Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we saw last week.
Statistics include the efficacy of Facebook ads, business opportunities in 2014, Google's product listing ads (PLAs), alternative payment methods and the top reasons that websites are losing sales.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
Despite reports suggesting that teens have been deserting Facebook in their thousands, a new study into global social media usage shows that the network is still in good health.
While the level of active usage fell by 3% in the second half of 2013, Facebook is still hugely popular among all demographics and has actually increased the audience size for its apps.
The GWI Social report shows that Facebook remains the most popular social network in terms of global account ownership (83%), active usage (49%) and visit frequency (56% of users log in more than once a day).
In terms of account numbers Facebook is followed by YouTube (59%), Google+ (58%) and Twitter (51%), all three of which saw increasing membership during 2013. Facebook still remains someway ahead of this pack, but the gap has been narrowing.
I’ve been feeling in a home improvement mood lately.
Perhaps just because it’s January, perhaps just because I like the way I look with a tool-belt strapped around my waist. Either way I’ll be growing a bristly moustache, keeping an assortment of spare nails in a coffee cup and seeking out US home improvement store Lowe’s for all my hammering and buzzsawing needs.
This article will take a look at how the almost 70-year-old hardware chain has recently made tremendous strides in its social media reach by treating social media not as a single entity, but by realising that audiences use different channels for different reasons and tailoring its content accordingly.
So pour some three-day old coffee into a cup that’s never been cleaned, pop your squared off pencil behind your ear and let’s begin.
Adjusted for inflation, the US newspaper industry is now generating roughly the same level of print ad revenue as it was in the 1950s.
The main difference is that back then they were on an upwards trajectory which lasted until the year 2000, when US newspapers’ ad revenue reached $60bn.
Since then, the mass adoption of the internet has seen digital advertising increasingly eat into print ad revenue. You’d be forgiven for thinking that advertising on newspapers’ websites would form a significant part of the overall digital ad spend, what with their high-quality content, pre-existing relationships with agencies and brands, and their well-established audience.
Yet only a small fraction of digital ad spend is going to newspaper publishers’ digital sites and despite US newspapers’ print ad sales more than halving to $19.5bn in 2012 since 2000, according to the Newspaper Association of America, their digital ad sales have only reached $3.4bn.
Part of the problem is that ads on newspaper sites just aren’t as effective as those of the world’s best known sites, like Facebook, Google and Twitter.
While many newspapers’ digital sites are still running standard ad formats, or worse, ads which annoy the consumer and intrude on their content browsing experience, many social media sites have instead deployed native formats, which sit within the digital content, and match the look and feel of the site.
Facebook is still the dominant social site in the USA, but even more adults are now signing up to multiple platforms.
These findings come from Pew Internet’s latest research, based on a sample of 1,800 adults.
Currently 73% of online adults now use social networking sites, and with our friendship groups, colleagues and professional connections scattered across even more social networks than ever before, it has become a necessity to sign up to multiple platforms in order to engage with them all.
I’ve even had to adopt a second Twitter account to separate my own ‘church and state’ (or less-professional nonsense from even less-professional nonsense.)
Here are some more social network stats from the research, covering Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the relative audience crossover between each platform.
90% of data in the world today was created in the past two years. Using social media, brands have an unparalleled opportunity to hear what their customers and potential customers think and feel about them.
Brands have always monitored what is written about them, but social listening is something different.
Listening is active. It usually requires you to do something as a result of what you’ve heard: spotting issues early, righting wrongs, surprising and delighting customers, marketing in real time, and gathering insight and intelligence to help you develop better products.
It’s easy just to focus on the influencers, and ignore the small voice in the crowd. But this can be a mistake. US insurance company Harvard Pilgrim didn’t respond to a customer complaint, first offline, then online, when the customer published a blog post about the problem.
Although the readership of the blog was barely in double digits, when the post was tweeted it went viral and 1,000 people read the post.
Facebook has revealed that organic reach for brands will fall short, if it hasn’t begun to do so already.
In a recent tweak to the news feed algorithm, Facebook has begun to prioritise content from the people that users engage with the most, ensuring content from a ‘liked’ company’s Facebook page will become a negligible presence.
In a press release from December, Facebook urges marketers to buy ads instead of merely relying on the free content channel of running a Facebook page.
This ‘tweak’ signifies a dramatic change to the Facebook experience for users, brands and anybody else who may run a Facebook page, whether it's for profit or not.
As of last weekend, Vine has finally introduced a desktop website.
I say finally, Vine has only been going a year, but it’s still been an awfully long wait. The idea that a platform as supposedly trend-setting as Vine didn’t have a desktop presence is frankly ludicrous.
I’ve been writing a regular round-up of the best Vines of the month on the Econsultancy blog for a few months now, and the lack of a searchable homepage has made this a much more long-winded exercise than necessary.
Will my job be any easier from now on? Let's see.
I’m going to take a look at Vine’s new UX, along with a handful of other social media sites, and highlight some of the user experience issues I’ve been having with them all.
First I’ll start with Instagram as this has been bugging me for a while now.
Segmentation is one of the key weapons of the success marketer.
It's allowed them to get the right messages and products to the right people. It's a core part of the marketer’s tool kit.
So what can marketers learn from segmenting their social audiences?
Amazon has the most shares of its products on Pinterest than any other US retailer, though it seems to put less effort into curation than most of its rivals.
According to SearchMetrics, products from Amazon.com currently generate the highest average number of pins per week (16,360) on Pinterest, followed by Walmart (5,778) and Apple (3,871).
So is Amazon doing anything especially well on Pinterest, or is this due to the sheer ubiquity of its products?
For larger retailers, is it worth the effort, or should you let your 'fans' do the hard work?