As we ready for year 2015 we’re all wondering how we should ideally invest our marketing dollars this year. If you’re struggling under the weight of this decision, why not dig deeper into the stats to see what others are doing and what creates the best ROI?
A report from eMarketer forecasts growth in digital ad spending by companies in the US of about 60% over the next 4 years. Consumer products and entertainment will have the biggest increases.
The amount of funds spent is staggering. It’s $50 billion spent in 2014 in the US, and for Canada it would conceivably be 10% of that or $5 billion. Marketers are now calling digital advertising, performance advertising which is simply promotion that generates a measurable, immediate action such as download or purchase.
It’s not to say that paid digital advertising such as Adwords ads are a waste of money. In fact, advertising should be part of your mix. However, how deeply have you researched into a cheaper more sustainable promotion and lead generating sources?
Inbound Marketing: All Roads Lead to Your Website
The obvious “better solution” is known as inbound marketing which might incorporate earned or paid media traffic sources. Inbound is composed of content (video, graphics, articles, whitepapers, social media posts) placed on the web or made accessible to anyone who wishes to share it. Hubspot reports that about 90% of companies are now into inbound marketing, yet many can’t prove the ROI
This content can generate significant volumes of traffic and leads for B2C or B2B businesses. Although generating content can have a cost, it has to be produced for paid advertising campaigns too. Advertising is more involved now. Isolated ads leading to minimalist landing pages are seeing decreasing returns. Marketers have to engage visitors in content to keep them. Those who don’t optimize their original content see their ad spend vanish into thin air.
According to Hubspot in their state of inbound 2014 survey, inbound marketers see social media, blogs, SEO, and PPC increasing in importance this year. Email is also vital to both inbound and paid advertising as a lead source.
Reach, Conversion, and Providing ROI
Improving conversion rates, brand awareness, and analyzing behaviour-based data are three tactical areas of improvement identified in Salesforce 2014 State of Marketing survey. Driving subscriber engagement loosely translates to increasing web, blog, and social media engagement with customers. What’s missing here is quality strategic content which creates reach, conversion and helps prove ROI.
Figure 1 Screenshot courtesy of Salesforce 2014 State of Marketing Report
Blogs, content and distribution are the key focus for most companies according to the 2014-15 Hubspot report.
Those companies who blog are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI. It seems a company blog is a kingpin in reaching customers and converting leads.
Inbound Cost is Much Lower
Marketers report a substantially lower cost (up to 66% less) with inbound marketing. This graphic shows the advantage is $150 less per lead for medium-sized companies. Hubspot offers some marketing ROI templates you might wish to try out.
Figure 2 Chart Courtesy of Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report 2014
Marketing Budgets on the Rise
As the figure below shows, marketers for mid sized companies report marketing budgets ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000 per year. Surveys suggest companies will be spending more in 2015.
Figure 3 Chart Courtesy of Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report 2014
The Challenge: Complete 5 Key Tasks
The 5 key tasks for improving digital marketing performance appear to be:
- Optimize ad spend with better content and conversion tactics
- Test out inbound content marketing and improve performance
- Prove ROI so that ad dollars can be moved to inbound
- Find talent to create content and manage inbound marketing strategy
- Blog more and increase content distribution
If you’ve been spending $50 to $100k per year on digital advertising, maybe now’s the time to speak with us about an inbound marketing strategy.
Ravenshoe Group provides full service marketing. Focus your digital marketing budget on high quality original content that includes photography, video, blog and social media posts, along with a professional level Adwords ad campaign and follow up email campaign. It works best when your mix works together to keep your brand top of mind with customers. If you have no brand, we’ll help you with that too.