On average, Google receives 63,000 searches per second, and 15% of those searches are brand new. At the same time, 1.4 million new domains were purchased in the first quarter of 2018 alone; that’s more than 15,000 domain registrations per day. All of these numbers have been steadily increasing year-over-year, in addition to other online activity, such as the number of hours the average person spends on social media (hint: it’s more than 9 hours a day).
So what does this all mean? It means that consumers are using the internet more and more, and by extension, more and more companies are fighting for users’ attention. Since 35% of product searches start on Google, it’s more important than ever to get your website in front of the right audience. But how can you do so against such incredible odds? With targeted digital marketing strategies, you can distinguish your business from others on the web, increase your conversions and profits, and grow your company.
Not sure where to start? According to the 2019 Digital Marketing Strategies Report from Ascend2, a marketing research firm, the most profitable digital marketing strategies for businesses this year are:
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing wherein you create high-quality, engaging content across all your web channels, including your website, blog, social media, and more. Since quality content is a known and essential ranking factor for Google, content marketing is a method that “brings customers to you” via search engine rankings.
Digital marketers have often referred to the industry colloquialism “Content is King,” and in 2019, this certainly rings true. As we fly through this year, 78% of CMOs report that they see content marketing as the future of all digital marketing. Considering that high-quality content generates up to three times more leads than traditional advertising and other outbound methods (and costs about two-thirds less), we understand why the industry is heading this way.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) goes hand-in-hand with content marketing and refers to the process of increasing organic website traffic through optimized, keyword-rich digital content. The end goal is to improve search engine results page rankings on Google and drive users to your site. SEO includes keyword-driven content strategy, web design, technical SEO, and “off-page” SEO tactics such as link building.
With the continued popularity of Google Search and the development of search tools like the Google Assistant and Google Home, it’s no wonder that SEO is becoming increasingly important for businesses’ online success. Luckily, business owners are already realizing how imperative SEO strategy is to their success. In 2017, Ascend2 reported that 44% of marketers believed the effectiveness of SEO was increasing significantly over time, and as of March of this year, 50% of respondents still felt that SEO is the number one most effective online marketing strategy. The trend is also reflected in marketing spend; while CMOs spent $60 billion on SEO in 2016, that number jumped to $72 billion in 2019 and is expected to hit $80 billion by the end of 2020.
Email marketing is the practice of reaching prospects and existing customers via email. According to Campaign Monitor, more than 124 billion business emails were sent to consumers each day in 2018, along with more than 111 billion personal email exchanges, making email one of the most popular methods for connecting with your audience online. Marketers are at the forefront of the latest email marketing trends, such as utilizing personalization and marketing automation to save time, all while making customers feel a direct connection to your brand.
Email marketing remains one of the top marketing channels for businesses in 2019, with 81% of businesses using email as their primary channel for customer acquisition. Furthermore, 59% of marketers believe email marketing has the highest ROI of any digital tactic—a belief that is reflected in Hubspot’s report, which found that every $1 in email marketing spend has a return of $38, which is a 3,800% ROI.
Advertising has always been a core component in marketing strategy, but where we advertise has changed drastically over the last few decades. In 2010, marketers spent $11.8 billion on traditional media, while spending only $5 billion on digital media. Overall digital marketing accounted for less than a quarter of most businesses’ marketing spend. In contrast, marketers in 2019 expect online and offline marketing spends to have a 50/50 split, with Google Ads alone raking in over $103 billion in ad spend. As online marketing spends increase, it’s important to stay abreast of the latest ad trends for both Google and social media platforms like Twitter.
Social media marketing refers to organic social and is separate from social advertising. While ads display to users on their favorite platforms, sometimes detracting from the user experience, organic social media strategy allows businesses to create their own online profiles and engage directly with users. Some of the most famous examples of social media strategy success include the Ice Bucket Challenge from 2015, Starbucks’s introduction of the Unicorn Frappucino, and of course, the snarky and wildly entertaining voices behind Wendy’s and Burger King’s Twitter accounts.
Today, there are more than 3 billion users participating in social media conversations across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Compared to last year, social media usage has seen a 9% increase, with approximately 366 million new users creating accounts in 2018. With that level of an audience, you bet marketers are right in the thick of it with their social media strategies. As of 2019, 90% of businesses are using social media to increase their brand awareness, and 77% expect their social media presence to increase as time goes on.
If you’re trying to figure out how to allocate your marketing budget in 2019, we hope this list of the most profitable digital marketing strategies has shown you the importance of digital marketing in achieving success.