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137 Eye-Opening Digital Marketing Statistics for 2021

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by Katie Oberthaler

9 March 2021

Are you interested in the state of digital marketing in 2021? Then look no further. 

We’ve curated and categorized a list of the most up-to-date digital marketing statistics you’ll find anywhere online. You can use these statistics to inform where and how you spend marketing dollars.

You can use the links below to jump to a specific category of statistics:

Content Marketing Stats

Content plays a key role in the success of digital marketing. These content marketing statistics show what works now with content marketing.

  • Generating quality leads is the main goal of 79% of marketers in 2021 (eMarketer, 2020)
  • 46% of B2B marketers planned to increase their marketing spend in 2020 vs the previous year, 12% of those by more than 9%. (Statista, 2021)
  • 96% of the most successful content marketers say that content marketing has helped them build credibility and trust with their audience (CMI, 2018)
  • 95% of the B2B service and product buyers admit that they view content as a trustworthy marker when evaluating a business (Demand Gen Report)
  • 87% of marketers believe that content marketing helped meet their brand awareness goals in 2020. (Statista, 2021)
  • Design and visual content is the biggest challenge for 23.7% of content marketers. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • User-generated content on Facebook affected up to 26.4% of purchase decisions vs 1.9% for Twitter in 2020 (eMarketer, 2021)
  • Video is the #1 form of media used in content strategy, overtaking blogs and infographics. (HubSpot)
  • In 2020, US adults spent 7 hours 50 minutes consuming digital media per day,  up 15% (59 minutes) over the average daily time spent in 2019. (Marketing Charts, 2021)
  • Most marketers measure success with content marketing through sales numbers. (Hubspot, 2020)
  • 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • 75% of B2C marketers think their organization is successful with content marketing. (Marketing Profs, Dec 2019)

Takeaway:  

Content marketing is, and will continue to be, a major driver of leads and sales for online businesses. Most B2C and B2B companies are actively investing in content marketing operations, and will continue to invest more in the future. 

As the buyer becomes more empowered to research online and make informed buying decisions before ever speaking to sales reps, all companies need to think strategically about the types of content they are using to target each stage of the buyer journey. This isn’t just restricted to topical selection, but also the formats - videos, whitepapers etc.

Finally, with so much content being published across different channels, it’s critical that companies consider other secondary factors outside of traffic, leads and sales. For example, more attention needs to be given to brand management and compliance, as this could be a differentiator in a red ocean of content. 


Creative Marketing Statistics

From branding strategies, to creative hiring and compliance, to new and fresh ideas for engaging your audience, here’s what to pay attention to. 

  • Most companies planned to add new hires to their creative marketing teams in the first half of 2020. (Creative Group, 2019)
  • 55% of marketing agencies said their top goal is to increase creative output & project bandwidth. The second most common strategic goal for agencies is maintaining the current book of business during economic uncertainty, with 46% of agencies reporting that goal. (2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey).

(Source: 2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey)

  • The COVID-19 crisis has largely created more work and communication for creative teams. Over 50% of surveyed marketing leaders said they were busier than ever following the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020. (2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey)
  • 54% of marketing leaders said their biggest cause of delays in creative production is due to having a bigger volume of projects/requests than their team can handle. (2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey)
  • 42% of marketing leaders said not getting feedback & comments from internal stakeholders in a timely fashion is the top cause of project delays. (2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey)
  • 52% of marketing teams go through 3-5 versions of an asset before it is considered final. 20% of teams require 5-10 versions. (2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey)
  • 48% of marketing agencies said that change requests that come in after a project has been approved by another stakeholder is the biggest challenge in their client review process. (2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey)
  • 78% of all creative work is subject to at least one type of compliance. (Ziflow, 2018)
  • Spending on VR for business is expected to reach $9.2 billion by 2021, outpacing its use for leisure. (FinancesOnline)
  • 56% of digital media professionals think programmatic advertising will be the most vulnerable to brand risk incidents in 2021. (eMarketer, 2020)
  • Video projects have the longest average project review turn around time of any media type, taking about 65 days to complete. (internal ZIflow benchmark data analysis, May 2020)
  • User-generated content on Facebook influences purchasing decisions for up to 25.3% of people. (eMarketer, 2021)

Takeaway:  

Copy is no longer enough. Agencies and brands need to leverage visual assets and creative marketing strategies in order to stand out from the competition. However, creative assets often require more resources, from planning and creation to review and approvals. 

This review and approval process becomes a bottleneck for many agencies and brands. As a result, it's important that businesses are investing in technologies such as online proofing software to help streamline the intake and review and approval process. This will help ensure shorter time-to-market, less edits, and the elimination of potential compliance risks. 

Despite the need for better content workflows, marketing leaders still use inefficient methods: (2020 Ziflow Creative Production Benchmark Survey):

  • 49% use online proofing
  • 48% still use email 
  • 44% use a project management system
  • 38% use Google Docs, WeTransfer, or some other file sharing systems
  • 21% use PDF markups

The fact that so many companies are still using PDF markups and email to manage the review and approval process shows that there is ample opportunity to streamline and improve creative content operations, and the companies that do so will create a competitive advantage in this area. 

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Online Proofing

ebook cta 2-guide to online proofing-1


Video Marketing Statistics

With video becoming more and more popular, it's important to pay attention to the right video marketing statistics to learn how to better use this content type to reach,  inform, and nurture your audience.

 

  • US adults spend 2 hours 13 minutes watching videos per day, up from 1 hour 46 minutes in 2019 (eMarketer, 2021)
  • The most commonly-created types of videos are explainer videos (73%), social media videos (67%), presentation videos (51%), sales videos (41%), and video ads (41%). (Wyzowl, 2021)
  • 70% of YouTube viewers watch videos for "help with a problem" they're having in their hobby, studies, or job.  (Think With Google)
  • 87% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. (Wyzowl, 2021)
  • In a 2018 HubSpot survey, 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support.  (HubSpot)

 

  • Live video is the third most-used social media marketing tactic. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • 93% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. (Wyzowl, 2021)
  • Video projects have the longest average project review turn around time of any media type, taking about 65 days to complete. (internal ZIflow benchmark data analysis, May 2020)
  • 94% of video marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service. (Wyzowl, 2021)
  • 72% of the most popular youtube video thumbnails examined featured a human face, and 88% were colorful (Best SEO Companies, 2020)
  • Social engagement videos are among the top four video types that marketers invest in today. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • Videos are among the most popular content types B2B brands collaborate with influencers on (67%). (Top Rank Marketing, 2020)
  • As of April 2020, only 12.8% of branded video posts on Facebook were live videos. In comparison, 87.2% of the branded video posts were pre-recorded. (Statista, 2020)
  • YouTube is the fourth most-used social media platform by marketers (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter came 1st to 3rd). (HubSpot, 2020)

Takeaway:  

If you're still not using video as a marketing tool,  you're missing out on the opportunity to increase user understanding of your products which makes for more sales.  With an already available audience for you to tap into, YouTube is a great place to get started with video.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Statistics

When done right, search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategic investment that delivers passive compounding results - rankings, traffic, leads and sales - for years to come. Here’s what you should know about SEO in 2021:

  • 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps. (Sparktoro)
  • 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (BrightEdge)
  • 39% of purchasers are influenced by a relevant search. (Think With Google)
  • The #1 result in Google’s organic search results has an average CTR of 31.7%. (Backlinko)
  • Only 5.7% of pages will rank in the top 10 search results within a year of publication. (Ahrefs)
  • 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines. (HubSpot)
  • 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google. (Ahrefs)
  • 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones. (Statista)

  • 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. (Think With Google)
  • About 45% of global shoppers buy online and then pick up in-store (Think With Google)
  • If they had to choose only one tactic for link-building, 50% of SEO pros say they would pick content creation and outreach, and 23% say they would pick guest posts. (LinkDoctor.io, 2020)
  • More than half of SEOs (55.2%) felt that they’re not ready for the upcoming Google Page Experience Update for 2021. (LinkDoctor.io, 2020)

Takeaway:  

Search engine optimization is an important acquisition channel for most businesses. Failing to rank on the first page of Google means that you are losing a lot of potential customers to the competition. Therefore, its critical that your business invests in a well-rounded SEO strategy that factors in keywords, content type and quality, links, engagement, and cross-device user experience. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that SEO should be seen as a longer term investment, with meaningful results sometimes taking a year or more to show, especially for newer sites with no established content footprint. 


Email Marketing Statistics

Email marketing remains one of the highest ROI marketing channels. These email marketing statistics show how businesses are using email to drive results.

 

  • 43% of marketers say personalization is the most important element to improve for effective email campaign optimization. (Ascend2, 2020)
  • 87 percent of marketers use email marketing to disseminate their content (Content Marketing Institute, 2019).
  • For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 (DMA, 2019).
  • 81% of SMBs still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention (Emarsys, 2018).
  • The average email open and click-through rates are 18.0% and 2.6% respectively. (Campaign Monitor, 2021)
  • Mobile-friendly email is the second most-used tactic by email marketers to improve their performance. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • 43% of marketers say design is the most important attribute to test prior to launching email campaigns, while 36% say it’s deliverability. (Ascend2, 2020)
  • Over 20% of marketers say that email design improves their email engagement. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • Roughly 80% of marketers have reported an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • Marketers say the most effective automated series to use for email engagement are welcome/thank you messages and survey/feedback messages. (Ascend2, 2020)
  • 81.2% of the US population will use email in 2024, an estimated 277.7 million. (eMarketer, 2020)
  • Nearly 44% of US adults say email ads are ineffective. (eMarketer, 2020)
  • Apple iPhone and Google Gmail are the two most popular clients for opening emails in 2020. (Litmus, 2020)

Takeaway:  

Email marketing is one of the most effective channels for lead nurturing, customer acquisition and retention. Failing to incorporate this channel into your digital marketing mix is a missed opportunity for most businesses. 

Before you send that broadcast, be sure to segment your list and personalize the messaging to your subscriber. If you don’t already have a welcome or thank you email series setup, now is the time to do it. Don’t forget to optimize for mobile and test for deliverability before you hit send.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Statistics

While SEO involves getting more qualified organic traffic to your website, SEM involves paid search marketing tactics, such as Google and Bing Ads.

 

Source: eMarketer

  • Advertisers are expected to spend $99.22 billion on search in 2024 (eMarketer)
  • Most of that spending will go to placements on mobile devices, with the share growing to about two-thirds by 2024. (eMarketer, 2020)
  • In 2020, Google's ad revenue amounted to 146.92 billion US dollars (Statista, 2021)
  • Amazon’s advertising revenue was USD 12.75 billion in 2020. (Statista, 2020)
  • Amazon is the third most popular advertising platform behind Facebook and Google. (eMarketer, 2018)
  • The average Amazon PPC conversion rate is 9.47%. (AdBadger, 2019)
  • 74% of brands say PPC is a huge driver for their business. (State of PPC 2019/2020, 2019)
  • 64% of brands are planning to increase their PPC budget in the next 12 months. (State of PPC 2019/2020, 2019)
  • PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors. (Unbounce, 2019)
  • 62% of marketers stated they will increase their PPC budgets for the following year. (Hanapin)
  • Google Ads’ Display Network reaches 90% of internet users via 2 million websites. (Google)
  • 53% of paid clicks are made on mobile devices. (PowerTraffick)

Takeaway:  

Since most consumers and businesses research a product or service on a search engine before making a purchase, you should consider investing in paid search ads as a viable acquisition channel. 

While Google has most of the market share, also consider other ad networks that are crawling with your target audience, such as Bing and Amazon. And, considering that over half of all paid traffic now comes through mobile devices, pay close attention to the landing page experience (make sure it is responsive), and ensure the call-to-action is properly aligned. i.e. Does a phone call vs form fill CTA make more sense for mobile users?


Conversion Rate Optimization Statistics

Driving traffic is just the first step in the digital marketing equation. The next step is to get this traffic to take action. Here are some of our favorite conversion rate optimization stats this year.

  • 3.32% of e-commerce website visits via tablet devices were converted into purchases in Q2 2020. (Statista, 2020)
  • In March 2020, 88.05% of online shopping orders were abandoned. (Statista, 2020)
  • Automotive had the highest cart abandonment rates out of all measured categories with a 96.88% abandonment rate. (Statista, 2020)
  • 50% of shoppers will abandon carts because of high extra costs like shipping, tax, and fees. (JivoChat)

 



  • The highest average conversion rate by traffic source is paid search (2.9%). (Smart Insights, 2021)
  • The average conversion rate in Google Ads on mobile across all industries is 4.1% on the search network and 0.6% on the display network. (Wordstream, 2020)
  • Automated welcome emails sent by e-commerce players had a conversion rate of 51.9% in 2020; (Statista, 2021)
  • Automated cart abandonment emails had a conversion rate of 33.89% in 2020. (Statista, 2021)
  • The average conversion rate for landing pages is 9.7% (Unbounce)
  • Conversion rates drop by 4.42% for every extra second of page-load time (Portent, 2019)
  • Companies spend just $1 on conversion rate optimization for every $92 spent on customer acquisition. (Source: Econsultancy)

  • 55.%% of companies plan to increase their CRO budget. (CXL)

Takeaway:  

While conversion rate optimization provides an opportunity to get more value from the traffic you are already receiving, only a small number of companies are investing time and money into it. Before you start creating more content and buying more ads, look at your existing digital marketing assets - landing pages, CTAs etc - and see if there are opportunities to get some quick wins. 

Page speed, excessive form fields, hidden costs, and requesting sensitive data like age can have negative impacts on conversion rate. Abandoned cart recovery and automated welcome emails are good strategies to have in your arsenal.


Social Media Marketing Statistics

Despite the fact that search engines deliver better leads, the role of social media cannot be ignored.

 

  • Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide boasting roughly 2.8 billion monthly active users as of Q4 2020. (Statista, 2021)
  • Facebook is the primary content distribution channel for marketers today. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • Each person spends an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social networks and messaging. (GlobalWebIndex)
  • In 2019, over 87% of video marketers on LinkedIn described the platform as an effective video marketing channel. (Wyzowl, 2020)
  • 18% of marketers currently use Facebook Groups. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Pinterest had 459 million monthly active users worldwide. (Statista, 2021)
  • Instagram is the social channel with the second-highest ROI among marketers. (HubSpot, 2020)
  • When examining B2B advertising, social media advertising was used by 83% of marketers and ranked second in success (29%) behind search engine marketing (33%). (CMI, 2021)
  • 57% of consumers will follow a brand to learn about new products or services while 47% will follow to stay up to date on company news.
  • In 2020, 86% of B2B organizations outsourced content creation and 30% outsourced content distribution.

Takeaway:  

While Facebook will most likely deliver the biggest reach thanks to their massive audience, don’t discount the effect investing in other social media platforms can bring. For example, Instagram is said to yield the best ROI for marketers, and LinkedIn provides great organic reach, especially for video content and B2B audiences. 


Mobile Marketing Statistics

Mobile traffic has now surpassed desktop, and it's not going to slow down. These marketing stats show us what to expect with mobile marketing.

  • 80% of the internet users own a smartphone. (McFadyen Digital)
  • US adults spend an average of 3 hours, 23 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018. (Statista)
  • Ericsson Mobility Report predicting a 25% increase in mobile traffic by 2025. (Ericsson, 2020)
  • Mobile devices are used for over 40% of online transactions.
  • More than 60% of B2B buyers report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase. (JoshMDawson)
  • 46% of people would not purchase from a brand again if they had an interruptive mobile experience. (LinkedIn)
  • 50% smartphone users are more likely to expect to purchase something immediately while using their smartphone. (Think with Google)
  • Google owns 96% of mobile search traffic.
  • In a survey conducted in February 2020, responding marketers in the United States indicated that 13.5% of their marketing budget was devoted to mobile marketing. (Statista, 2020)
  • In 2019, mobile advertising spending worldwide amounted to 189 billion U.S. dollars and it is expected to surpass 240 billion dollars by 2022.  (Statista, 2020)
  • Mobile banner advertising is projected to reach approximately 152.6 million U.S. dollars by 2025, up from roughly 63 million U.S. dollars registered in 2017. (Statista, 2021)
  • If the mobile page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 53% of people will leave it. (Search Metrics, Clever Tap)

Takeaway: 

Mobile device targeting and user experience should be a core focus of any digital marketing strategy. This includes everything from ad targeting and creative assets to website UX and landing page optimization. Not optimizing for the mobile user is akin to neglecting around 50% of your potential customer base. 


eCommerce Marketing Statistics

If you have an online store or are planning on creating one, you’ll find these eCommerce marketing statistics useful for improving sales:

  • Up to 70% of shoppers abandon online shopping carts. (Statista, 2019)
  • 28% won’t buy when they are required to create an account to checkout. (Baymard, 2021)
  • Most checkout flows contain around 15 form fields for users to fill out, as opposed to the ideal 7-8 fields. (Baymard, 2021)
  • US click-and-collect eCommerce sales are expected to grow 60.4% to $58.52 billion (eMarketer, 2020)
  • Amazon will account for 50% of all US eCommerce sales by 2021 (Statista, 2020)
  • Search and navigation are the most important site elements for online shoppers (Statista, 2020)
  •  In 2019, e-retail sales accounted for 14.1% of all retail sales worldwide. This figure is expected to reach 22% in 2023. (Statista, 2020)

Takeaway:  

Most companies are losing a lot of customers at checkout. To reduce abandonment, keep costs like shipping and taxes transparent from the start, allow guest checkout, and implement search and easy navigation (Amazon’s key strength) on your store. 


B2B Marketing Statistics

What works for business-to-business marketing can differ for business-to-consumer.

  • B2B buyers read a reported 13 pieces of content before making a buying decision. (Marketing Charts, 2020)
  • 89% of B2B researchers gather information about potential purchases through the internet (Google)
  • Of the average 13 pieces of content buyers reported consuming, an average of 8 came directly from the vendor, with the remaining 5 being from third-party sources. (Marketing Charts, 2020)
  • B2B marketers are expected to personalize their content to more than one decision-maker, with almost two-thirds (63%) of teams being composed of at least 3 decision-makers. (Marketing Charts, 2020)
  • Between February and March 2020, the number of B2B brands offering webinars grew by 36%, from 245 to 332. (Statista, 2020)
  • During a 2019 survey conducted among B2B marketing professionals in the United States, it was found that 50% of respondents believed e-mail to be the most effective channel in producing a high return on investment. (Statista, 2020)
  • 46% of marketers stated that they were planning to increase their B2B content marketing spending in the following 12 months, out of which 12% planned to increase it by more than 9%. (Statista, 2019)
  • 41% of B2B businesses conduct their marketing activities in-house (Statista)

  • Half of B2B marketing teams outsource at least one content marketing activity (CMI)
  • The average MQL to SQL conversion rate is 13% (Implisit)
  • 7 in 10 B2B buyers watch videos throughout their sales journey (Google)
  • 4 in 5 B2B leads from social media come through LinkedIn (LinkedIn)

Takeaway

The B2B buyer journey is complex; made up of multiple touchpoints and decision makers. 

B2B companies need to create numerous content assets to accommodate each stage of the funnel. This content should be repurposed into different formats suitable for key channels such as LinkedIn and YouTube. This will require a lot of time and resources to execute properly, so consider outsourcing part or all of the content creation and distribution. 


Marketing Automation Statistics

Automation has become one of the most important aspects of digital marketing and for good reason. It can help deliver better personalization and minimize low-value overhead. Here are the newest marketing automation stats to guide your decisions.

  • Automation is the fourth most prioritized investment area for businesses. (Statista, 2020)
  • 76% of marketers see a positive ROI within a year. (Marketo)
  • Lead generation is considered the top goal of marketing automation.
  • Three-quarters of all companies use marketing automation (Social Media Today, 2019)
  • The marketing automation software market was estimated at USD 6.08 billion in 2019 and is expected to be USD 16.87 billion in 2025, registering at a CAGR of 19.2% through the forecast period (2020-2025). (Research and Markets, 2021)
  • For automated cart abandonment emails, the conversion rate stood at 33.89% in 2020. (Statista, 2021)
  • The top three marketing automation solutions chosen by global industry professionals as of July 2020 were Hubspot, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Oracle Marketing Cloud, accounting for slightly more than 48.5% of the market. (Statista, 2020)
  • 36% of marketers planned to explore automation and AI as a marketing and sales strategy in 2020. (SageFrog, 2020)

Takeaway

It's become essential for modern marketers to invest in marketing automation technologies. Companies that do so will be able to save time, better optimize ad spend in real-time, scale campaigns, and more accurately measure success across multi-channel campaigns. 


Final Thoughts

These new digital marketing statistics should guide you to decisions that drive results for your business. Whether it’s in Content marketing, Video, SEO, SEM, Email, or even creative marketing, use this new data to shape your digital marketing strategy into 2021 and beyond.

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