I recently came across a survey completed by Moz and Fractl on the effectiveness of Outbound vs Inbound Marketing Strategies. Whilst it was interesting reading about the effectiveness of each and more specifically how many people each strategy could reach with a $10k budget (Answer: Facebook Ads followed by Content Marketing were the highest), I was particularly interested in which of the digital marketing strategies had the best results.
SEO vs Social Media
Now anyone who has read any of my posts will know that whilst I believe Social Media has its' place, I believe that Search Engine Optimisation and Website Optimisation will have a far bigger impact on your lead generation. This survey further reinforces this view, so let's have a look at some of the specific findings.
Online Marketing Behaviour
This shows that from a marketing perspective, the majority of people spend time searching for information on a company or product (93.2%), followed by reading an online article (89%) and downloading content from a website (50.8%). These are all activities that are made possible through good SEO and Website Optimisation strategies. Bringing up the rear is following a company on social media (28.5%).
Digital Marketing Reach
This graph shows how people learnt about a product or comapny. As you would expect following on from the previous graph, the majority of people use search (88.3%) and visiting a business website (85%), whilst only 27.4% will use a business social media profile. The real interesting statistic here is that 81.9% of people will use customer reviews to find out more about a product or comapny. In fact, customer reviews are becoming increasingly more important; but that's a topic for a future article.
Most Effective Marketing Strategy
This graph shows the best way to attract customers to your business. Interestingly it shows that offering discounts, coupons or free trials is the most effective way of attracting people. Whilst this isn't a digital strategy, it is interesting to see that direct mail still works, but you need to bear in mind the cost of implementing this strategy properly (Flyer Design and Print as well as Postage and Delivery). As far as Online Marketing goes, once again website content and online search are the most effective strategy. Posting and Advertising on Social Media is about half as effective.
Digital Marketing Strategy Conversions
Lastly, we are looking at how likely each of the main strategies are at converting someone into a sale. Yes, you guessed it; Online Search and Website Content were yet again a lot more likely to convert than Social Media posts. Once again, we see the importance of customer reviews to your business, with 85% of people being positively influenced by them.
So where should you be spending your online marketing budget?
If you are serious about growing your business, then you should definitely be spending the majority of your budget on SEO and Website Optimisation. Sure, Social Media has its place, but don't get sucked into so called gurus telling you that all you need is social. I think the above graphs show that social comes after you've developed your website and search engine optimisation strategies first.