Social media marketing is at an all-time high. Nothing can touch email's ROI. And marketers are spending more dough than ever before on content marketing.
HubSpot recently asked 1,500+ marketers around the world about their marketing plans for 2021. After a tumultuous 2020 (and beyond), it's clear that marketing, sales, and customer service priorities have shifted for the future.
This blog post highlights our key insights from HubSpot's State of Marketing 2021 report to help guide your marketing strategy in the coming year. Let's dig in!
Overall Marketing Strategy and Campaigns
63% of marketers have an increased budget this year and plan to spend it on paid advertising, content creation, and software. It's no secret that marketers love automation. Interestingly, they're using automation 76% more than sales and 139% more than finance.
Leads are a top marketing priority, but most campaigns are being run to generate brand awareness. In 2020, the website was the number one channel used in marketing, but social media pulled ahead this year.
So, what skills are going to set marketers apart in 2021?
Persuasion (copywriting and sales) and prioritization — knowing when to say "no" to things and where to go all-in.
Marketers are investing in content marketing more than ever before — 82% report actively using content marketing. 62% of respondents measure the success of their content marketing strategy based on sales. Social engagement as a success metric is on the rise — up 187% from last year!
Video reigns as the number one content type for two years in a row, followed by blogs and infographics. 65% say video is the primary form of media used within their content strategy. So, if you're not doing video, now is a good time to start! More on that later…
Social Media Marketing
We mentioned earlier that social media use overall is at an all-time high. So, it comes as no surprise that social media is the number one channel used in marketing in 2021. 8 in 10 companies are currently investing in social media marketing in 2021, and 39% plan to invest for the first time this year.
Social listening is becoming more and more prevalent, with 62% of marketers using it as the primary tactic for social media marketing. Establishing a direct relationship with your social media audience is essential to support, engage with, and convert them into loyal brand advocates.
Optimization is no longer 'nice to have' when it comes to marketing strategy. The majority of marketers find that SEO and an optimized website help them achieve their marketing goals.
Let's take a look at some numbers:
75% of marketers feel their SEO tactics are 'extremely' or 'very effective' at helping them achieve their marketing goals.
83% of respondents are either 'very confident' or 'somewhat confident' that their website is helping them reach their marketing goals
What are the top 3 tactics for SEO?
Strategic keywords – 71%
Localization – 50%
Optimize for mobile - 48%
What are the top 3 ways marketers measure the success of their SEO strategy?
Keyword rankings - 53%
Organic traffic - 51%
Time spent on page - 50%
Even though some marketers continue to underestimate email, one fact remains. Email is here to stay — and it's only getting better. It delivers a whopping $36 for every $1 spent.
Marketers this year are sending fewer weekly emails than last year, but they're prioritizing segmentation, personalization, and automation. 77% of companies have seen more engagement with email marketing over the past 12 months.
With third-party cookies becoming obsolete in 2022, it's more important than ever to get your email strategy in order.
Account Based Marketing
In 2021, 70% of marketers report using account based marketing (ABM), up 15% from 2020. Key ABM strategies include identifying target contacts and creating custom content to improve engagement by directly addressing their pain points.
Looking beyond the standard reporting and analytics, the top way marketers are targeting accounts is through social media. Let's look at some more ABM takeaways.
The top three ways companies measure ABM metrics:
Revenue won – 53%
Won accounts – 43%
Revenue per account – 40%
And the top 3 ABM challenges:
Delivering a personalized customer experience – 45%
Knowing how to choose target accounts – 41%
Knowing what content to use – 40%
By focusing your marketing efforts on individual companies or accounts, your demographic targeting and other strategies get even more personalized.
I promised we would revisit video, and here we are! Most marketers overthink their video strategy. (No judgment here! I'm a notorious overthinker!) The point is that video doesn't have to be complicated.
People watched 12.2 billion minutes of video last year; that's 23,211 years' worth of content! People are craving emotional connection, and since video creates a deeper connection by combining sight with sound, it's kind of a no-brainer.
According to HubSpot, media uploads increased 80% year-over-year, peaking at 103,603 videos uploaded. This dramatic increase shows that the global pandemic has accelerated video content creation at a rate that no one could have predicted. Though video uploads did begin to slow down as things began to open up (May-August), the overall number of uploads is still 88% higher than before the pandemic.
Go Forth and Conquer
As marketers, one of our best practices is taking lessons from the previous year and applying them to our strategy going forward. This helps us adapt to ever-changing consumer needs and guides our marketing strategies.
We encourage you to use these benchmarks to guide your marketing efforts in 2022 (yes, it's almost 2022!) and tackle your biggest challenges head-on.