2014: 20 Marketing Statistics and Predictions (Infographic)

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The time is now. When Q4 is heading towards December many companies, analysts, experts and specialists start their forecasting for the next year, and what will drive the business. So, what happens in 2014? The first infographic just came out by the guys of WebDAM. The company provides a digital asset management software and just recently aggregated some interesting data in order to illustrate 20 key trends for marketers which will become important to meet the demand of their own business targets.

Five key findings in brief that we think companies should watch out for…

– Email with social sharing increases click-through rates by more than 150%
– CPM is out: Pay Per Click budgets will increase to over 70%
– More than 50% of marketers found customers on Facebook (40% LinkedIn)
– Video landing pages increase conversions by almost 90%
– Client testimonials are most effective as content marketing format


Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr. When is the best time for sharing…?

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Marketers always want to know if there is some secret sauce in the knowledge about sharing. Well, we have shared a lot already, from AddThis and ShareThis. Now, bit.ly released some insight on their blog which times on a day are most popular for sharing.

The link shortening and tracking service bit.ly found out that the most traction on Twitter is on a Monday between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET. This might result in the highest click through rates. Compared to the latest Addthis study, it makes sense as they see on Wednesdays, 9:30 the highest traffic sharing. Generally speaking bit.ly thinks the earlier in the week we share, the better for our output. Sending a tweet after 8:00 p.m. won’t make sense as well as pushing links after 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.

Now, let’s look at Facebook. The optimal Facebook posting times are between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. post on Facebook get the best traction all week. If companies post links after 8:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m. on Facebook, they won’t get the best click rates. bit.ly advices companies not to post the links that are meant to go viral during the weekend.

Companies that are using Tumblr should spread their content ideally 4:00 p.m. ET. to get most out of it. The peak traffic times on Tumblr are 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday. However, posts that go live after 7:00 p.m. get the most clicks on a daytime period. Compared to Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr’s best day for clicks is the Friday.

„It’s easy to see that just like your neighborhood restaurants, each social network has its own culture and behavior patterns,“ bit.ly stated in their blog post. „By understanding the simple characteristics of each social network, you can publish your content at exactly the right time for it to reach the maximum number of people.“

Picture Credit: © iQoncept – Fotolia.com

Survey: How Top B2B companies generate more leads via Social Media

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The challenge for all B2B companies is to find the balance between inbound and outbound marketing today. And the main question is how to generate leads with Social Media. A new study conducted by Aberdeen Group sponsored by Silverpop and Eloqua, offers some insights in how Best-in-Class B2B companies generate leads through Social Media platforms.

The findings of the study „B2B Social Meeting Marketing: Are We There Yet“ show that on average 17% of the Best-in-Class B2B companies generate their leads via Social Media channels. Compared to their peers, this is almost 230% more marketing-generated leads through Social Media than other companies (5%). 84% of the responding B2B companies were using social marketing in some form.

The study differentiates between Best-in-Class (top 20% of aggregate performers) versus the industry average (middle 50%) and laggard (bottom 30%) organizations by using the following metrics…

1. The average annual company revenue growth of 20%, compared with 8% for Industry Average and -3% for Laggard firms.
2. An increase of 10% year-over-year improvement of marketing leads in average resulting in closed business – versus 3% for the Industry Average and -1% for Laggard firms.
3. A lead pipeline of 44% in sales-forecast generated by marketing – versus 10% for Industry Average and 5% for Laggard firms.
4. A 73% annual customer retention rate – versus 27% for Industry Average and 7% for Laggard firms.

The Best-in-Class companies show an outstanding adoption of various social technologies…
– 51% use website social sharing tools, versus 36% of Industry-Average firms.
– 49% use keyword-based Social Media monitoring, versus 39% of Industry-Average firms.
– 21% use social sign-in, versus 8% of Industry-Average firms.

Best-in-Class companies have experienced the opportunity of utilizing Social Media for the sales funnel, and know how to generate leads through social engagement. 
– 80% of Best-in-Class companies are more actively engaged in Social Media marketing – versus 73% of Industry-Average firms and 60% of Laggards
– 47% of Best-in-Class companies see expanding lead generation as their primary strategy with Social Media marketing, and 13% cite generating leads as their secondary strategy.
– 23% of Best-in-Class companies said developing clear business processes for social marketing as their top strategy, and 8% cite process development as a secondary strategy. 

Spot On!
All-in-all, the study shows the challenge of creating the right Social Media strategy for business when you want to succeed with lead generation via Social Media. But it is not only strong engagement the company needs. It is also the clever combination of using Social Media alongside the right communication techniques like email and SEO, and how Best-in-Class companies succeed here. They are 27% times more likely to integrate email with Social Media than Industry-Average firms, and 33% more likely than Laggards to do so. And they are also 24% times more likely than Industry-Average firms to integrate SEO with social media (even 69% more likely than Laggards).

What is your experience in lead generation through Social Media? How did your company perform, and what else could you add? Looking forward to learning from you…

Study: Social sharing buttons in email increase click-through rates

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Studies from AddThis and ShareThis have illustrated how sharing trends may boost marketing efforts and how to best use them for marketing efficiency.

The latest research from GetResponse shows the influence of social sharing on email effectiveness. The study which compared social sharing preferences of email marketers, analyzed Social Media sharing via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in over 2 billion email sent by customers of the email marketing provider.

The GetResponse study also found that 51.9% only use one social share icon, while 40.6% use two of those, 7.4% three, and only 0.1% four icons. Those companies that offered at least three social sharing opportunities succeeded with a 55% higher click-through rate (CTR). The findings state that the number of marketers who include social sharing buttons in their emails increased to 18.3%. This is an increase of 40% from last year.

It seems that marketers understand the benefit of shirring for their marketing efforts: more reach, more traffic, more engagement, more sales. Email including social sharing buttons had a higher click-through-rate of up to 115%: Emails that included social sharing buttons had a 5.6% CTR which stands against 2.6% CTR for those that did not use social sharing buttons.

The infographic below shows the main results of the GetResponse’s study but also illustrates the importance of connecting all social efforts with traditional marketing to succeed.

The 3 R’s of Social Consumers

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In the last weeks, I came across the same issue in many meetings with clients. Social consumers increase their use of Social Media and social networks to state their opinion about a company, brand or service. Sometimes to rate the way companies make use of Social Media, or how they engage with them in campaigns or branded social hubs. Sometimes to complain about incredible customer service, or the quality of products. Sometimes just to link or share some content piece that attracted their attention.

The input described above by consumers can be summarized under the 3R’s: ratings, reviews and recommendations. These 3 R’s will challenge companies and brands in the future. Companies know that they have to find a way to deal with all the content published, as well as to establish ways to make use of it in the context of their business.

Years ago, we would have seen ratings on Amazon, eBay or rating platforms Ciao. Today, there are external and internal rating opportunities for customers. Most modern content management systems have implemented rating systems. Content and shopping pages have their 5-star systems, percentage scales or „thumbs-up-and-down“ to evaluate the quality of the content or product provided. Facebook, Twitter and other social sharing buttons act in the same way, reach out and distribute ratings to a wider audience to name just some options the social consumer has here.

While the chance to find yourself as a brand in a Twitterstorm was low in the past, the tables have turned. Companies like H&M, Motrin or BMW have become victims of reviews in the last years. Whether through crowdsourcing or blogging, reviews could leverage or damage your business success in a day’s time. The question remains the same for brands. Most consumers don’t differentiate between the trusted and personal reviews. In which reviews can they trust, what not, and what could end in a brand nightmare? The list of review sites is long, the one of personal blogs, social networking accounts, etc. even longer, and getting intense the more people review their personal views. And then, organizations have to bear in mind that 97% of purchase decisions are based on digital experiences.

Probably, the most dynamic part of the 3R’s is the recommendations part. In social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn) people hint, share and forward quick opinions about a film, a hotel or a show in minutes – and forget about it. Companies and brands need to take a position on these recommendations, or clear up the damage as best as they can. Well, if they find them and have the processes, people and resources in place to react. Some recommendations are still in the stealth mode as of semantic detection issues, or as they are only shared within the social graph of a person. And some recommendations are not even recommendations. They get catalyzed through social banner opportunities with Googe Plus buttons inside Google ads or via recommended people of the personal social graph in Facebook ads. And some will stay invisible for brands – most offline spoken words.

Spot On!
The challenge for companies in the future will be to educate social consumers on their way to social purchase. Social consumers often don’t pay attention to who said what, their gender, habits, age and preferences. Customers tend to be affected by a negative scale although it may be positive. 97% is not 100%, 4 start is not 5 star, the last opinion that was the only one negative, and so on. Most consumers don’t check who or how many people have rated the hotel on tripadvisor or booking.com. So, what is better? One rating in the 100% range, or 5 ratings getting 95%? A review where companies can react and improve the quality of their service? Or a recommendation that they could use as a statement to their blog? In my eyes, we will need to have seal of quality buttons that tell people to be aware of the fact that the 3 R’s are a good orientation for quality but not the final truth. And marketers should think about the best alternative to straigthen and strengthen their brands whatever effective the 3 R’s might be for their business.

Would you agree…?

AddThis: Sharing trends based on last 5 years (Infographic)

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A while ago, ShareThis shared their insights why people share content. And also this year, bit.ly stated in a research they did that the half life of a link is approximately three hours.

Now, AddThis (1.2bn monthly users) is following their approach with an infographic on their 5th birthday to visualise user behaviour around Social Media sharing trends across the social web.

If you plan your next viral campaign you might consider time and day: 9:30am and Wednesday are said to be the best peaks for shareable content. Most users share content within the first 2 minutes. And 75% of shared content occur within the first day of a share. Interesting though is the fact that cut and paste sharing can still be up to 10x more used than the well-known social sharing tools.

PS: The average Twitter user shares half a tweet per day, according to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo