The world is moving online, and so is marketing. As these digital marketing statistics show, digital advertising will drive much of the growth in global advertising in the coming years, making the role of digital marketers pivotal for the success of any business. We’ve put together the most important facts and figures marketers and business owners need to know to ensure they remain competitive in 2020.
Covering everything from growth data to the most notable trends in digital marketing, these statistics will further help you start the new decade with the most relevant information to boost your marketing strategy.
Worldwide, the amount spent on digital advertising is projected at about $385 billion for 2020. The figure first crossed the total ad spend halfway mark in 2019, and this share is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. In some countries like China and the UK, digital ads already account for nearly 70% of the total ad spend.
Statistics show that much of the global advertising growth is driven by digital marketing industry growth. Much of it is concentrated in two areas, with paid search and social media ad spending estimated to be worth $109 billion and $76 billion, respectively. Social media ad spending, however, will be the biggest contributor to the overall ad budget growth in 2020.
Google’s role in global advertising is a key indicator of digital marketing’s influence. Other top internet companies will also benefit from digital marketing growth, with Facebook estimated to account for 13% of the market and Amazon accounting for 2.5%.
Mobile advertising, which specifically targets customers on mobile devices, is going to be another major growth area. Mobile in-app advertising is a separate domain within mobile advertising that is seeing a particular surge. North America is the world’s largest regional market for mobile advertising, with advertising statistics showing that the US alone will account for $86.84 billion in mobile advertising by 2020. Mobile advertising will also account for nearly 36% of all ad budgets stateside by 2020, up from 23.5% in 2016.
For Millennials and Gen Zers, the figure can be as high as 10 hours a day. The time spent online by people across the world is increasing, thanks to better connectivity, a greater variety of content, and affordable devices to browse the internet on the go. This is in contrast to the declining rates of engagement with TV or print media. So, why is digital marketing important? The fundamental reason is that the easiest way to reach your customers now is by targeting them online.
Consumers interact with brands across several channels and want high-quality messaging across all of these. Having sound strategies across all channels is necessary because omnichannel marketing consistently shows better returns. Such campaigns have an 18.96% engagement rate, on average, compared to 5.4% for single-channel efforts. The former also see 90% higher customer retention rates than the latter.
The digital marketing industry has several tools at its disposal enabling it to offer personalized experiences across different marketing channels, and consumers know this. They are more likely to become repeat customers for brands that offer a personalized shopping experience, while impersonal experiences are likely to elicit frustration. Personalization further has objectively positive results on purchase decisions, with at least 40% of marketers reporting a direct improvement in sales and profits courtesy of their customer personalization efforts.
Personalization requires handling masses of user data, but in the wake of multiple data breaches and the consequent data protection-related legislation, reliance on third-party data has taken a hit. 81% of marketers report being worried about the use of third-party data because of privacy concerns and are tapping into internal data to help with targeting and personalization.
Such digital marketing facts hold even more relevance if data is collected unknowingly from the users. At the same time, 71% of mobile users worldwide say that they would willingly share their data if they knew exactly what was being collected and how it would be used. Digital marketing is dealing with a trust problem and needs to move to a model based on transparency and user choice.
The growing popularity of progressive web apps, which are lighter and not native to a single platform is a key trend that advertising companies should be aware of. We have already seen that mobile is crucial for any digital marketing strategy, and that these apps provide a useful avenue to reach mobile customers. Apart from increasing traffic, progressive web apps are also associated with more than a 75% surge in session length and more than a 50% increase in mobile site conversions.
Machine learning and AI are the biggest trends in online marketing in 2020 so CMOs and their teams need to ensure they don’t get left out. AI helps marketers understand sales cycles better and facilitates coordination with sales teams. As a result, on average, AI has been noted to increase sales, improve customer retention, and enhance the success of new product launches.
The current primary use of AI is in delivering personalized content to customers. Apart from predictive analytics to derive customer insights, digital marketing stats show that other prominent marketing uses include targeting decisions, customer segmentation, programmatic advertising, optimization of marketing content and timing, and conversational AI for customer service.
With marketers looking to provide immersive experiences to customers, the use of VR and, more importantly, AR is likely to play a major role in the current decade. Seven out of 10 media planners and buyers want more AR and VR ads incorporated into digital marketing campaigns, while consumers are increasingly becoming comfortable with such experiences and reward them.
(Boot Camp Digital)
For the same period, the market shares for Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and Yandex RU were 2.32%, 1.59%, 1.06%, and 0.56%, respectively. Google has held on to its share for quite some time now, with growth in other search engines’ usage countered by its own increasing influence. Google.com and YouTube.com are also the two most visited websites in the world, followed by Facebook, Baidu, Twitter, and Instagram, as per website viewership statistics.
SEO is not going out of fashion anytime soon. In fact, 70% of marketers reckon it’s more effective than PPC. With the understanding of how to get ahead in SEO marketing improving, marketers are getting savvy with tactics such as providing high-quality content and link building.
Local SEO has emerged as a major aspect of the bigger SEO marketing game. Search engine statistics show that nearly 90% of consumers interact with a local business within 24 hours of searching for it on a mobile device, while 50% of “near me” mobile Google searches result in a store visit. If you want to benefit from this increasing use of search to discover local businesses, upping your local SEO game is crucial. Check out our local SEO stats to learn more about the importance of optimizing your online presence for your local market.
While this stat is limited to US consumers, digital marketing industry growth statistics show that global online traffic is also increasingly mobile. Other stats show that while mobile-optimized sites are found to be more trustworthy by at least half of all internet users, 57% of consumers say they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website. With more than 50% of online sales projected to come from mobile devices by 2021, your site’s mobile optimization is something you should have done already.
The next major trend SEO agencies need to be prepared for is voice search. Voice commerce sales in the US alone are expected to be worth $40 billion by 2022, up from $1.8 billion in 2017. With voice search features on smartphones improving and the popularity of home assistant devices from the likes of Amazon and Google growing, people are getting used to not having to type their searches. Mobile voice-related searches are also three times more likely to be local-based than text searches.
According to marketing statistics from Gartner, brands that will adopt early and invest in visual and voice search strategies will increase their digital commerce revenue by up to 30%. With apps or app features like Google Lens and Bing Visual Search, the era of visual search is already upon us, requiring marketers to redesign their websites to rank high in that category as well.
Highly targeted long-tailed keywords see less competition and are, therefore, less expensive. SEO marketers therefore need to focus on identifying their key customer base and targeting it with highly specific keywords. This will also play an important role in defining the content marketing strategy in the coming years.
Blog posts are among the most popular types of content used for marketing, with 55% of decision-makers citing building a blog as their organization’s top content marketing priority. It’s for good reason too, with stats showing that companies using blogs see 97% more links to their websites than companies that don’t.
Content marketing experts, however, recommend letting the intent of the blog decide the average blog post length for you. Some content is intended for social media sharing, has a general topic, and is meant for an audience likely to appreciate a snappy article, meaning that 300 to 350 words can get the job done. Then, if you are writing specifically for ranking purposes or providing detailed information, 2,000+ words might be better.
Multiple blogging statistics indicate that users, in general, would prefer watching a video than reading a blog post. Eight out of 10 people have purchased a piece of software or an app after watching a brand’s video. Even on social media, users have a soft spot for videos, with over 70% of users admitting to being influenced by branded videos.
Among the most widely quoted video marketing statistics is that video will represent 82% of all internet traffic by 2021. Surveys consistently show that marketers see better brand awareness and higher ROI along with a drop in support calls as a result of investing in videos. With more than 60% of B2C and B2B commerce companies already using video marketing, ads and other clips describing products and services are likely to form a good part of the projected massive content growth.
With so much content vying for viewers’ time, it’s crucial for video marketing companies to focus on quality. While users are receptive to video content, data shows that 75% of consumers admit to deciding against buying a product because the voiceover in the product video annoyed them. Further research shows that viewer attention seems to drop if the video is 2 minutes long but picks up again for videos between 6 and 12 minutes.
The growth in popularity of audiobooks and podcasts, driven by the availability of diverse content, means that another avenue for marketers has opened up. In countries like the US, where the audience for podcasts is already quite substantial and growing at a steady pace, content marketing agencies can tap into this trend for better returns. About 22% of podcast listening takes place in people’s cars, which provides the opportunity to reach customers on their way to a purchase.
Social media advertising is the most popular paid distribution channel, with 72% of organizations using paid social media ads or promoted posts as part of their content seeding strategy. This is different from posting directly to an organization’s social media profile, which is also useful for successful content seeding.
(Content Marketing Institute)
This would mark a substantial increase from the already high number of 3.7 billion users and 269 billion daily emails in 2017, proving that email will remain a prominent form of communication. This means its role in marketing is unlikely to diminish, with nearly 50% of consumers saying they like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands on a weekly basis. Particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, email usage statistics show that this remains an important marketing channel.
A smart email marketing strategy that employs tactics like segmentation and personalization, can make you good money. With nearly 50% of all emails opened on mobile devices now, this type of marketing can also give you access to a mobile audience. Given the relative ease and effectiveness of email marketing, it is no wonder that 81% of SMBs still rely on this means of communication as their primary customer acquisition channel, while 80% of email marketing companies trust it for customer retention.
Video is an effective way to improve engagement rates for email communication. Do not overlook other tried-and-true tactics like personalization, though, with personalized subject lines known to generate 50% higher open rates. Similarly, segmented email marketing campaigns get 14.64% more email opens and 59.99% more clicks in comparison to non-segmented campaigns.
Marketing stats show that email marketing can be handy for B2B digital marketing, with 84% of B2B marketers reporting it as their most implemented tactic in 2019. As e-newsletters, emails also form an important part of content marketing campaigns. Content Marketing Institute data suggests that 93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content, while 40% say that e-newsletters are the most crucial for their content marketing success.
In 2019, 3.48 billion people around the world were using social media. That means nearly 42% of the global population was on at least one social media platform. If you are a digital marketer, there’s a very good chance that your target customer is reachable on social media Of the various platforms, Facebook remains the one with the greatest reach, with nearly 2.5 billion monthly active users.(Global Digital Report)
Marketing facts also suggest that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn are not just used to build social networks or share personal news. At least one out of two social media users also takes to these platforms to find out more about products and services, making them ideal avenues for influencing purchase decisions.
The major role played by social media influencers is one of the most important trends social media marketing agencies should note in 2020. Millennials, the age group with increasing purchasing power, are likely to be influenced by social media stars, making influencer marketing an even more important medium. Already, more than 90% of digital marketers use influencer marketing in some form, with 90% believing it to be quite effective. Nearly 40% of marketers are also planning to continue increasing their influencer marketing budget in 2020.
The growing importance of user-generated content is one of the more notable digital marketing trends of 2020. Such content provides validation about a product or service from other users — be it friends and family members or social influencers — and consumers trust this feedback a lot more than an endorsement by celebrities.
The ephemeral nature of the stories format has been a big hit with social media users, especially Millennials and Gen Z users, one in four of whom look for stories of the products or services they’re interested in. Digital marketing growth figures suggest that Facebook Stories and WhatsApp Status, which intend to replicate the popularity of Instagram Stories, reached 500 million daily active users within two years of their launch. Marketers are finding these stories cost-effective and great for engagement, retention, and reach.
With the digital marketing landscape getting more competitive and consumers getting more demanding, digital marketing experts need to pay attention to key trends more carefully than ever. This means incorporating known top-performing strategies across SEO, social media, email, content, and other communication channels. At the same time, as these digital marketing statistics show, marketing executives and their teams need to get well-versed in emerging technologies like AI and AR for that extra edge over the competition.