Year on year we are seeing more businesses invest in digital marketing. Econsultancy’s recently released Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report has revealed some interesting insights into where that investment is being directed and why. A key finding from the report is that only 13% of companies rigidly split their online budgets by channel, with the majority maintaining an approach that allows fine tuning and flexibility based on the ROI of their activity.
At the most basic level, the amount being spent on paid search is increasing (58% of companies will increase their budgets over the coming year). However, the rising cost of keywords and strong online competition are increasingly becoming barriers for businesses. The amount of spend being directed towards SEO also appears to be on the up, with 45% of companies expecting their SEO budget to increase by 20%. Social media spend appears to account for less of the average digital marketing budget than paid search or SEO, although spend in social continues to increase; 46% of companies expect to up their social budget, with 25% anticipating an increase of 50% or more.
Arguably the most interesting aspect of the report is not where marketers are directing their spend, but how hard they are making their money work. While it’s encouraging to see that businesses are maintaining a degree of flexibility in attributing their budgets – using ROI as a key indicator to continually improve – it is also clear that digital strategy is not yet aligned in most businesses. Nearly half of responding companies do not use social media and SEO together, and though 3 in 5 companies say their SEO and content strategies are integrated, only 9% say their SEO strategy is driven by content.
With search engines and consumers alike clamouring for fresh and engaging content, the pressure is on for marketers to make sure that their digital strategy is aligned in every area. This may mean people stepping out of their comfort zones, but it will ultimately lead to greater efficiency, more targeted opportunities and most importantly, a consistent brand experience for your customers.
The digital marketing department that plays together doesn’t just stay together – it sees a far greater return on investment.
This article originally appeared on Quill Content and has been republished with permission.
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