When it comes to marketing, there are a lot of statistics out there to consider! Although we’ve covered a lot of statistics in some of our posts previously, today we’re having a look at some of the biggest statistics we know in marketing and what they really mean for marketing and advertising professionals. We’ll cover content marketing and social media, email and video marketing, as well as lead generation and some of the most incredible advertising statistics.
While these statistics have all been checked at the time of writing, it is important that we note that the world of marketing and advertising is constantly evolving. Unfortunately, that means we can’t avoid mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will have impacted on some of these statistics, and we expect that this post will look incredibly different as a result when businesses announce their figures for 2020. Now, we’ll try and avoid mentioning the pandemic too much more (we’re tired of hearing about it too!) so let’s start with a look at some of the biggest content marketing statistics as they currently stand.
Content marketing statistics
We’re big fans of content marketing, but there are a lot of companies that still don’t have an actual strategy. At the start of 2020, SEMrush discovered that although 91% of companies are using content marketing, just 77% of those have a strategy in place. That’s really counterintuitive, considering that 69% of the most successful B2B marketers are documenting their strategies – although it probably goes a long way to explaining why just 9% of marketers think their strategy is excellent.
Many marketing professionals say that content is their most effective SEO tactic, with 72% saying that this is their preferred way to boost web page rankings. Not only is content important for SEO, it is essential for success with consumers too. 91% of customers are more likely to work with brands displaying authenticity and value in their content – although that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are making purchases. Just 4% of website visitors are ready to buy on their first visit, but marketing isn’t all about converting customers straight away. Sharing content across social media channels and even just liking or commenting on posts can help brands to increase their visibility and reach, which eventually adds up to more sales.
Many content marketing professionals use blog content to boost their SEO – and the use of blogs hasn’t slowed. It’s really hard to keep an accurate count of the number of blogs on the internet, but there are an estimated 1.74 billion websites (this number was correct as of January 2020, although since then we expect that figure will have grown exponentially!) and more than 600 million of these are blogs. (Although again… we expect with lockdowns and so on, there will be a lot more blogs when figures are reported at the end of the year!)
Blogs are some of the most shared content, and more than half of marketers are focusing on blog content – but it is hard to create really good blog content, especially longer-form content, and even more so if it isn’t your specialism. Longer blog content (those that are more than 3000 words) with high quality information contained in the post gets shared more often than shorter posts.
With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that 84% of B2B marketers now outsourcing blog work and other types of content. It takes on average 65% longer to write a blog post than six years ago, which explains why 66% of bloggers today are posting just a few times a month rather than a few times per week just. With the size of blog posts increasing and requiring more detail, there is little wonder that outsourcing content creation has increased in popularity.
Writing great content for posts isn’t the end of it though – effective blog headlines drive 500% more traffic, and images are an essential part of posting. Articles that contain images receive 94% more views than those without, and video content will help to keep readers on the page, which means good things for your bounce rate – as well as being fifty times more likely to receive organic search traffic.
Video marketing statistics
Some consider video a major part of content marketing while others consider it a completely different field. Wherever you consider video marketing sits, there is absolutely no question that video marketing is an incredibly valuable strategy that is here to stay. 89% of marketing professionals that use video say that it provides a good return on investment, and over half of consumers want more video from the brands that they work with.
The biggest interactions with video marketing from businesses are from YouTube, but increasingly from social media too – so once we’ve had a look at YouTube we’ll get to looking at marketing on social media using video, as well as other places that video can be valuable.
When it comes to video marketing, most people will think of YouTube first and foremost. Since it is such a powerhouse for video, many people don’t even consider looking anywhere else for their video streaming. At the moment, YouTube is the second most accessed website on the internet behind their owner Google – who bought the platform in 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock. Over a billion hours of video get watched on YouTube every single day – although that figure is certainly going to be significantly higher with so many people being at home during lockdowns through the pandemic!
Although that sounds like a lot, more than 500 hours of video are added to YouTube every minute of the day – so you would have to be watching non-stop for 20 days to watch just one minute’s worth of uploads. That means that to make it worth your while adding content, you need to work on optimising your clips – keywords, getting likes and shares, as well as increasing the number of subscribers to your channel are all essential steps to marketing success on YouTube.
These next three statistics might not give marketing professionals much to work with directly – since many of us aren’t working to compete with these – but it wouldn’t be a great marketing statistics post that mentions YouTube if we didn’t include them!
- The most viewed YouTube video is Despacito, with 6.99 billion views
- The most subscribed YouTube channel is T-Series, with 154 million subscribers
- The highest earner on YouTube is 9 year old Ryan Kaji, who is worth $26 million
The nearest video streaming website to YouTube is Vimeo – which gets around 170 million monthly active users. That’s not awful, but in comparison with YouTube’s two billion, it is pretty small. Even though there are far fewer viewers on Vimeo (and indeed, it might never reach anywhere near the size of YouTube), marketers should still consider using it, since videos on the platform receive more than 715 million monthly views, and the platform is increasing by more than 80% year on year.
YouTube is currently blocked in nine countries worldwide, including China, which blocked YouTube in 2009. Considering the population of China is a little under 1.4 billion people, has massive implication for YouTube watch time. Since there is demand for video from internet users behind China’s great firewall, alternatives to YouTube have sprung up, including Youku, which is one of the most popular. Youku has more than 580 million monthly active users who make more than 1.18 billion views every day.
The biggest competitor to YouTube though is video use on social media.
Social media video statistics
Social media posts that contain video see an increase views of up to 48% compared to those without. And it isn’t just posts with video on them that are making a splash either – live streams are becoming ever more popular. Currently on Facebook over 20% of video content is live streamed.
Although there is a lot of potential for reaching customers with video on social media platforms, marketers need to be careful with how they use video on different social media platforms – because users are watching very differently.
Video posts on Facebook are watched more than 4 billion times a day – but 85% of viewers watch Facebook videos with the sound off, and 80% of Facebook users feel negatively about videos that play with the volume up loud in their feed. That means content needs to make sense without the sound – so either creators need to use captions, or no verbal cues must be required to understand the content.
On Instagram, 69% of the time that users are on the platform is spent watching video. But in contrast to Facebook, on Instagram more than 60% of videos are watched with the sound on – meaning that repurposing video content needs to be carefully handled. Video is really popular on Instagram though – more than 70% of Instagram users watch Stories daily, which means there is huge scope to reach customers that have already engaged with the brand. IGTV hasn’t been quite as popular at 44% but as far as we’re concerned, that just means there is opportunity for growth.
TikTok video is still growing in popularity with marketers – unsurprisingly so, since there are a huge number of users (we’ll get to that in a minute!) and TikTok videos are pretty short form, at under 60 seconds. While marketing specific statistics for TikTok are still relatively unknown, TikTok videos get a 52.1% engagement rate, and 68% of users watch videos from other users. That means if your target customer is in the TikTok user demographic (primarily teenagers and those in their early 20s) then there is potential on the platform.
B2B marketers shouldn’t discount the power of video on LinkedIn either. 54% of senior executives share video with colleagues at least weekly – and since they are the ones with the buying power, adding great video content to LinkedIn, and getting a lot of likes and shares on the platform is almost certain to lead to success.
Other video marketing statistics to know
The power of video isn’t just restricted to streaming websites and social media either. Video has been shown to increase click-through rates in email by up to 8%, using video on a landing page can increase conversion by as much as 86%, and bounce rate is up to 34% lower when there is video on a page – which isn’t too shabby for a bit of embedding. Keeping visitors on your page for longer, and getting more conversions from your landing pages is great for SEO too – so it is definitely worth spending that bit of time getting in place.
Social media statistics
In 2020, an estimated 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. With those sorts of numbers, there is little wonder that marketing professionals are using social media to reach their target markets.
Social media use varies worldwide, from an average of one hour and 57 minutes spent on social media in the US each day, to four hours and one minute in the Philippines, which is ranked first in user engagement. Use of social media channels is expected to grow significantly as infrastructure is established in less developed markets, and cheaper smartphones hit those markets. As internet and social media use increases in those areas, so will the potential for brands and businesses to expand into those markets.
Launched in 2004 with the mission of helping US college students stay in touch, today Facebook is the largest social media network by far. There are around 2.6 billion active monthly users on the platform, and that number is much higher if we consider WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger users – both platforms are owned by Facebook, as well as Instagram. Out of those 2.6 billion people, 1.69 billion users log in every single day – and that figure isn’t going to get smaller any time soon, since more than 500,00 new users join Facebook each and every day. The demographic that is growing the fastest on Facebook is those who are aged 75+, so for marketers who are aiming to connect with this audience, Facebook is where you need to be.
There are more than 60 million active business pages on Facebook – and yet of that number, just 6 million pay to be active advertisers. That might not matter to businesses though, since 49% of users will like a brand’s Facebook page if they want to support them. Do you need to pay for advertising on Facebook? Perhaps not, with figures like these.
Bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stock, Instagram is currently the third most popular social media website in terms of monthly active users (we’re not counting the WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Weixin/WeChat as they are messaging platforms – although we know some people count them as social media networks). When Instagram was bought, there were only around 30 million users, but today it is hot on the heels of Facebook with 2 billion monthly active users.
Instagram is a really valuable platform for marketing to customers. 90% of Instagram accounts follow at least one business account, while 79% of users look for more information when they have encountered a product or service on the platform. Of those users, 37% say they visit a store – with 46% eventually making a purchase from the store they visited.
TikTok is a relative newcomer to social media, having only been launched in 2016. The appeal of TikTok is that it features short-form video content that is between just 3 and 60 seconds long. TikTok has an estimated 850 million monthly active users worldwide, and the app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times. The majority of users – 41% – are aged between 16 and 24, and they spend an average 52 minutes per day on the app.
Of those monthly active users, 100 million are active in the US. However, at the time of writing, TikTok is in dispute with the US government (Trump’s administration) over claims of security risk, while the government in India banned it in June 2020, also citing national security concerns.
Despite this potential challenge, advertising on TikTok can be a relatively affordable option for businesses that want to pay for advertising on the platform, with ads starting at $50 per day. Working with influencers is pretty affordable too, those with more than 2.5 million followers tend to charge between $600 to $1000 per post, rather than $100 per 10,000 followers on Instagram. And since TikTok is available in 150 markets, in 75 languages, that is a lot of potential scope for marketing activity to be seen worldwide.
Launched in 2011, Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to send photos and messages that disappear after a short time. The platform gets relatively few users, with just over 293 million monthly active users. Of those users, 90% of Snapchat users are 13-24 years old – with female users making up 61%. More than 3 billion snaps are created daily – which considering how many active users are on the platform, means each user is sending a lot of messages every day!
Although there are relatively few users on the Snapchat platform compared with other social media networks, there is still a lot of scope for marketing professionals to use it for advertising. Half of Snapchat’s daily Discover viewers watch Discover every single day, and 40% of Snapchat users say they discover brands thanks to Snapchat influencers. Since Snapchat use is expected to grow steadily to 365 million global users by 2023, ignoring Snapchat as a marketing channel could be a costly mistake if your customer is in the 13-24 year old demographic.
Although not specifically designed to communicate with others, Pinterest has plenty of social features as well as a huge amount of features that marketing professionals can take advantage of. With the ability to pin up to 200,000 pins on up to 2,000 boards, and pins never dying (they’re never removed and so if you’ve used the right hashtags and keywords, your content is indefinitely discoverable) it is a potential goldmine for marketers.
There are more than 400 million monthly active users now on Pinterest worldwide. While around 70% of Pinterest users are women, 50% of new Pinterest users are men – and the rate at which women share valuable content with the men in their lives means that pinning content is almost always going to provide return on the time invested. To compound that, 85% of women on Pinterest use it to plan ‘life moments’ in contrast with 53% on Facebook and 44% on Instagram. Pinterest users aren’t averse to seeing content from brands either, with 78% saying that content from brands is useful. 58% of users say that Pinterest influences their buying decisions – so where businesses that have something they want to sell to women, they should almost certainly be adding that to shoppable product pins. 61% of users make purchases from promoted pins, and with Pinterest ad revenue expected to surpass $1 billion by the end of 2020 – it is clear there is a lot of potential business to be done there.
From microblogging at 140 characters when the platform was launched in 2006 to double that in 2017 and other media now allowed to be added, Twitter has been a necessity for businesses for quite some time. For sharing content, answering customer service tweets and generally extending brand awareness, Twitter is definitely a low-cost value add. Statista estimates just 330 million users are active monthly on Twitter – however, in Q2 2019 Twitter ceased publishing their monthly active users in favour of publishing monetizable daily active users. In Q2 2020 they reported 186 million monetizable daily active users.
Despite the relatively small number of users, the total number of tweets sent per day is relatively high – around 500 million per day, or 6,000 tweets per second. Of those, more than 80% of those users are accessing the platform from their mobile.
67% of B2B businesses are using Twitter as a digital marketing tool. Customers are fully aware of this too, and 77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when their tweet is responded to. Six out of ten users expect their tweet to be acknowledged and responded to within just one hour – which has huge implications for businesses who use the platform.
LinkedIn is a pretty different kettle of fish to other social media, since it is for professional networking rather than sharing videos of cute puppies and holiday photos. (although we do spot and appreciate the odd puppy photo on there on occasion!) It has more than 675 million users, with just under half of that number being active on a monthly basis.
Since the LinkedIn platform is professional in nature, there is a lot of scope for success when it comes to B2B leads. B2B marketers say that 80% of their leads come from LinkedIn – whereas on Twitter and Facebook just 13% and 7% of B2B leads.
The potential for marketing to the right sort of customer on LinkedIn is incredible. The average income of a LinkedIn user is more than $83,000, which means they are likely to hold positions of responsibility and buying power in the companies that they work for. Not only that, 41% of millionaires have a LinkedIn presence, which means there is potential to connect to someone who can really help your business to go places.
Email marketing statistics
Email marketing became a success story almost as soon as email was a thing. While most homes didn’t start to join in with email until much later, the first email was sent in 1971, and the first email marketing campaign actually sent in 1978! The campaign for Digital Equipment Corp. was sent to just 400 people, but managed to net $13 million in sales – which when we take inflation into account, would be worth around $78.8 million today.
While many marketing professionals look to stay ahead of the game with newer marketing opportunities, there are a lot of reasons to continue to use some of the more traditional methods of online marketing. 78% of marketers have seen an increase in engagement via email over the last 12 months, and more than 59% of marketers say that email provides their best ROI.
For every $1 that is spent on email marketing, there’s an average return of $42 – that is an absolutely massive return on investment, and the lifetime value of an email address continues to grow by around 33% each year. Email addresses have been shown to be worth around £84.50 to a business. But email isn’t just an effective marketing tool for consumers though. 42% of B2B marketers consider email to be one of their most important lead generation channels, and of those, 79% think email is effective for demand generation.
The effectiveness of email marketing isn’t just hearsay and opinion either. 59% of consumers say that marketing email influence their purchase decisions, and over 50% of consumers say they buy products or services from marketing emails at least once a month – which is a lot more than the average person might think.
Email usage statistics
So far we’ve not had email usage statistics reported for 2020, but in 2019 the average daily count of emails being sent was 293.6 billion. That’s not surprising – 99% of people check their inboxes every day, with 44% checking their personal emails between one and three times every day. As almost anyone who is reading this post will think – when it comes to work emails, the situation is pretty different. Most professionals report checking their work emails up to 15 times a day – which is every 37 minutes.
The most popular way to check email is on mobile clients 61.9% of email opens occurred on mobile and 28.3% in a webmail client – which means marketing professionals should be checking emails on different devices before they are sent to ensure the message is clear.
Spam email statistics
The main reason that people unsubscribe from marketing emails is known as email fatigue – and one in five people say they would unsubscribe if they got emails from a company too often. So where is the line between just enough and too many – and customers consider the messages spam? Well, 49% of consumers said they were happy to receive promotional emails on a weekly basis. More than that and customers start to hit the unsubscribe button. Don’t forget, email providers allow customers to unsubscribe and to report spam messages. Too many customers unsubscribing could end up with your emails being automatically filtered into spam folders by email providers more often, and never actually being seen – which reduces the return on your investment!
For those of us that wonder where the heck actual spam comes from – well, in the first quarter of 2020, the most unsolicited spam emails came from China (20.43%), the United States (13.37%) and Russia (5.6%), followed by Brazil, France and Germany.
Lead generation statistics
Generating leads has always been a challenge – and even today, 61% of marketers still rank lead generation as their number one challenge. Even midsize and large companies are generating less than 5,000 qualified leads each month – which means there needs to be a huge emphasis on converting those leads. It is probably also the reason that 53% are using at least half of their budget on it!
Automation has made the challenge a little easier to deal with, with 80% of marketers thinking that automation software helps to create more leads. 77% said that they convert more leads than those that don’t use any automation at all.
Social media has been a major driver of lead generation – with 66% of marketers generating leads from social media, even when they spend just six hours per week on social marketing and 1 in 2 saying they use social media to conduct market research. Of the social media networks, LinkedIn is considered the most effective channel for B2B lead generation – with 80% of B2B leads originating on the platform. However, it is also not used as much as it could be, and just 47% of marketers are using LinkedIn, even though around 45% have converted customers from the platform.
Outside of LinkedIn, Twitter generates a lot of potential leads – with around 82% of marketers getting leads on the microblogging platform. 39% of marketers have generated leads through Facebook, and 43% have acquired customers through the platform.
Other than social media, content marketing is responsible for generating a large number of leads – up to three times as many leads as outbound marketing. Content marketing is generally less than half the cost too, and with the additional benefit that content marketing offers in terms of building trust, improving SEO and driving repeat custom, it isn’t surprising that 80% of businesses are focusing their lead generation this way.
Businesses need to follow up potential leads quickly – it has been found that leads are up to nine times more likely to convert when the business follows up with them inside five minutes. Having staff available to respond quickly is essential to make those sales!
Global advertising spending is expended to grow 6% to $656 billion in 2020. Of that, digital advertising is expected to grow to $335 billion – so advertisers have a lot of competition on their hands!
The most expensive commercial of all time was created by fashion house Chanel. It cost $33 million, of which $3 million was paid to Nicole Kidman, who starred in the two minute clip. Unlike many adverts, the mini movie entitled The Film was debuted in movie theatres as Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in 2004. You can see the entire below – and if you find it a little reminiscent of a movie Nicole was in, you’d be right – the advert was directed by Baz Luhrmann, who also directed Moulin Rouge.
TV advertising statistics
Although TV and movie streaming services are offering another way to advertise, the power of TV advertising shouldn’t be abandoned just yet. Because consumers can’t skip TV ads, they get a high completion rate – up to 95%, which is why global TV advertising still accounted for over 34% of global ad spend in 2019. Experts are still suggesting that TV advertising spending will grow steadily to $75 billion by 2022, however Statista suggests that there is a drop of around 27.7% decrease in TV advertising expenditure in the United Kingdom in 2020 due to COVID-19, so there may be opportunities for marketers to take advantage of in the coming months.
Online advertising statistics
76% of marketers don’t use behavioural data to enhance their online ad targeting – which means there’s a lot of adverts not being seen by target customers, and a lot of their efforts are going to waste. Similarly, the average internet user is presented with more than 1700 banner ads every single month, but they only see half of them owing to tools like ad blockers.
Talking of ad blockers, between 2018 and 2019, the number of devices that use them worldwide rose from 142 million to more than 615 million. That means there is no way that businesses can rely solely on internet ads – marketing has to be a combination of strategies to be effective.
Between 70% and 80% of internet users don’t pay any attention to sponsored search results. Consumers are wising up to the fact that companies pay for their result to be displayed at the top of search results, and they don’t want them. In fact, customers are more likely to distrust the brand that uses paid advertising, which illustrates exactly why ranking organically is so important.
However, small businesses can earn up to $3 in revenue from every $1.60 they spend on Google Ads. There are plenty of options for businesses that don’t yet have the budget to pay for advertising, but those that can, should consider how they spend their budget carefully. Advertisers are responding to this too – Bing might not be the most popular search engine, but it is being used for experimenting, despite the average cost per click increasing by about 6%.
Although paid ads can be part of a strategy, B2B marketers have more faith in paid social ads. 72% of B2B marketers are using paid social posts – and there is evidence that paid social ads work from the B2C world, since 27% of users say they find new products and businesses to interact with via paid social ads, and 13% say that having a buy button increases the likelihood of purchasing directly from their social media.
A final point to note about advertising – the power of consumer-created content shouldn’t be ignored. Customer reviews are an essential part of the customer journey – with 95% of customers reading reviews before making a purchase, while 72% of customers won’t buy anything before they have read reviews. This phenomenon is just as powerful when it comes to B2B sales – 92% of B2B buyers will make a purchase as a result of reading a trusted review.
Up to 75% of companies don’t respond to online reviews – which is a huge mistake, since it has been shown that when a business replies to at least 25% of reviews, they increase their revenue by up to 35%. More than half of customers expect businesses to reply to reviews within seven days. 41% say that they have more trust in a company when they reply to reviews, and they spend around 49% more with businesses that reply to reviews.
There really is a lot more that we could dive into when it comes to marketing statistics – but we would be here forevermore, and you’d be (even more?) bored! Suffice it to say, marketing will continue to diversify, with newer streams such as podcast advertising growing significantly in 2021 and beyond. That means that advertising professionals need to stay on top of their game, to continue to develop their skills and to expand the mediums that they recommend to the businesses they work with.
Last Updated on October 20, 2020
Aires Loutsaris is a content marketing specialist working with some of the world’s biggest VC funded startups and eCommerce companies. He has 15 years of experience in organic search optimisation and content writing with over 2500 students enrolled in his Udemy SEO course. An ex-head of two award-winning agencies, he has lectured at the University of the Arts, London College of Fashion on content marketing and has consulted for all three of the Universities he studied at: The Open University, The University of Hull and Kings College University of London. Feel free to connect with Aires on LinkedIn or Facebook.