just 11% of digital marketing budgets3, on average, and 56% of marketers don’t do any paid promotion on social media4.
Can’t get enough of stats like those? Then you’ll love the next seven sizzling summer weeks (except for the week after Independence Day in the U.S., when no one’s really paying attention), starting tomorrow, of posts containing dozens of fascinating stats and facts about digital marketing, social networks, SEO, email / mobile, content marketing and more.
Along the lines of this spring’s blogging for business series here, this series will share findings and insights from some of the top minds and voices in digital and web marketing, including Heidi Cohen, Michael Brenner, Marissa Pick, Frank Strong, Shelly Kramer, and Lee Odden.
The reporting and revelations kick off tomorrow with 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts.
2. Are Social Media Marketers Losing Confidence?, eMarketer
3. State of Search Results: Budgeting Trends [Infographic], MarketingProfs
4. The State of Social Media for PR Pros, Cision