Nearly three-quarters of companies plan to maintain or grow their content marketing teams over the next year. Social media managers are actually (slightly) happier working in the office rather than hybrid or remote. And lead gen campaigns on Facebook and Instagram are 10X more expensive than brand awareness advertising.
Those are among the findings from a trio of this year’s best research reports, from WordPress VIP, Hootsuite, and Metricool. These studies are packed with trends and insights related to content marketing, social media management, and advertising on Meta platforms.
Here are 25 key findings, facts, and stats from these insight-packed content and social media marketing reports.
Content Marketing: Growing and Maturing
How are content marketing budgets holding up in these challenging times? How are goals and strategies for content marketing changing? How are content marketers measuring results and proving value?
Those are among the many questions answered in the Content Matters 2023 Report from WordPress VIP. Here are 10 of the key findings from the report.
- Nearly three-quarters (72.6%) of companies plan to maintain or grow the size of their content marketing teams in the coming year. Among those, almost half plan to add staff.
- Budgets are growing. 49.2% of content marketers had larger budgets last year than the year before. 58.4% expect budget increases this year.
- An eye-opening 91.6% of respondents said they have revenue goals tied to content (granted, this audience skews toward larger enterprises).
Not surprising: the top four goals of content marketing (like marketing in general) revolve around creating brand awareness, increasing brand credibility, and generating leads or sales. Somewhat surprising: the top challenge identified, by far, is a shortage of resources (talent, time, and budget: 44.4%). The economy (16%) and analytics (12%) trail considerably at second and third.
- Per the report, “Social media and community building (17.8%) overtook blogs (14.7%) as the most popular type of content marketing.” Videos (13.2%) are the third-most common type of content created.
- The three most widely used content distribution channels remain company blogs (61% — not surprising, as blogging has been at the core of content and social media marketing strategy for more than a decade), organic social media (56.9%), and email marketing to house lists (52.2%).
- LinkedIn is, of course, the top social media platform for B2B marketers. At the time this survey was conducted, Twitter was still a close second, but as even the report authors wonder, can Twitter stay at #2?
- A plurality of marketers (22.9%) still prefer to post directly on social media sites, but social media management tools are growing in popularity. The most-commonly used are Hootsuite (10.8%), Sprout Social (20.2%), and Buffer (13.9%).
- Although respondents in general indicated a greater focus on quality over quantity going forward, 54% of marketers who test content performance plan to produce more in the coming year. Quantity still matters.
- And finally, despite the emphasis on tying content marketing to sales and revenue, the top three content marketing metrics tracked are pageviews (65.8%), email engagement (opens and clicks; 55.2%) and social media engagement (54.9%).
There’s lots more here, so download and check out the full report to get the complete story on content marketing trends.
Social Media Marketers: Recognized But (Not Always) Rewarded
If you have any questions about the life of a social media manager—compensation, challenges, job satisfaction, job security, promotion potential, mental health status—you’ll almost certainly find the answers in the 2023 Social Media Career report from Hootsuite, an exhaustive 80-page deep dive into the profession.
Here are 10 noteworthy observations from the study.
- 66% of social media managers say they have too many responsibilities, and two out of three work more than 40 hours per week. It’s astounding that a third of social media managers don’t have too many responsibilities to fit into a 40-hour work week.
- Paradoxically, though fewer social media managers who work in the office full-time are satisfied with their work/life balance (63%) than those with a hybrid schedule or who work remotely (72%), more of those who work in the office (81%) say they are happy at work than hybrid or remote workers (76%). Why? The report authors speculate that factors like connecting daily with coworkers face-to-face may more than compensate for work/life balance concerns.
- Per the report, “Almost all salaried social marketers (95%) reported that their organization offers at least some company benefits,” with health coverage, sick days, and retirement programs topping the list. Unfortunately, only 23% of employees financially support volunteering days, though organizing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs benefit brands, their employees, and their communities alike.
- Overall, 77% of social media marketers are happy in their jobs—making them 25% more likely to express job satisfaction that American workers in general or other marketing professionals (62%).
Is it really a full-time job though? Only 11% of social media managers say they spend more than 90% of their time on social media tasks, while 56% spend less than half of their day on social.
- Among the most challenging tasks for social media managers are managing influencer marketing partnerships; sourcing user-generated content (UGC); producing videos; and tracking/reporting on analytics. Social listening and responding to comments are among the easier tasks, making all the more surprising that nearly 40% of brands fail at brand monitoring.
- The average social media manager in the U.S. earns $78,475 per year. That figure rises, not surprisingly, with experience and advanced degrees. Social media managers who work as freelancers or for agencies also earn slightly more on average than corporate social media marketers.
- Though men are paid more on average than women in this field, women dominate numerically at every level, even in the highest ranks of leadership; just 44% of VP and C-level social media marketing professionals are male.
- Social media managers earn less than most of their marketing peers; $73,568 overall, compared to SEO mangers ($89,687), content marketing managers ($98,809), or digital marketing managers ($109,757). That’s arguably not wise, since as the report notes, social media managers are often “the face and voice of your company.”
- On the other hand, the job security is pretty good. Per the report, “across all industries, social marketers were far more likely to be kept than cut.” Just 7% of social media managers have been laid off in the past year, and in the nonprofit sector, the figure was just 4%.
There is much, much more here, including breakouts by gender, region, employer type, and team size. Download the full 80-page report to get all of the details.
Facebook Ads: Evolving Strategies, Rising Costs
What’s the latest in trends, costs, and strategies being deployed on Meta platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger)? Metricool delivers their research findings directly in this post (not gated), Facebook Ads 2023 Study: Improve Your Strategy With This Data.
Among the key findings:
- Brand awareness campaigns are the cheapest, while lead gen and sales campaigns are the most expensive. The investment is 10 times more expensive for ads targeted to attract clients ($3.14 CPM) or sales ($2.39 CPM) compared to brand awareness campaigns ($0.34 CPM).
- The two most common types of campaigns are sales-oriented (29.3%) and lead gen (25.6%). App promotion campaigns least common, at just 1.2%.
- However, app promotion campaigns are the most expensive to run — $1,888 on average, roughly twice as much as sales campaigns ($956).
- Lead gen campaigns have the most expensive cost per click, at $0.20. Brand awareness runs 12 cents per click, on average, while traffic campaigns are least costly at just four cents per click.
There’s much more detail in the full post, including geographic breakdowns of the cost data, so check that out.
The most effective content marketing and social media campaigns are data-driven. Studies like these can help estimate costs, plan strategies, and benchmark your results against industry peers.
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