With the right credentials, you can advance your career in the marketing industry. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of certifications for marketing professionals. We compiled this guide of reputable marketing certifications to make it easier for you to boost your skills and advance your career. We chose these courses to present you with the highest-regarded universities offering marketing certificates, the free paths for learning how to use today’s most important digital marketing skills, and the professional marketing organizations most trusted in today’s economy.
A marketing certificate can be useful if you feel you need more formal training in marketing skills, such as media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, customer development, market research and strategic brand management. The courses you take to obtain a marketing certificate can also familiarize you with marketing tools, including social media platforms, Google Ads, Hootsuite, HubSpot and other web analytics tools. Certificate courses cater to longtime professional marketers and total newcomers alike and can be taken at a university, through specialized online institutions such as Hootsuite Academy, or from leading marketing associations.
The most in-demand certifications are in digital marketing. Among the most demanded certifications are those in HubSpot email and inbound marketing, Google Ads and Analytics, and social media marketing. You can find out more about these digital marketing certificates below.
Although this question has no single objective answer and may vary by person, there are certain factors you should consider when deciding whether to obtain a certification in digital marketing. If you plan to expand your business’s online presence, a digital marketing certification will likely be relevant to your work. Additionally, if you need to learn specific digital marketing tools such as Hootsuite, Google Ads and HubSpot email marketing, pursuing a digital marketing certification can help to familiarize you with these platforms on your own schedule, often for far less money than undergraduate college courses cost. However, if your business requires minimal or just basic use of internet platforms for marketing purposes, a certification in digital marketing might not be for you.
You don’t need a certification to work in marketing, but if you want one, there are many ways to become a certified marketing professional. You can take a series of courses at a university, online programs through marketing platforms and companies, or special in-person classes hosted by industry organizations and associations of longtime professional marketers. Learn more about each of these certification types below.
Marketing certifications are in high demand, and many accredited universities and colleges are responding to that demand. Some university certifications are intended for seasoned marketing professionals, while others are meant as a steppingstone for people changing careers or recent college graduates entering the workforce. Whether you’re a longtime marketer or transitioning into the field, having a well-regarded university’s name on your resume can boost your professional standing.
Ivy League schools like Cornell (eCornell) and Harvard (Extension School) offer comprehensive continuing education programs that allow students to earn certificates in areas like marketing strategy and marketing management. Cornell’s six-class program takes three months to complete and costs $3,600. The program is sold as “MBA-level strategic marketing training” and geared toward professionals looking to level up. Harvard’s program includes four graduate credit classes (which can be applied to a degree), takes 1.5 years to complete on average and costs about $10,800.
Other colleges with reputable marketing certifications include Duke University, MIT, Baruch College, the University of Illinois, UC Berkeley, the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, the University of Georgia and Oregon State University, to name a few. Programs at schools like these vary drastically in price, duration, medium (online or in person) and focus. Most certification programs cost $2,000 to $5,000, but some go up to $15,000.
Before you enroll in a certification program at an accredited university, make sure you understand what you’re purchasing. Some programs are a week or less in length and do not offer college credits, while other programs in the same price range span months and count for college credit.
Certifications for specific programs or services can bolster your resume and help keep you current in the constantly evolving world of digital marketing. The certificates for many specific skills are free or low-cost.
The type of certification that will be valuable for your career depends largely on the area of marketing you work in and your agency or company. Here are a few of the most popular and reputable skill-based certifications for marketing professionals:
It pays to be discerning about certifications from independent marketing associations. Many organizations that offer certificates are for-profit education companies that don’t operate as industry touchstones, while others are legitimate professional organizations that offer valuable certifications. Other marketers who keep up with industry affairs will take note if you’ve obtained a certification from the below organizations in particular.
The American Marketing Association is one of the most established professional marketing organizations in the country. In addition to hosting educational networking events and disseminating industry information through its publications and partnerships, it offers the American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer program.
The AMA’s certification program has four tracks: Digital Marketing, Marketing Management, Sales Management, and Content Marketing. All programs begin with an overview of the skills required for the certification and a free practice exam.
To maintain your certification in either area of study, the AMA requires you to earn 30 continuing education units (CEUs) every three years, with a minimum of 10 units per year, and to recertify every three years. CEUs are determined by the AMA and may include attending events, webcasts, virtual conferences and training sessions.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau counts more than 650 media and technology companies among its members and offers four certification programs: Digital Media Sales, Digital Ad Operations, Digital Data Solutions, and Digital Media Buying and Planning. Members and nonmembers may pursue certification through IAB, but fees are higher for nonmembers.
IAB requires certified marketing professionals to recertify within 9-24 months of their initial certification. Staying certified may entail logging CEUs or retaking the certification exam. Most of IAB’s exam and training packages cost $699 for members and $899 for nonmembers, but some of the certifications have specific eligibility requirements, so read the guidelines carefully before choosing a program.
Founded in 1917, 4A’s is one of the oldest and largest professional marketing organizations in the U.S. It serves 740 member agencies across 1,400 offices, and its Benefits division insures more than 164,000 marketing agency professionals. 4A’s offers a variety of learning and development programs, including webinars, workshops, lectures and multiday networking events. The main certification it offers is the IPA Foundation Certificate, in partnership with its sister organization in the U.K., the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
The IPA Foundation certification program consists of 35 hours of online coursework and is recommended for recent college graduates and professionals who are new to the marketing industry. 4A’s certification costs $600 for members and $850 for nonmembers.
Mona Bushnell contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.
One of the hottest career sectors today is digital marketing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, market research analysts and marketing specialists are among the top 20 occupations with the most new jobs forecast through 2026, and an average salary that tops $62,000.
A digital marketer develops strategies for marketing a company’s products and services over the web, and runs campaigns for brand awareness and to convert leads to customers. Marketers rely heavily on social media platforms, e.g., Facebook and Twitter, to do their jobs as well as utilize email and text message campaigns. In addition, marketers analyze web metrics and should be well versed in search engine optimization techniques and tools.
But digital marketing isn’t always about bringing in new customers or business; it’s also about connecting with those you already have. You use the same channels, such as social media, to stay in touch and keep customers current on what your company can do for them.
The following table lists top digital marketing certifications and the number of open positions on a single day that call for the certification specifically or experience with the technology. This isn’t a scientific analysis in which every job description is examined, just an overall glance at search numbers.
|Facebook Certified Planning Professional*||93||41||134|
|Google AdWords Ccrtification||175||134||309|
|Hootsuite Social Marketing certification||35||19||54|
|HubSpot Content Marketing certification||77||46||123|
|PCM – Digital Management||38||46||84|
The following sections provide details of the top digital marketing certifications according to job site searches as well as other certifications offered by the various companies.
The Facebook Blueprint Certification program offers two certifications: the Facebook Certified Planning Professional and the Facebook Certified Buying Professional. Both certifications aim at those who manage Facebook Pages and who target audiences for the biggest impact. From there, the Planning Professional focuses on optimizing reach and frequency, determines campaign KPIs, plans strategy and budget, and measures campaign performance.
You have to pass two exams to earn either certification, which are available through Pearson VUE. Each exam costs $150, training is free, and the certifications are valid for one year.
Google AdWords certification is soaring in popularity these days, followed closely by the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) credential. If you use Google tools to set up, measure, manage and optimize marketing campaigns, consider the Google AdWords certification.
Two exams are required – the AdWords Fundamentals exam and one more on search, display, mobile, video or shopping advertising – both of which are free. To take any Google exam means first signing up for the Google Partners program, which also lets you register for free training; from there you can certify as an individual. The Google AdWords certification is good for one year.
The social media and platform company with the catchy name – Hootsuite – offers six certifications. The Hootsuite Social Marketing certification covers core concepts related to social media marketing. Other certifications include Hootsuite Social Selling, Hootsuite Advanced Social Advertising, Hootsuite Platform and a few specialty credentials.
Hootsuite encourages candidates to take a series of free online courses before sitting for the Social Marketing exam, which costs $199. The credential doesn’t expire. The certifications teach both beginner and advanced marketing skills for those who plan to advertise on social media sites. The self-paced lessons are done online with a 60-question examination given at the end of the course.
HubSpot, a maker of software for inbound marketing and sales, offers a bunch of training and certifications through HubSpot Academy. The HubSpot Content Marketing Certification recognizes professionals who create and promote content for the purpose of bringing in new customers. The associated course covers tips and best practices for building a content library of valuable assets. Other certifications include HubSpot Inbound Certification, HubSpot Email Marketing Certification and HubSpot Sales Software Certification.
To earn the HubSpot Content Marketing Certification, take the associated online course and then the exam. It’s all free. For details, see the FAQs.
The American Marketing Association Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) program takes a more formal approach to its certifications than other featured companies in this article. The organization created a body of knowledge for the PCM Digital Management certification, which includes courses on planning, branding, pricing, public relations, social media and more.
A related credential through AMA is the Digital Marketing Pro. A study guide costs $99 for AMA members or $149 for nonmembers. The exam costs $99 (members) and $299 (nonmembers) and is available online. To maintain the credential, you must recertify every three years by earning approved marketing continuing education units.
The Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) program has several digital marketing certifications, such as the Analytics Business Practitioner and the Campaign Business Practitioner, to name a few. The company’s digital marketing skills assessment helps you baseline your current skills and determine your next step regarding certification.
Salesforce marketing certifications – the Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Social Specialist and Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist – may appeal to professionals who use Salesforce for marketing campaigns.
Finally, if you lean on Twitter to further your digital marketing campaigns (or want to), check out Twitter Flight School offerings. Twitter doesn’t offer certifications at this time, but you can take free courses and earn badges for your efforts.
The Content Marketing Institute offers six courses to those who want to advance their skills in the field of content marketing. courses covered include planning, audience, conversion and metrics. Once you’re finished with the self-paced lessons, you can take the examination and receive your certification.
Marketing Motive offers another potential certification that you should obtain as part of beefing up your digital marketing credentials. Their platform allows you to get unlimited access to 35 courses streamed live by expert marketing professors. Your certifications can be designed based on your interests with options that include web analytics, conversions and social media marketing. Beginner and advanced certifications are both available through the e-learning portal from Marketing Motive.
Another solid source for the best certifications is through the Digital Marketing Institute. The company offers certifications based on the marketer’s current experience level. Options include Pro, Master and Expert. Certification programs run between one week to two years based on your enrollment. The certification programs are delivered 100% online, and can be done through micro modules to make lessons go smoothly and quickly.
On Twitter, Yael Consulting founder Lior Krolewicz noticed a strange issue where Google isn’t reporting the correct ad spend. We checked the Google Ads status dashboard and it looks like this is a known issue.
What Google says. There is no word on when the issue will be resolved. Be sure to check the dashboard for updates.
Why we care. Incorrect reporting gives way to incorrect adjustments, optimization, and changes. Check your ads dashboard. If your numbers look incorrect, you may want to hold off on making any big changes until the issue has been resolved.
Update. The issue has been resolved as of July 15.
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Now that RSAs (responsive search ads) have replaced ETAs (expanded text ads) in Google Ads, it may be time to rethink your strategies for optimizing ads.
Optimizing RSAs takes a whole different approach than what most advertisers have been doing for years.
While you’ll still want to use a similar methodology to decide what text variations to test, the way you go about doing a test that leads to statistically significant results has changed.
Ad testing used to consist of A/B experiments where multiple ad variations competed against each other.
After accruing enough data for each of the contending ads, a winner could be picked by analyzing the right metrics.
A popular metric to determine the winning ad used a combination of conversion rate and clickthrough rate to calculate “conversions per impression” (conv/imp).
The ad with the best rate could be declared the winner after enough data had accrued to allow for statistical significance.
This technique for finding winning ads no longer works for three reasons.
Let’s take a look at what these are.
In the days of ETA ad testing, advertisers could expand their A/B test into an A/B/C/D/… test and keep adding more challengers to their experiment until they reached the limit of 50 ads per ad group.
While I never met an advertiser who ran 50 concurrent ads in an experiment, I’ve seen many who tested five or six at a time.
But Google now caps ad groups at a maximum of three RSAs so that already changes the way things have to work in ad testing.
Remember that each RSA can have up to 15 headlines and up to 4 descriptions, so even a single RSA can now be responsible for generating 43,680 variations.
That’s far more than the 50 variations of ETAs we were allowed to test in the past.
So when a user sees an RSA, only a subset of the headlines and descriptions submitted by the advertiser are actually shown in the ad.
What’s more, which specific headlines and descriptions are shown changes from auction to auction.
When comparing the performance of two RSAs to one another, you’re really comparing the performance of 43,680 possibilities of ad A to 43,680 possibilities of ad B.
That means that even if you find ad A to be the winner, there are a lot of uncontrolled variables in your experiment that invalidate any results you may find.
To get more useful data, you’d have to look at the combinations report which shows exactly which headlines and descriptions were combined for each ad.
But the problem with this data is that Google only shares the number of impressions.
And to calculate the winning ad, we need to know about CTR and conversion rate, both metrics that we no longer get from Google at this level of granularity.
But maybe the most surprising element of why ad testing methodology needs to evolve is that the old methods were built in a world that assumed impressions only depended on the keywords of an ad group.
RSAs have challenged this assumption and now the impressions of an ad group can depend as much on the ads as the keywords.
In Optmyzr’s May 2022 RSA study, we found that ad groups with RSAs got 2.1 times as many impressions as those with only ETAs.
And regardless of whether this dramatic increase in impressions for ad groups with RSAs is due to improved ad rank and quality score, or whether it’s because Google has built in a preference for this ad type, the end result is the same.
The sandbox in which we play prefers RSAs, especially those that contain the maximum number of assets and that use pinning as sparingly as possible.
So when we do modern ad optimization, we must consider not only conversions per impression but also the number of impressions each ad can deliver.
Fortunately, Google has considered the problems RSAs introduced for ad testing and has made updates to Ad Variations, a subset of their Experiment tools, to optimize ads.
Rather than requiring the creation of multiple RSAs, the experiments operate on assets and allow advertisers to test three types of things: pinning assets, swapping assets, and adding assets.
You’ll find all the options in the left-side menu for Experiments.
Pinning is a way to tell Google which pieces of text should always be shown in certain parts of the ad.
The simplest form of pinning tells Google to show one specific piece of content in a specific location. A common use is to always show the brand in headline 1.
A more advanced implementation is to pin multiple pieces of text to a specific location.
Of course, the ad can only show one of the pinned texts at any time so it’s a way to balance advertiser control with the benefits of dynamically generated ads.
A common use would be to test three variations of a brand message by pinning all three variations to headline position 1.
The most extreme form of pinning is to create what some have called a “fake ETA” by pinning text to every position of the RSA. Google recommends against this because it defeats the purpose of RSAs.
In Optmyzr’s RSA study, we also found that this type of pinning can dramatically reduce the number of impressions the ad group can get.
But somewhat to our surprise we also found that fake ETAs have higher CTR and higher conversion rates than pure RSAs.
One theory is that advertisers who’ve spent years perfecting their ads using ETA optimization techniques already have such great ads that machine learning may have little to offer in terms of upside.
To start an ad test with pinning, look for the Ad Variation option to update text and then choose the action to pin.
You can then build rules for which headlines and descriptions to pin to a variety of locations.
For example, you could say that any headline that contains your brand name should be pinned to headline position 1.
One limitation is that you cannot create an ad variation experiment that tests pinning for multiple locations at the same time.
Another experiment available with Ad Variations is to test what would happen if certain assets were added or removed.
This type of test is well suited to testing bigger changes, for example, to see what would happen if you included a special offer, a different unique value proposition, or a different call to action.
You can also use this to test the impact of Ad Customizers on your performance.
Some ad customizers available in RSAs are location insertion, countdowns, and business data.
The third and final type of ad test supported in Ad Variations is to test what would happen if an asset was changed.
This type of experiment lends itself to testing more subtle changes.
For example, what would be the impact of saying “10% discount” rather than “save 10% today.”
Both are the same offer but expressed differently.
Ad Variation experiments automatically come with proper measurement.
For example, here you see the results of a test we ran with pinning.
Statistically significant results are marked with an asterisk.
When you hover over the stats, more details are revealed that explain the confidence levels of the experiments.
From there, it’s a simple matter of a single click to promote winning tests to become part of your RSAs.
Something to note is that these Ad Variation tests are intended to be done at the campaign level or higher (cross campaign).
Currently, it is not possible to run an ad test for a single RSA or in a single ad group. Google has said they are aware of this limitation and are working towards a solution.
As ad formats in Google have changed, it’s time to also change how we do ad testing.
Ad Variations are an easy way built right into Google Ads to create experiments that work with assets rather than entire ads and you can even test pinning.
Optmyzr’s most recent RSA study showed impressions now depend as much on having good ads as they depend on having good keywords, so working towards ads that have the right combination of not only CTR and conversion rate but also lots of high-quality impressions is the modern way to optimize PPC ads.
Featured Image: Imagentle/Shutterstock
Yesterday Google released Ads Editor version 2.1, as seen here by Twitter user Boris Beceric.
Google confirmed the update and linked their help doc which you can review here.
Whats new. The update includes:
Additionally, the “Include Display Network” option is no longer available for standard Shopping campaigns. It’s always set to “Disabled”.
Why we care. Google ads editor users now have additional options and features that were not available in version 2.0, which had been released in March and updated to support Performance Max campaigns.
New on Search Engine Land
Digital marketing is an ever-changing industry.
There are constantly new-
But with so many different channels…
How do you know what will work best for you?
I have compiled a list of over 150+ digital marketing statistics to help you see how others are leveraging digital marketing for their own businesses today.
These digital marketing statistics provide a good overview of what’s working in the industry right now as well as how digital marketing will evolve in the future.
Let’s jump in!
If you don’t remember any other digital marketing statistics…
These are the ones you need to know:
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimising your website so that it ranks higher in the Google search results.
SEO produces one of the highest ROIs of any marketing activity you can do. But the SEO industry is dominated by one search engine – Google.
Google has the highest market share with 85.55% of all searches coming through Google. Bing has 7.61% and Yahoo just 2.85%.
There is no doubt that Google is more popular than any other search engine.
The only places you really want to rank on Google are in the top 3 positions of a search result – ideally number one.
The number #1 ranked website in the Google search results gets an average click-thru rate of 31.73%. This statistic was Verified from a study of over 5 million searches.
In other words, 31.73% of all searchers click on the first Google result. These are what the other search rankings positions get:
The bottom 7 results end up fighting out for less than 25% of organic traffic.
The first ranking position in the Google search results is 3.8x more likely to get backlinks than the sites in positions 2-10.
The ultimate link-building strategy is creating great content that ranks in the #1 spot!
How much traffic will get if you don’t rank on the first page of Google?
Short answer – nothing.
Less than 1% of online users click on the second page of Google. The truth is you won’t get much visibility if you’re not on the first page.
But getting any organic search traffic is a rarity for most websites.
90.63% of websites get no organic search traffic from Google within the first year. Only 0.21% of websites get over 1001+ organic visits per month.
If your website gets more than 1001+ organic traffic each month, you are in the top 0.21% of all websites online.
You can clearly see how valuable it is to rank on search engines like Google. This also means it’s really competitive.
Small businesses spent $26.87 billion on SEO in 2020.
This might seem like a lot of money but the average SEO campaign generates an ROI of 275%. For every $1 you spend on SEO you can expect $2.75 back.
That’s a very good return.
If you know anything about SEO you’ll know that content is a very important aspect of a solid SEO campaign. And educational content is what generates the best results.
B2B blogs with educational content get 52% more organic traffic than B2B blogs with company-focused content. Educating your customers is a powerful aspect of SEO.
Want to build more backlinks?
Spend time creating long-form content.
Long-form content gets 77.2% more links than short articles. The truth is that people want to link to content that provides in-depth information and covers courses comprehensively.
Good keyword research forms the foundation of an SEO campaign.
40% of all Google searches are only two keywords. These are high-traffic keywords but are also really competitive.
People also use Google to get their questions answered.
14.1% of all searches are in the form of questions. Answering popular questions about your niche in your content is a great strategy to generate more organic traffic.
SERP features are also becoming an important part of SEO.
A SERP feature is extra information that Google provides in the search results without you needing to click on a website.
This can include:
Only 2.4% of all Google search results DON’T have some form of SERP feature. That means about 98 out of 100 searches WILL have a SERP feature.
More SERP features = More traffic.
When creating your SEO content think about implementing optimisations such as FAQ schema that will help you get more SERP features.
What do these digital marketing statistics about SEO tell us?
These are the big takeaways to remember:
Need help with your SEO?
Get my own SEO team working on your website at Search Logistics.
Mobile has become the main way to access online content.
Mobile devices now account for 55% of the global market share of online access with desktops coming in second place at 43%.
Creating anything online should now be optimised for mobile devices first.
In fact, 25% of all internet users access the internet solely on a mobile device.
As apps continue to dominate the mobile experience, consumers will obtain nearly 300 million mobile apps by 2023.
59% of online shoppers say that being able to buy on a mobile device is very important when deciding where to buy. If you run an online business, having a mobile-optimised experience is now a must.
The truth is that mobile isn’t going to stop anytime soon. About half (50%) of all website traffic globally is generated on mobile.
Here’s the problem:
On average, companies only spend 18.5% of their digital marketing budget on mobile.
If you just optimise marketing for desktop devices, you are neglecting at least 50% of online traffic – possibly even more.
And it’s not going to slow down…
Consumers spend about 4.2 hours per day on mobile devices. This was a 20% increase from last year.
Mobile ecommerce (also called m-commerce) increased by more than 30% worldwide throughout 2020.
The interesting thing about these digital marketing statistics is that mobile grew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic even though most people were at home where desktop devices were more accessible.
Business communications apps are also growing at a rapid pace. The use of these types of apps grew by 275% in 2020. This was definitely due to the pandemic.
But business communication apps could be the bridge between B2B and B2C consumer habits. In other words, these types of mobile apps will become very powerful marketing tools in the future.
There’s only one downside to mobile marketing.
77% of mobile internet users said that they found targeted mobile ads annoying rather than helpful. Creating great ads that don’t impact user experience and still drive results will be a challenge for all digital marketers in the future.
Social media might be the fastest-changing digital marketing niche.
Our attention spans are getting shorter and there are more social media competitors popping up every day. Every platform is now fighting for your attention.
When it comes to marketing your business, knowing which platforms to advertise on is a skill in and of itself.
These are some important social media marketing statistics to keep in mind.
The average marketer publishes an organic post on social media 3 to 4 times per week.
The 3 main goals that marketers have on social media are:
As organic reach has been limited on lots of social media platforms over time, it has proved to be a real art in using social media effectively.
84.13% of business social media accounts are managed by the owners of the business.
Finding great social media managers who can create authentic relationships with customers online is a challenge.
Business owners would rather take that challenge on themselves.
And it’s worth it. More than half the world is now active on social media and the average user spends 2 hours per day.
75% of marketers say that their social media marketing efforts lead to increased traffic.
97% of people who buy products online have used social media at least once in the last month.
The bottom line is this…
People use social media a lot and social media advertising works.
The pandemic also had a significant impact on social media use.
Indeed, 29.7% of social media users spent an additional one to two hours per day on social media during 2020.
For some people that was double the amount of time, they were spending before the pandemic.
To meet this response, 85.7% of marketers increased their social media activity when the pandemic began.
Social media marketing was the most effective way for businesses to advertise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But what exactly do social media marketers use social media to do?
Here are some quick digital marketing statistics to help understand:
Part of social media marketing is understanding your target audience. The only way to do that is by social segmentation.
Basically, you put groups of people together so you can create ads that target them effectively. This is how you create advertising campaigns that scale.
The truth is it works…
About 80% of online buyers have made a purchase from a social media ad.
73% of social media marketers’ main goal is to acquire customers using social ads.
Social media is the ideal place to reach your target market, convert them into leads and drive sales.
Which is the best platform for ads?
Facebook is the most popular social media platform used by 94% of B2B and B2C marketers. This is likely because they have the most advanced ad targeting platform.
Instagram (owned by Facebook) is also popular for marketing. 76% of marketers use Instagram to run ads. 67% of marketers say they plan to use Instagram more in the future.
But when it comes to B2B there is another competitor on the block.
LinkedIn is the top B2B social media marketing platform with 95% of B2B marketers using LinkedIn. LinkedIn does cost more to run ads but it is a professional network making it easier to target B2B audiences.
Even more than that B2B marketers agree that Linkedin is the most effective social media channel for lead generation. But according to G2, only 47% of them use it regularly.
This could mean that LinkedIn has more room to grow in the future.
If you have been in marketing for a long time you will know that content marketing and social media marketing work hand in hand.
Two words: Social Shares.
A social share is when someone takes your piece of content and shares it on social media. This is a great way to increase views on your content and brand.
Studies show that longer-form content tends to get more social shares. You should aim to create content between 1,000 to 2,000 words long.
This will help you maximise social shares and basically get free marketing from others on social media.
That’s ideal, right?
Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in the world in terms of total users in 2022.
Here’s how the numbers look:
|Ranking||Social Media Network||Users (in millions)|
|6||Weixin / WeChat||1,242|
79% of internet users in the US have a Facebook profile. This is more than double Instagram where only 32% of US internet users have a profile.
The average user spends about 38 minutes per day on Facebook alone.
The big takeaway here is that Facebook is still the best platform to advertise on.
With the number of users that they have on the platform, you can be confident your target audience is there.
Think about running paid ads on Facebook?
Here’s what you need to know first.
Facebook is the second most popular B2B advertising platform for digital marketers. LinkedIn is the biggest.
With the take-off of video content and ads on social media, many marketers have set out to create videos that get people’s attention.
But 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound.
That means you need to create videos that don’t rely on sound to communicate to your target audience. You should also add subtitles when possible.
The pandemic also helped Facebook.
Facebook was the most-used social platform in the United States throughout the pandemic (78.1%). Instagram came in second place at (49.5%).
Instagram has the 4th most popular social media site in the world.
Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users and a total user base of 1.386 billion.
But for marketers, it generates the second highest ROI of all social media channels. Indeed, Instagram has:
It has become a popular platform for small business owners to market and sell on.
Getting a follower on Instagram is also worth more than on Facebook. Instagram followers are worth an average order value of $65 while Facebook followers are only worth $55.
What sort of content should you be posting on Instagram?
People. Photos and videos showing faces get 30% more likes than without.
The more genuine you can make your posts the more engagement you will get.
Despite what most people think…
Twitter is still a popular platform. It’s got even more interest since the announcement that Elon Musk was buying it.
Approximately 52% of all Twitter users use the platform daily. 80% of people access the Twitter app on their phone.
Twitter’s problem isn’t that they don’t have enough users. Their problem is the fact that marketers struggle to run profitable ad campaigns.
Only 7% of businesses that use Twitter said that they saw an improvement in brand preference. Twitter also has the lowest ranking for ROI amongst social media channels in the US. That’s very bad.
The good news is that Twitter is great for organic marketing.
Personally, I have been able to drive a ton of traffic with my Twitter profile organically.
LinkedIn is probably one of the most interesting platforms available to marketers.
61 million of LinkedIn’s users are senior-level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions.
91% of marketing executives list LinkedIn as the top place to find quality content.
If you want to reach senior managers and executives, it’s hard to deny that LinkedIn is the best place to do it.
In fact, LinkedIn drives more than half of all social traffic to B2B sites and B2B blogs. If you are in the B2B space LinkedIn should be one of your primary social media channels.
Over 1 million LinkedIn users publish content weekly.
57% of traffic on LinkedIn is from mobile devices, which means there is a good chunk of LinkedIn users (43%) accessing LinkedIn from a desktop device.
There is a lot of room for growth on LinkedIn for both organic content and paid advertising.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world.
Although it is a search engine, it still fits in the social media space because of the engagement and interactivity you can have on it.
And there is certainly no lack of engagement. Over 1 billion hours of videos are watched every day on YouTube.
The average time spent every day on YouTube is 18 minutes. This is pretty high considering the total number of users YouTube has.
YouTube is also a good place for marketers to be.
83% of online consumers said they preferred YouTube as their main video platform. 70% of watch time on YouTube is done from mobile devices alone.
Like Facebook, YouTube is so big your target audience is definitely on the platform regularly.
Content marketing is a core part of a digital marketing strategy.
62% of marketers plan to increase content marketing budgets within the next fiscal year. And there’s a reason for it.
Content marketing works.
It’s a great way to attract your ideal audience and build a solid relationship with them.
Here are some of the top digital marketing statistics about content.
Despite what you may have heard…
Blogging is far from dead. An overwhelming 77% of online users said they regularly read blog posts. Combining blogging with SEO is still one of the best content marketing strategies available today.
80% of B2B companies use blog content marketing for lead generation. 59% of B2C marketers increased their content marketing budgets in 2020 compared to 2019.
Regardless of who your customers are and what industry you are in, blogging is an effective way to connect with them.
83% of B2C content marketers use blog posts or short articles as an essential part of their content marketing strategy. 38% of B2B company blogs publish content to educate their audience.
Writing high-quality blog posts is a great way to bridge the gap between customers and businesses.
But the key to creating great blogs is:
88% of the most successful content marketers prioritise valuable information over sales messages. This is in stark contrast to the 50% of least successful content marketers who are more sales-focused.
The statistics are clear here.
Your blog posts need to be offering solid educational value that helps build a relationship with the target audience.
The other way round doesn’t work as effectively.
The fastest-growing form of content marketing is video.
Video marketing use has increased by 41% since 2016. This figure is expected to continue to grow significantly in the future.
Why is video marketing increasing?
Consumers like watching videos. 96% of online consumers have watched a video about a product or service. 84% of consumers purchased a product because they watched a marketing video.
The truth is video works.
People want to watch videos when they are learning about new products and services. Video also has very good conversion rates compared to other forms of content.
78% of online video marketers say video has directly increased their sales.
With the rise of video on social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok, video has become a normal part of our daily lives.
It makes sense then that marketers would take advantage of it.
87% of video marketers used YouTube for advertising last year. This makes it the most widely used video marketing platform for the seventh year in a row.
And the COVID-19 pandemic only helped.
74% of marketers said the pandemic made them more likely to use video for marketing. 24% of marketers tried video for the first time in 2020.
If you haven’t added video to your content marketing mix – now is the time.
Email might be one of the most underused digital marketing strategies in the world.
Although lots of marketers know about email marketing, it’s not used as effectively as it could be. These email marketing statistics will show you how powerful email marketing really is.
Email marketing has some of the highest conversion rates of any digital marketing strategy and emails are first-party data that your business owns.
3.71% is the average conversion rate for email marketing.
48% of marketing professionals said email marketing was highly effective to drive more conversions.
Here’s the problem:
Good email content takes time and it’s a one-and-done kind of strategy. Emails are not really an evergreen marketing strategy.
That’s why intelligent marketers try to repurpose their emails whenever possible.
74% of B2C marketers said that they regularly use their email newsletters for content marketing as well.
That means they find ways to turn each email into some form of content. This is a great way to scale content without it taking up all of your time.
Automating email as much as possible is also important for business. 85% of B2B use email marketing software to manage and distribute all of their content.
Having great software is important to deliver high-quality content consistently.
But the key to success with email marketing is open rates.
That’s where automation can become your secret weapon.
Automated email campaigns average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates. This is compared to the regular one and done email campaigns.
What this really means is that getting people to opt-in to something that has an automated email marketing campaign at the back of it is one of the most effective ways to drive sales.
Everything these days is mobile – that includes email.
63% of all emails are opened on mobile devices.
People think of paid advertising as the holy grail of digital marketing. The truth is that paid ads can deliver excellent results for your business very quickly.
Here are some digital marketing statistics about paid advertising to keep in mind.
The average person sees over 5,000 ads per day.
There is no doubt the paid ads market is competitive and you need to create great ads people love.
Total worldwide digital ad spend reached $521 billion in 2021. It is expected to surpass $600 billion in 2022 and reach as high as $876.1 billion by 2026.
What kind of digital ads is worth running?
The most popular ads at the moment are video ads on mobile devices. Mobile video ad spend made up about 72% of the digital ad spend in 2021.
In 2020, mobile ad placements increased by over 70%.
There is clearly a huge trend toward mobile video ads. But video ads aren’t the only paid ads medium that marketers use.
While 55.2% of digital ad spend will go to display ads in 2022, 40.2% of ad spend is expected to go to search-related ads.
Search ads such as Google text ads are still a popular way to advertise.
Retargeting ads have also become a popular strategy for paid advertisers. Research shows that retargeting can lift ad engagement rates by over 400%.
The click-through rate (CTR) is 180.6% higher for retargeted users compared to cold audiences.
Simply put – Retargeting works.
But 54% of customers said they get annoyed when targeted with an ad for something they’ve already bought.
If you are running retargeting ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube – exclude customers that have already purchased.
What about the pandemic?
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic did affect the digital advertising industry. Paid ads didn’t perform as expected in 2020.
Global ad spend projections were missed by about $20 billion because of the pandemic. That’s not to say that digital advertising spend decreased.
Digital ad spending actually increased by 12.7% in 2020. But this was less than the 13.6% experts originally predicted.
It seems that business owners were nervous about the impact of COVID-19 on the business world and chose to cut marketing budgets slightly.
On top of that, there is also some correlation between the infamous Apple iOS 11 tracking permission update.This affected the ability of big advertising platforms such as Meta and Google to track ad results accurately.
Meta said that the IOS 11 update is still affecting their business and will cost them about $10 billion this year.
However, in 2021, paid ad markets rebounded significantly.
Digital ad spend increased by 20.4%.
This was because the openness of consumers to engage with social ads increased during the pandemic.
Ecommerce statistics showed that the pandemic greatly increased online sales in 2020 and media buyers jumped at the chance to regain sales in 2021.
So far I have covered a ton of digital marketing statistics.
To help you get the biggest takeaways from all of these digital marketing stats, I want to share some trends in marketing that’s working for businesses right now.
If you are looking for actionable information that can help grow your sales – pay close attention to this next section.
Increasing website speed should be a core focus for every business.
Website load speed is a ranking factor for SEO and fast loading speeds increase conversion rates. 0 to 4-second load times are shown to be the best for conversion rates.
The truth is that even a 1-second delay reduced customer satisfaction by 16%. And that’s just 1 second. Imagine if you have a 2 or 3-second delay.
What’s the best way to measure website speed?
Largest Content Paint (LCP).
This is one of the most important core web vitals set up by Google to measure website performance. LCP should load within 2.5 seconds to provide a good user experience.
You can use the Google PageSpeed tool to measure your LCP effectively on both mobile and desktop quickly and easily.
Speaking of mobile…
Mobile devices (including phones and tablets) accounted for 60.9% of organic search traffic on Google in 2021. You can now expect that almost ⅔ of your site traffic will come from mobile devices.
70% of websites in Google’s search results now have mobile-first indexing. The mobile version of your website should be your biggest priority.
Make sure that your site:
Google has said that they remove 37% of URLs from their top 10 when the search query is made from a mobile device.
If you don’t have a solid mobile version of your website you will get less organic search traffic and your conversion rates will drop off.
Mobile marketing is growing and will continue to grow for a long-time to come.
Consumers spend about 4.2 hours per day on their mobile devices. This is up 20% from last year. On top of that, mobile commerce (or m-commerce) grew by more than 30% worldwide during 2020.
This means that more people are making online purchases from mobile devices than they ever have before.
Businesses are also investing in mobile marketing to meet the demand. On average companies spend about 18.5% of their entire marketing budget on mobile marketing.
This is expected to grow by more than 70% this year.
But you need to be clever with how you market on mobile devices.
77% of mobile internet users said that targeted mobile ads are annoying rather than helpful. So, you need to be smart with the types of ads you run and campaigns you put together
A quality mobile marketing campaign can impact your business significantly now and in the future!
As we saw before…
Influencer marketing on social media is exploding.
52% of European ecommerce retailers say influencer marketing offers the best ROI for their business at the moment.
They expect to slowly shift away from social media ads and spend more on influencer marketing by 2030.
It makes sense right… You can take advantage of other people’s brands who have built trust with your target customers.
“Influencers bridge the gap between introducing your products and services to your target audience in a powerful way.”
This year, 75% of ecommerce stores say that they are actively working or plan to work with social media influencers.
Conclusion: Social media will always be around in some form.
What will change is:
There you have it.
The top digital marketing statistic worth knowing right now.
Use these digital marketing statistics to guide your marketing strategy this year.
Choose the digital marketing channels that will help you reach your customers and be smart with the types of marketing you do.
What was the digital marketing statistic that stuck out to you most?
Want more statistics posts? Take a look at these blogs:
Google Ads is rolling out a new data set to the Insights page highlighting any issues found during diagnostic checks.
Diagnostic insights will help you identify problems preventing campaigns from showing, causing low engagement, making it hard to measure conversions, and more.
This data can be found on the Insights and Overview page for Performance Max campaigns, allowing you to troubleshoot issues as soon as they’re detected.
Google Ads will provide a detailed breakdown of the following insights:
Tailored recommendations will take the guesswork out of fixing the issues Google finds, so you can get your campaign back to performing optimally in no time.
Diagnostic insights in Google Ads were previewed in May with an announcement they’d be rolling out soon. Two months later, the launch is now underway.
Diagnostic insights only show when a campaign has not received traffic or conversions.
If your campaign is running and people are seeing the ads and clicking on them, then there will be no diagnostic issues to report.
Keep in mind Google hasn’t given everyone access to the Insights page yet, as it’s currently in beta.
Google is gradually rolling out each insight type to randomly chosen people, which means you may have the Insights page with limited data.
Currently, diagnostic insights are available for Performance Max campaigns. The new dataset will expand to other campaign types over the next few months.
Source: Google Ads Help
Featured Image: PixieMe/Shutterstock
Web 3.0 is coming fast. While it still hasn’t been fully realized, it promises to mark the end of the domination of the internet by power platforms, like Google GOOG , Facebook and Twitter and put users in charge.
“This third generation of internet services will be the catalyst for a new internet, connecting data-driven technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to completely distributed data ecosystems,” fellow Forbes.com contributor Danial Araya wrote.
In essence, Web 3.0 will shift the power of the internet from a narrow band of platforms that retailers and brands currently rely upon to reach customers. That power will transfer into the hands of consumers organized within interest communities whose members will interact across multiple platforms.
As that future unfolds, consumers aren’t going to rely on authorities, like brands, to supply them the information they need, but on each other.
Consumers classified as “early adopters” can be our guide to brands’ future in Web 3.0. Early adopters are a segment of consumers who typically are younger, more highly educated and moneyed.
They are the harbingers of change in the consumer marketplace, picking up on new technologies and trends that the rest of us eventually follow. They also tend to be luxury consumers, given their higher economic status and educational attainment.
To look over the horizon at the changing priorities and expectations of early adopters and Web 3.0, Boston Consulting Group conducted a study with Highsnobiety, a fashion and lifestyle media platform that is a favorite of the early-adopter class. In the study, entitled Luxury 3.0, they call them “Cultural Pioneers” and look specifically at their preferences in the luxury market.
But don’t be fooled. The implications of this study go far beyond just the luxury market and luxury brands. It can help all consumer-facing retailers and brands get ready for the power shift coming under Web 3.0.
And just like “early adopters” are the bellwether for changes that will come to the wider consumer market, luxury is a bellwether too. Luxury is where fashion, beauty and lifestyle trends start and then get translated down to the mass market.
BCG’s Sarah Willersdorf, who led the study, notes that luxury brands have been ahead of the curve in adopting Web 3.0 capabilities such as blockchain, DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) and NFTs linked to physical and digital products. But many mass brands are dipping their toes in Web 3.0 as well, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Burger King, McDonalds and Gap GPS .
“Web 3.0 is characterized by decentralization away from traditional sources of authority,” the report explains, and brands at any price point have been a traditional source of authority. “Luxury 3.0 [or read Consumer 3.0] represents a profound shift where individuals and communities have more control over the narrative than ever before.”
Among the over 4,000 luxury consumers surveyed, slightly fewer than one-third were classified as Cultural Pioneers. They were distinct from general luxury consumers surveyed by being more knowledgeable about brands, fashion and design trends. They also skewed younger and spent 38% more on luxury than the general luxury consumers.
But don’t get sidetracked by the “luxury” label. Luxury consumers buy lots of other non-luxury brands and products. What’s most important about this study is not so much their luxury purchase behavior but their psychographics or underlying consumer psychology, which applies across all consumer categories they participate in.
As a group, Cultural Pioneers are highly engaged on social media, with about two-thirds participating once a day or more frequently. They favor Instagram (89%) and YouTube (50%) to engage with their online communities. Facebook trails way behind, used by only 33% of Cultural Pioneers, and they are more active on Reddit (33%) and Discord/Slack (19%) than other consumers surveyed. They also have more followers online, making them thought leaders and influencers within their groups.
Cultural Pioneers over-index in online communities organized around sneakers and streetwear (both 57%), luxury brands (52%), brand specific (46%), crypto investing (20%) and social activism (20%). They are about equally involved as other luxury consumers in sports (31%), running/fitness (24%), gaming (22%), and work/industry (14%).
Under Web 2.0, brand communities were largely brand-owned and operated, existing on a narrow set of channel platforms where the brand controlled the community. Described as monolithic, closed and linear with top-down brand communications, these brand communities comprised a cohesive group of brand enthusiasts present to laud the brand.
That traditional brand community model is being replaced in Web 3.0 by a decentralized, circular model that BCG calls metacommunities.
“Metacommunities are fluid, dynamic and fragmented,” Willersdorf said. “It’s a very different notion than a brand talking to its community of people shopping for the brand. You’re actually talking to many different sub-groups and audiences around the brand, be they fans, consumers, detractors or commentators.”
In Web 3.0, brands must engage with a much wider audience than just a narrow set of purchasing consumers. People are drawn into decentralized metacommunities primarily to learn new things, gain insider information through group discussions, and bounce ideas off others in the group. Willersdorf points to Diet Prada, Slow Factory, Old Celine and Dank Art as examples of these new metacommunities.
“When we think about engaging audiences, not just consumers, it’s about sharing brand stories and insider industry knowledge,” Willersdorf said.
Another difference between Web 2.0 and 3.0 is the notion of co-creation. “It’s changing the role of the brand’s creative director from coming up with new ideas and pushing them out into the market to orchestrating relationships with other creators whether its co-creating product or advertising,” she said.
“People want a participatory, collaborative relationship with brands, treating their consumers as equal partners in the relationship. They expect two-way communication that didn’t exist before,” she continued.
And brands will be held accountable if they don’t like up to community members’ expectations. They demand accountability from brands related to ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues and expect brands to listen to and act upon community feedback. If they sense a lack of credibility, they won’t stay silent.
It will be a challenge for every brand, from mass to luxury, to navigate the new world of Web 3.0 and how grassroots organized brand audiences will change the dynamics of the consumer-brand relationship.
For too long, brands have believed that they held the balance of power in that relationship, but as Web 3.0 evolves and the force of metacommunities grows, they will learn differently.
In closing, the BCG/Highsnobiety report quoted Céline Semaan, founder of the Slow Factory Foundation. She perfectly expressed the changes coming as metacommunities rise and begin to exert their power over brands in Web 3.0.
“Communities don’t exist in a vacuum. Communities don’t belong to brands. Communities exist independently of brands. Communities don’t need brands. Brands need communities,” Seaman said and added, “Communities exist around interests. It’s up to the brands to bridge the gap between their values and their actions by meeting those interests.”
The conversation around content creation and strategizing is trending, with many companies debating whether they need a content marketing strategy or whether it’s a waste of time, money, and resources. However, it is a relatively new concept, and older professionals in the marketing industry are still not convinced that it is just as vital as the other traditional forms of marketing.
If you don’t have a digital content marketing strategy in this day and age, you might be left behind. Whether your company is just starting or is already firmly established in the market, it needs a quality, consistent and relevant digital presence.
Why? Because now more than ever, people are using their phones and other devices as a tool to find information, solutions, and service providers. According to a February 2021 research study, nearly half of the respondents said they spent five to six hours per day on their phone, not including work-related cell phone use. Another 22% of respondents said they spent three to four hours per day on their phones on average.
Build your content marketing strategy for the future
In the past, when people needed work done, they relied on referrals and yellow pages. However, today's service bidders rely on referrals and word of mouth less frequently than recent years. In fact, referrals fell by over 16% in the last five years. It appears that, the holy grail of corporate development for aeons, is losing its clout as the business world unfolds.
Now that we know how critical your digital presence is, let us look at what a digital content strategy is and what it means for businesses.
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A content strategy is a framework that assists businesses in curating, managing, distributing, and promoting valuable digital content. It's a way to ensure that the organization's digital content is consistent with its overall goals and strategy.
People’s perception of an online presence usually starts and ends with a company website, but it is much more than that. Your digital presence includes a company website, social media platforms, eBooks, video interviews, podcasts, case studies and success stories, infographics, blog posts, webinars, emails, presentations, and whitepapers.
Some companies shy away from creating a digital content strategy because they don’t know where to begin or what it entails. That’s why they make the mistake of only sharing content when it's available, for example, when they have a new product, service or upgrade available. The truth is, you are not harnessing your company's true potential.
With competition increasing, you have to ensure that you stay on the radar of your potential buyers. How? By providing information and solutions outside of the services and products you provide. Your goal is to be the first brand that comes to mind when a business or consumer needs a service or product.
Before you sit down to create a strategy, you need to consider the following questions to grasp a rough idea of the direction you want your digital content to take.
Why am I designing this content strategy?
What are you trying to achieve by putting together a digital content strategy? You don’t need to have one hundred reasons before starting - two to five will do. For example, are you trying to increase brand awareness and generate leads or sales?
Who is my target audience?
It would help if you had a clear idea of whom you are curating this content for. Understanding who your target audience is can help with decision making and allows you to narrow down your choices. For example, knowing your target audience or buyer persona will determine the type of content you put out, the tone of your content, and what channels you use to distribute content.
What kind of content are they interested in?
As we mentioned earlier, there are different types of content available that you can use in your digital strategies, like blog posts, podcasts, videos, among others. Find out which type of content is most popular with your target audience and focus on that through market research. Keep in mind that you need more than one type. Even if you have one or two sure choices, try to have a mix.
If, for instance, you are a clothing brand targeting 16–25-year-olds, short videos and pictures are a great way to grab their audience. You can also write short blog posts about quick ways to style their outfits or color block.
Where do they usually search for this kind of content?
You might develop unique and valuable content, but if it’s on platforms your customers do not frequent, it is as good as useless. Carry out surveys and polls and let your customers fill out questionnaires ranking their most addictive and popular apps and platforms so you know where you should publish your content.
How often should I publish this content?
It is essential to strike a balance between being persuasive and not being irritating. You want your potential customers to always have your brand in mind, but you do not want them to find you annoying and too persistent.
For example, if you choose to connect to your clients through email marketing, do not send them emails every single day. Even if your content is valuable, they may unsubscribe from it as it could become a bit of a nuisance. So instead, let your clients consume your information in doses.
Who will be curating this content?
This is a critical decision because it will determine the type of content you put out. Just because you know everything there is to know about starting an eCommerce store, it does not automatically mean you have the skill to write blog posts or eBooks about it. But, if you do, that's perfect.
If you do not know how to use this knowledge to produce insightful and valuable content, you can outsource it to different content creators like writers, influencers, and videographers. In addition, you can hand over this task if you have an in-house content creation team.
It asserts your company as a thought leader
If you googled 'how to lose ten pounds in a month' and found a simple program that worked, and then ‘how to grow your glutes’ a few weeks later, and it also worked, chances are, you will start to rely on that source for your fitness needs.
By putting out informative and valuable content, you show your target audience that you know what you are talking about. Good content makes it easy for you to stand out from the hundreds of companies providing the same product or service.
It is an SEO tool
If you are in the digital content creation business, you know a thing or two about SEO. Search engine optimization is a tool that boosts a website or web pages chances of showing up at the top of search engine results.
The more you publish your content and strategically place keywords that your audience usually searches for, the higher the chances that your brand will be noticed, hence creating new leads.
One way to do this is through publishing evergreen content, both written and video. Why? Because it’s timeless and is relevant all-year round.
It attracts new leads
Good content is a promotional tactic on its own. If you consistently put out quality content, you attract serious clients interested in your services or solutions. Your content will walk into recruitment meetings before you even go in for a pitch.
It increases brand awareness
Unless you build rockets or are Lewis Hamilton, chances are there are hundreds or thousands of people who can provide the services or products you do. So, if your goal is to be a class apart from the competition, you must publish well-thought-out content. The more you create helpful content and publish it across multiple platforms, the higher your chances are of growing a more prominent and broader following.
High-quality content has the potential to influence purchasing behavior
If you believe that advertisements influence buyers more than article content on the internet, you are mistaken.
In fact, 7 out of 10 buyers prefer to learn about a business or brand through articles rather than advertisements. This fact demonstrates that article-type content delivered via a company blog or other content marketing mediums is the preferred approach for customers to learn about products and services. Why? It allows you to have more of a voice, style or flair, and story than typical 'professional' web pages.
Content distribution is a tactical approach to delivering content to your target audience through various channels. It entails publishing, sharing, and promoting high-quality content in strategic locations where people can actively and successfully engage with it. There are three main distribution channels: owned, earned and paid.
These are the networks your business owns and has total control over, like your website, blog, email or newsletter, and social media accounts.
Earned channels encompass third parties who share or promote your content at no cost—for instance, social media mentions, reposts, shares, guest blogs, and product reviews.
Some channels are not freely accessible. You have to pay to distribute your content to a highly targeted and specific audience. For example, pay-per-click ads, sponsored content and paid influencer content or ads on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Instagram.
In marketing, content is king and distribution is queen - they are part and parcel of any digital content creation strategy and need to be handled tactically. We've seen a rapid influx of content met with shrinking demand in recent years. We can only consume so much information with almost 4.5 million blog posts published every day. As a result of this content shock, your distribution plan should be strategic and well-thought-out if it’s to be effective.
The beauty of a digital content and distribution strategy is flexibility. You can adjust it as you go depending on the metrics and results. If you try one channel and it fails, try another one or a mix until it is just right.
Companies that tweak their distribution strategy until it's perfect enjoy perks like increased brand awareness, recognition, lead generation, increased sales, and revenue. The starting point is to get people to talk about your brand, trust it and rely on it as an authority figure. Then, you can start leveraging these benefits to boost revenue and sales.
Social media is the perfect marketing tool right now. With new and popular apps popping up every other day, brands have an excellent opportunity to capitalize on the frenzy to grow their businesses and brand awareness. For example, Instagram and TikTok have emerged as two of the most addictive content creation and sharing apps, with YouTube retaining its power and influence.
Video content should form at least part of your content distribution strategy because it is one of the best ways to truly show potential customers your core values, purpose, goals and objectives. In addition, videos are an excellent way to tell your story and inspire an emotional and psychological connection with your customers.
Furthermore, you can combine your YouTube content strategy with a case study to accurately depict your business solutions and services.
YouTube is the most profitable video sharing and viewing platform, with 2.3 billion people accessing it each month. If you can invest in a good videographer and content development team, you can leverage your social media platforms to boost the subscription and viewership for your YouTube channel.
This article cannot entirely cover everything there is to know about developing a digital content marketing strategy, but it is a good start.
If you found this piece helpful and would like to learn more about creating a digital content strategy that works, visit our content marketing hub, where you can find more news and information about content marketing.
Booking a trip following the discovery of a destination thanks to an influencer's post is now a common act. With the rise of social networks, but also their multiplication, the number of influencers has only increased in recent years. New actors who know perfectly how to address the younger generations in order to influence their choices. A power of persuasion that has not gone unnoticed by tourism professionals, both private and public, who are increasingly using influence marketing in their promotional activities.
Influence marketing may be relatively young, but it is not lacking in effectiveness. By 2022, the influence marketing market will be worth 13.8 billion dollars, 20 times more than in 2015, according to Business Insider. The health crisis has played a major role in this increase. Indeed, 50% of influencers confirm that they have increased their community in 2021 due to the confinements. On the consumer side, 87% of shoppers were convinced by an influencer before buying a product. These figures confirm the impact that this type of marketing can have on the way people consume today.
Moreover, the rise of influencer marketing goes hand in hand with the rise of social networks. While Facebook was one of the first social networks to bring together so many people around the world, new networks have since appeared on the market. In 2022, YouTube has more than 2.5 billion users, Instagram has nearly 1.5 billion, TikTok has 1 billion and Snapchat has 557 million. These are staggering figures that continue to increase year after year, especially among the younger generation. However, according to a YouGov study, up to 79% of 18/34 year olds say they are wary of advertising and sponsored partnerships on social networks.
The power of travel influencers is no longer in question, with some accounts exceeding hundreds of thousands of followers. This phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by tourist destinations that are always looking for new ways to increase their visibility. Influencer marketing allows them to address customers outside their usual targets.
The marketing and communication department of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes has joined forces with the SNCF to launch a unique marketing operation. Indeed, travel and lifestyle influencers were invited by Intercités, the long-distance offer of SCNF Voyageurs, to discover Cannes. The content producers in love with the world, babychoufamily and jonathan bertin tested the Paris-Cannes night train by Intercités and discovered the coastal city for a weekend. On the programme: discovery of the city by electric bike, water activities, diving in the waters of the underwater eco-museum, tasting of local wines and olives. A dense, sporty and festive programme organised by the marketing and communication department of the Palais des Festivals. Other influencers such as Bruno Maltor and Swann Perisse also participated in the promotion of the regional trains and the destination. Thus, all these promotional operations have allowed to reach more than 2 million people on the social networks.
The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is banking on local tourism by calling on the couple of influencers Bestjobers, originally from the region and currently living in Lyon. As part of the communication actions carried out by the "thermal well-being" theme of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Tourisme, Elisa & Max have produced a series of episodes called "Les échappés Bien-Etre". They have dedicated a page to well-being in the region on their blog, followed by thousands of people, where a destination is highlighted for each season. They tell their adventures through the activities and encounters they have during their stay. The two influencers also participated in the promotion of the new online travel guide "Partir ici", which brings together thousands of local and friendly tourist offers. This video was produced in partnership with the media company Brut and aims to promote local tourism as well as slow tourism. These are values shared by Bestjobers and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Tourisme and are in line with the new expectations of travellers.
Tourisme Bretagne is also seeking to promote little-known spots to the general public through a partnership with Petaouchnok, an inspirational travel medium that presents itself as a true trend-setter by sharing inspiring, immersive and exclusive content. This initiative involves the creation of a series of 9 campaigns in partnership with 9 Breton territories associated with the operation. Several destinations will be featured in this campaign on social networks, including the Pays des Abers, Dinard Côte d'Emeraude and the Baie de Morlaix. The objective is to reinforce the attractiveness of the region to Dinks outside the heart of the season, and thus work to promote a better distribution of flows in time and space.
To communicate on foreign markets, Tourisme Bretagne is once again calling on local influencers. Influencers meticulously chosen to address well-defined targets. The German influencer Travelisto has been selected to reach the family target, with a reception in collaboration with Golfe du Morbihan Vannes Tourisme and Saint-Malo Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel Tourisme. To address the DINKS target group, the German influencer Globusliebe was chosen. A welcome under the angle of "responsible travel between friends", in collaboration with Sensation Bretagne and Guingamp Paimpol Tourisme. For the Swiss market, Tourisme Bretagne has teamed up with influencer Morgane Scheller. She will be in Brittany at the end of August for a reception in partnership with the La Baule - Guérande peninsula tourist office and Golfe du Morbihan Vannes Tourisme. This operation aimed at DINKS will highlight the heritage, outdoor activities and resorts of the Breton coastline that are less well known to Swiss customers.
The destinations are not the only ones to make an eye for travel influencers, Expedia has decided to call on them as part of a marketing campaign for the 2021 summer period. The travel agency collaborated with Bruno Maltor, Baby Chou Family and Black Beauty Bag in order to boost tourism and in particular by highlighting the destination France. The influencers had to create unique itineraries and share their tips and opinions in order to inspire travellers but also to attract new customers for Expedia. A mission made possible thanks to the rate of engagement of the various influencers' communities.
A phenomenon that is still little known in Europe, virtual influencers have been gaining in popularity on Asian social networks lately. The names Lil Miquela, Noonoouri, Shudu may not ring a bell, but they are real stars in Asia with thousands or even millions of followers on Instagram. Created by studios, these fictional characters have become true muses for major brands. In China, the volume of sales generated by virtual influencers is expected to more than triple from the equivalent of €860 million in 2021 to €2.8 billion in 2023, according to forecasts by iiMedia Research. Less expensive and more practical in operational terms, these new influencers could take over from physical influencers, particularly in the travel sector. Tomorrow they will invest in the metaverse where it will be possible to stage them in new situations. However, they will never really replace current influencers because of their lack of humanity which prevents consumers from identifying with them.
New technologies are redefining the way marketing is done, with more interactive networks becoming the most common vehicles for content creation and distribution. If Instagram was until now the reference social network for influencer marketing, its Chinese peer TikTok now seems to be following suit. A new network that still has few tourist destinations among its contributors. Thus, destinations wishing to reposition themselves or simply promote themselves more effectively can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the low saturation of the market to gain visibility.
Created in 2014, TikTok has evolved well over time, now offering more varied content aimed at a wide range of targets. Currently, very few destinations use TikTok, but its growing popularity with a 20% year-on-year growth makes it a very attractive promotional platform. According to influencer marketing strategist Jeremy Grandmont, TikTok is a network that has been embraced by a new generation and caters to today's consumer habits. It is also the most downloaded application for the third year in a row with 656 million downloads in 2021. It is the fastest growing social platform in the world and is expected to reach the 1.5 billion monthly active user mark by the end of 2022.
The algorithm that determines the type of content users are exposed to is highly targeted to their preferences, making it difficult for new content, such as tourism ads, to reach a large market. However, it segments the market based on interests rather than demographics. It can therefore facilitate the positioning of tourism services towards tourists whose interests match the destination's value proposition.
Creativity is the order of the day on this network which, unlike other platforms, favours spontaneous and non-institutional content. The value of the message has a much greater impact on the rate of engagement than the number of subscribers and financial investments. So far, the app's engagement rate has been higher than that of other social networks, with a global average of 15.86% compared to only 2.26% for Instagram. According to a study by Walnut Unlimited, 77% of European users say they were inspired to travel to a destination or buy a travel-related product because of content they saw on TikTok. Nearly half of them have taken action. A platform thus conducive to travel invitations, as demonstrated by the popularity of the #TikTokTravel challenge, which attracts nearly 32 billion views.
It is important to bear in mind that the vast majority of TikTok users are from the Z and Alpha generations, young people with little financial means to travel. However, their opinions have a significant impact on the choice of family holidays. As social networks have become their main source of inspiration for their next trips, it has become essential to be present on them as destinations but also as actors in the tourism industry more widely. Finally, let's not forget that today's young people will be tomorrow's customers. It is therefore necessary to establish a strong link now and to maintain it over time to build visitor loyalty.
The SNCF railway company's account is very active on the network with numerous videos, both humorous and informative. The company promotes its destinations and the tools available for travel planning. It also organises competitions and uses influencers to generate engagement and build a community. The SNCF also uses TikTok to recruit new talent, a new way of attracting employees. The Futuroscope, an amusement park, is also present on TikTok and does not hesitate to follow trends or viral challenges to reach its clientele, a strategy that pays off.
Although the Tourist Office of Reunion Island was one of the first destinations to invest in the platform, it is no longer alone. Indeed, on the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival, several major influencers on TikTok were invited to take part in the ceremony. They had the privilege of walking the famous steps. Content creator nikkie tutorials (5.3M subscribers) and designer terryl tam (260.9K subscribers) welcomed celebrities on the red carpet, told anecdotes about the films presented or commented on the fashion trends of the new season. Thanks to TikTok, some users saw their questions asked live by the influencers to the interviewed celebrities. While smartphones were still banned from the red carpet, the 6 TikTok creators were able to share behind the scenes of their preparation as well as their experience of the excitement of Cannes. This was an opportunity for TikTok users to (re)discover the Cannes Festival from a new perspective.
The hospitality sector is also beginning to take an interest in this fast-growing network, which allows it to publicise its portfolio of properties around the world. Meliá Hotels International is taking the plunge by calling on content creator Marcos Toscni, whose TikTok account has 400,000 followers. He specialises in promoting luxury hotels, so this caught the group's attention as it launched its new channel with a focus on its luxury products. Hotels such as Gran Meliá Iguazu, Paradisus Grand Cana or ME Cabo are among the first hotels chosen by the influencer. He was named Meliá TikTok Luxury Expert, the company's first ambassador on TikTok, after also being named Visit Mexico's first luxury tourism ambassador in 2020. With its debut on TikTok, Meliá becomes one of the pioneering companies in the global hospitality industry to have a presence on the network.
After several years of building our brands' positioning and recognition on major social media, we are very proud to have taken a fundamental step to connect with a new generation of travellers with a new innovative and immersive channel. Through the critical eye of our TikTok Luxury Expert Marcos Toscani, a connoisseur of the luxury world, our followers will be able to discover the most select experiences of our hotel portfolio.
Santiago García Solimei, Head of Global Social Media & Brand PR at Melia Hotels International
Despite the increasing popularity of influencers, more and more people are criticising them for a lack of authenticity and transparency. Indeed, some promote destinations or sites but do not specify that they are paid partnerships, thus deceiving their subscribers. However, the vast majority of today's travellers rely on reviews left on the internet before finalising their purchases. According to a survey by IFOP, 87% of French people said they look at customer reviews before making a purchase decision and 34% also said that reviews are more persuasive than promotions when making a decision.
Worldia, a French tour operator, has decided to put authenticity back at the heart of its offer by using "Travel Creatives". These are people who have had memorable travel experiences and who share them with the travel agents working with Worldia. To do this, they have selected various personalities such as actors, travel agents, sportsmen or influencers who will supply us their good addresses and recommendations. The aim is to assist travel agents in the inspiration process, so that they can better accompany their clients. They are not there to sell a destination, but rather to share their favourite places and their personal experiences as tourists, a ensure of authenticity. Among their Travel Creatives are the actor Nicolas Maury, Amandine De Souza, the director of the BHV and Ingrid Lexa, the manager of the IWL Voyages agency in Aubagne. Thanks to this concept, Worldia participates more in the inspiration phase by putting forward the views and expertise of these influencers. This is an alternative to traditional tourist brochures, which are increasingly abandoned by tourists.
With the internet and social networks, anyone can become a prescriber these days. A possibility that has not escaped Axel Mazerolles, creator of the Tested4you application. The concept is simple: each user can share his or her tourist experiences and supply advice, through short videos, while earning money. Relying on the quality and authenticity of the review videos posted online, each video validated by the moderation team allows its author to pocket 1€. Unlike content posted on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, Tested4you is not "based on judgement or looks, but on usefulness: I travel, I make live videos without a filter, I geo-localise myself and I earn €1 from the moment my video is posted online with a tip". The Tested4you community is gradually growing, currently counting between 3,000 and 5,000 users after only three months of existence. The aim is to "become an alternative to Instagram or TripAdvisor very quickly, especially with quality and useful content".
Social networks can be important distribution channels, as long as you know how to make good use of them. The travel inspiration, planning and booking platform Tripscout is convinced of the commercial potential of Instagram, where it has 30 million followers. It is therefore launching a hotel booking platform on the social network with the promise of guaranteeing discounts of between 30% and 75% off the best publicly available rates. The model is inspired by event-based sales, as the promotions are reserved for members of a private and closed user group. To do this, Tripscout connects to bedbanks, online travel agencies and other suppliers. The booking functionality has also just been activated on Instagram. To access these promotions, users simply send a direct message with the word "hotel" to Tripscout's Instagram account or one of its sub-accounts. Tripscout has also begun to raise 14 million in funding to accelerate this new business. Its ambition is to reach 100 million followers by next year to develop its sales. The platform is convinced that Instagram can be the next Google, as a lever for travel sales.
Social media is the new SEO. We've built a large, passionate and loyal community of frequent travellers. And we're excited to launch these game-changing private offers on Instagram, so they can travel more, better and spend less in a post-pandemic world.
Konrad Waliszewski, CEO and co-founder of Tripscout
Influencer marketing is currently in a growth phase with a considerable multiplication of actors. Tourism professionals are increasingly turning to this promotional tool and rightly so. The growing popularity of travel influencers only confirms their status as influencers for the public, particularly young people who are more present on social networks. However, it is important not to rest on one's laurels and to constantly anticipate future trends, especially with the arrival of new and more immersive networks. If TikTok was not taken seriously a few years ago, it is now a booming marketing tool taken by the influencers. The future of tourism promotion is taking shape with technological advances and could, why not, be in the metaverse in a few decades.