It can be extremely challenging to understand digital marketing without understanding what experts, small businesses, and services are succeeding with. You always want your business’s content and products to stand out and look unique. But you always have to balance that with being aware and conscious of trends to help your marketing strategy succeed.
One of the key ways to figure this out is through digital marketing reporting. Businesses and companies release digital marketing reports to the public to give an idea of where things are going in the world of online marketing. They also detail what changes have happened before the past edition of the report.
Most digital marketing reporting is released annually. However, other reports can be released more regularly to keep up with the rapid pace of digital marketing efforts.
If you want to stay informed about what will help your digital marketing strategy in 2021, you’ll absolutely want to go over available digital marketing reports in close detail.
These are just a few of the best examples of a digital marketing report. We’ll also give a brief summary of what each one covers in its most recent edition.
What Can You Learn from a Digital Marketing Report?
If this is your first time looking into a digital marketing report, it might help to fully explain what statistics you can find with digital marketing reports, as well as who they’re made by.
They’re usually produced by marketing agencies to ensure exactly how people interact with information. This information can be from anything, from a particular search engine to a specific social media platform.
A digital marketing report is meant to inform readers of what sort of strategies get the most engagement.
This not only applies to the content’s presentation but also the subject matter and informational quality of the content itself. For example, the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer mentions how a large number of online users are searching for hygiene information since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It compares the quality of information that comes from common searches about hygiene.
Digital marketing reports are rarely comprehensive. There are plenty of things you can learn through experience and practice. However, sifting through these reports will help you develop strategies and content styles that will lead to your success.
The Edelman version of digital marketing reports has a great focus on the quality of information people find. It also looks at their trusted sources of products and information.
Edelman itself is a global communications firm that runs its own trust institute and research. Its research focuses on how people interact with businesses, governments, and others through online means.
As its name dictates, Edelman’s main priority is finding what sources users trust the most.
The firm often looks at current events to ensure what type of content people tend to be engaging with most. Its 2019 edition, for example, detailed how there was significantly more website traffic and engagement for news posts. This led to greater expectations of others posting and engaging in similar ways.
Most Recent Edition: 2021
The 2021 version of the report focuses a lot on the COVID-19 pandemic and recent current events. Edelman finds there’s much more misinformation this year compared to 2019 and 2020 when it comes to current events. Within this context, it also recognizes that most users tend to trust businesses more often than other resources like NGOs, government, and the media.
Edelman doesn’t credit this with businesses being more deserving, but with the other sources of information being quite poor in quality. This report goes into detail over how this gives businesses responsibility over its consumers due to a more natural trust, but also mentions how other institutions need to work toward improving other avenues of information.
HubSpot is much more focused on the business end of digital marketing reports, rather than Edelman having a more general research angle for all kinds of institutions. In addition, HubSpot offers various pieces of software to help with customer support, content management, and sales, and its public digital marketing reports detail many numerical statistics to show what types of strategies lead to successful engagement and website traffic.
This is a remarkably varied report, and much of the information from past reports is available on its site at its Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics page. The company details which search engines and systems most consumers visit, how successful certain online businesses like ecommerce are, and also the types of content that people commonly engage with, such as videos, podcasts, and blog content.
Most Recent Edition: 2021
HubSpot’s most recent report is adding to the information available mentioned earlier, giving new statistics to ensure whether there have been any significant changes in the types of content that is most often engaged with. Its information is primarily sourced through online resources and fellow marketers, but it also features multiple interviews with various experts to ensure there’s more first-hand experience to back up its presumed trends.
Alongside what’s being engaged with, this marketer has plenty of trends and predictions to make that can help you build a digital marketing strategy that will keep up with the current online landscape. The digital markets can move incredibly fast, so finding a current strategy that can shift over time or persevere through changes is especially important.
Merkle features one of the more frequent reports, releasing quarterly rather than annually to help keep up with more variant and changing digital marketing strategies. A primary focus for its content is what types of goods and services are succeeding in digital marketing strategies, such as how Q3 2021 saw a massive boost in engaging with travel industry ads through Google.
Merkle also keeps an eye on various popular platforms like Amazon and Facebook, checking how successful special deals are and how successful specific campaigns tend to be. This can help you know which larger businesses are succeeding to follow their trends, or to recognize when a certain digital marketing strategy might have already failed elsewhere.
Most Recent Edition: Q1 2021
The Q1 of 2021 saw a new quarterly report from Merkle that greatly details how well each popular platform performs, particularly the growth of various platforms like Google and Amazon. Much of what it finds is that clicks and engagement continue to rise, but sales per click tend to fall on certain types of products.
Merkle also details Instagram, which is having more cost-effective marketing strategies with more success. If you want to make sure which major platform is the best to work off of, this recent Merkle Digital Marketing Report should give you everything you need to understand how each of these larger sites is functioning.
Taking the form of a slideshow presentation, the Bond Internet Trends Report is one of the best general digital marketing reports for broad information over multiple years. This digital market report helps provide a huge amount of information that ranges from where most internet users are accessing from, as well as how much companies are spending on internet advertising compared to growth.
They also detail the changes that come with pricing, as there are a lot of changes in how users and visitors will evaluate certain prices on products. Digital markets are not only changing each year, but they’re also expanding, and that means internet users are going to value their money in response to advertising quite differently.
Most Recent Edition: April 2020
While you can access the 2019 presentation for a fuller amount of data, the actual, most recent version of the Bond Internet Trends report is a special report called Our New World, which details many of the significant changes that came with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the trends they expected to see happen.
This is slightly outdated on account of the dramatic changes that occurred this year, but that hardly means it’s worth ignoring or disregarding. It’s full of excellent speculation and trends to keep in mind with the rapidly changing world, as well as what businesses need a stronger digital presence.
Buffer’s State of Social is an incredibly detailed survey that looks at how businesses value and assume their content to perform, not just how users interact with it. It acknowledges that social media marketing is a massive new trend, but also highlights how well it affects their businesses compared to their level of effort.
This gives access to all kinds of clear ideas on what your competition or peers are going to be using for each digital marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to social media. This can help give a guideline on where you want to invest your time and research, particularly if you want a more focused target for your marketing teams.
Most Recent Edition: 2019
Social media has been changing faster and faster in the past few years with new features, but the 2019 report is still a great indication on where most businesses are still moving toward. It looks at various online platforms to see where businesses market to most, as well as detailing the 2019 trend of video content to advertise products, brands, and businesses.
The most important thing you can learn from this edition, though, is that there’s a lot of confusion about exactly how a social media campaign or digital marketing strategy will succeed. Most businesses surveyed seem to understand the importance, but few completely understand how these systems work, leaving many businesses unclear about how to succeed with them.
Alongside offering classes and resources for understanding content marketing and management, the Content Marketing Institute does vast amounts of research on more niche industries and marketing systems. One of these includes B2B marketing, which had a significant set of changes that came from the 2020 pandemic regarding both its engagement and content schedule.
This not only details how businesses are marketing themselves, but also how they’re functioning behind the scenes to ensure they’re able to make content and provide products that are adapting to your customer priorities. They also give some great statistics on which marketers surveyed have documented content marketing strategies, nurture their audience, and even manage an active online community.
Most Recent Edition: 2021
As mentioned earlier, a great tool from this edition includes a chart near the first page that includes various strategies that the most- and least-successful respondents tended to use. It shows the success of having editorial calendars, making changes to suit the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and actively building a dedicated audience to advertise toward.
Beyond this, it’s great thanks to the more specific nature of the report compared to the others mentioned earlier, as there’s a fair amount of generalized digital marketing reports that cover all kinds of methods. B2B marketing is a highly unique style of marketing that requires its own assessments and structures, and the best B2B strategies should ideally reference the trends that are had by other companies using B2B.
Another option for B2B marketing options includes Demand Gen Report, which publishes various stories and research findings to speculate about the future of ecommerce within the next several years.
The trends that are reported here are much more built around general strategies, namely ways to attract a more consistent audience.
It does this through various second-hand research and is lighter on statistics compared to other digital marketing reports. This means you can comprehend it much easier if you aren’t as experienced in B2B or other forms of digital marketing strategies and still get a solid understanding of major trends going on in online plans.
Most Recent Edition: 2021
The most recent annual report from Demand Gen is especially notable for its infographic presentation, giving a clear list of strategies and trends that seem to be successful and popular.
This particularly includes customer support quality being considered more valuable, but it also talks about how retaining an audience is a more certain way to improve your success.
It’s an excellent starting point, even if the lack of direct statistics and easy links to their sources are somewhat challenging to research. It’s an excellent report that can help you start establishing a digital marketing plan, and it simplifies a lot of complex information so that non-experts can understand these trends on a similar level.
Validity is another resource center that primarily looks into how well companies are accomplishing their digital marketing strategies.
They’re quite clear that most companies have a high emphasis on customer relationship management (CRM), but very few of them seem to be succeeding and even fewer have a full understanding of what it means.
This makes their reports incredibly helpful for those new to CRM, much like how the last report from Demand Gen is an excellent introduction to B2B. It’s not enough to simply have a strategy, as you also need to know if it’ll work better or worse than your peers and competitors.
Most Recent Edition: 2020
The 2020 report is an excellent summary of just how different the strategies and approaches are between successful and unsuccessful CRM approaches. They give great guidelines for how to improve your CRM, but also things to avoid that many industries seem to be falling into.
More than that, it will also give clear explanations on how well CRM should be influencing your actual sales and online presence, rather than just treating the two as coincidental increases.
CXL is an optimization agency that provides all kinds of resources and assistance services to improve online optimization. This is another highly complex subject, but this report is also much better for those who understand SEO and CRO more than an early beginner. If you’re new, though, there’s a lot to learn from CXL’s resources regarding how to succeed with CRO.
This looks at everything from specific salaries for CRO teams to successful platforms, looking at how optimizers work and benefit their platform. It’s especially great for optimizers looking to understand how to work in this field, but business owners can also recognize how to set up a strong CRO team using this information.
Most Recent Edition: 2020
This most recent report is greatly based around major events of 2020, releasing in December of that year with many details about how COVID-19 impacted certain businesses.
With so many goods and services being irrelevant for most of the year, it meant that many weaknesses in CRO were able to expand greatly, particularly due to lower traffic and user retention.
This report also made a great choice for business owners to showcase the dominance of Google, as most optimizers mention that they primarily rely on Google Analytics over almost any other system.
It’s not necessarily the strongest tool, but it’s definitely the most common way that people seem to engage and search for businesses and services, and it really makes clear how important Google optimization is going to be in the next several years.
The final digital marketing report worth mentioning here is highly specialized, as Litmus prefers to look directly at how email marketing tends to go. Rather than focusing on SEO and social media, this gives a deep analysis of various habits that companies seem to be using with email marketing, particularly how marketing emails are interpreted compared to work and personal emails.
The perspective is from a survey of marketers, but its main audience is very much business owners and marketing agencies. It’s intended to provide support in building a consistent strategy, and it’s going to be the best digital marketing report to read if you want something clearer and more practical.
Most Recent Edition: Fall 2020
Alongside discussing the changes that came with COVID-19, this report is quite strong thanks to its focus on educating readers on how to succeed in this space. It’s less meant for you to interpret information and more for you to understand how your company can begin an email marketing strategy that outmatches your competitors.
If you want to push for a stronger digital marketing campaign via email, this report is a must-read thanks to its excellent advice and supportive statistics. It’s great for both experts and beginners in the world of digital marketing, and it’s more specific nature makes it far more helpful than many other digital marketing reports.
As mentioned earlier, this is hardly a comprehensive list of every digital marketing report. And it’s not the only resource you can find about digital marketing trends.
Working directly with digital marketing companies like Canopy Media can give you hands-on experience with people who follow these trends closely. This will make it easier to start following them yourself.
These reports should give a much stronger idea of what makes a good digital marketing strategy. It’s important to be original and unique with how you present your content. However, the online world is a competitive and challenging place to succeed. Staying educated and informed is one of the best ways to ensure your business can rise to the top.