Stats, facts and future trends – October 2015

Stats, Facts & Future Trends October 27th, 2015

This month, the CMA release their highly anticipated research into the use of social media in content marketing, and we discover how email is still the digital activity of choice for UK consumers and which technologies are the most important for content marketers.

Social budgets grow for content

The latest CMA research has found that the use of social media for content marketing purposes is set for rapid growth, with 80% of respondents planning to increase the use of social within content marketing strategies in the next year. The CMA polled 100 senior level marketers and media agencies in the UK as part of their 2015 industry report The Role of Social in Content Marketing. The report also found that:

  • Of the 80%, nearly half (47%) plan to increase their social media usage by up to 50%.
  • 75% say they are planning to invest more in owned social media, up from 57% who currently invest in paid social media.
  • Content marketers believe social media is vital to their strategies, with 69% calling it ‘very important’ and nearly 90% agreeing that the growth of social has had a positive influence on content marketing strategies.
  • More than half (55%) believe that brands are not experimental enough with their social media.

“This brand new insight demonstrates the importance social media now holds for marketers and the content marketing industry, with most seeing it as a necessary part of their strategy,” said Clare Hill, Managing Director of the Content Marketing Association. “The pace at which social media is growing in power and influence is remarkable, and there are many opportunities for brands to use this to their advantage to make their voices heard.”

Source: CMA

To read the full article, click here

To download the full report, click here

Originality essential to social success

Originality is far more important to the overall success of a social media campaign than other factors like utility and incentives, according to a new Warc report. Titled Seriously Social, the analysis of social-driven case studies by marketing consultant Peter Field indicates that creativity has become an essential driver of organic social reach while also boosting paid reach.

  • Field identifies two currencies for social success: the innate “sharing power” of the social idea and the money required to deliver reach.
  • 83% of case study authors felt that the originality of the idea was most important to success, with 42% citing utility and 38% a worthwhile cause or experiential element.
  • However, offers and prizes were bottom of the list.

In the report, Field analyses shortlisted case studies from the 2015 Warc Prize for Social Strategy, a global competition that rewards smart social and earned media thinking that leads to business results. In 2015, the average budget of shortlisted campaigns had increased almost 40% from the average budget in 2014.

One consequence of this trend has been a shift in the timescales marketers are working to as they need to demonstrate returns from social investment. Field reported there is now a greater short-term focus, which “has seen a reduced emphasis on using long-term measures of brand equity, and reduced usage of emotions, storytelling and consumer-generated content in the campaigns”.

Source: Warc

To read the full article, click here

People prefer email for brand outreach in the UK

With ad blocking continuing to challenge digital advertisers, one type of digital marketing continues to fly under the radar: email. According to July 2015 research by Adobe, brands looking to connect with consumers in the UK should continue to consider email, while Ipsos Mori research from April 2015 found that emailing was a very common activity among consumers in the UK.

  • Adobe research found that 63% of office workers in the UK who own a smartphone preferred to be contacted by brands this way, against just 6% by social media and 5% by mobile apps.
  • According to Ipsos Mori, email is the most common digital activity, with 79% of respondents saying they had used email in the past three months.

Consumers are happiest to be reached via email and they’re very often engaged with email, across devices and likely day parts. In the face of increasing consumer unrest with digital marketing tactics, email looks like a very safe play, and a sound one at that.

Sources: eMarketer, Adobe, Ipsos Mori, Movable Ink

To read the full article, click here

The rise of brands as media owners

Ad blocking and click fraud may have been grabbing the lion’s share of the headlines in trade press over the last 12 months, but online publishers are just as worried about the rise of brands and agencies as content creators, with the vast majority citing content marketing as their biggest opportunity for growth. The insights come from the latest AOP member survey, which found that:

  • 65% of AOP members cited ad blocking as the most significant threat to their businesses.
  • Over a third (35%) cited increased content creation by brands and agencies as the most significant threat to their business – the same number who answered click fraud.
  • 85% cite bespoke content creation on behalf of advertisers as their key priority in the near- to mid-term future.
  • 58% said developing bespoke content would be high on their agenda in the next year, while 54% claimed they would focus on enhancing their revenues generated by programmatic technologies.

These insights come in the same week as the FT chose to unveil its sponsored content unit FT², which offers brands a host of opportunities to engage with its audience, including a semantic targeting tool that can insert ads among the most relevant content. However, the FT sales chief Dominic Good pointed out that shoring up revenues through bespoke ‘FT-voiced’ content on behalf of advertisers was the main thrust of its purpose.

Sources: The Drum, AOP

To read the full article, click here

The technologies that are most important to content marketers

Technologies that facilitate content marketing will continue to be the most important marketing technology for US B2B marketers, according to a September 2015 Spear Marketing Group survey. Key findings include:

  • Content marketing is projected by those surveyed to be the most important marketing technology both currently (85%) and in the next 12-18 months (60%).
  • However, SEO, currently second-most-important to US B2B marketers at 71%, faces a decline to 41%, which will render it fourth in importance.
  • CRM will also drop significantly, from 68% currently to a projected 29% response of most important.
  • Among the technologies expected to grow in importance over the next 12-18 months, predictive analytics saw the biggest jump, more than doubling from 16% to 37%.

The result is an outlook where various marketing technologies will have more equal importance in the B2B ecosystem. This may be because older technologies such as SEO are being slowly eclipsed by emerging ones.

The same two technologies B2B marketers rated as most important now are also among the biggest winners in terms of ROI. While marketing automation leads the way with 58% of respondents expecting it to deliver ROI, content marketing (51%) and SEO (36%) are also depended upon to get results.

Sources: eMarketer, Spear Marketing Group

To read the full article, click here

The growth of time spent with digital in the UK continues

According to eMarketer’s latest estimates of media consumption, the amount of time UK adults spend with digital devices and platforms continues to grow rapidly, with consumers spending an extra half hour every day on such devices this year compared to last.

  • In 2015, total media consumption time in the UK is expected to reach 9 hours and 31 minutes, with digital accounting for a 48.7% share.
  • This figure is set to increase to 51.5% next year.
  • UK adults’ average total daily mobile time will reach 2 hours 24 minutes this year, up 27 minutes from 2014.
  • Total time spent on non-voice mobile activities will surpass time spent on desktop or laptop computers by 10 minutes, the first time mobile will have overtaken PC use by this metric.

“UK consumers already have a pretty packed media day, but mobile use is clearly filling in any gaps,” said Bill Fisher, analyst at eMarketer. “The rapid rise in time spent with mobile comes as no surprise. With each new smartphone or tablet release, the computing capabilities of these mobile devices improves and consumers are clearly putting them to good use.”

Source: eMarketer

To read the full article, click here

Travel sector shows how to reap social media rewards

Travel brands will be using this ‘down’ time to evaluate their marketing performance, including on social media. New data from BDRC Continental shows that of all business categories in the travel sector, it’s car rental companies that get the most out of social channels, driving higher levels of satisfaction and brand conversion than airlines, hotels and online travel agents.

  • Car rental companies such as Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Sixt and Hertz generate the greatest amount of business as a result of social media interactions, with 83% of people saying the interactions affected their decision to use one of the brands.
  • Meanwhile, 85% say social media had ‘at least some’ influence on their satisfaction.

  • This compares to online travel agents, which score the same likelihood to use a brand as a result of social media (74%) but get a lower score (76%) for its impact on satisfaction.
  • Facebook is the top site for those interacting with travel and leisure brands, driving nearly four times as much engagement as Twitter, five times as much as YouTube and 50 times as much as Tumblr.

Jon Young, research director at BDRC Continental, says the car rental results show that even a relatively uninteresting category can generate engagement through social media. “If you use your imagination and provide a mix of interesting, useful and inspiring,” he said. “then you will convert [people] to brand use.”

Young says that although it was initially surprising that car rental companies did so well, it’s clear when visiting Facebook pages “that they go beyond the ‘dry’ transaction of renting a car and talk about the romance of the road”.

Sources: Marketing Week, BDRC Continental

To read the full article, click here

Trust in traditional advertising dips

According to new research by Nielsen, most ad formats are less trusted now by UK consumers than they were two years ago. Nielsen’s latest biennial Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries and found that:

  • In the UK, 13 of the 19 ad formats considered had seen a decline in trust since 2013, while three had seen no change.
  • However, trust in ads on social networks had edged upwards one point, while trust in text ads on mobile phones was up two points and ads on mobile devices up three points. These three were still at the bottom of the list of most-trusted ad formats.
  • The most-trusted format was personal recommendation, trusted to some degree by 81% of UK respondents.
  • “Consumer opinions online” (58%) is now the second most trusted format (up from fourth two years ago), followed by “emails signed up for” and TV ads (both 56%).

Terrie Brennan, evp/marketing effectiveness for Europe, Nielsen noted that “about a third of online advertising campaigns don’t work”, as they fail to generate awareness or drive any lift in purchase intent, and suggested that “a mix of both offline and online channels usually offers the best ROI.”

Sources: Warc, Nielsen, IAB

To read the full article, click here

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