As we move into the second half of 2023, it’s time to check out just how well the fearless annual predictions about hot marketing trends are faring. HubSpot’s 2023 State of Marketing Report confirms what many B2B marketers already know — video dominates, social media has transformative power, email marketing is a smart spend, and content marketing is a mainstay (especially in the shadow of a recession).
It’s great to have confirmation that components of your marketing plan are solid, but what do digital marketing statistics say about your inbound marketing ROI? Let’s follow the money in terms of where marketers are continuing to put their inbound program dollars — and the potential payoff.
Key takeaways from HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2023:
Video is crushing it
For the fourth consecutive year, video takes top honors for the most popular and effective media format. About 25% of marketers chose to put their marketing dollars into video — with podcasts coming in a distant second at 10%, and investments in images, blog posts, and case studies registering single-digit percentages.1
Short-form video wins the day for engagement. Videos under one minute grab about 50% of viewers; 1-3 minute videos engage 47%; and 3-5 minute videos garner 46%. Comparatively, long-form videos ranging anywhere from 6 to 60+ minutes engage at rates from 36% down to 16%.1 — HubSpot State of Marketing 2023
But, video length isn’t the sole factor in determining strategic use. According to Wistia research, companies report that the type of video content drives ROI:
About 70% of businesses are on-track to make more videos in 20232 than in 2022, with:
- 80% are holding live events
- 60% are hosting individual webinars
- 30% are hosting monthly webinars
Source: Wistia 2023 State of Video Report
Social media is influential
B2B and B2C companies place great confidence in social media for building their brands. Nearly 30% of marketers use social engagement as a benchmark for understanding content effectiveness, and 25% of primarily B2C marketers rely on influencer marketing to boost sales.1 It’s a wise move since the influencer trend produces the second-highest ROI behind social media platforms.
It begs the question: Which social media platform has the best ROI? Here’s a comparison of the top 51:
Email marketing returns big bucks
Email marketing is a customer-connection gold mine. For every $1 spent, brands recoup $36 — but there’s a catch. About 42% of email recipients skim messages instead of reading them, which means messaging needs to be concise, relevant, and high-quality to get their attention.1
What’s more, customers want a hyper-personalized experience — and 83% are willing to exchange their information to get it.1 While this statistic leans toward B2C, there’s a lesson in it for B2B marketers. Curating email messaging within an inbound program that shows you’re paying attention to the individual behind the engagement or purchase strengthens relationships and encourages spend.
Email marketing is a customer-connection gold mine. For every $1 spent, brands recoup $36 — but there’s a catch. About 42% of email recipients skim messages instead of reading them, which means messaging needs to be concise, relevant, and high-quality to get their attention.1 — HubSpot State of Marketing 2023
Content marketing remains impactful
The potential for an economic downturn in 2023 saw 55% of marketers rethinking their marketing strategies and 25% actively adjusting their marketing goals.1 Caution has been the watchword, but staying the course is the strategy for maximizing spend and ROI by:
- Paying attention to the rise of video, social media, and digital events
- Focusing on brand visibility through content marketing and SEO tactics
- Leveraging brand associations to support long B2B sales cycles
- Building prospect and customer relationships beyond lead generation
- Developing content that prioritizes empathy and helpful “humanness”
Inbound marketing is in a constant state of flux. It’s critical that B2B marketers understand what changes are happening — and why — to adjust marketing plans. Here are two of the biggest changes influencing choices, expectations, and marketing ROI:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) & automation: While not new to the B2B marketer’s toolbox, advancements in AI and automation have helped marketers keep pace with increasingly complex campaigns and workloads. Nearly half (46%) of marketers attribute better personal effectiveness and more successful plan strategies to these tools.1
- Data privacy: GDPR rules, third-party cookie phase-outs, and non-tracking APIs have evolved in response to demand for improved, more secure online data privacy. As a result, 86% of marketers have adopted new strategies for reaching customers, including social media and targeted ads, universal identifiers, and contextual advertising.1
These digital marketing statistics are empowering, especially when you use them to craft an inbound marketing program. Find out how to strategically build, align, and leverage inbound in our guide, Answers to the Top 15 Questions About Inbound Marketing.
1HubSpot, 2023 State of Marketing Report
2Wistia, 2023 State of Video Report