Atomic Reach’s content marketing & curation blog provides content optimization and performance strategies with Writing tips on how to create audience-centric content to connect and engage with your readers.
As a marketing professional, you know that the relevance of your content is just as important as its quality.
No savvy marketer would send pricing information to a prospect who’s just beginning their journey, or create a high-level brochure for a buyer who’s two steps away from signing a deal.
Insightful marketers know that relevant content must take centre stage to stand out and capture buyers’ attention.
But this intricate matchmaking can sometimes feel overwhelming and might leave you wondering:
How is it possible to gauge the relevance of content as a buyer moves through the various sales stages?
How can you be sure your content is engaging prospects in the right way?
How can you ensure your content strategy is improving over time?
If you’ve found yourself pondering any of the above questions, there’s good news.
A variety of tech solutions are available to help marketers measure content performance and ensure their content is always relevant to a prospects’ buying stage. Read on for tips on how these tools can elevate a seller’s’ performance to see the greatest returns.
The Overture: Content Management for Marketers
As a marketer, your job is to kick off a sales performance by setting the stage for the buyer.
How well the performance is going (i.e., how much you’ve succeeded in engaging your audience) can be measured using data collected from initial interactions with the customer, as well as from responses gathered from your sales team.
Tools that give you access to engagement metrics at the start of your performance include:
Automation - Automation solutions are your best bet when you want to reach a wide audience and track its response, providing in-depth analytics on who’s engaging with your content and in what way. These metrics can aid in assessing product awareness and provide clues as to how best to proceed with each buyer.
Content Management - By organizing your assets with content management capabilities, you gain vital insight into your content. The best content management systems provide analytics on essential points such as content coverage (as in, “Are my reps covered when it comes to finding the content they need, when they need it?”) and content freshness (“Is my content up-to-date or am I using last year’s messaging?”).
Act 1: Sales Activity Monitors
Once the curtain rises on an interaction between product and consumer, the performance moves into the hands of the sales reps. Reps can then personalize content, making them relevant to each scenario.
Activity that occurs at this stage can reveal to marketers how content is helping or hindering sellers––thereby alerting marketing to potential misfires and improving overall content efficiency.
Tools that monitor sales activity and synthesize the resulting data include:
Sales Enablement Solutions - A comprehensive sales enablement tool can serve as a powerful Swiss Army knife for anyone looking to keep tabs on buyer engagement and behaviour. Sales enablement solutions can track content usage, pitches made in the field, and more.
Content Comparison Analytics - This tech solution can compare and contrast various versions of a specific piece of content once it’s been modified during the selling stage. Marketers who employ content comparison techniques can get a better sense of which assets may require some editing before they make their next big debut.
Act 2: Buyer Engagement
When a sales performance is well underway, the buyer takes centre stage. At this point, it’s helpful to have a system in place for tracing buyer engagement trends.
Taking note of prospect behaviours and amending your playbook accordingly are critical steps in the engagement measurement process.
Tools that build prospect profiles and track content interaction include:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – A must-have for many sellers, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions store information on demographics, buying history, contact information, and more.
Content Engagement Tools – These can include social media analytics and solutions for measuring website metrics. With an engagement platform in place, you can even trace and analyze emerging KPIs such as scroll depth, or perhaps mine customer comments for useful intel.
AI Phone Monitors – “This call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes.” Sound familiar? AI solutions can synthesize information gleaned from phone conversations to help you achieve a better understanding of your buyers’ needs and concerns.
Epilogue & Final Bows: Impact Evaluation for All Departments
Before the curtain comes down on a sales journey, it’s good to get a general sense of the amount of applause you’ve raked in. Employing solutions that examine the impact of specific pieces of content will help you re-assess and plan ahead for the next performance. This practice can encourage accountability and increase your odds of seeing an uptick in revenue.
Tools for gauging impact across both marketing and sales departments include:
Sales Enablement – A robust sales enablement platform will let you review content in terms of how much revenue and how many deals it has influenced. Sales enablement will also use AI and machine-learning technology to review the “lessons” of past performances and provide even better predictions for high-performing content in the future.
Closed-Loop Analytics Tools – Closed-loop solutions magnify visibility into content campaigns and let you use end-of-funnel findings to inform top-of-funnel processes. Tools such as this often require the integration of data from two or more platforms used by different departments (a CRM and a sales enablement solution, for example).
Driving Engagement Across The Board
The beauty of the sales journey is that it’s always evolving. Marketing and sales teams can leverage tools to optimize their content for next time –– just like actors who use director’s notes and audience feedback to enhance their next performance.
Build your next performance on a foundation of actionable metrics and tailor your content to your audience members at every stage.
If we take into account that there are just under 8 billion people in the world, that means that 21.8 percent of this planet’s population buys online.
These individuals have varying tastes, expectations, and wants. Finding the right audience for your e-commerce store should take all of these elements into account.
Understanding your ideal buyer will allow you to create strategies that will help you to develop leads that you can then convert into sales. So, your task is finding out as much about the trends of e-commerce as well as your audience. We are here to help with that.
If you are stepping into the world of e-commerce, we invite you to take a look at the below statistics to help you create strategies to better reach your online audience.
E-Commerce Industry and Demographic Statistics
Before you open your next e-commerce store, you have to know exactly what you are getting into. Understanding the state of the current industry, as well as data concerning the overall audience of e-commerce stores, can help you create effective strategies.
So, what is currently happening in the world of e-commerce? Take a look at these stats below.
E-commerce sales are projected to grow to $4.1 trillion in 2020. (Source)
Fifty-seven percent of online shoppers purchase from overseas retailers. (Source)
Asia has the largest regional e-commerce market with $831 billion. (Source)
In 2021, there are estimated to be over 2.14 billion people worldwide who purchase goods online. (Source)
In 2019, e-commerce sales are expected to account for 13.7 percent of worldwide retail sales. (Source)
Roughly half of American small businesses do not have a website. (Source)
The top reason that people choose to shop online is that they can shop at all hours of the day. (Source)
The preferred device for shopping online is a laptop or PC. (Source)
China and the United States are the countries with the top two projected e-commerce growth from 2018 to 2023. (Source)
In North America, the top two product categories are video gaming (31 percent) and packed grocery (19 percent). (Source)
E-Commerce Customer Service Statistics
While customers care about your product, they also are influenced by the way you treat them. Creating a worthwhile customer experience starts with exceptional customer service.
Great customer service increases trust, brand loyalty, and makes it even more possible for customers to return for another purchase.
Below are statistics that reveal the significance of e-commerce customer service, and how customers respond in favourable and unfavourable situations.
80% of people stop doing business with a company because of poor customer service. (Source)
Consumers are most likely to trust a business that makes it easy to contact people at the company. (Source)
Abandoned cart follow-up emails have an average open rate of 45 percent. (Source)
Eighty-two percent of consumers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a marketing or sales question. (Source)
90 percent of consumers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a support question. (Source)
30 percent of online consumers have posted product feedback online. (Source)
81 percent of consumers trust the advice of family and friends over businesses. (Source)
Nearly 70 percent of US online shoppers said that their most recent return experience was “easy” or “very easy,” and 96 percent would buy from their retailer again based on their experience. (Source)
More than two-thirds of shoppers are deterred by having to pay for return shipping (69 percent) or restocking fees (67 percent). (Source)
Seventeen percent of shoppers said they would not make a purchase without the option to return to a physical store. (Source)
Shopping Cart E-Commerce Statistics
You may have developed a stellar email marketing strategy that helps customers move through your promotional email to add a product to their cart.
However, you want to ensure they complete the sale. There are many reasons customers decide to abandon—or purchase—the items in their cart.
Here are some statistics to help you hone your e-commerce shopping cart strategy to ensure customers complete the sale.
The top reason that shoppers abandon their carts during checkouts is high extra costs. (Source)
One out of four shoppers abandons their carts because of a long or complicated check out process. (Source)
Better checkout design can lead to 35.26 percent increase in conversion rate. (Source)
Online shoppers abandon their carts 68 percent of the time. (Source)
34 percent of shoppers abandon carts if they are required to create an account. (Source)
$260 billion worth of lost orders can be recovered through better checkout design. (Source)
Cart abandonment rates are highest for travel sites (81.1 percent) and lowest for fashion retailers (73.5 percent). (Source)
When it comes to fashion and retail, 34 percent of customers abandon their carts because they were just looking or researching. (Source)
Fifty-four percent of shoppers will purchase products left in shopping carts if those products are offered at a lower price. (Source)
Out of ten items that are put into an average user’s online cart, only about 3.2 items are actually purchased. (Source)
Technology-Related E-Commerce Statistics
It is impossible to talk about e-commerce statistics and strategies without having a conversation about technology and digital tools.
How customers find your store online, the devices they use to access it, and their experience navigating it all is crucial to understand.
So, below are some statistics about the technology-related aspects of e-commerce purchases, and the impact on customer experiences.
In 2019, mobile e-commerce is estimated to account for 67.2 percent of digital sales. (Source)
65 percent of shoppers look up price comparisons on their mobile device while in a physical store. (Source)
48 percent of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other means of contact. (Source)
40 percent of consumers do not care if a chatbot or a human is helping them as long as they are getting the help they need. (Source)
Over 70 percent of buyers would be more loyal to brands who incorporate augmented reality as part of their shopping experience. (Source)
Over 40 percent of millennials have made a purchase using voice search before making a purchase online. (Source)
By 2021, it is predicted that early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30 percent. (Source)
37 percent of customers will leave a website if the layout is unattractive or too difficult to use. (Source)
57 percent of customers will leave a website if they have to wait more than 3 seconds for it to load. (Source)
44 percent of internet retail minutes are spent on mobile phones, and 11 percent is spent on tablets. (Source)
Customer Buying Process E-Commerce Statistics
How are customers finding out about your business? Also, how are they making the decision about whether to abandon their cart or move forward with a purchase?
Understanding the customer buying process—especially in relation to e-commerce stores—is crucial to creating strategies that can attract your target audience.
So, check out the stats below for insights into how customers are moving through their purchase decisions.
On average only 2.86 percent of e-commerce website visits convert into a purchase. (Source)
48 percent of online shoppers head straight to a large e-commerce marketplace. (Source)
1 dollar of every 3 dollars of monthly discretionary income is spent online. (Source)
In Q4 of 2015, nearly half of all U.S. e-commerce sessions were from transactions from repeat visitors. They spent almost double the amount of what new shoppers spent in that time period. (Source)
60 percent of consumers take the time to review a return policy before making a buying decision. (Source)
35 percent of product searches begin on marketplaces. (Source)
74 percent of online shoppers rate product selection as important during the online search process. (Source)
31 percent of product searches begin on retailer’s channels while 15 percent start on search engines. (Source)
30 percent of consumers say they would rather buy from a website they’ve bought from previously. (Source)
85 percent of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online. (Source)
Social Media E-Commerce Statistics
When it comes to purchasing online items, social media platforms are playing a larger role in purchasing decisions.
Across the globe, many individuals are spending more and more time on social media where they are exposed to ads, interactions with corporations, and recommendations from peers.
If marketers can harness the power of social media marketing, they can turn followers and engagement into e-commerce conversions.
Social media is the third most used channel for research regarding an online purchase at 38 percent. (Source)
15 percent of online shoppers have made purchases by following a link from social media. (Source)
25 percent of business owners are selling through Facebook. (Source)
40 percent of business owners as a whole are using social media to generate sales. (Source)
30 of consumers say they would make purchases through Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. (Source)
23 percent of consumer’s purchasing decisions are influenced by recommendations on social media. (Source)
80 percent of those who use Instagram use the platform to decide whether to buy a product or service. (Source)
When compared to non-users, Instagram users are 70 percent more likely to make online purchases on their mobile devices. (Source)
78 percent of American consumers have discovered retail products to buy on Facebook. (Source)
Online stores that have a social presence have 32 percent more sales on average than store that don’t. (Source)
Amazon E-Commerce Statistics
Amazon is the top e-commerce platform in the country. You cannot have a conversation about online marketplaces and digital sales without including Amazon.
Many small business owners have opened stores on the platform, and in 2018 Amazon’s share of the e-commerce market hit 49 percent.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to understand the influence of Amazon and how it can impact your e-commerce approach.
Each month more than 197 million people around the world visit Amazon. (Source)
9 out of 10 consumers check the price of a product on Amazon. (Source)
55 percent of consumers begin their online shopping searches on Amazon. (Source)
95 million people have Amazon Prime Memberships in the U.S. (Source)
On average, 2 in 5 consumers receive one to two packages from Amazon every week. (Source)
For consumers 18 to 25, 50 percent receive one to two packages a week, while the same goes for 57 percent of those in the 26 to 35 age range. (Source)
More than a third of customers use Amazon to fill prescriptions online. (Source)
In the last six months, 83 percent of US consumers have made a purchase on Amazon. (Source)
The largest revenue segment for Amazon in 2018 were retail products. (Source)
Lower prices are the most important factor driving U.S. buyer decisions on Amazon. (Source)
Google E-Commerce Statistics
While Amazon does beat out Google on product searches, the search engine is still a popular tool for customers to research or find products.
Understanding the ways that consumers are using Google during their buying process, is essential to creating an e-commerce strategy that allows you to attract your ideal buyer.
Take a look at the statistics below for valuable insights.
Over 3.5 billion searches occur on Google every day. (Source)
35 percent of product searches start on Google. (Source)
The average amount of time between a Google product search and a purchase is 20 days (it’s 26 days on Amazon). (Source)
20 of Google searches on mobile are done with voice. (Source)
21 percent of searches lead to more than one clicks on Google’s results. (Source)
43 percent of all e-commerce traffic comes from organic Google searches. (Source)
The first position on Google search results on desktop has a 20.5 percent clickthrough rate in 2017. (Source)
Over 64 percent of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online. (Source)
Google drives 95 percent of paid search ads clicks on mobile. (Source)
Twenty-six percent of e-commerce traffic comes from Google Adwords. (Source)
Generational E-Commerce Statistics
In 2019, there are four different generations that are shopping, interacting with brands, and researching products and services.
Each one has their own motivations, experiences, and economic status. Your challenge as an e-commerce marketer is to appeal to these individuals, and that starts with understanding the traits that contribute to their buying habits.
So, take a look at the below statistics on generational e-commerce statistics for some helpful insights.
As of 2017, Generation X shoppers are the most active online shoppers with an average of 19 transactions per person. (Source)
Generation X makes 20 percent more purchases than millennials. (Source)
Baby Boomers are just as likely to shop online as millennials. (
There is always debate among marketers what the effective uses of a marketing budget are.
But, one thing almost all of them agree on is that even though pay-per-click (PPC) ads have been around for some time, they are still one of the most effective forms of advertising.
With popular platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook offering incredible targeting for specific consumers and their budget-friendly pricing, it's no wonder that 74% of businesses are investing in PPC.
If you want to make the case to your company execs that PPC should be a bigger part of your marketing teams role, then check out these stats below that show just how effective it can be as a marketing channel and what trends we are seeing in the PPC space through 2019.
Why Your Business Needs To Be Using PPC
PPC ads are helping brands generate leads, increase awareness, get into the search results and have an almost immediate impact, with clearly measurable results.
When used in conjunction with other marketing strategies they can become one of your most powerful revenue streams.
However, not every business is using PPC, whether you don't have an in-house expert to manage campaigns, or don't have the time or budget to add it into your marketing strategy, once you see the stats below you will realize these are small hurdles you can overcome to see some great results from PPC.
Facebook’s ad revenues exceed the entire print industry in 2019 (EMarketer)
Search ads can increase businesses brand awareness by up to 80 percent. (SEO Tribunal)
Traffic that comes through PPC ads brings in 50 percent more lead conversions than organic search traffic. (Wordlead)
PPC ads and organic search links are difficult for internet users to distinguish, with 46 percent saying they can not readily tell the difference. (PPC resellers)
46 percent of clicks on a page go to the top 3 PPC ads. (Powertraffick)
PPC puts you at the top of the SERPS which is vital to have a thriving online business as 75 percent of users never get past the first page of the SERPs. If you're not getting in one of those slots you are losing three-quarters of market exposure. (biztraffic)
41% of all click-throughs in the SERPs go to the top 3 results. That combined with 75 percent not making it past the first page means you need to take every advantage you can get and PPC is an effective and often speedy way to get you at the top of the SERPs.
SEO vs PPC
There is often some debate between marketers whether SEO or PPC is the more effective strategy. In most cases, you will see the best results by incorporating both into your marketing plan.
They are two very different types of marketing and have different benefits, with PPC, results are often easily measured and more immediate than with SEO which is a longer-term strategy.
Here are some stats to show you why you should be giving PPC at least the same level of priority as SEO:
Click-throughs from PPC results convert at a 1.5 times higher rate than their organic counterparts. (New Media Campaigns)
Website visitors that come through PPC make purchases 50 percent more often than visitors that come through organic sources. (Unbounce)
PPC delivers fast results, being able to get you on the first page of the SERPs for your keywords in just one day. (New Media Campaigns)
PPC metrics are easier to gather than SEO, making it much easier to ascertain how effective campaigns are and what your ROI is. (Unbounce)
These stats may make it seem like PPC is the better investment but that doesn't mean you should ignore SEO, in fact, PPC is more effective when used as part of a larger marketing strategy that includes SEO. (New Media Campaigns)
PPC for Local Businesses
Local business is relying more and more on search engines and social platforms. Where once, they would have been eclipsed by larger national business these days things are turning around.
88 percent of mobile searches for local consumer businesses result in a call or location visit to said business within 24 hours. (Nectafy)
46 percent of Google searches are seeking local information. (Google)
Consumers who visit a store that they have clicked a Google search ad for before their visit spend 10 percent more in-store. (Google)
72 percent of customers preferred method to find information on local stores is through an online search. (WebVisible survey)
Of all in-store purchases, 40 percent of their journeys begin online. (Blue Corona)
Google Ads are one of the most popular forms of PPC and with over a trillion searches in 2018 that should come as no surprise.
As one of the most dominant search engines worldwide it's important for marketers to understand the ins and outs of the platform and how they best use it to hit the KPIs for their specific business.
63,000 searches are conducted every second of everyday on Google. (Search Engine Land)
The average small business gets $3 back for every $1.60 they spend on Google's paid ads. (powertraffick)
Around 52 percent of online shoppers click on the paid ads that display at the top of Google's SERPs. (ppcresellers)
74.5 percent of all computer-based searches are entered into Google. (ppcstatistics)
Google has 89.95 percent of the search market share. (Statista)
Although ad blockers are becoming more common, 90 percent of internet users still see Google Display Ads. (ppcresellers)
The average CTR on Google Ads is 3.17 percent across all industries
On the display network the average CTR is 0.46% across all industries.
Googles CPC dropped by 13 percent in Q4 of 2018/2019. (Statistic Stats)
In comparison, Bings CPC rose by 6 percent during the same time. (Statistic Stats)
Google Search Ads CTR by Industry
Knowing what the average of everyone can expect from their Google Ads is helpful but knowing how your specific industry fairs is even better.
There are surprisingly large differences in CTR by industry with the top being Dating & Personals at 6.05 percent and the bottom of technology getting almost only a third of that at 2.09 percent.
The average CTR for Advocacy is 4.41 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Auto is 4.00 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for B2B is 2.41 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Consumer Services is 2.41 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Dating & Personals is 6.05 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for E-Commerce is 2.69 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Education is3.78 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Employment Services is 2.42 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Finance & Insurance is 2.91 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Health & Medical is 3.27 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Home Goods is 2.44 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Industrial Services is 2.61 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Legal is 2.93 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Real Estate is 3.71 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Technology is 2.09 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CTR for Travel & Hospitality is 4.68 percent. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Advocacy $1.43. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Auto is $2.46. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for B2B is $3.33. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Consumer Services is $6.40. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Dating & Personals is $2.78. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for E-Commerce is $1.16. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Education is $2.40. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Employment Services is $2.04. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Finance & Insurance is $3.44. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Health & Medical is $2.62. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Home Goods is $2.94. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Industrial Services is $2.56. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Legal is $6.75. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Real Estate is $2.37. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Technology is $3.80. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Travel & Hospitality is $1.53. (Wordstream)
CPC (cost-per-click), just like CRT can vary massively between industry with the lowest industry coming in at $1.16 and the highest paying almost 6 times that at $6.75!
Google Search Ads Conversions by Industry
Conversions are another one of the most important metrics of PPC ads to measure.
Again, this can vary widely by industry but can make up for the higher cost of ads.
For example legal is the industry that pays the most per click put they also have the highest conversion rate so these will balance each other out when you look at the total returns for a campaign.
The average conversion rate for Advocacy is 1.96 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Auto is 6.03 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for B2B is 3.04 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Consumer Services is 6.64 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Dating & Personals is 9.64 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for E-Commerce is 2.81 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Education is 3.39 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Employment Services is 5.13 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Finance & Insurance is 5.10 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Health & Medical is 3.36 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Home Goods is 2.70 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Industrial Services is 3.37 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Legal is 6.98 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Real Estate is 2.47 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Technology is 2.92 percent. (Wordstream)
The average conversion rate for Travel & Hospitality is 3.55 percent. (Wordstream)
So we’ve covered all the stats you need to know about Google Ads but they are not the only major player in the game.
Facebook also has an ads platform that generates massive revenue and is another popular choice for marketers.
Social PPC can be very different from Google Ads with a lot more variety available and often more specific targeting due to the personal information people keep on their social pages.
Facebook is still the biggest social media platform with 2.23 billion monthly active users giving advertisers a huge audience to get in front of. (Buffer)
On average, daily users spend 41 minutes a day on Facebook. (The Motley Fool)
Social media has a huge impact on consumers, with 57 percent saying that it influences their shopping decisions.
Of that 57 percent, 44 percent said that of all the social media platforms Facebook was the most influential on their shopping. (Marketing Dive)
Of all the clicks on Facebook ads, 26 percent of them results in a purchase. (Spark Central)
The CTR for Facebook ads averages at 0.9 percent across all industries. (Wordstream)
The industry with the highest CTR is legal with 1.61 percent. (Wordstream)
Facebook ads are one of the most popular social media marketing platforms with 93 percent of advertisers on social media using it. (Wordstream)
The average CPC for Facebook ads is $1.72 across all industries. (Wordstream)
The cheapest clicks are for the apparel industry at the tiny sum of $0.45. (Wordstream)
The optimum title length for Facebook ads is four words with a description of 15 words. (smart insights)
Ad costs on Facebook are increasing and went up by 17 percent in Q2 of 2018 (Facebook)
The cost might be increasing but that doesn't mean that you're not getting more for your money as impressions have also increased by 21 percent. (Facebook)
How Can You Improve Your PPC Ads?
PPC is by no means a simple marketing technique.
It takes time, effort and expertise to execute an effective strategy.
By looking at what is working for other businesses in your industry and worldwide you can paint a clearer picture of how you can effectively use PPC and adjust your current strategy accordingly.
New technologies, such as artificial intelligence, are playing more important roles in creating effective ad content and increasing clicks and conversions.
You might have heard that the average CTR for PPC is quite low compared to organic but in fact, the top PPC ad has a CTR of 8 percent compared to the 2 percent average. (Accuracast)
80 percent of marketers see artificial intelligence as an important player in the digital advertising industry. (Social Media Today)
40 percent of brands say that they would like their PPC budget increased in 2019 as it is not currently at a level they are happy with. (Social Media Today)
PPC Trends For 2019
Keeping on top of trends can seem like a full-time job if you want to make sure you never miss the latest PPC news and get actionable insights into how to improve your strategy, check out these 75 PPC Influencers Who Are Changing The Game.
Here are some of the top trends you need to be aware of for 2019:
Mobile is becoming the most important device for PPC with 52% of clicks coming through mobile, so it's time to capitalize on that ever-growing market segment if you aren't already. (biztraffic)
She has spent the last two decades developing into a storytelling expert. She is an award-winning communicator, prolific author, and innovator that helps companies leverage the art of storytelling to realize actionable results.
Johnson has shared her insightful knowledge at numerous events and offers numerous training and coaching services.
Check out her insights below:
1. What are the elements of a successful Content Marketing program?
A solid, documented content marketing strategy that has buy-in and then is managed by a dedicated editorial team.
2. What are the most common mistakes you have noticed marketers make with their Content Marketing?
They don't start with a content marketing mission statement, so they don't stay true to any one purpose.
This makes it hard from them to say no to things and that means they soon lose focus, commitment and results.
3. In your opinion, which brand(s) do Content Marketing really well? Why?
Lincoln Electric and what Craig Coffey, Director of Marketing Communications, has done over the last 4-5 years with Arc Magazine.
He's build a significant audience in the welding industry through high-quality content that completely set the company apart.
He's consistently smart with both his strategy and execution.
4. What is your favourite content marketing tool (or hack or resource)?
I'm a big fan of DivvyHQ because of how well it streamlines work and gives team members line-of-site into what's in progress.
5. What are your predictions for Content Marketing in 2019 and beyond?
That we'll begin to better balance all the technology and hardcore data and analytics with greater creativity.
We can do this by taking consistently taking smart risks in small amounts to push the boundaries of what people expect from content marketing and the greater marketing role in general.
6. How will AI or Machine Learning impact Content Marketing?
AI and Machine Learning will have a tremendous impact on content marketing because they both help marketers better focus on customers and take care of what they need in real time.
Data that's collected and generated by algorithms makes it easy for marketers to understand what customers.
This means what content to use to target them through which channels and at what time.
AI can create much more personalized experiences and that makes people feel more at ease with a brand.
7. What advice would you give to a Content Marketing newbie?
Can you remember a time when computers, cloud-storage, high-speed internet, and digital applications were not a requirement at your place of employment?
If you can, it was likely over a decade ago, and even then, computers were moving into prominence at most companies.
As the years have gone on, businesses have come to rely on digital processes and procedures.
Without even realizing it, companies have undergone a total digital transformation. Everything we do is connected to a virtual application.
From communicating with co-workers to connecting with customers all around the world, businesses have had to evolve to include digital processes. Why is this happening? How is this impacting business in the long-run?
These questions can give us insight into what the future may hold. However, before we explore these answers, it is crucial to understand the meaning behind digital transformation.
Digital transformations can look different for every company. However, there is a definition that ties these unique situations together.
According toThe Enterprisers Project, a digital transformation represents the integration of technology in every functional area of business. This event not only changes the actual operational process of a company, but it also impacts the culture.
Typically, digital transformations occur to add more value to customers efficiently. So, in line with digital transformations, company cultures change in a way that promotes greater innovation, creativity, and attention to developing significant customer experiences.
So, why are businesses continuing to experience mass digital transformations, even over a decade later? Let’s take a look at how this development has affected businesses.
How This Transformation Has Impacted Businesses
Technology used to be solely kept within the doors of the IT office. However, technology and digital applications have reached every functional department, from accounting to operations.
Technology allows businesses to do what they do in a faster and more efficient way. This quote from CIO of Vanguard, John Marcante, revealed the impact of this shift:
“Today, companies are being replaced on the S&P approximately every two weeks. Technology has driven this shift, and companies that want to succeed must understand how to merge technology with strategy.”
Markets are moving faster because of the speed at which technology allows businesses to adapt to changes and better service customers. The adoption of digital tools within this transformation is not slowing down any time soon.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that global spending on technologies and services that enable digital transformation will reach $1.97 million in 2022.
So, why is this happening, and what is the long-term impact? Read on for the reasons why digital transformations are taking place today.
Why Businesses Are Experiencing A Digital Transformation
To Better Address Consumer Needs
Creating worthwhile customer experiences have become a top priority for most forward-thinking companies.
67% of consumers say they will pay more money for positive customer experiences.
Also, organizations that provided exemplary customer experiences outperformed laggards on the S&P by 80 percent. Enhancing the interactions customers have with a company not only improves a company’s reputation, but it can also positively impact the bottom line.
One of the ways many companies can accomplish this is through embracing digital transformations. Customers are craving more convenience and servicing. For example, companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft, use digital applications to make it easy for consumers to either purchase a temporary room, home, and car ride or offer the service themselves.
The apps are intuitive enough to make it easy for consumers to jump in. These services have become so popular with consumers that they have even expanded. Now, Airbnb allows consumers to purchase experiences at their vacation destination, and Uber has expanded into delivering food with UberEats.
All three companies are rapidly altering their digital offerings to meet the ever-changing tastes of consumers, while also beating out new competitors who are trying to do the same. Today’s emphasis is on service and convenience, and companies that offer these benefits will win out.
The digital transformation is not only improving reputations, but it is also allowing companies to reduce their expenses. Digital applications are allowing companies to save time and money. For example, the advent of AI and machine learning is enabling companies to accomplish essential processes more efficiently.
So, instead of having a marketing professional handle all the more repetitive tasks of sending welcome emails, producing dynamic content, or research SEO keywords, marketing automation software can handle these tasks so individuals can manage more high-level strategic duties.
In turn, this professional doesn’t have to hire another per-hour worker to handle this.
Digital applications can also help professionals take advantage of greater accuracy in product delivery and distribution, which can also drive down extra costs.
Today, software, apps, and programs are doing a lot of the heavy lifting that belonged to specific employees.
Now, these machines can reduce mistakes, diminish time spent on repetitive tasks, and decrease the overall workload of company employees. This situation allows companies to have the ability to put money in other places.
Drive Efficiency and Innovation
Digital applications allow companies to become more efficient while ultimately driving innovation. For example, look at how the world of banking has transformed because of mobile apps. Today, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, PNC, and all other major (and even smaller) bank companies allow customers to conduct their banking online.
From taking photos of checks for deposits to transferring money to other accounts, customers no longer have to go into a bank to handle their finances. As a result, the expectation has developed into one that requires all banks to have mobile apps.
Another example is the advent of collaboration and project management technologies within most of today’s companies.
To better manage workflows, many of today’s companies no longer use emails or physical meetings for collaboration. Instead, programs like Slack, Trello, Asana, Basecamp and other programs are now used for more streamlined communication and in-office collaboration.
Internally, this allows for the efficient sharing of ideas that can lead to new and innovative ideas.
Externally, digital apps can significantly benefit consumers.
For example, Tesla has abandoned the traditional model of the car dealership. Instead of using independent dealerships, Tesla has developed its own physical anddigital marketplace platforms that sell directly to consumers.
This not only cuts out the middleman but is also allows Tesla to have the opportunity to directly interact with customers to make connections and collect the data they need.
Beat The Competition
Again, for every industry, consumer tastes are changing.
This development makes the competition even fiercer. Years ago, competition likely just related to advertising campaigns, product development, and R&D.
However, today, competition is directly related to the creation of customer experiences, and this directly integrates with digital transformation.
Today’s companies are having to compete with the help of digital applications. For example, this couldn’t be more visible than in the world of machine learning. Amazon, Google, Samsung, and other tech giants have dived into the intersection of Internet-of-Things and machine learning.
From the popularity of Alexa to household items that can connect to the internet, companies are battling to use technology to make life more convenient for consumers.
Even Netflix is facing increased competition from the likes of Hulu and the eventual presence of the Disney+ streaming platform. Each company offers a similar service, but with unique benefits and nuances that differentiate them from one another.
Each company is striving to be more convenient, accessible, and personable. Overall, the consumers benefit from this new emphasis on competition.
Today, companies cannot compete if they do not participate in digital transformations. The IDC predicts that by 2020, 30 percent of G2000 companies will have contributed at least 10 percent of their revenue toward the development of digital strategies.
Increased competition will ensure that these numbers continue to rise in the upcoming years.
Don't Fall Behind
During the early 2000s, many business owners may have thought the advent of the computer might be the beginning and end of the “digital transformation.” However, almost two decades later, we are witnessing even greater levels of adoption of digital apps and programs. From the agility offered by cloud-based programs to the development of mobile applications that provide services “on-the-go,” businesses will continue to see a need to “transform.”
As stated in this article by Slack, the components of digital transformation “are not about what your company does; it’s about how you do things.”
Your digital strategies now impact your business processes and procedures.
No longer do you have to send out emails manually, travel to visit colleagues or potential partners, or fail to meet customers whey they are in the buyer journey. In 2019, there are a variety of digital applications and tools that can accomplish these tasks.
Since business is now intertwined with technology and digital applications, it is likely that as these technologies continue to become more sophisticated and complex, digital applications and resulting customer experience strategies will follow suit.
According to one of our most experienced content marketing influencers, Kelly Hungerford, shares her insights on why we should treat data like gold.
Kelly Hungerford is the owner of CommunityWorks, a freelance venture to help companies better connect with their target audiences.
Silicon Valley native but Switzerland based, Kelly Hungerford has 20+ years of experience in digital strategy as well as brand and product development.
She has worked with business types spanning from small start-ups to larger Fortune 500 companies.
In addition to helping larger organizations, Hungerford also offers, a no charge consulting service for local business owners.
Check out her insights below:
1. What are the elements of a successful Content Marketing program?
My experience stems from the tech industry, so I find organizing content marketing programs in a similar way to how technology projects are structured works really well to help ensure success.
I group the various elements of strategy and their corresponding deliverables into project delivery phases, such as:
Discovery (research and auditing)
Envision (strategy, audience definition)
Build (content planning and creation)
Sustenance (promotion, measurement, analysis)
I find that mirroring technology project methodology works really well for content programs. It allows me to easily group strategic and tactical work together in an agile manner.
It's helpful when speaking to tech teams because you are using a similar vocabulary and methodology they are already familiar with.
2. What are the most common mistakes you have noticed marketers make with their Content Marketing?
The two biggies I see are a lack of communication and not setting clear goals.
Time, budget and effort can be drastically reduced by communicating early about your program and bringing all the right players around the table. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking only about your department, your team, your goals.
Think big and inform other departments about what your plans are. You'll find new opportunities for collaboration, ideation, and cost savings.
Honing in on one goal can seem tough, especially when it's easy to think about all the ways content can deliver value!
Stay focused and use that one goal as your northern star, and don't stray. You have a higher chance of succeeding.
3. In your opinion, which brand(s) do Content Marketing really well? Why?
5. What are your predictions for Content Marketing in 2019 and beyond?
Good content is like good food -- it brings people around the table.
But a community is what keeps them coming back from more.
Brands that combine a strong community element into their content program are going to see higher results moving forward.
The emphasis is going to shift to more "people" media and not just paid media when it comes to promotion.
6. How will AI or Machine Learning impact Content Marketing?
There are a lot of far out and cool ways machine learning and technology can deliver really cool content experiences. Adobe is a great example of technology working to deliver on this.
On a practical note, I think machine learning can help content marketers by freeing up time. If a machine can analyze millions of pieces of text or headlines, then it can also analyze my text and help create the best possible headline.
I don't know about you, but headline writing can be tedious. I'll happily outsource this to a machine.
7. What advice would you give to a Content Marketing newbie?
In the words of the great Bill Gates, “Content is king.” If you are a marketer, is it is likely that you agree with this statement and that you see the establishment of this concept each day.
You have likely seen those popular and insightful articles from the Content Marketing Institute and the likes of Neil Patel and Seth Godin that reveal how vital content marketing is to a company’s bottom line.
While you may know this, when it comes to convincing leadership of the power of content marketing, it is better to “show” rather than “tell.”
At the end of the day, their concern is about the bottom line. Therefore, it is essential to plan to show them the Return on Investment or ROI of content marketing.
They want to know the costs of content marketing and the potential revenue that can be had from it. As a result, your goal is to show them why they should care, and the best way to do this is through calculating content marketing ROI.
However, before you start to discuss this concept with leadership, it helps to have an understanding of the potential components of content marketing ROI to help you determine the value you should add to content types you may use every day.
The Components of Content Marketing that Play Into ROI
When you are creating a strategy for calculating content marketing ROI, it helps to have an idea of the content types that work for yourself and your company.
Knowing these content types can help you create a strategy to attach values based on the significance of these various kinds of content to your overall strategy.
Small businesses that have blog posts can generate almost 126 percent more lead growth than small businesses who do not.
Blogging can be an excellent way to communicate with audiences, educate them on what you do, and provide value.
Email is also still king. From newsletters to automated emails, the ROI on email marketing is $38 per every $1 spent.
This tactic is indeed a component to consider in your content marketing ROI strategy.
Sharing your input on someone else’s blog can be a great way to reach a new audience, establish credibility, and solidify yourself and your company as a thought leader.
It is an understatement to say that social media marketing is just as important as other forms of digital marketing.
Much like how having a website established credibility years ago, a social media presence can encourage audiences to give your brand a chance.
There are many stats out there that show the potential impact of social media on content marketing ROI.
One, in particular, reveals that 57 percent of consumers say that social media impacts their shopping decisions.
These are a bit different from social media marketing as these are paid advertising opportunities. Most social media postings are free opportunities for gaining free engagement, in contrast, Facebook ads require you to pay for potential traffic.
However, Facebook’s paid ads allow businesses to target specific groups in their advertising strategy. Approximately, 26 percent of Facebook users who clicked on an ad reported making a purchase.
Paid Ads and Re-Marketing
With the right planning and investment, strategies that include tools like Google AdWords and re-marketing can be successful. These are a little easier to understand regarding ROI since you can easily quantify the amount of money you put in, and can see the cost per click.
These are just a few of the component that should be included in your content marketing ROI strategy.
However, this is not an exhaustive list.
Take a look at your content marketing strategies and see what techniques you use so you can begin to put together accurate ROI calculations for your leadership teams.
Why Content Marketing ROI is Critical
ROI is critical to assessing the usefulness or viability of any potential project undertaking as it can be applied to other functional areas within a business.
However, when it comes to marketing, there are times where an emphasis on creativity can overshadow the importance of ROI and resulting calculations.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to consider ROI in your content marketing strategies.
ROI measures how much revenue your content marketing strategies are producing.
It is usually presented as a percentage, and if the ROI is less than what you put into the campaign, then your content marketing strategy was unsuccessful.
This number is going to tell the monetary story of your content marketing efforts, and it gives leadership, as well as yourself, something to work with as you all decide which tactics are successful.
How to Calculate Content Marketing ROI
One of the main reasons why content marketers do not invest in tracking ROI when they are creating strategies is because it can be a complex number to produce. The main issue for this is that content marketing tactics may not always generate conversions quickly.
For example, if you create a webinar that encourages audiences to sign up for your monthly newsletter where you also share promotional content, it may take a while to find out if these efforts led to purchases.
This situation can make it challenging to calculate sales in the long-term.
However, there are ways to still produce an accurate ROI calculation. Below are three steps you should stake to correctly and efficiently calculate your content marketing ROI.
Track Your Content Creation Costs
Be sure to track all of the expenses that went into creating and distributing your content. Did you purchase any software? Did you have to hire a freelancer to help out?
Whatever expenses you incurred to develop the content, track it.
Also, don’t forget to calculate and include your time spent by breaking down your salary into per hour costs.
Track Your Content Distribution Costs
How much did it cost to get the material into the hands of your audiences? Do you have a monthly subscription for an email marketing platform that delivers your content? How much are your web hosting costs?
These are all questions that will play a part in your ROI calculations.
Calculate Your Revenue
This may be one of the most challenging components of the ROI process, but some pre-work can help make this a lot easier.
For example, if you want to track how many people went on to purchase an item or service after they viewed in a webinar, create a special link for these individuals to click on to be taken to the marketplace, or give them a unique promotional code.
From there, you can more easily track their buyer journey and calculate the amount of revenue you have made from these content marketing efforts.
Lastly, to officially calculate ROI, subtract the costs from your revenue, then take this number and divide it by your costs to get your final ROI percentage.
This number will help you make the case to your executive leadership. So, it pays to keep complete records, and become familiar with as many metrics and analytics as possible to track along the way.
So, what are some important metrics you should be keeping tabs on as you move through your content marketing ROI strategy? The next section covers some helpful analytics to measure in addition to content marketing ROI.
The Various Ways to Measure Content Marketing ROI
Your executive leadership are definitely going to want to know the ROI of your campaigns, but to further sell the importance of content marketing, it is crucial to have additional metrics and analytics to track and share.
They can help tell an even more detailed story concerning your content marketing strategies.
The Level of Engagement
Are individuals retweeting, sharing, and commenting on your material? Engagement stats are excellent metrics to share in addition to your ROI. They can even provide a look into how you may have arrived at that final percentage.
Analytics like web page hits, the time spent on a page, and the pages individuals visited while on your website are excellent indicators of your content marketing strategy. It reveals how well your campaign did in steering visitors where you wanted them to go.
Did your audience accomplish what you set out for them to do? Did they sign up for the newsletter, watch the webinar, or join an email list to receive an e-book?
Be sure to see how many of your audience converted.
Be sure to check in and see how your customers feel about you. Pulse surveys and social media interactions can reveal favourable or unfavourable opinions about your company.
This information then allows you to either go a different direction or keep on course with the content marketing strategies you currently have in place.
At the end of the day, to your executive leadership team, this is likely the most important figure. How much of your good or service did you sell?
This number is a direct component of the ROI calculation, but it also helps to present it separately.
Is it worth it?
In short, content marketing ROI is a valuable calculation for yourself and your company.
This number can ensure that you are meeting revenue goals and lining up with the company’s overall strategy.
Also, monitoring and sharing your ROI lets company leadership know that you are thinking about how your efforts impact the company as a whole, which will make it easier to receive more funding and buy-in for future content marketing campaigns.
“The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”
That is the definition of artificial intelligence.
As the digital world continues to evolve, digital agencies continue to evolve their tech stacks in order to provide the best services to their clients.
We surveyed 17 marketers from digital agencies to uncover how they are adopting software, mar-tech platforms, and emerging technologies.
However, we were not interested in what platforms they were using, but how they were using artificial intelligence throughout their marketing channels.
So, the first thing we asked was, "have you adopted an artificial intelligence powered tool?".
The results were not what we expected.
According to the surveyed marketers, 90% of them have adopted a tool, platform or software that is powered by artificial intelligence.
"As a B2B tech marketing agency, we serve clients in the AI space, and have other clients who leverage AI for various aspects of their businesses." said Scott Baradell from Idea Grove.
Interestingly enough, Steve Christian from HTM Solutions stated, "As a marketing professional with a deep technology background I have been somewhat critical about differentiation between the true applications of AI techniques and the more common insertion of an AI label into press and marketing material as a way to try and ride a hype curve."
"The time is certainly ripe for use of large collected data sets as a way to train AI systems, but there's still a lack of maturity in considering the testing and validation process that's necessary to apply the tools to any truly critical application," he continued.
So, what we really wanted to dig into was...if agencies are adopting AI-powered tools, what are they using them for?
Of the marketers surveyed, 28.75% of them are using artificial intelligence powered tools for data analysis and audience personalization.
Ironically, only 4.76% of marketers surveyed use AI for content creation, while 23.81% use AI for chatbots and conversational marketing, and 14.29% for content recommendations.
As Tom Jenkins from CloudTask tells us, "AI has had a great impact on our lead generation efforts. Through using Conversational Marketing with intelligent targeting and messaging, we've seen a 30% increase in qualified leads generated when we're not in the office."
Moreover, Jenkins explains, "we mostly use our team to man conversational marketing in the day, but on weekends and evenings, it's all AI and it's always nice to come in on a Monday with a wealth of new leads."
"It's biggest impact is in the area of PPC advertising. Google seems to be getting much better at optimizing using ML and AI. The SEO recommendations from HubSpot are now much more advanced than they used to be," she explains.
"It's allowing us to interact with customers 24/7 and address commonly asked questions." says Wendy Lieber from Content Bacon. "It's also a great way to interact with prospective employees."
Andy Crestodina shares a bit of a different perspective on how he and Orbit Media are using AI.
"There are AI-driven insights in Google Analytics that I sometimes check. It provides good ideas, but it misses really obvious things. For example, it may report that a certain page had a spike in traffic, even when that's obvious to us because it was the landing page from an email campaign."
"I also use an AI-powered virtual assistant to set up meetings. Her name is Amy and she saves time by helping me avoid the email ping-pong of sending available times back and forth. Useful!" he continues.
As you can see, there are many use cases for AI within digital agencies is not few in number.
How are you using artificial intelligence in 2019?