No one likes to waste money. But many marketers do just that year after year. When you’re building an annual marketing plan and budget, there’s a lot to consider. Above all, it’s important to make thoughtful decisions based on hard data, so that you don’t end up wasting your advertising dollars on the wrong channels or tactics.
Heading into 2018, you might be tempted to stay the course you’ve created this year, or make changes based on what’s trending. Before you tack on new tactics or drop parts of your marketing mix because you think they’re not delivering, take a step back to examine where you’ve been, what’s happening in your industry, and where you want to go next year and beyond.
To help you do so, we’ve compiled some compelling stats focused around five key trends to consider.
Data Drives ROI: Invest in Analytics!
Numbers don’t lie. Analytics are necessary to proving ROI, which in turn helps marketers refine their strategy, choose the best channels, and ultimately reach and influence their audience. However, most marketing decision makers need to improve their commitment to analytics.
Did you know?
- Only 33% of CMOs can prove the long-term value of their marketing spending, and 34% can prove the short-term value.
- That may be because only 44% of CMOs include marketing analytics as a part of their budget.
- 40% of marketers see proving ROI as their top marketing challenge.
- Another 28% see securing their advertising budget as their top marketing challenge.
- Marketers that can prove ROI are 1.6 times more likely to be awarded higher budgets.
Clearly there is some disconnect happening here. If being able to prove ROI enables sound marketing decisions and secures more budget, why aren’t more marketers investing in analytics and demanding that data be behind every decision?
That’s something to think about as you determine your own marketing budget for 2018.
Content Marketing: What to Add (or Drop)?
Content marketing refers to the blog articles, videos, and even social media content your brand creates and shares. What should you plan to add to (or leave out of) your marketing mix in 2018?
Consider the following:
- Nearly half of shoppers (47%) will view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging sales reps.
- 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders.
- B2B companies that blog 11+ times per month had almost 3 times more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. B2C companies that blog that much received more than 4 times as many leads as those that blog only 4-5 times per month.
- 10% of blogs are compounding, which means organic search will continue to increase traffic over time, allowing a compounding post to generate as much traffic over its lifetime as 6 decaying posts.
Video: It’s Popular Because it Works.
Video is all the marketing buzz, and for good reason. A study from Cisco projected that video will represent over 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, and that number will be over 85% in the U.S.
Need more numbers to believe in the power of video?
- Nearly a third of all time online is spent watching videos.
- 43% of consumers are interested in seeing more marketing-related videos from brands.
- Even the average video is watched through to the end by 37% of viewers.
- 90% of shoppers feel product videos help them make purchase decisions.
- Almost half of all internet users will look for product or service videos before they approach a brand representative or head to the store.
- Nearly 52% of marketers worldwide believe that, of all types of content, video is the one that provides the best ROI.
- 46% of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their marketing mix within the next year, while 48% plan to add YouTube.
- 70% of teenage Youtube subscribers trust the recommendations of creators on that platform more than traditional celebrities.
- Adding video can boost email CTR by 200% to 300%.
Email: Before You Drop It, Try Segmenting.
It’s been said that email marketing is dead. We strongly disagree, but we know numbers can paint a more persuasive picture:
- Three-quarters of companies agree that email provides “excellent” to “good” ROI.
- 86% of consumers want to receive at least one promotional email per month from the companies they do business with.
- 81% of retailers believe email drives customer acquisition, and 80% believe that it drives customer retention.
However, note that not all email is created equal. Send too many emails or content that is irrelevant, and you risk annoying your audience and losing potential customers.
- 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails.
- Segmenting email campaigns results in a 14% higher open rate, a 10% higher unique open rate, and nearly 101% higher clicks than non-segmented campaigns.
- Segmentation also results in 4.6% fewer bounces and 9.3% fewer unsubscribe requests than non-segmented campaigns.
- Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.
Social Media: Give the People What They Want!
For brands that strike the right tone and offer the right content, social media can be among the most effective and direct ways to communicate with prospects and customers.
If you’ve waited to make your brand’s social media debut in late 2017 or 2018 (or you’re still not sure), here are some important points to bear in mind:
- 86% of social media users want to (and do) follow brands on social media, but maybe not for the reasons you think.
- The majority of followers will come to your social page looking for deals and promotions (58%) or incentives (42%), but neither tactic will get them to hang around for long.
- 25% of people will start following you so they can have a real two-way dialogue with your brand.
- Pinterest might not be a good brand fit, but it’s worth knowing that Pinterest users (or Pinners) spend 50% more on purchases than users of other platforms, and 20% more than shoppers referred from non-social channels.
- 93% of all social media advertisers leverage Facebook Ads, although the average CTR for an ad is 0.9%. The next most-used platform is Facebook subsidiary Instagram, with 24% of social advertisers.
- 41% of users are willing to unfollow a brand if they see too much irrelevant content, while another 46% would do so for seeing too many promotional messages.
- 32% of social influencers who partner with brands prefer Facebook, although Instagram is a close second choice (24%).
There’s a lot here to digest (and plenty more marketing stats and trends where those came from), but your marketing plan and budget shouldn’t be approached lightly. Take time to do your homework now. The steps you take today will be what determines your marketing success in 2018.