Friday, 6 November 2020

October 2020 Latest Digital Marketing Statistics

The time has come for us to once again share a few interesting and important facts and figures regarding the world of digital marketing. This time, there are snippets in their regarding livestreaming, personalisation, the travel industry and more. 

So we’d like to think, something for everyone…with a bit of luck! 

Here’s how things are looking right now in a few key areas of digital marketing:

Live streaming is growing in popularity

First and foremost, new research suggests that live streaming engagement is in the midst of something of a meteoric rise. Compared to the same period last year, the number of social media users engaging with live streaming content has jumped by around 8%. More than ¼ Internet users stated that they have now engaged in at least one live stream on social media.

72% of consumers turn to Amazon to research products

Despite the fact that it may not be used for quite as many purchases, evidence suggests that Amazon has become the number one resource for researching products. In fact, almost ¾ (72%) of people stated that they use Amazon to research products before purchasing them. While 51% stated that they use Amazon to compare prices, around 26% use the information available to compare similar products, read reviews and so on.

Personalisation generates 50% higher email open rates

Once again, there’s strong evidence to support the importance of personalisation when it comes to marketing emails. Even when something as simple as the subject line is personalised, click-to-open rates have been found to increase by a full 58%. Which would seem to suggest that those who are not using personalised e-mail marketing could be letting significant amount of time and money go to waste.

Live TV is on the decline

While the issue itself is far from a new development, it’s becoming clear that live television is experiencing an even faster decline than before. The CTA reports that more than half of all millennials are now watching recorded or streaming television services rather than standard live TV. For over 35s, around 35% prefer this time-shifted content.

Millennials respond better to sales outreach via social media

A study carried out by Bambu found that a growing proportion of millennials respond better to sales tactics in general that are performed using social media. A 35% stated that they would be more likely to make a purchase when product information or industry news are shared by representatives via social media – the total percentage preferring this kind of outreach having increased to 45%.

Only 9% of people use high-street travel agents

Last but not least, it would appear that the long-predicted and somewhat inevitable death of the traditional travel agent has taken a significant step towards becoming a reality. According to a recent study carried out on UK consumers, just 9% of those actively planning and booking holidays now visit traditional travel agents in any way, shape or form. As far as younger audiences go, the figure falls to an even lower 4%. Nevertheless, the same study found that if traditional travel agents were to fully embrace modern technology like virtual reality, close to half (48%) said that they would be more likely to revisit them once again.

Friday, 23 October 2020

The Rise and Rise of mCommerce

 Once again, the extraordinary value and importance of mCommerce has been illustrated in the numbers alone. As of right now, approximately 1.6 billion people are known to be using mobile devices to make purchases online. Or to put it another way, that’s more than 25% of the entire population of the world. 

Not only this, but as the popularity of mCommerce continues to grow worldwide, traditional eCommerce by way of desktop and laptop computers is seeing something of a decline. Nothing particularly dramatic, but a 15% in 2019, compared to the year before. During the same period, transactions originating from smartphones doubled.

Quote these figures to the average business owner and chances are they’ll be anything but surprised. After all, mCommerce didn’t exactly come out of nowhere and nor is it a secret that the modern world is addicted to mobile. But what is interesting is the way in which so many business owners still seem entirely unsure as to how to adapt and engineer their content for success in the mCommerce era.

Smooth and Simple

As a rule of thumb, the key to success when it comes to mCommerce is to deliver a smooth, simple and seamless experience for every customer. Easier said than done, but nonetheless essential.

Speed and simplicity are the two most important attributes demanded by today’s consumer. For example, approximately 65% of mCommerce shoppers are unwilling to wait more than 4 seconds for any given webpage to load. If it takes longer than this, they’ll head elsewhere. When they do, close to 70% stated that they’d be far more likely to go through with a purchase, if the mobile experience as a whole was on-par.

By the end of 2020, total mCommerce value in the United Kingdom alone is expected to hit an incredible £42 billion. What’s more, mCommerce will also account for at least 45% of all online sales – its highest figure to date.

So it’s abundantly clear that mCommerce isn’t going anywhere but skywards for the foreseeable future. Hence, now really is the time to invest as heavily as necessary in creating a premier mobile experience, built in accordance with the following key principles:

• Creativity. However you choose to go about it, your mobile website needs to stand out from the crowd, delivering a strong and true reflection of your brand. It shouldn’t be a generic, watered-down version of your primary desktop website.

• Visuals. Most mobile shoppers expect the kinds of high-quality visuals that make it quick and easy to see what it is that’s on offer and whether or not they want it. Creative imagery having much greater impact than standard stock photography.

• Adaptability. It’s no good to provide a mobile experience that’s outstanding on the customer’s Samsung smartphone and pure garbage on their iPad. Quality mobile web design means ensuring your content and layout can adapt to all devices, without exception.

• Simplification. Ideally, the customer should be able to find whatever they’re looking for and complete the entire purchase process in just a few touches. The slower and more complicated the conversion process, the less likely it is to happen.

• Speed. Last up, capitalising on the value of impulse purchases and generally maintaining the attention of modern audiences means providing a lightning-fast mobile experience at all times. When mobile site speed isn’t up to scratch, it’s game-over.

Still Focused Exclusively on Search Engine Rankings?

 For much of recent history, it’s been the norm to focus on SERP rankings above and beyond everything else. Which of course makes sense, given the way in which a high position in Google or Bing can result in the most enormous traffic boost for any website. 

But here’s the thing – rankings never have been the be and end all of things.

What’s important to acknowledge is the way in which your current position in any search engine doesn’t accurately indicate the success of your wider campaign. There are three primary reasons why an unhealthy fixation on rankings is exactly that – detrimental to your business and your marketing strategy:


First up, it’s becoming extremely difficult – impossible even – to accurately measure your own SERP performance. The reason being that search results have never been more meticulously personalised. From location to browser to device to language to personal preferences and so on, thousands of different search results are delivered by the hour for the exact same search terms. You cannot look how you perform for one or two specific terms and interpret this as a constant for all searchers across the board. It might show one thing for you, but could show something totally different for someone else. Particularly in the case of local businesses and local search, personalisation has never had a greater influence on both exposure and performance.


No matter what you do and how much you do it, you’re never going to hold onto the same ranking indefinitely. It just doesn’t happen. One day you’re third, the next you’re second, then you fall to page 5 and jump back to the first page once again. Why? For any number of reasons – being outperformed by competitors, algorithm changes at Google, flaws in your own SEO strategy etc. In any case, your position is always going to change on a fairly regular basis. As such, and given the fact that there’s often nothing you can do about it, you cannot gauge your overall performance by rankings alone. There are so many external influences that can affect your ranking – it isn’t all nearly as within your control as you might think.


Last but not least, traffic represents just one contributory element to wider success in business. Without exception, a solid Google ranking for a competitive keyword is going to win you a lot of traffic. But what then? What if just 5% of these arrivals stick around and less than 1% convert? You’d perhaps have been better-off with a tenth-place position and greater focus on improving conversion rates. If you focus all your time and attention on rankings, you cannot focus sufficiently on the quality of your website. Even a number-one ranking is all but useless if it isn’t backed-up by an outstanding user-experience. The problem being that far too many businesses seem unable to strike the ideal balance between the two, in terms of their own efforts and investment.

So if you are still focusing somewhat obsessively on rankings above all else, it’s worth asking:

What might you be allowing to suffer in the background?

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Are You Overspending on Social Media?

 Just to clarify one important point, there is technically no such thing as spending too much money on social media marketing. Assuming that every penny you invest is put to valuable and strategic use, investing heavily in social can be highly beneficial. 

That said, there is definitely such a thing as spending too much money on social media marketing efforts that bring you little to nothing in return.

Which is precisely why not every social media marketing budget delivers the same results – even if the initial budget limitations are the same. Five different companies may all decide to invest £10,000 in social media marketing for any given period of time, but chances are that all five will produce entirely different results.

Why is this the case? It’s simple really – while some common social media expenses are essential and advisable, others are quite the opposite. Which is why we’ve decided to dedicate two posts to a few of the common bad habits that could lead to unnecessary overspending.

So if any of the following rings a bell with you or your business, you might want to take a step back and consider investing your money elsewhere:

1. Buying fake followers

First and foremost, the fact that social media is essentially a popularity contest leads many to focus on nothing but the numbers. Quite a lot of businesses believe that the secret to success lies in the numbers – the size of their audience, the number of ‘likes’ they earn and so on. But in reality, quantity is nothing without quality. Which is precisely why it can be so dangerous to buy fake followers to bump up the numbers. Along with bringing little to no actual value to your profile, purchased followers give entirely the wrong impression to your target audience and can also land you in hot water with the platform itself. A prime example of an investment that rarely delivers any kind of returns.

2. Hiring low-grade social media companies

When two competing social media marketing agencies offer the same package for two very different prices, it’s usually for a very good reason. Now, it’s not to say that overspending is necessary, in order to access outstanding social media services. But at the same time, when you come across companies giving their services away for practically nothing, guaranteeing “instant results” or in any way making promises they clearly cannot keep, you’d be better off hanging on to your money.

3. Spending without setting goals

In order to make any kind of headway with social media marketing, you first need to have an established set of goals and targets. If not, you are essentially grasping for proverbial straws in the dark with one or both of your hands tied behind your back. Social media can be used for just about anything – increasing sales, expanding your audience, building your reputation and so on. But in order to achieve any of these kinds of things, you first need to decide what exactly it is you intend to target. If not, you could essentially be wasting money on a social media campaign that has you going around in circles.

4. Unpopular contests and competitions

Contests in general can be a great way of promoting your business and generate engagement. After all, comparatively few people can resist the prospect of taking something home free of charge. But at the same time, contests and competitions can prove costly if what you get out of them is less than you are forced to invest. Always be strategic, realistic and as frugal as necessary when it comes to social media contests and competitions.

5. Hiring in-house staff

Given that it’s not as if your own in-house staff will happily handle your social media accounts free of charge, you’ll still be paying for the required manpower. In which case, wouldn’t it make sense to spend the same social media staffing budget on the kinds of experienced and qualified professionals who can get the job done quicker, better and perhaps even for a lower price? Paying for the services of under-qualified or inexperienced social media staff is never advisable.

6. Paying for reviews and ratings

While it may be a strategy followed by businesses all over the world at all levels, there technically should be no reason why you should have to pay for reviews and ratings. The reason being that given the social nature of the platform – the clue being in the title – you can simply ask your fans, followers and customers directly to provide you with their own independent feedback. And if it turns out that your rating leaves a lot to be desired, you should probably focus on overhauling whatever it is you do, before investing any further in social media marketing.

7. Paying for ads that have poor performance

There’s absolutely nothing to gain by shelling out good money for social media ads that perform poorly. The problem being that far too many businesses simply throw together ad campaigns with the presumption that they essentially cannot fail to deliver a decent ROI. Without extensive planning, careful execution and ongoing analysis/optimisation, any investment in social media ads can end up being a wasted investment.

8. Failing to incorporate wider SEO

Your social media marketing campaign can be an immensely powerful tool for boosting your overall SEO profile. Rather than seeing your social campaign as something of a separate entity, you should be working to incorporate it into your wider SEO and marketing efforts in general. If not, you are throwing money down the drain.

9. Focusing on the wrong platforms

When it comes to platform selection, there are two important things to remember. One being that you don’t have to use every social media platform in the world, the other being that certain platforms will suit your business, your audience and your goals better than others. While Twitter and Facebook will always be the first options that spring to mind, some businesses get far better value for money from their investments in Instagram or LinkedIn.

10. Automating updates and duplicating content

Last but not least, while it’s true to say that automation of updates and duplication of content can technically save time and money, the damage you do to your profiles and professional image could prove costly. Every penny and second invested in these kinds of efforts represents time and money wasted, which could have been used to actively engage with and nurture your audience. You’ll simply be interpreted as lazy and disingenuous – a heavy price to pay.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Aiming for the Top-Spot On Search Engines? Time for a Rethink

If your business is involved in SEO, chances are you share the same goal as everyone else. That being, to climb right to the top of the rankings to the number-one position.

It’s no secret that the higher the ranking, the more likely you are to win the lion’s share of traffic. With three-quarters of web users now refusing to look beyond the first page, this really is the place to be. 

But what if we were to tell you that fighting tooth and nail for the top-spot isn’t always the best way to go? What could be more important than doing whatever it takes to claw all the way to that prestigious number-one spot?

Particularly if this is the main goal of your SEO strategy, it could be time for a rethink…and here’s why:

It Might Be Impossible

First and foremost, actually getting yourself to the number-one position could be impossible. There’s every chance that whatever your niche and specialist area, you’ll always be outperformed by a bigger rival. If their SEO spend is literally 100X yours, you can’t expect all the strategy in the world to give you the upper hand. You could throw every penny you have at your SERP performance, but it might not be enough. Painful as it may be, it’s sometimes necessary to accept the top-spot for certain key words is completely out of reach.

SEO is Unpredictable

A strategic SEO campaign should be all about solid performance and measurable improvements. The SEO landscape is just too unpredictable to have such a stubborn and specific goal in mind. You spend more than you can afford boosting your SEO strategy, you finally hit the top-spot and you’re happy. Only then to watch Google alter its algorithm and drop back to your prior fifth position. If you can reach a strong position and hold onto it, you’re golden.

Position Zero is Better

The interesting thing about position-zero is that not only is it better, it’s also more achievable. Check out a few position-zero pages and you’ll see how comparatively few come from the biggest brands and businesses out there. If you can offer something that perfectly answers the question being asked, you’ve every chance of hitting this prestigious beyond-top-spot. Lists, top-tens, detailed snippets – all great for attracting Google’s attention. If planning on campaigning for the top-spot, try campaigning for position-zero instead.

Hedge Your Bets

Last up, campaigning to hit the top-spot for one particular search term means investing heavily in this one term. In the meantime, search terms and keywords of enormous value could be denied your time, effort and attention. You may dominate the rankings with this key term of interest, but what about the rest? What if you end up on page two or three for a bunch of other major keywords and search terms? Rather than attempting to rule the roost with just one or two terms, think about hedging your bets with a more widespread approach to your SEO strategy.

Friday, 24 July 2020

B2B Marketing Statistics you Need to Know

With more online businesses than ever before competing in the B2B space, gaining a competitive edge is the ultimate challenge. On the plus side, recent studies have illustrated exactly what’s needed to stand out from the crowd.

Specifically, a series of statistics from Forrester, Google, Digital Commerce 360, Growth Point, HubSpot and Bizible have brought some interesting findings to light. Anyone looking to succeed in the B2B space would be wise to take note of the following:

Nine out of 10 B2B customers begin with a search

Firstly, evidence suggests that around 90% of customers in the B2B space use search engines when sourcing products and services. This in turn suggesting that SEO strategies should be given the highest possible priority by those looking to get ahead.

B2B customers make multiple searches before going ahead

Specifically, the average B2B customer carries out a full 12 searches, before making their final decision and engaging with one specific website. Those in the B2B space almost always going the extra mile to compare options and find the best deal.

Multiple brands are considered before each purchase

Again, approximately 90% of B2B customers research up to seven different online businesses, before going ahead and making a purchase. Along with being found in the first place therefore, this highlights the importance of delivering the highest-value user experience possible. While at the same time, differentiating yourself from your competitors.

B2B customers research offline purchases online

Even when B2B customers plan offline purchases, around 75% conduct the vast majority of their research online. Providing as much information as possible to highlight the value of your offer being the key to closing the sale.

Telephone is the preferred communication channel

Incredibly, more than 90% of all customer interactions in the B2B space take place via telephone. That according to Salseforce, highlighting the importance of high-quality telephone service provision at all times. This differs from the B2C space, where live-chat is fast becoming the preferred communication channel among modern consumers.

Callers convert more quickly than web leads

Furthering the relevance of the points above, Forrester reports that B2B calls result in 30% faster conversions than standard web leads. This suggests that an investment in B2B telephone marketing could drive a faster profit than some traditional web marketing channels.

Direct calls are highly influential

Last up, telephone calls in the United States alone are expected to influence consumer spending worth more than $1 trillion this year. Some demographics may have switched to more modern communication channels, but direct calls are still where it’s at in the B2B space.

Just a handful of interesting statistics to highlight of what’s going on in the B2B space right now. Particularly in an era of such heavy competition, taking into account statistics like these could be instrumental in gaining a competitive edge.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Study Highlights Gen Z’s Retail Preferences and Expectations

Just for the record, Generation Z applies to anyone born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s…in case you wondered!

While much of the world continues to focus on Millennials, a recent study carried out by Marketing Dive highlighted the expectations and preferences of Generation Z. At least, in terms of retailers and brands in general, from whom it seems they expect quite a lot! 

This is a generation that’s made it clear on countless occasions that they prefer experiences to products. There are all about engagement and the overall experience, rather than simply buying whatever’s cheapest or most readily available. In terms of online shopping, they show huge preference to product recommendations and reviews, mobile optimised websites, free shipping, simplified returns processes and access to coupon codes. All the kinds of things retailers should be taking note of, if looking to attract, engage and retain Gen Z audiences.

One of the most interesting findings of the study is the apparent revelation that Gen Z doesn’t hate mass-marketing to the same extent as other generations. Just as long as the ads in question are of relevance and provide value, almost 50% of Gen Z consumers appreciate the informative nature of the ads in question. So it’s hardly surprising that around 44% expect the ads they encountered to be relevant, or pay them no mind whatsoever.

In particular, they show greatest preference to ads in reference to products or services they either purchased or browsed previously, which may provide them with some kind of reminder or discount code to incentivise their conversion. Once again, food for thought for anyone working in digital marketing.

Another interesting finding clearly illustrates the fact that the High Street is by no means dead and buried. Quite the contrary, as a huge 80% of Gen Z consumers stated that they genuinely enjoy the opportunity to shop in physical stores when time permits. Nevertheless, 75% tend to do most of their shopping online, due to simple accessibility and convenience. Despite the fact that 65% stated that they prefer to physically examine and inspect products before buying them, they still make most of their purchases online.

When Gen Z consumers decide to hit the High Street, almost 70% use their mobile devices to research products and services, before going ahead and purchasing them from the respective store. As for motivating factors on the High Street, Gen Z shoppers were found to respond particularly strongly to creative displays, unique merchandise, attractive store design and the ability to try out products and services before making purchases.

Back with online retail, almost 40% of this enormous and lucrative demographic believe it’s often difficult to find what they need on the web. In addition, around 35% stated that they are still somewhat uncomfortable buying products online. They’ve become accustomed to online retail in general, though don’t necessarily trust online retailers and will typically compare the products of at least a handful of sites, before making any final purchase decisions.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Popular Blog Ideas for Your New Business Venture

It’s no secret that blogging has the potential to be an incredibly lucrative business venture. All over the world, bloggers in growing numbers are asking and receiving huge sums of cash as influencers, having earned extensive and dedicated audiences.

Technically speaking, most people could achieve at least some kind of success with their own personal blog. After all, we’re all experts at something…right?

The secret to coming up with a great idea for a new blog lies in two things. The first of which being to focus on something you know and are passionate about, the second being to focus on a subject of interest to other people.

A difficult balancing act to pull off?

Perhaps not, as there are more diverse and wide-reaching subjects of interest to the masses these days than ever before. So if you’re looking to start a blog business venture and need a little inspiration, here’s quick rundown of just a few of the most popular web topics you might like to consider:

1. Self-improvement. 
 Any advice and guidance you could offer those looking to improve themselves, both in professional and private capacities alike.

2. Health & Fitness for Busy People. 
Why not base your blog on the kinds of simple, effective and workable health and fitness strategies that suit those with very little time on their hands?

3. Languages. 
 If you speak a foreign language even to a relatively modest extent, you could start a blog to help those interested in picking up the basics.

4. Budget Travel. 
Everybody loves travelling and the vast majority of travellers prefer to do so for the lowest price possible. Why not share all those budget travel tips and tricks you’ve come up with over the years?

5. Dining Out. 
 If you’re the type that likes to eat out on a regular basis, why restrict your comments and recommendations to other sites like TripAdvisor? There’s nothing to stop you starting your own site/blog that could become the next big thing.

6. Recipes. 
The key to success if looking to share recipes lies in offering something different. Or at least, something with a very specific focus. Meals for under £3, dishes that exclude certain ingredients, cooking for fussy kids in less than 15 minutes and so on.

7. How-to Hacks. 
 Simple guides and tutorials covering everyday tasks and projects are spectacularly popular these days. So why not share your own unique and innovative ways of getting things done with other people?

8. Relationships.
 Likewise, millions of people from all over the world turn to the web every day for advice and guidance on various relationship issues. Whether serious, light hearted or downright hysterical, surely you’ve plenty of words of wisdom to share!

9. Music.
 Share your thoughts, reviews, recommendations and so on to those with similar tastes in music to your own. Or perhaps go one step further and base your blog around playing musical instruments, production, editing and so on.

10. Sports.
Last but not least, if you can bring your own unique voice, tone and style to a dedicated sports blog, you could be golden. Which technically should be relatively easy – just as long as you focus on a sport or activity of any kind you are genuinely passionate about!


Monday, 10 February 2020

A Roundup of Some Key Digital Marketing Statistics

It’s been awhile since we shared a roundup of digital marketing statistics. So, what better time than right now to do just that?

During an interesting couple of weeks, we’ve learned a lot about influencers, mobile apps and automation. The most important and surprising statistics we’ve come across being as follows:

Influencers Are Not Trusted by 96% of People

Slowly but surely, we could be seeing the demise of the influencers as we’ve come to know them. According to the results of a recent study carried out by YouGov and Grey London, just 4% of Brits said that they trust the information and advice of influencers. 17% of social media users reported encountering inaccurate or misleading content online, while 48% said they don’t trust the accuracy or honesty of celebrities’ profiles. There’s still plenty of trust for reviews and recommendations from friends and family – third-party influencers being an entirely different story.

Over a Million Knowledge-Based Jobs at Risk

Forrester’s 2020 Predictions report has painted a somewhat gloomy picture of the future of knowledge-based jobs. Specifically, they believe that more than a million knowledge-based human roles will be replaced by an automated hardware and software next year alone. The report also suggested that quality assurance roles in customer contact centres could be cut by as much as 40%, replaced again by automated hardware and software.

Print is Now the Third Biggest Ad Channel

It’s been a long time coming, but social media has finally overtaken print to become the third biggest ad channel. That’s according to Zenith’s latest ‘Advertising Expenditure Forecasts’ report, which predicts a further 20% social media spend this year to hit a whopping $84 billion. By contrast, total print ad spending is expected to decrease by 6% to $69 billion.

Gen Z Loves Snapchat, Wish and Twitch

Unsurprisingly, it’s now estimated that 98% of Gen Z now carries a smartphone. In addition, they also spend an average of 3.7 hours each month on the four biggest non-gaming apps listed above. Though what’s interesting is that they’re spending less time with each of these apps per session, but visiting them on a regular basis. On average, Gen Z members clock up 150 combined user sessions with these apps each month – that’s around 55% more than their older counterparts.

Satisfied Christmas Shoppers Are Surprisingly Loyal

Impress a Christmas shopper this year and they’re statistically more likely to convert when they visit your store next year. That’s according to a report published by Monetate, which found that satisfied Christmas shoppers who return to your store are twice as likely to convert as those visiting you for the first time. A statistic that underlines the importance of prioritising the satisfaction of every Christmas customer, rather than treating them as disposable ‘one-off’ shoppers.

Negativity Driving Social Media App Deletions

Last but not least, approximately one in every five young people has deleted a social media app due to negativity. The potential negative impact of social media is apparently been acknowledged and acted upon by more younger users than ever before. According to Mediacom, 18% of younger people have deleted one or more social media apps from the devices over the past year, while 13% said they have consciously reduced the amount of time they spend on social media apps.