Archive for the ‘Marketing Research’ Category

14 Key Takeaways from the B2B Content Marketing Report

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The 2014 B2B Content Marketing Report is out, and no doubt will spur a number of blog posts. As usual, this year’s findings are a mix of the obvious (lead generation is the top goal of content marketing – as it has been for the last 10,000 years or so) and the somewhat surprising. For example, having a documented strategy makes companies much more successful–but only 30% of firms have a formally documented content strategy. And content marketing ROI remains difficult to measure.

2014 B2B Content Marketing ReportHere are more than a dozen noteworthy findings from the report.

1. Current customers may be under-valued. As noted above, lead generation is the top goal (59%) of content marketers; no surprise there. However, just 17% of survey respondents identified “Customer loyalty/retention” as a goal. Yet existing customers can be a company’s most effective and valuable advocates.

2. Content marketing is not about revenue. Just 16% of respondents said revenue generation was a top goal. Not surprising, as it’s never been easy to tie most marketing activities directly to dollars in. There are simply too many variables in the equation: price, product features, sales processes and skills, and the fact it takes multiple brand exposures (you’ve likely heard of the advertising rule of seven) before a prospect will buy.

Those seven (or eight, or 12) brand exposures can come through a variety of channels—industry news sites, social networks, blogs, online ads, analyst reports, search—which is why content development forms the base of a web presence optimization strategy.

3. Having a documented content marketing strategy is vital. Companies with a documented strategy are three times as likely as those without to describe their content marketing as “very” or “extremely” effective–and only one-third as likely to say they are “not sure” of its effectiveness.

4. Strategy means money… Nearly two-thirds (64%) of companies that have a documented content marketing strategy also have a dedicated content marketing budget. But just 14% of companies without a documented strategy have a dedicated budget for content creation and distribution.

5. …though often not enough money… Despite the importance of content marketing, 43% of companies devote less than 20% of their total marketing budget to content creation and distribution. More than a quarter spend 10% or less. Just 10% spend in the ideal range of 25-30%. On the other hand, more than three-quarters (77%) of marketers plan to increase spending on content production in the next 12 months.

6. …and strategy (often) includes automation. More than two-thirds (69%) of companies that have a documented content marketing strategy also use marketing automation. But just 42% of firms without a written strategy use such tools.

7. Content marketing starts with blogging. Blogging is the most commonly used content marketing format, with nearly two-thirds of survey respondents maintaining blogs. Rounding out the top five tactics are:

  • • Social media (64%)
  • • Case studies (64%)
  • • White papers (55%)
  • • Press releases (51%)

On the other hand, webinars/webcasts are used by less than half of b2b marketers. And less than 10% report using tactics like branded apps, podcasts, printed books, or games.

8. The C-suite is asking for metrics… Consistent with recent years, the top two content marketing challenges remain a lack of time/resources to create content, and the inability to create enough content variety and volume. However, this year’s report notes, “Measuring the effectiveness of content marketing has risen from the number six spot last year (28%) to number four (38%) reflecting increasing pressure to demonstrate results and justify investment in content marketing.”

Responding to those demands will require CMOs and marketing leaders to investigate a new class of tools designed to measure multi-channel web and competitive metrics, rather that relying on point solutions (social media monitoring, web metrics) that provide limited, siloed views.

9. …but ROI measurement remains elusive. Just 39% of marketers believe they are “at least somewhat successful at tracking content marketing ROI.” Yet as noted above, there is increasing pressure to provide such measurement. Closing this gap will require marketers to embrace a new breed of metrics to support improved marketing decision making.

10. The connections aren’t always clear. Not surprisingly, the top metrics used to measure content marketing success are website traffic (63%) and downloads / conversions (59%). More surprisingly though, just a third of marketers identify “social media sharing” or “SEO / search engine ranking” as key metrics—even though these are vital in supporting those top two metrics.

And just 19% cited “inbound links” as key metric, despite the fact that link earning through content marketing is essential to maintaining strong organic search presence in the post-Penguin world.

11. Outside talent can help. As noted above, most marketers say they are resource-constrained in producing enough volume or variety of content. Yet more than half (53%) rely on corporate marketing for content production. 36% depend on internal subject matter experts (SMEs, who have content knowledge, but not format knowledge) and just 30% on external agencies or consultants (the flipside of internal SMEs, with expertise in format but not product or service knowledge).

Connecting external resources with internal SMEs enables companies to produce more high-value content with less corporate or product marketing effort. And yet—25% of marketers don’t outsource any content creation, and less than 1-in-5 (19%) outsource half or more of all content development.

In terms of what types of content creation are outsourced, it’s not surprising that the majority of companies keeping blogging (76%) and case study writing (78%) in-house. But it is surprising that less than a quarter of marketers outsource the production of content formats requiring specialized skills, such as white papers, videos, and infographics.

12. Outside sources can help, too. 92% of companies create content internally (no surprise). But just 38% report that they “curate or syndicate third-party content.” An ideal content marketing strategy should contain a mix of internally and externally produced content, both to maximize the value of content to the company’s target audience and make the most efficient use of content development resources.

13. LinkedIn rules, Facebook…not so much. Per the report, “LinkedIn tops the list of the most effective social media platforms to deliver content and engage audiences (82%).” Just 41% of B2B marketers, however, say that Facebook is effective for content delivery. That’s nearly a mirror image of the B2C content marketing world, where 90% of marketers rely on Facebook but just 51% use LinkedIn.

14. Weekly content updates are the norm. 40% of marketers say they publish new content either “weekly” or “multiple times per month” (i.e., roughly weekly). 30% publish just once per month or less,  and 30% publish more than weekly (multiple times per week or daily).

There’s much more, so check out the complete 2014 B2B Content Marketing Report to review all of the findings.

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21 Vital Mobile Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2014

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Gone are the days when a mobile-enabled web presence was an afterthought. According to CNN, “Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet (in January 2014) — the first time that has ever happened.”

U.S. Smartphone Operating System Market ShareAlso, consider these stats from the compilation below: about half of all U.S. adults now own smartphones; that figure rises to 76% for millennials. Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices. And mobile payments aren’t just for buying lattes—three-quarters of B2B vendors say they plan to offer mobile commerce by the end of 2014.

What do advertisers need to know about mobile access? How large is the mobile share of social network traffic? How does the online use of tablet owners differ from PC users? What the key differences between mobile and desktop search?

Find the answers to these questions and more here in almost two dozen facts, statistics and research findings about mobile marketing and web use from the past several months.

1. There are now 143 million smart phones in use in the U.S., and 71 million tablets. (Heidi Cohen)

2. Mobile internet access enabled by smartphones and tablets has nearly doubled the amount of time spent online since 2010. (Heidi Cohen)

3. 91% of U.S. adults now own a mobile phone. 61% of those are smartphones. (Heidi Cohen)

4. Though according to another source, 18% of adults do not own a cellphone. (iMedia Connection)

5. Smart phone use varies by age group. 81% of U.S. adults age 25-34 own a smartphone, as do 70% of teens and half of adults age 55 and over. (Heidi Cohen)

6. The leading platforms for U.S. smartphone use are Android (53%) and iPhone (40%)). Blackberry now accounts for just 3% of the market.  (Heidi Cohen)

7. 189 million Facebook users (almost one out of five) are mobile-only, and mobile use accounts for 30% of Facebook ad revenue. (Fast Company)

8. And 751 million (nearly three-quarters of the total) Facebook users access the network from mobile devices at least some of the time. (Digital Buzz Blog)

9. Twitter has more than 500 million total users. 288 million users are active monthly, collectively sending out over 400 million tweets each day. (Digital Buzz Blog)

10. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they “can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them.” (Fast Company)

11. 76% of millennials own a smartphone. 73% own a laptop. (The Social Media Hat)

12. Marketers spent $4.4 billion on mobile advertising in the U.S. in 2012. That figure doubled to $8.5 million in 2013; and that figure is projected to quadruple to $31.1 billion by 2017. Search advertising accounts for about half of the total. (Heidi Cohen)

13. Mobile ads perform 4-5 times better than online ads. (iMedia Connection)

14. 25% of Americans use mobile devices (primarily tablets) only to access the Internet. And there are five times as many cellphones in the world as there are PCs. (iMedia Connection)

15. Forget branded apps though. 93% of consumers say branded apps don’t contribute to their brand loyalty. (iMedia Connection)

16. And there’s this: “99% of apps only get used once. Unless your app does something amazing that no one else’s does, then the reality is that it will get downloaded, opened and forgotten about.” (The Social Media Hat)

17. 60% of Twitter users access the network from mobile devices at least some of the time. (Digital Buzz Blog)

18. Tablet users spend, on average, 50% more online than do PC users. (The Social Media Hat)

19. Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices. (The Social Media Hat)

20. On desktop searches, roughly one-third of clicks go to the top organic result. Average CTR on mobile devices tends to skew even more towards the first position, as smaller screens offers fewer listings at any one time. (Brent Carnduff)

21. Currently, about half of B2B vendors sell through mobile (including stores and applications), while 3 in 4 respondents plan to offer mobile commerce by the end of 2014. (MarketingCharts)

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83 Exceptional Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2014

Monday, April 14th, 2014

“Big data” is one of the trendiest buzzwordy terms in marketing/technology/business today.

So before it gets replaced by the next trendy buzzwordy term, here’s some marketing-related big data for you: 83 valuable facts, stats, and research findings covering strategy, social media, SEO, online advertising, email marketing, content, blogging, social networking, video and more.

B2B Content Marketing Trends

2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

What do 40% of B2B buyers say about LinkedIn, that only 19% say about Twitter? Which “social” brands aren’t really social at all? What do only 48% of searches result in? What do 91% of B2B marketers do, but only 36% do well? (No, not that.) What do 73% of reporters say press releases should contain?

Find the answers to those questions and many, many more here in more than 80 social, content, search, and email marketing facts and statistics from the past few months.

4 Marketing Management and Measurement Stats

1. Just 35% of B2B marketing executives say they can calculate the ROI of their marketing spend most or all of the time. 42% say they can calculate ROI only some of the time, rarely or not at all. (B2B Marketing)

2. While two out of three U.S. CMOs say they feel pressure from the top to prove the value of marketing, just 51% of CEOs agree “that marketing’s financial value is clear to the business.” (MarketingCharts)

3. That’s likely because only 45% of CMOs are confident “that they know which metrics or business outcomes their key stakeholders care about.” (MarketingCharts)

4. “Data analytics are currently most commonly used by B2B marketing leaders to measure and report marketing’s performance (64%), as well as to justify (55%) and allocate (52%) the marketing budget. Analytics are least commonly used to fine-tune the marketing mix (14%).” (MarketingCharts)

4 B2B Marketing Stats

5. Consumerization of B2B marketing? 57% of B2B vendors say they are shifting their B2B commerce transactions from offline to online and self-service, and 44% agree “that B2B commerce is adopting B2C best practices in order to optimize the purchasing experience.” (MarketingCharts)

6. Online sales currently account for about 35% of total revenue for B2B vendors, though that’s higher (41%) among US companies. (MarketingCharts)

7. 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase; 19% say the same for Twitter. (Social Media Today)

8. B2B buyers today are 70%-90% of the way through their “buying journey” before they reach out to a vendor. (B2B Marketing)

6 Social Media Marketing Stats

9. Social media marketing budgets are projected to double in the next five years. (SocialTimes)

10. The top three social networks used by B2B marketers are LinkedIn (91%); Twitter (85%); and Facebook (81%). However, just 62% of marketers say that LinkedIn is effective, while 50% say the same for Twitter and only 30% of B2B marketers view Facebook as effective. (FlipCreator)

11. This one may surprise you: Google+ actually averages more visits per month than Facebook. Google+ receives 1.2 billion visits per month compared to Facebook’s 809 million. (iMedia Connection)

12. 83% of B2B marketers invest in social media to increase brand exposure; 69% to increase web traffic; and 65% to gain market insights. (Social Media Today)

13. Some brands perceived as social aren’t—at all. As of 2013, Apple had yet to claim a Twitter account, Facebook page, or any other type of social media presence. Ditto for Trader Joe’s. (iMedia Connection)

14. People spend, on average, 4X more time on Tumblr and Pinterest than they do on Twitter. (iMedia Connection)

7 SEO and Search Stats

15. Every month there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches, with 78% of U.S. internet users researching products and services online. (B2B Marketing)

16. 54% of B2B buyers begin their buying process with informal research about business problems; nearly 80% of the time spent researching is done line. (B2B Marketing)

17. 33% of organic search clicks go to the first result. (SocialTimes)

18. The top 4 positions, generally those considered to be “above the fold”, receive 83% of first page organic clicks. (Brent Carnduff)

(However, as noted here previously, “a lower position isn’t always bad. If the searcher clicks the ‘back’ button because the top result didn’t meet expectations, then he or she is 5-8 times more likely to click on a lower result than on the initial search.”)

19. It’s also important to consider that only 48% of searches result in an organic click. The remaining 52% result in either a click on a paid ad, leaving the search engine results page without clicking on any listing, or starting a new search. (Brent Carnduff)

20. In addition, as search intent becomes more detailed or specific (long-tail search phrases), the click distribution across the first page organic listings begins to even out, as searchers look for the best match or answer to their query. (Brent Carnduff)

21. And furthermore, long-tail searches have higher overall organic click-through rates. 56% of searches for phrases of four words or more result in a click on an organic result, compared to just 30% for single-word search queries. (Brent Carnduff)

7 Online Advertising Stats

22. Of the three major types of online advertising (search, display, and social), search is viewed as the best channel for driving direct sales, cited by 40% of marketers (vs. 26% who use display to drive sales and 18% using social). However, just over a third of marketers view each channel as valuable for lead generation. (eMarketer)

23. Landing page optimization is viewed as the most important tactic for optimizing the performance of paid search advertising, while targeting by segment is most important in optimizing display ad performance. (eMarketer)

24. 8% of Internet users account for 85% of online display ad clicks. (iMedia Connection)

25. In 2013, Internet advertising expenditures surpassed newspaper ad spending for the first time. Internet ads now account for 21% of all advertising dollars, second only to television at 40%. (Ad Age)

26. Of the 100 largest global advertisers, 41 are headquartered in the U.S., 36 in Europe, and 23 in Asia. Consumer electronics and technology is the fastest-growing ad category among the Global 100. (Ad Age)

27. The average click-through rate (CTR) for online display ads is 0.11% (roughly one click per one thousand views). CTRs aer highest in Malasia (0.30%) and Singapore (0.19%), and lowest in Australia and the U.K. (both at 0.07%). (Smart Insights)

28. Among different display ad formats, large rectangle ads (336 x 280 pixels) generate the highest CTRs on average at 0.21-0.33%, while full banners (468 x 6) generate the lowest at 0.04%. (Smart Insights)

3 Email Marketing Stats

29. Mobile matters. A lot. In 2013, 62% of emails were opened on a mobile device (48% on smartphones and 14% on tablets). (Heidi Cohen)

30. Adding social sharing buttons to email messages an increase click-through rates by more than 150%. (SocialTimes)

31. 48% of consumers say email is their preferred form of communication with brands. (iMedia Connection)

14 Content Marketing Facts and Stats

32. Though more than 90% of marketers now use content marketing, just 42% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers believe they are effective at this. (e-Strategy Trends)

33. Still, more than 70% of both B2B and B2C marketers plan to produce more content in 2014 than they did in 2013, and six out of ten plan to increase their content marketing budgets. (e-Strategy Trends)

34. 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing. It’s not clear what the other 22% are thinking. (SocialTimes)

35. Customer testimonials are the most effective form of content marketing. (SocialTimes)

36. The top challenge for content marketers is “lack of time,’ according to 57% of B2C and 69% of B2B marketers (multiple responses permitted). (e-Strategy Trends)

37. When forced to choose only one “top challenge” in content marketing, 30% of marketers said “not enough time”; 11% said “producing enough content”; and another 11% said it was “producing engaging content.” (@Robert_Rose on SlideShare)

38. Content creation is taking an increasing share of marketing budgets. Nearly half of marketers devote at least 10% of their total budgets to content development. One in five spend 25% or more. (eMarketer)

39. The two most popular formats for marketing content are articles (including internal and guest blog posts), used by 76% of marketers, and video, used by 60%. (eMarketer)

40. 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing. But just 36% say they are effective at it. (FlipCreator)

41. The most effective B2B content marketers 1) have a documented strategy; 2) use more than a dozen different tactics; 3) use an average of seven different social media platforms; and 4) devote nearly 40% of their budgets to content marketing, as shown below. (FlipCreator)

B2B Content Marketing Statistics 2014

Image Credit: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs

42. The top three content marketing tactics used by B2B marketers are social media other than blogs (87%); articles on their own websites (83%); and e-newsletters (80%). (FlipCreator)

43. B2B marketers rate in-person events and case studies as the most effective content marketing tactics (see full list below). (FlipCreator)

2014 Top B2B Content Marketing Tactics

Image Credit: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs

44. The top three organizational goals for B2B content marketing are brand awareness (82% of companies); lead generation (74%); and customer acquisition (73%). The top three metrics used to measure success are website traffic (63%); sales lead quality (54%); and social media sharing (50%). (FlipCreator)

45. 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. (iMedia Connection)

9 Social Networking Demographics Figures and Statistics

46. Pinterest is from Venus, Google+ is from Mars. Two-thirds of Google+ users are male. 69% of Pinterest users are female. (Digital Buzz Blog)

47. Women are more social than men. (Shocking, I know.) One-half (49.0%) of U.S. adult women visit social media sites at least a few times per day, versus one-third (34.0%) of men. (New Media and Marketing)

48. About three-quarters of all Internet users are members of at least one social network. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

49. Grandma and grandpa are crashing teenagers’ social media party. The fastest-growing age cohort on Twitter is 55-to-64 year-olds, up 79% since 2012. And the 45-54 age bracket is the fastest-growing group on both Facebook and Google+. (Fast Company)

50. But social media use is still much more common among the young. 89% of Internet users aged 18-29 are active on social networks, versus 43% of those 65 and older. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

51. Millennials, aka Gen Y, will account for 27% of the total U.S. population in 2014 (vs. 26% Baby Boomers), and 25% of the labor force (vs. 38% Boomers). (AllTwitter)

52. 56% of millennials won’t accept jobs from firms that prohibit the use of social media in the office, and more than eight in ten say that user generated content on company websites at least somewhat influences what they buy. (AllTwitter)

53. The collective spending power of millennials will surpass that of Baby Boomers by 2018, and millennials will comprise 75% of the global labor force by 2025. (AllTwitter)

54. Millennials are, in general, not loyal to employers (91% expect to stay in a job for less than three years) but are loyal to brands (95% want brands to court them actively).(AllTwitter)

7 Business Blogging Stats and Facts

55. 76% of B2B companies maintain blogs. (FlipCreator)

56. 52% of marketers say their company blog is an important channel for content marketing. (eMarketer)

57. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t. (SocialTimes)

58. 62% of B2B marketers rate blogging as an effective content marketing tactic. However, 79% of best-in-class marketers rank blogs as the most effective tactic, while just 29% of their least effective peers concur. (FlipCreator)

59. 57% of U.S. online adults read blogs. And of that group, two-thirds “say a brand mention or promotion within context of the blog influences their purchasing decisions.” (New Media and Marketing)

60. Among U.S. adults aged 18-34, four-fiths say bloggers “can be very or somewhat influential in shaping product or service purchasing decisions. (New Media and Marketing)

61. Though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger. (Fast Company)

3 Facebook Marketing Stats

62. Facebook now has nearly 1.2 billion total users. (Digital Buzz Blog)

63. 23% of Facebook users check their account more than five times per day. (Digital Buzz Blog)

64. 47% of marketers say Facebook is overrated as a marketing platform. (iMedia Connection)

3 LinkedIn Marketing Stats

65. 45% of B2B marketers have gained a customer through LinkedIn. (Social Media Today)

66. LinkedIn is adding, on average, two members per second. However – LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+ (?), Twitter or Facebook, which means “you’re probably not going to have as good a response with participatory content on LinkedIn, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter…(though) passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience.” (Fast Company)

67. Only 20% of LinkedIn users are under the age of 30. (iMedia Connection)

3 Twitter Marketing Stats

68. B2B marketers who use Twitter generate, on average, twice as many leads as those who don’t. (Social Media Today)

69. 71% of tweets are ignored. Only 23% generate a reply. (iMedia Connection)

70. Advertising on Twitter costs nearly six times as much as Facebook ads on a CPM basis; however, the CTR for Twitter ads is 8-24 times higher. (Smart Insights)

3 Google+ Marketing Stats

71. Google+ has more than one billion total users, though only about a third (359 million) are active. (eConsultancy)

72. Users spend an average of three minutes per month on Google+. (iMedia Connection)

73. 70% of brands have a presence on Google+. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

6 Visual Content (Image and Video) Marketing Stats

74. Nearly two-thirds of people are visual learners, and visual data is processed much faster by the brain than is text. (SocialTimes)

75. Adding videos to landing pages can increase conversions by nearly 90%. (SocialTimes)

76. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18-34 than any cable network. (Fast Company)

77. More than three-quarters (77%) of brand posts shared on Facebook are photos. (iMedia Connection)

78. 73% of reporters say that press releases should contain images. (SocialTimes)

79. There are five million new businesses started each year. One out of 500 get funded and achieve a successful exit. (@Robert_Rose on SlideShare)

3 Marketing Career-Related Stats

80. 79% of B2B marketing executives report noticable skills gaps in the teams they manage. The top areas for skills gaps are in data analysis, customer insight, and digital marketing techniques. (B2B Marketing)

81. Social media experts are in demand. Job postings on LinkedIn for social media positions have grown 1,300% since 2010. (The Strategy Web)

82. Looking for a job in social media? The top five cities for job openings with “social media” in the title are:

  • • New York
  • • Los Angeles
  • • San Francisco
  • • London
  • • Chicago

(The Strategy Web)

(That social media job had better pay well though. NY, SF and LA are all among the top 10 most expensive US cities to live in and London is the 15th-most expensive city globally.)

And One Final Statistic that Simply Cannot be Categorized

83. Food is the top category on Pinterest; 57% of users discuss food-related content. Garlic Cheesy Bread is the most repinned Pinterest Pin. (Digital Buzz Blog)

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How B2B Marketers Will Spend Their Budgets in 2014

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Marketing budget allocations should, of course, always be based on the unique a company’s unique situation: its specific needs, experiences, strengths, market position, market conditions and trends, etc.

That said, it can nevertheless be helpful to know how one’s competitors and peers in other industries are planning to split up their marketing dollars for the coming year. This knowledge can help marketing executives identify gaps and opportunities within their own plans, as well as providing “ammunition” for high-level budget battles.

So it’s helpful that MarketingSherpa recently asked a large number of marketers how they planned to change tactical allocations over the next 12 months.

B2B Marketing Budget Allocation Plans for 2014

 

Among the key findings:

Digital budgets are growing. While the trend is hardly shocking, it is striking how pronounced this shift is. All of the top seven growth areas for marketing dollars are digital, with more than half of all marketers planning budget increases in 2014 in five of these areas.

The top three areas for budget increases—and five of the top seven tactics—are focused on a company’s “owned” media.

Taking the top six categories as a group, the strategy being embraced by the majority of marketers in 2014 will primarily consist of:

  • • Attracting relevant visitors to their websites using valued content.
  • • Converting those visitors into leads by optimizing calls to action and other elements of landing pages.
  • • Promoting content using a mixed of organic search, paid search, and social media tactics.

B2B vendor websites have come a long way since the days of serving as essentially online brochures. Given that 70% of the b2b purchasing cycle is complete before a vendor’s sales team is even aware of the opportunity, websites are now expected to accomplish much of the pre-sales heavy lifting.

One-to-one tactics are holding steady. More than half of all survey respondents plan no changes in spending levels for direct mail, trade shows and telemarketing in the coming year, with larger shares of the remaining respondents planning budget increases rather than decreases.

Each of these tactics enable one-to-one communication with sales prospects. Direct mail and telemarketing also permit careful targeting.

Old school marketing continues to decline. The two tactics for which the largest shares of marketers plan to cut budgets in the coming year are print and broadcast advertising.  These channels share three characteristics:

  • • The content is interruption-based rather than sought out.
  • • They permit only general targeting.
  • • Their results are difficult to measure.

Taken as a whole, this survey indicates that marketers will increase efforts on content marketing (online) and targeted one-to-one (online and offline) communications over traditional, mass-market media in the coming year. While every company’s situation is unique, few B2B vendors are likely to stray too far off this general path in 2014.

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103 Compelling Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2013 (and 2014)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

As the use of social media in marketing has become ubiquitous, marketers have turned their attention to making the use of business social media more sophisticated and strategic. They are refining tactics, integrating social with other marketing channels, taking a hard look at new networks, and continuing to refine their measurements of success.

Most Effective Content Marketing Tactics per MarketingSherpaHow can marketers help their organizations move from “social media marketing” to “social business”? Which emerging platforms are essential (or even worth investigating)? What role does social play in a brand’s overall online visibility?  How does social media use differ in B2B vs. B2C companies? Between large and small businesses? Which content marketing tactics and formats are gaining or losing favor? How do marketers separate hype from reality in mobile?

Find the answers to these questions and many, many more in this compilation of more than 100 compelling social media,  content marketing and SEO stats, facts and observations.

General Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics

1. 97% of all consumers search for local businesses online. (An amazing statistic, given that nearly 20% of the adult U.S. population still lacks internet access). (Relevanza)

2. 20- to 30-year-olds (Gen Y), act like no other previous generations. 20-something business buyers are roughly twice as likely to seek information or advice from social media as the generation before them (31- to 40-year-olds) and almost four times more likely to than the baby boomers (51- to 60-year-olds). (MediaPost)

3. 68% of Google+ users are male, while 80% of Pinterest users are women. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

4. Looking at the importance of social media by business function, 80% of business executives said social is “important” or “somewhat important” in marketing and branding; 74% said the same for customer service; 70% for innovation and new product/service development; and 63% for employee recruiting. Less than half view social media as important for supplier/partner engagement. (e-Strategy Trends)

5. Social media isn’t quite as ubiquitous as it sometimes seems. 7% of the American population has never heard of Facebook, and 41% say they haven’t heard of LinkedIn. And these people can vote. Which explains a lot. (iMedia Connection)

6. 72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012 and just 8% in 2005. (MediaPost)

7. As many companies have learned the hard way, unanswered complaints on social networks can go viral, causing real damage to a company’s brand. But the opposite is also true: 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media say they would likely recommend that brand to others. (Forbes)

8. 65% of respondents of global business executives say their organizations use social business tools to understand market shifts; 45% to improve visibility into operations; and 45% to identify internal talent. (Deloitte University Press)

9. There are, on average, 700 YouTube video links shared on Twitter every minute, and 500 years worth of YouTube videos watched on Facebook every day. (Social Media Today)

10. 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on the site, and 43% of U.S. marketers have obtained at least one new customer through LinkedIn. (Social Media Today)

11. 70% of brands now have a presence on Google+, up from just 4% in the last quarter of 2012. (Social Media Today)

12. 69% of brands now have a presence on Pinterest, up from 10% in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Social Media Today)

General Marketing Facts and Statistics

13. Webinars, virtual events and other digital communications channels are driving trade shows and other live events to extinction, right? Wrong. Nearly three-quarters of brand marketers still view live trade shows and conferences as either “very valuable” or “essential to doing business.” Just 9% say their importance is diminishing. (e-Strategy Trends)

14. 93% of online research starts with a search engine, and 68% of consumers check out companies on social networking sites before buying. Visibility is vital, so every brand needs a comprehensive strategy for optimizing their overall web presence. (Brandpoint)

15. To optimize not just online visibility but also trust with buyers, vendors need to focus on their industry presence. Just 9% of B2B decision makers consider vendor content trustworthy vs. 67% who trust research from professional associations, 50% from industry organizations, 44% from analyst reports, and 40% from independent product reviews. (B2B Marketing Insider)

16. The average CTR for banners is 0.01 percent. According to Get Elastic, 31 percent of consumers are worried that they will be tracked if they click them, and 55 percent fear a virus. And yet—there were 5.3 trillion display ads served up last year. (iMedia Connection)

17. Big contradictions on big data: 71% of marketers say they plan to have Big Data solutions in place in the next two years. But 75% of marketers can’t calculate their ROI of their marketing spending and and 50% of them say that IT is not a strategic partner. (ZDNet)

18. Another contradiction: while 86% of companies are comfortable marketing with social tools, only 41% use social tools for communicating with customers. (Forbes)

B2B Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts

19. Nearly half of B2B marketers planned to increase their overall marketing budgets this year despite continuing economic challenges. Two-thirds planned to increase digital marketing spending. (Social Media Today)

20. Another source found that almost half of B2B marketers (the same “almost half”?) anticipate an increased budget for 2014, while just 3% foresee spending reductions. (eMarketer)

21. Just 38% of b2b marketers say they have a defined social media strategy. (Marketing Pilgrim)

22. Twitter is the most popular platform in b2b, with 85% of marketers saying they use this. LinkedIn is a close second at 82%. (Marketing Pilgrim)

23. Nearly three-quarters of b2b marketers say they can’t measure the ROI of social media at, or can measure it only some of the time. The primary measurement of social media success is increased website traffic. (Marketing Pilgrim)

24. Is social media displacing PR? In a recent survey of B2B PR professionals, 94% said they use social media to promote announcements vs. 71% who use press releases. 45% said they would use social media if they could use just one promotional vehicle vs. 24% who said they would issue a press release. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

25. 60% of B2B marketers identify lead generation as their top online marketing challenge. And more than a third (36%) say they can’t accurately attribute online conversions to the correct marketing channels. (eMarketer)

26. Which lead gen tactics work best? B2B marketers put email marketing at the top (with 51% saying this is a highly effective tactic) followed by SEO and content marketing (38% each), offline events like trade shows (31%) and paid search/online ads (29%). Just 11% say social media is highly effective for lead gen, and 1% identify mobile marketing. (eMarketer)

27. In terms of difficulty of execution, nearly half (49%) of B2B marketers put social media marketing at the top, followed by content marketing (39%), SEO (26%) and mobile (25%). (eMarketer)

28. Opportunity being squandered: B2B buyers under 35 years old (a growing group) are 131% more likely to make corporate purchases online than their older counterparts. 90% of B2B buyers age 18-35 now make company purchases online, compared with 45% of those age 45-60 and 29% of those age 60+. Yet nearly half have purchased from Amazon Supply in the past year because their current suppliers aren’t offering an online purchase channel. (BizReport)

29. Another opportunity being squandered: More than 90% of B2B marketers consider webinars/webcasts, e-books, white papers, and published articles to be either “very” or “somewhat” effective in achieving SEO and marketing objectives. Yet less half utilize webcasts and just 20% create e-books. (MarketingSherpa)

30. While B2B B2B buyers age 60+ conduct online research before purchasing less than 10% of the time, younger buyers (age 26-45) do research before purchasing 50% of the time or more. Another reason it’s vital to have a framework for maximizing a brand’s online visibility. (BizReport)

31. More than 80% of B2B decision makers say they visit vendor-independent communities or forums, vendor-sponsored communities or forums, and LinkedIn at least monthly for business purposes. (Marketing Charts)

32. 32% of B2B decision makers use Pinterest at least monthly, but only 2% do so primarily for business reasons. (Marketing Charts)

33. 87% of B2B companies view social media (other than blogs) as a highly successful element of their marketing mix. 83% say the same for articles on websites, 78% eNewsletters, and 77% blogs. (MyCustomer.com)

34. The top four metrics used to measure B2B social media success are web traffic (60%), sales lead quality (51%), social sharing (45%) and sales lead quantity (43%). (MyCustomer.com)

35. Almost 60% of all social media-referred traffic to B2B websites comes from just three networks: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (It’s All About Revenue)

36. In 2012, less than a third of B2B marketers said their social media activities were either “fully integrated” or “very involved” with company-wide operations. Today that figure is close to half. (eMarketer)

37. The top marketing tactics used by B2B marketers this year were social networks (84%), email marketing (72%), SEO (56%) and press releases (51%). The least popular tactics, each used by less a quarter of marketers, were online ads, seminars and ebooks. (eMarketer)

Statistics About Social Media Use in the Enterprise

38. 77 of the Fortune Global 100 companies have at least one official corporate Twitter account. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

39. 48% of the Fortune Global 100 are on Google+. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

40. More than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have active Google+ accounts. However, 19% of the companies with Google+ corporate accounts have not yet activated them. Google+ remains the only major social platform with a significant number of open—but inactive—accounts. (MediaPost)

41. 70% of the Fortune 500 companies have Facebook pages, including nine of the top 10 companies. (MediaPost)

42. The top five social networks used by B2B marketers to distribute content are LinkedIn (83%), Twitter (80%), Facebook (80%), YouTube (61%) and Google+ (39%). (Social Media Today)

43. Another study pegs the top three social networks in use buy Fortune 500 companies are Twitter (77%), Facebook (70%) and YouTube (69%). (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

44. The leaders of these companies lag in their own social media use, however. Of the 500 leaders of the biggest companies in the US, only 28 have a Twitter account, and only 19 of them actually use it. (Quartz)

45. 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever. Among the rest, 26% are on LinkedIn, but less than 10% are on Facebook and just 1% – five CEOs – are on Google+. (Quartz)

46. And yet, 90% of global business executives say that social media is important today or will be within a year. (Deloitte University Press)

47. Maybe they just aren’t doing it right? When asked to rank their company’s social business maturity on a scale of 1 to 10, more than half of global business executives gave their company a score of 3 or below. Only 31% gave a rating of 4 to 6. Just 17% ranked their company at 7 or above. (Deloitte University Press)

48. By department, the largest users of social media in enterprises are marketing (with 78% using social media to a moderate to great extent), IT (64%), sales (63%), and customer service (62%). The functions using social media least are operations (46%), supply chain operations (36%), risk management (35%) and finance (28%). (Deloitte University Press)

49. More than 40% of enterprises measure the success of their externally facing social media initiatives based on social reach (e.g., number of fans/followers) or brand reputation enhancement. Just 14% measure it based on sales. 19% don’t measure it at all. (Deloitte University Press)

50. Among the Interbrands Top 100 brands (B2C), nearly all have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. 76% are also on Google+, 74% are on Pinterest, almost a third (31) are on Tumblr. (MediaPost)

51. Why Tumblr? Because “posts tend to have a longer shelf life on Tumblr than Facebook and Twitter through ‘reblogs,’ or reposts of updates. Almost a third of reblogs (29%) took place more than 30 days after the initial post.” (MediaPost)

52. Does that mean B2B marketers should jump on Tumblr to promote their thought leadership content as well? Not necessarily; MTV claimed the second-highest number of reblogs in a recent period. Sprite claimed the most reblogs over that timeframe, with more than 85,000 for a single post with an animated GIF of a game of spin the bottle. (MediaPost)

Small Business Social Media Statistics and Facts

53. 78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media. (Relevanza)

54. This despite the fact that 80% of SMB websites don’t display links to the company’s social networks. (iMedia Connection)

55. The top three challenges faced by SMB B2B marketers are lead quantity (69%), lead quality (60%), increasing brand awareness (56%) and reaching decision makers (52%). It seems like those figures haven’t budged much in 20 years. (MarketingProfs)

56. The three tactics viewed as most effective for generating SMB B2B sales leads are company websites, email newsletters, and tradeshows. LinkedIn and Facebook were also cited as effective by more than half of marketers, coming in just ahead of direct mail. (MarketingProfs)

57. At the other end of the scale, Pinterest, outdoor media and virtual events were cited as the lead effective tactics for SMB B2B lead generation. (MarketingProfs)

58. SMB marketers identify the top three benefits of social media marketing as increased exposure (89%), increased website traffic (75%), and access to marketplace insights (69%). However, less than half said that it either reduced marketing expenses or increased sales. (eMarketer)

59. Small business marketers are most likely to outsource TV/radio advertising (40%) and SEO (35%); they are least likely to outsource email newsletter and social media marketing management (less than 5% each). (Constant Contact)

60. However, those decisions are often budget-driven. Half or more of SMB marketers would prefer to outsource both TV/radio ads and SEO, and nearly 20% would outsource social media marketing if they could. (Constant Contact)

Content Marketing Facts and Stats

61. The content marketing challenges faced by enterprises and small businesses must be very different, right? Well…yes and no. Marketers in companies large and small rank are challenged by producing engaging content, producing enough content, producing a variety of content, and measuring content marketing effectiveness in broadly similar proportions. But surprisingly, they part ways on the challenge of lack of executive buy-in (38% of enterprise marketers vs. 25% of SMB marketers say they are challenged by this), lack of budget (48% enterprise, 38% SMB) and most dramatically, lack of integration across marketing channels (58% enterprise, 23% SMB). (Content Marketing Institute)

62. 92% of marketers believe that content creation is either “very” or “somewhat” effective for SEO. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

63. More than half of B2B and business-to-government (B2G) marketers focus on white papers and case studies as key components of their content marketing, compared to less than 10% of B2C marketers. However, those on the consumer side focus much more on customer reviews (44% vs. 27% for B2B). (MarketingSherpa)

64. Different types of content address different levels of the purchase funnel. At the top of the funnel, blog posts, news articles, press releases and social media content drive awareness. In the consideration stage, “category level” web page content, “long tail” blogs and news articles, newsletters, FAQs and white papers are most effective. (Brandpoint)

65. On average, 25% of marketing budgets are now spent on content development, delivery and promotion. (B2B Marketing Insider)

66. 87%  of buyers say online content has a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection; but 43% say “blatantly self-promotional” content is a major turn off. (B2B Marketing Insider)

67. 54% of B2B marketers plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2014. (MyCustomer.com)

68. 77% of B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix, and 70% use online video. (Social Media Today)

Business Blogging Statistics and Facts

69. Blogs convert readers into buyers. 42% of consumers look to blogs for information about potential purchases; 52% say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions; and 57% of marketers have acquired new customers with their blogs. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

70. Despite that, just 34% of Fortune 500 enterprises maintain corporate blogs – up from 28% in 2012. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

71. Within the Fortune 500, telecommunications (53%) and specialty retailers (48%) are most likely to have blogs. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

72. 77% of B2B firms maintain blogs. (MyCustomer.com)

73. Or do they? Another source puts the share of B2B marketers using blogs at 39% in 2013, down from 48% in 2012. Hmm, confusing. (eMarketer)

SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

74. 50% of searchers on Bing click the first organic result. Only about 6% click the third result, 3% on the fourth result, and 1% on results near the bottom of page one. (Search Engine Land)

75. However—a lower position isn’t always bad. If the searcher clicks the “back” button because the top result didn’t meet expectations, then he or she is 5-8 times more likely to click on a lower result than on the initial search. That is, the CTR for a result near the bottom of page one can be as high as 8% after a “back” button click. (Search Engine Land)

76. 50% of marketers cite web pages as “very effective” for SEO. Really, only 50%? (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

77. Another study puts the figure above at 95%; that sounds more like it. (MarketingSherpa)

78. 50% of consumers say they are more like to click on a search result if the brand appears multiple times on the results page. This is why web presence optimization is vital! (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

79. Marketers produce a wide variety of content to support SEO, with web pages (79%), social media (74%) and blogs (68%) topping the list. The least-used tactics? Mobile apps (14%), digital magazines (11%) and podcasts (8%). (MarketingSherpa)

80. Search AND social rule. Among marketers who rate their companies’ SEO strategies as “highly effective” in achieving marketing objectives, 38% have extensive integration between their social media and SEO tactics, and only5% have no such integration. Among those who call their SEO “not successful,” just 2% have extensive search and social integration,  while 50% have no connection between these activities. (Marketing Charts)

81. Again comparing “superior” to “inferior” SEO strategists, those in the superior group are 67% more likely to say that creating original content is their most effective SEO tactic, and three-and-a-half times more likely to cite changing search engine algorithms as a critical obstacle to achieving their objectives, while being far less likely (6% vs. 58%) to point to the lack of a clear and concise strategy as a main challenge. (Marketing Charts)

82. Organic or paid? No, both! Paid search supports organic SEO efforts: paid-search ads alongside organic listings in position two through five receive two out of every three clicks from the search engine results page (SERP). When organic results are well below the fold in positions six through 10, paid search is responsible for nine out of 10 clicks to the Web site. (MediaPost)

83. Even when organic results fall in the first position, consumers still click on the paid-search ad. When a paid listing appears on a SERP with the top organic listing for the same keyword, the organic result gets 60% of the clicks on average and the paid link 40% of clicks. (MediaPost)

84. Just 23% of marketers generate more than half of all leads through organic search. 22% of companies generate between a quarter and half of all leads via search, and 24% obtain less than one out of every 10 leads via SEO. (MarketingSherpa)

Mobile Marketing Statistics

85. 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (iMedia Connection)

86. Still, mobile video is the fastest growth area in marketing. (iMedia Connection)

87. And 35% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spending on mobile marketing this year. (Social Media Today)

88. Facebook will account for 13% of worldwide mobile ad revenue in 2013. (Social Media Today)

Facebook Statistics and Facts

89. 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B vendors have acquired customers from Facebook. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

90. 81% of B2B decision makers say they visit Facebook at least monthly–but only 2% do so primarily for business purposes, as opposed to 42% who do so primarily for personal purposes. (Marketing Charts)

91. 20% of all internet page views come from Facebook.  (iMedia Connection)

92. 95% of all social media-referred traffic to B2C websites is generated from just five social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and YouTube. 74% comes from Facebook alone. (It’s All About Revenue)

93. On Facebook, brevity matters. Keeping your posts below 250 characters can get you 60% more engagement than you might otherwise see. You can get up to 66% more engagement if you cut it down to less than 80 characters. (Buffer)

Twitter Statistics and Facts

94. 34% of marketers say they have generated leads from Twitter. (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

95. To maximize click-throughs from your tweets, keep them to 100 characters or less and tweet in the afternoon (between 1:00 and 4:00 EST). (leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal)

96. Twitter accounts for 32% of social media-generated traffic to B2B websites, but 82% of social media leads. Hmm, that doesn’t jive with other research on B2B social media. (MyCustomer.com)

97. 18% of U.S. adult internet users are now on Twitter, double the percentage from 2010. (MediaPost)

98. Using Twitter for social media? Great idea, but you’d better be listening. 81% of Twitter users expect a same-day response to questions and complaints aimed at brands. (Forbes)

99. There are 400 million tweets sent each day. (Social Media Today)

(And incidentally, the only organizations that have indexed all tweets back to the beginning of the service are Twitter itself, the Library of Congress, and Topsy. And presumably the NSA.)

100. 50% of technology companies have acquired a customer through Twitter. (Social Media Today)

101. While posting the same headline and link, over and over, is obnoxious, strategically repeating a tweet several hours apart–when different groups of your followers are likely online–can substantially increase click-throughs, without being annoying. (Buffer)

102. For tweets with links, 120-130 characters is the ideal range to maximize retweets. (Buffer)

103. Use hashtags—but sparingly. Tweets with one or two hashtags get 21% higher engagement on average, but those with three or more actually get 17% less engagement. (Buffer)

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