Effectively marketing content can be difficult, but when you consider that best practices, audience preferences and content creation techniques change frequently, things move from being difficult to nearly impossible for marketers to keep up with. Among all the confusion, finding the data they need to make educated decisions is perhaps one of the trickiest tasks for marketers and content creators.
But before you resign yourself to hours of Googling the most relevant data for your marketing efforts, read on. We have collected some of the best recent marketing studies into one location, so you can have direct and easy access to the information you need to know.Up on the latest studies? #ContentMarketing | # Marketing | #CreativeAgency | #FreelanceWriting Click To Tweet
Top recent marketing studies and research you should know as a content marketer:
1. Study finds increased video advertising opportunities for marketers, creators.
A new report by eMarketer that examines video ads in social media is finding that video creators are coming to be more and more in demand across all social platforms. In a survey of 350 marketers, a full 70 percent of respondents answered that they are using influencers in their digital video advertising, with another nine percent claiming they expect to do so before the conclusion of 2019.
Some of the key findings located in this report include:
- Although YouTube is still the most popular location for creators, ad opportunities for creators are presenting themselves more frequently in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. The report also calls out TikTok and Twitch as two platforms to keep an eye on for creators to promote content.
- Even though creators are expanding the number of platforms they use, the eMarketer report predicts that most creators will continue to utilize YouTube as their “home base.”
- The shifts in the creator landscape give marketers more opportunities to place paid advertising in content or around it. (9/5/19)
2. How marketers would spend their money if given a larger budget.
If you’re a marketer, chances are good that you would love to have a little more in your marketing budget — but if you suddenly got your desired increase, how would you spend it? A recent study from Heinz Marketing and Pan Communications aimed to learn how senior marketers would answer this question.
Here is what the study found:
- Nearly 1/3 of respondents claimed they would create more diverse content to expand reach in ways they currently lack. Examples of this kind of content include podcasts, videos and webinars.
- More than 1/4 of marketers said they would add more staff or other resources in order to develop more creative work.
- More than a quarter of respondents also said they would use the increased budget to invest in more marketing tools.
- Approximately 10 percent said they would use the money for ad spend and other promotions. (8/27/19)
3. See how your salary compares with your peers in the 2020 Salary Guide: Creative and Marketing.
The 2020 Salary Guide: Creative and Marketing details the expected salaries associated with many marketing-related positions in the United States — including some information about salaries marketers can expect in different cities. Among other information, some of the interesting results include:
- The median salary for a CMO is estimated to be about $164,000 per year in 2020.
- The 2020 forecast for a median starting salary for a digital strategist is $79,750.
- A social media manager in 2020 could expect a starting median salary of $59,500.
- The median starting salary for a copywriter is expected to be $72,500 in 2020. (9/17/19)
4. Young Americans are using social media less now than two years ago.
A report that details the use of social media by Americans between the ages of 12-34 shows that this group seems to be using most major social media platforms less than it did two years ago.
- Facebook use is down from 79 percent in 2017 to 62 percent in 2019.
- Twitter use decreased from 36 percent to 29 percent.
- Pinterest dropped from 36 to 31 percent.
- LinkedIn dropped slightly from 23 percent to 21 percent.
- Instagram — a notable exception — has thus far been able to buck the trend, growing from 64 percent two years ago to 66 percent this year. (9/17/19)
5. Morning is the most popular time to read marketing emails.
An analysis of 10 billion emails sent between April 2018 and April 2019 concluded that 1 in 5 emails opened are viewed in the three-hour period between 9 a.m. and noon. The peak hour for email opens is between 10-11 a.m., with the fewest emails opened occurring between the hours of 2-3 a.m.
The report also found that the hours at which emails are opened varied greatly depending on the device used. The number of emails opened on mobile devices stays fairly consistent throughout the day (from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.). On the other hand, emails opened on desktop peak in the morning, then drop throughout the remainder of the day. (6/17/19)An analysis of 10 billion emails concluded that 1 in 5 emails opened are viewed in the three-hour period between 9 a.m. and noon. #emailmarketing #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
6. Vidyard’s 2019 ‘Video in Business’ benchmark report released.
Almost any marketer can tell you that using video in marketing is important, but Vidyard’s 2019 “Video in Business” report provides a number of reasons that show that video marketing goes beyond simply being important — it’s vital to your marketing efforts.
Consider the following information from the report:
- When text and video are both available on a page, 7 out of 10 people would prefer to watch the video than read the text to learn about a product or service.
- Almost 9 out of 10 people (87 percent) say that they would like to see brands create more videos.
- Business videos are getting shorter. The study found that videos published in 2018 were an average of 4.07 minutes long. This is 33 percent shorter than the 6.07-minute length of videos in 2017.
- Businesses in the high-tech, communication, professional services and media industries are most likely to create video content. Businesses in these industries published an average of 300 videos in 2018. (8/1/19)
7. Study explores effectiveness of Quora ads vs. Reddit ads.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn may be well-known entities in your ad spend strategy, but there may be reason to branch out to other platforms.
A recent study by Bannersnack measured the effectiveness of ad spend on Quora vs. Reddit.v
Here is what the study found:
- Reddit ads had 7 times as many impressions as Quora ads. Despite this, Quora ads received more clicks.
- Despite the Quora ads receiving more clicks, the Reddit ads generated more sales.
- Almost all of the impressions and clicks on the Quora ads came from mobile.
Bannersnack didn’t declare a “winner” between the two platforms but did conclude that it may be worth marketers’ time to pay attention to both Quora and Reddit. (7/20/19)
8. Podcast consumption explodes.
Since January 2018, podcast mobile app usage has jumped 60 percent. More growth is expected, as nearly half of current podcast listeners say they plan to increase their consumption of podcasts in the future.
Marketers who are looking to build awareness about their podcasts would be wise to make mention of them in blogs and articles. According to an Adobe Analytics report, more than 40 percent of podcast discovery happens through online sources. Millennials are the largest demographic of podcast listeners, as one in three claims to listen to five or more podcasts each week. (8/15/19)
9. Adobe survey shows emojis could have an impact on your bottom line. (☉_☉)
In honor of World Emoji Day, which was held on July 17, Adobe developed a survey to try to learn more about how emojis affect communication and marketing efforts.
The survey, which includes responses from 1,000 teens and adults who use emojis at least weekly, yielded some interesting conclusions:
- More than 4 out of 5 (82 percent) of respondents use emojis in text messages, making texting the preferred medium for emoji usage. For social platforms, users are much more likely to use emojis on Facebook (48 percent) than on Instagram (21 percent), Snapchat (18 percent), or Twitter (6 percent).
- More than half of emoji users (51 percent) say they are more likely to comment on brands’ social media posts when those brands use emojis.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents say they are more likely to follow brands that use emojis on social media.
- A full 44 percent of respondents answered that they are more likely to buy products that are advertised using emojis.
Learn more about how incorporating more emojis, memes, and gifs could be advantageous to your marketing efforts. (7/15/19)More than half of emoji users say they are more likely to comment on brands' social media posts when those brands use emojis. | #contentmarketing | #socialmedia Click To Tweet
10. Survey details which items consumers are most likely to buy online.
Although online purchases have grown steadily in recent years, online shopping still only accounts for about one-tenth of all retail purchases in the United States, according to Signs.com in its “What We Buy Online Vs. In-Store” survey report.
According to the survey of nearly 1,000 shoppers, the ten items that people are most likely to buy in a store include: perishable groceries, non-perishable groceries, paper products, cleaning supplies, home and garden items, pet food, auto parts and accessories, furniture, tools and home improvement supplies, and appliances.
The survey found that the ten items people are most likely to buy online include: books and media, video games, electronics and accessories, gifts, toys and games, sports collectibles and memorabilia, musical instruments, outdoor equipment, clothing, and baby products.
Clothing is the one item that seems to be most purchased by both online and in-store shoppers. The survey found that 39 percent of respondents have shopped for clothing in stores and online in the last three months— compared to 32 percent who shopped only online and 29 percent who shopped only in a store. (7/22/19)
11. Marketing salary survey details what your peers are making.
Marketing Land’s 2019 Marketing Technology and Operations Salary Survey has found that nearly half of marketers in the United States make between $50-$100k per year — with most of this group making between $75-$100k per year.
The number of years of experience as a marketer seemed to have an effect on salaries. Marketers with 10+ years of experience rarely made less than $50k per year — with only three percent of respondents saying their salaries were in this range. Nearly two-thirds of respondents with more than 10 years of experience reported they earn more than $100k per year. (7/19/2019)
12. Major Instagram Stories analysis shows importance of videos.
Social Insider conducted an analysis of more than 135,000 Instagram Stories and concluded that brands who use videos are more likely to engage and retain their audiences in stories. Some of the other key findings of the analysis include:
- Slightly more than half (51 percent) of brands are using videos in stories.
- Brands publish to stories an average of seven days per month.
- The analysis concludes that six stories per day is the optimal number of stories. Brands retain about 70 percent of their viewers engaged through this tactic.
- Only six in 10,000 story viewers reply to stories — meaning audience retention is more likely than audience replies.
13. Review six key findings from Mary Meeker’s ‘Internet Trends’ report.
Perhaps no woman is as renowned in the digital marketing sphere as Mary Meeker. Her yearly ‘Internet Trends’ report has become a staple for content marketers seeking the data they need to help them make decisions for the upcoming year. The 333-page report is available for mass consumption, but if you are simply looking for a few highlights, consider the following:
- Mobile device use continues to increase. Digital media consumers spend an average of 3 hours 36 minutes per day on mobile device — an increase of about 18 minutes per day since 2017.
- People are spending an increasing amount of time on visual and video apps like Instagram and YouTube.
- The United States makes up 8 percent of the total global internet audience. China boasts 21 percent of the overall audience.
- Wearable technology continues to grow, with the total number of users doubling in the last four years.
- Digital purchases account for just 15 percent of all retail purchases, meaning 85 percent of purchases are still occurring in brick-and-mortar stores. The growth of ecommerce purchases is seemingly slowing down, as the year-to-year growth in these sales declined from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018.
- Nearly 3 in 5 Gen Z digital users claim YouTube to be their preferred learning channel. Annually, 4.5 billion hours of how-to content is viewed on YouTube.
14. Time spent per day falters on Facebook, increases on Instagram.
An eMarketer report forecasts that users will continue to spend more time on Instagram in upcoming years, but usage of Facebook and Snapchat will stagnate. According to the report, average Instagram usage will increase one minute per day each year through the end of 2021.
In that same time period, time spent per day on Snapchat will remain unchanged and time spent per day on Facebook will drop by one minute. Currently, users are averaging 38 minutes per day on Facebook, 27 minutes per day on Instagram, and 26 minutes per day on Snapchat. (5/28/19)
15. Mobile will be preferred platform for video ads by end of 2019.
Though many brands have repeated the “mobile first” mantra to themselves in recent years, the time for “predicting” that mobile will be a big thing for video is over. It’s here.
A report by PubMatic found in Q1 2019 that 50 percent of video ads consumed were viewed on a mobile device — up from 40 percent just one year prior in 2018. (5/23/19)
16. Here’s why consumers follow (and unfollow) brands on social media.
- To learn about new products or services
- To be entertained
- To stay up to date on company news
- To learn about promotions and discounts
- To connect with other people who are similar to me.
Conversely, users who unfollow brands on social media claim they do so for the following reasons:
- Poor customer service
- Irrelevant content
- Too many ads from that brand
- Too many promotional posts
- They talk about politics and/or social issues.
17. Surprising findings from social media marketing 2019 report
Just when you think you have your finger on the pulse of social media trends, a new report surfaces that makes you rethink your assumptions. Social Media Examiner’s 2019 report is one of those reports.
A few items to consider:
- Brand use of Twitter (59 percent) is much more prevalent than usage from the general public (19 percent).
- More than half (51 percent) of social media marketers plan to increase organic publishing despite Facebook’s admission that it is de-emphasizing organic news feed content.
- B2B marketers (80 percent) are much more likely to use LinkedIn in their marketing efforts than B2C marketers (46 percent).
- Not surprisingly, more than 60 percent of marketers consider Facebook to be the most important social channel for their marketing efforts. However, the gap between Facebook and second-place Instagram continues to narrow. The results from 2018 showed 67 percent of marketers claimed Facebook as the most important to Instagram’s 10 percent. The 2019 results show 61 percent for Facebook and 14 percent for Instagram. (5/7/19)
18. Content management and strategy survey shows work to be done.
As marketers — and marketing systems — mature, progress in the content management sphere is being made, but the 2019 Content Management & Strategy Survey shows there is still much for content managers to do. Some of the survey’s key findings include:
- Approximately 7 in 10 content management professionals say their organizations have performed a content inventory.
- Most organizations (nearly 8 in 10) have some sort of content management systems in place, but also claim there is a lot of manual work as well. Only 13 percent of marketers surveyed say they have developed a completely systematic approach.
- More than 40 percent of content management professionals surveyed say their organization has not acquired the needed technology to fully automate content management efforts. Conversely, about 40 percent say they have the right technology, but aren’t using it properly. (4/24/19)
19. Sprout Social 2019 Index shows organizations’ top challenges.
Regardless of if your social media marketing is managed by an executive or an intern, chances are that similar challenges exist in managing the brand’s social presence. The Sprout Social 2019 Index reports:
- Almost half (47 percent) of social media marketers say their top challenge is developing a strategy that supports the organization’s goals.
- More than 40 percent of social media marketers say identifying and understanding their target audience also is a major challenge.
- More than 70 percent of social media marketers say insights they gain could be useful for others in the organization outside the marketing department. (5/9/19)
20. Fewer marketing emails are landing in spam folders.
Like any marketer, you want for your emails to be opened — but in order for that to happen, you must ensure that your emails actually make it into the inbox instead of into the dreaded spam folder. The good news for email marketers is that in 2018, fewer marketing emails landed in spam folders than the prior year.
According to a Return Path study of nearly 7 billion marketing emails, roughly 9 percent of them landed in spam folders—a drop from the 14 percent of marketing marked as spam in 2017. Education/non-profit/government emails were most likely to be marked as spam (19 percent). Conversely, banking/finance emails were least likely to be marked as spam (4 percent). Take a look at our email marketing articles to increase the likelihood your emails lead to action. (4/25/19)
21. Survey shows how users interact with Google search features.
It is commonly believed that if Google includes information that links to your site in its Knowledge Panel or in a featured snippet, users are more likely to engage with the content than they would if they just found a link to your site in search results. A recent survey by Moz asked Google searchers a bevy of questions, including these two:
- When Google displays a featured snippet, what do you do?
- When Google answers your question in its knowledge panel, what do you usually do?
The most common response to the question about snippets was: “I will either complete my search or continue searching depending on the answer.” The most common response to the question about the knowledge panel was: “I scan the information in the Knowledge Panel, but usually continue searching through other links in the results.” In both instances, it looks like brands who don’t reach the coveted spots still have an opportunity to reach searchers. (4/22/19)
22. Advertising guilt trips turn consumers off of brands.
A study of high-intensity and low-intensity cause-related marketing efforts found that brand image and intent to purchase both improve when organizations engage in cause-related marketing efforts with a lighter touch than those evoking feelings of guilt.
The study examined brand efforts to combat child hunger and promote child cancer awareness. The test, which was run with both genders and multiple ages, found the panel of nearly 200 respondents overwhelmingly favored the low-intensity approach. The study’s sponsors recommended stories of empowerment and testimonials rather than in-your-face calls to action. (4/17/19)
23. A surprising number of people are using Facebook Stories.
Perhaps you are like many marketers who salivate over creating content for Instagram Stories, but barely take a second look when it comes to publishing content on Facebook Stories. If you are, now may be the time to shift your thinking.
In a recent earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Stories now has a remarkable 500 million daily active users, which is roughly one-third of Facebook’s daily active user total. This number also puts Facebook Stories views on the same level as Instagram Stories views. Daily active users for Instagram Stories reached 500 million earlier in 2019. (4/25/19)
24. Millennial travelers have reached search fatigue.
Information overload may be causing Millennial travelers to become bored with their digital vacation planning within just 40 minutes of commencing. Despite this, millennials still average about 8 hours of planning per vacation, according to new research.
Because of this so-called “net lag” or “scroll fatigue,” more than half of millennials choose to vacation at the same spots they have previously visited. Doing so requires less research and less online planning, hence less search fatigue.
Even if you don’t work in a vacation industry, the learnings from this study can be applied to your marketing efforts. If you know your customer base doesn’t have time for long, drawn-out web sessions, your best bet is to do all you can to provide the needed information as quickly and as easily as possible.
25. Social video ad spend will have immense growth in next two years.
Any marketer who is paying attention understands that social video ad spend is increasing, but the level at which it is increasing may be more than you expect. According to an eMarketer report, social video ad spending in the United States is expected to grow by 44 percent by 2021. This will amount to video ad spend reaching nearly $15 billion in two years’ time.
While YouTube and Facebook are expected to continue to be the dominant players in the video ad spend world, channels like Twitter and Instagram are also expected to continue to contribute to the growth.
26. Survey says bigger companies have more skilled marketers.
A new survey of more than 450 marketing leaders from small businesses and large organizations shows that those surveyed believe that marketers at large organizations are more skilled than their counterparts at small businesses. According to the survey, on a scale of 1-10, marketers at businesses that employ between 1-10 people rate an average of 6.43, while organizations with between 1,000-5,000 employees rate at an average of 7.93.
The survey also found that marketing training budgets are getting bigger; B2B and e-commerce organizations have the highest perceived marketing skills; and finding marketers who want to learn — and retaining them — is difficult for many organizations.
27. eMarketer forecasts that digital ad spend will top traditional in 2019.
Though digital ad spend has gained steam in recent years, it still has not overtaken the behemoth of traditional ad spend — until now. A report from eMarketer forecasts that 2019 will be the first year in which marketers spend more on digital ads than on traditional ads.
Digital ad spend is predicted to grow nearly 20 percent in 2019 — all the way to $129.3 billion this year. This is expected to amount to a little more than half (54 percent) of all ad spend in the United States this year.
28. Get ahead of stats for B2B content marketing in 2019.
The B2B Content Marketing 2019 report delves into several facets of marketing that are important for B2B marketers to understand — especially those who are asked to wear multiple hats. The report discusses audiences, video marketing, email campaigns, content spending, and more.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 successful B2B content marketers say they prioritize the informational needs of audiences over their own sales or promotional messages.
- More than half (56 percent) of B2B content marketers said they increased their content creation spending over the last 12 months. More than one-third (37 percent) said they increased spending on content marketing staff.
- Nearly two-thirds of B2B marketers (64 percent) say that their use of audiovisual content has increased over the last year. Similarly, 61 percent of respondents say that written digital content — such as blogs, ebooks, and articles — increased year-over-year.
29. Investigate why Instagram advertisers stay loyal, keep spending more.
While marketers have seen organic reach decrease on Facebook in recent months, the same is not true for Instagram. In fact, it may be true that Instagram’s ability to reach people organically is also spurring businesses to trust the platform and explore ad spend options as well. Kenshoo’s Q4 2018 Quarterly Trends Digital Marketing Report references some of the successes Instagram is experiencing thanks to new — and existing — ad buyers.
- Instagram experienced a 120 percent year-over-year increase in ad spend. Even from 2018 Q3 to Q4, the platform saw an increase of 43 percent.
- Existing advertisers are driving much of the ad spend growth on Instagram. The study concludes that more than 80 percent of the year-over-year increase in ad stems from existing advertisers.
- Perhaps even more impressive is that 97 percent of the ad spend increase from Q3 to Q4 also came from existing advertisers.
- Despite the increase in Instagram as spend, Facebook continues to be the big brother. Of the marketers who spend ad budget on Facebook and on Instagram, they rarely spend more than half of their ad budget on Instagram — opting instead on most of the ad spend going to Facebook.
More notable research and studies for content marketers:
30. Ascend2’s Strategies, Tactics, and Trends for Email Marketing report points out that a personalized email is the most difficult type of email to deploy. However, respondents also say that personalized emails are most effective.
31. A recent survey of 800 marketing professionals found that nearly 3/4 of respondents said that influencer marketing is a top priority in 2019. However, nearly 40 percent of those respondents also said that measuring ROI with influencer marketing is a major challenge.
32. Mobile video ads continue to see dramatic growth. A 2019 study shows that 50 percent of video ads are viewed on mobile devices — a 10 percent jump from the 40 percent viewed on the same devices in 2018.
33. Longer blog posts generate more social media shares. A recent study by Backlinko and Buzzsumo concludes that the best length for a blog post to be shared on social media is between 1,000-2,000 words.
34. Some of the email statistics that marketers should continue to keep in mind in 2019 (according to Convince & Convert) include: people spend 2.5 hours per weekday checking personal emails at work; the average email open rate across industries is just under 21 percent; and nearly 75 percent of email marketers send at least one email per week.
35. Square videos outperform other types of videos on social media. Buffer found in an experiment that square videos outperformed landscape videos in engagement, views, and completion rate.
36. More than half of your email list doesn’t open marketing emails. According to a report in AdWeek (subscription required), not only do most people not read your marketing emails, more than half of the emails are deleted before being opened. Almost 80 percent of those surveyed say they have unsubscribed from a brand’s email list. (3/3/19)
37. Catch up with the state of video marketing. Nearly 9 out of 10 brands are now creating video content for their marketing efforts, according to Wyzowl. Likewise, 87 percent of brands claim to use YouTube and have found success in that platform. More than 3/4 of respondents say they watch videos on mobile at least some of the time.