Idea Blog

9 Eye-Opening Digital Marketing Stats (via Adweek)

Claude Harrington 11.02.2015

Every week, Christopher Heine (@Chris_Heine) writes a great piece for AdWeek that outlines the most interesting digital marketing statistics in the news. What’s nice about Heine’s weekly rundown is that the facts and figures often add up to something greater than the sum of their parts. Taken together, these marketing stats can illustrate, to some degree, a snapshot of our ever-evolving digital landscape.

Given this ever-evolving nature, one might be tempted to ask: What’s the point in thinking much about a snapshot if the overall picture keeps on changing? Well, while there is certainly some validity to this concern, the value of statistics (whether for digital marketing, SEO rankings or even, say, for baseball) lies in their predictive power. What can yesterday tell us about tomorrow? And, even more importantly, what does that mean you should and could be doing today? To start answering those questions, let’s take a look at the digital marketing stats featured in Heine’s latest piece, and explore how that information can perhaps guide our businesses forward.

Digital Marketing Stats Up To Image

1. New York researcher eMarketer said today that 32 percent of U.S. companies with 100 employees or more will use Instagram for marketing this year. That number will increase to 49 percent next year before jumping to 71 percent in 2017. What’s more, eMarketer said, Instagram may be more popular with marketers than Twitter in two years.

To anyone who thinks Instagram leapfrogging Twitter (in only two years to boot) is damn near impossible, I’d love to introduce you to a younger version of myself who once upon a time thought there’s no way this Twitter thing could give Facebook a run for its money. How much can be said in 140 characters?! Well, as it turns out a lot can said, especially with video so quickly becoming so dominant.

But the point of my example is not to highlight how naïve I can be (or, at least, that’s not the whole point!). Rather it’s to illustrate how quickly social media platforms can rise and fall, further reminding us that in our mutually agreed upon “ever-evolving digital landscape” is more than just an abstract depiction of that which is already difficult to visualize. Things really do change, quickly and unexpectedly.

So how can we make the most of this seemingly transitory environment?

  • Diversify the social media platforms you use (these things are free and while your time is not, at least keep an open mind to try several things)
  • Keep tabs on where you yourself are seeing meaningful content distributed (and try to ask yourself why what your seeing is there and not someone else)
  • Avoid long-term marketing agreements (unless, of course, you feel that this rise and fall risk is built into the value of an opportunity)

2.  CEO Evan Spiegel and his team forecast that Sponsored Selfie Filters—a new ad unit from Snapchat—will reach up to 16 million viewers a day, BuzzFeed reported. The ad purchase will cost a maximum of $700,000 per day.

Snapchat, like Instagram, is another relatively young, skys-the-limit social media platform. The ad purchase mentioned above (albeit a maximum) is not cheap, but the number of viewers you can reach is hardly anything to sneeze it. So remember, in this situation and others, it’s not about the times themselves but how they integrate into your larger goal; it’s about value, always, value above all else.

3. According to Fast Company, Snapchat earlier this year discovered that between 60 percent and 70 percent of users stopped watching its video ads after just three seconds. Coca-Cola, however, has evidently cracked the code by simply making content tailored for the app. Working in concert with Snapchat, the magazine reported that the soda giant is getting a Snapchat video completion rate of 54 percent for 10-second clips.

Two important takeaways here

  1. Just because you get someone to “watch your video” doesn’t mean they’re going to watch the whole. So starting off strong is now more important than ever…
  2. …as is trying to tailor your content to a target audience. Or, conversely, targeting the kind of audience that would be more receptive and patient with your content.

4. Twitter has started offering Conversion Lift, which helps brands measure the effectiveness of Promoted Tweets, enabling them to better target ads. Referencing Conversion Lift data, the San Francisco tech company claimed that people who see Promoted Tweets are 1.4 times more likely to interact with a brand than those who don’t see an ad.

Whether “1.4 times more likely to interact” is enough to warrant an investment, that’s completely up to you. But the key universal lesson here is that Conversion is the key goal. With so many other metrics out there (which, it should be noted, are each valuable in their own way), it’s sometimes easy to forget that Conversion is king. It’s the result we are working towards; it’s that binary, bottom-line evidence that progress has been made.

5. Millward Brown polled more than 13,500 multiscreen viewers—i.e., people who own a TV and either a smartphone or tablet—in 42 countries on what they think about video advertising. The researcher found that the average consumer between the ages of 16 and 45 watches 204 minutes of video a day, split equally between TV and online. Indeed, the tube and digital video are now on equal footing for both Gen Y and Gen X consumers. What’s more, 45 minutes of the average online viewing time is done on a smartphone, while desktop accounts for 37 minutes and tablet for 20 minutes.

Granted, that’s a small sample size (averages to only 321 people per country), but those findings are rather remarkable. The more that statistics like these continue to pop up—about transition to online over TV and to mobile over desktop—the more it shows that not only is there something tectonic going on here, but it truly seems to be going even more quickly than any of us anticipated.

6. The aforementioned eMarketer study also found that 88 percent of U.S. companies will utilize at least one social-media network for marketing this year.

Just like your mother likely told you when you were a kid—via a clunky analogy involving friends and the Brooklyn Bridge—it’s not wise to blindly follow the crowd for the sake of fitting in. But what is wise, however, is looking at why the crowd is acting a certain way, and determining whether it’s in your best interest to join them, race to catch up or implement a different strategy entirely. In short: what you do is very important—it’s the most important thing of all—but both before and after doing so, it’s critical to think about the why.

7. P.F. Chang’s is running a user-generated content effort around National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October called #PFChangsPink. The brand saw a 1,300 percent bump in UGC from the goodwill initiative in its first eight days.

What goes around, comes around, very often it would seem…

8. During last week’s Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton’s Twitter handle got 293,696 mentions on the microblogging platform, besting challenger Bernie Sanders’ 278,405.

It would seem that Clinton got the upper hand, though in truth both candidates could claim to nearly three-hundred-thousand mentions during the debate. But just remember one thing, as voiced last week by hero-turned-goat-turned-whoknows Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez:

Digital Marketing Stats A-Rod Joke Number 7

“Never” is certainly a stretch, as trending can often be a very good thing, but A-Rod’s joke is a nice reminder that quantity doesn’t necessarily translate to quality.

9. Mode Media, formerly Glam Media, said it has streamed more than 1 billion video views in the past six months.’s channels include Glam (women’s lifestyle), Brash (men’s lifestyle), Bliss (health and wellness), Tend (parenting), Foodie (recipes and restaurants), among others.

Wow. Amazing, but not surprising. Like most of the digital marketing stats these days…

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