The only thing consistent in digital marketing is that it’s evolving. It moves on fast. And if we’re not careful, we can be left behind before we’re even aware things have progressed. To show this, we picked out eight digital marketing stats from the last couple of years that reveal just how quickly things can change and what we can learn from it. First up, let’s talk Google searches.
(1) Over 60% of Google searches in 2020 were from a smartphone
Google dominates the global search engine market. 92% of all searches are made on it. Back in 2014, 30% of these were made on a mobile. By 2020, that figure had doubled. And here’s the thing, the number of searches made on desktop computers has stayed fairly consistent in that time. It’s just that were searching more and more while on the go through the freedom of a smartphone. So when you’re building your website, don’t forget to be mobile awesome.
(2) Over 50% of mobile site visits in 2020 were abandoned when a page took longer than three seconds to load
We don’t have the patience we used to. Of course some of this abandonment is driven by the Wi-Fi available or the network connection – 3G is much slower than 5G. But to combat this it’s vital that we do all we can to make sure content on our mobile sites and apps loads almost instantly. Google, who reported this stat, aims for under half a second. If you’re not sure how fast your website opens, check out Google’s Test My Site tool which will give you a full report and help you optimise the speed.
(3) 82% of businesses in 2021 used social media for marketing
Why is this so important? Because it means marketing strategy is changing. According to Hubspot, until 2020 the number one way companies approached marketing was via a website. It has been so for years. But now social media has grabbed top spot. It suggests that personalized, conversational and content marketing are now the preferred approaches for digital marketers. Companies are rethinking their strategies. If you don’t have a social media strategy, now is the time to start. It will enable you to have a direct relationship with your audience.
(4) 77% of marketers report seeing more engagement with email over the past year
Email is dead, right? They’re annoying, we get too many of them, and nobody reads them? Well, not quite. According to Litmus it still offers a high return on investment – average 36 USD for every 1 USD spent. This is likely because we, as marketers, are becoming more savvy with how we use them. Gone are the days when we bombard all our audience with several emails a week. The trend is for fewer emails that are more personalized and segmented to the market (though if the emails are informative and content-based in nature, we suggest don’t hold back on the numbers of emails you send – so long as you have quality content then up to several times weekly is just fine).
(5) Email collection forms on videos had a 15% conversion rate in 2021
Demand for video marketing has always been high, but over the last couple of years it has accelerated. We’ve seen a particular trend for more and more videos that are less than a minute long – a 62% increase since 2019 according to Wistia. But the question remains: Is the time and effort worth it? Well according to HubSpot the answer is yes – so long as you make good use of them. This means placing the chance to convert a viewer into a customer at the start of the video, and using email collection forms to make sure you stay in touch.
(6) Use of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital marketing increased by 190% between 2018 and 2020
AI and bots – they feel like they’re sill the future of content marketing, but in reality, if this Salesforce Research is to be believed, that future is here now. According to HubSpot, almost half (47%) of digital marketers are now using these forms of automation, the most popular one being chat bots. Part of the reason is that they’ve become far simpler to integrate into a website. But remember to keep your use of AI and bots simple. If it’s getting complicated it will likely be complicated for your customer too.
(7) 94% of marketers admit to changing their content strategy due to the pandemic
This is according to the 2021 B2B Content Marketing Institute report. The most common changes were easy wins – things like adapting messages and editorial, adjusting the timings when content is published, and putting more resources towards social media. But as time has gone on, one thing has become clear: these were short-term shifts. If our content is to remain successful we need to research our customers and understand how major events, like the pandemic, are changing their lives.
(8) 61% of content marketers are updating and repurpose content
But isn’t that cheating? No it’s efficient use of resources and time. This stat from SEMrush showed repurposing content to be the second most successful content marketing strategy behind search engine optimisation (SEO) to keep up with the Google algorithm. And it is important to understand what repurposing is: We don’t just mean taking an existing post and changing the title and adding a new paragraph and then reposting it as a new article. That is indeed cheating. We mean, for example, taking an existing article and turning it into an infographic, using it along with other articles to create an eBook, or creating new social posts pointing back to it (which can be done at any time).
A new normal
So there you have it – eight stats that show how digital marketing is evolving. If you take away anything from them keep in mind the need to step back each year before developing your next marketing strategy, and ask how your business, customers and the world is changing. This will surely affect how your plan should come together.