MDP Blog

9 Digital Marketing Statistics Every Business Owner Should Know in 2021

As a coach, there’s no fulfillment, shipping, or packing to worry about. As such, it might seem like growing your coaching business will be straightforward.


Indeed, selling a virtual product takes a lot off your plate. But growing your brand into a thriving business needs some work. One of the most critical aspects of business growth in this day and age is digital marketing.


If you neglect it, your business won’t get the visibility you desire, customers might not find you as quickly, and your sales and growth will be slower than you want. But before you start crafting your digital marketing strategy, let’s define what exactly digital marketing is.


What is Digital Marketing?


Mailchimp describes digital marketing as any marketing that uses electronic devices to convey promotional messaging and measure impact. In other words, digital marketing involves running online ad campaigns that appear on mediums such as computers, tablets, phones, and other internet-enabled devices.


Digital marketing takes various forms such as:


  • Social media marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing


Often, digital marketing is compared to traditional marketing, which is typically run on direct mail, physical magazine ads, television, and billboards.


From a business perspective, online marketing is the promotion of a brand to connect with its target audience using online or web-based channels.


Why is Digital Marketing Important for Small Businesses?


Well, the answer is simple. The chances are that a majority of your prospects are hanging out online. Don’t believe me?


According to research, approximately 75% of Americans go online every day. Nearly 50% go online more than once a day, and about 26% are almost always online!


Those numbers are nothing to scoff at. Which is why a digital marketing strategy is essential if you want a piece of that pie! This article covers 9 crucial digital marketing statistics every digital marketer needs to know in 2021.


1. A Majority of Purchase Journeys Start with an Online Search


The best place to start with these statistics is to understand how much consumers rely on search engines to make their purchase decisions. A BrightEdge Research report on digital marketing shows that around 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine query.


This percentage represents both paid and organic search traffic. However, organic traffic takes the bigger chunk at 53%, with paid taking 15%. The rest is divided among other marketing channels, including social media.


Organic social searches account for only 5% of new online experiences. The percentage of organic searches has to a large extent, held steady since 2014. If you’re considering increasing your search engine marketing ad spend, you might want to focus on Google first.


Besides, Google accounts for about 90% of all search engine queries!


2. Expected Global Digital Marketing Ad Spend in 2021


If you’re not yet convinced of the need for a digital marketing strategy, this statistic might be the conviction you need to consider it.


According to Statista, the global ad spend in 2021 will leap 17% over 2020 to approximately $389 billion. And this is because growth slowed down in 2020 after the COVID hit! In 2020, brands around the globe spent nearly $333 billion on digital marketing and advertising. That was a 2.4 % year-over-year growth.


Over the next few years, and as things get back to normal, these numbers are projected to grow. For example, the digital ad spend for 2022 is expected to grow by 13% to $441 billion. By the end of 2024, that number is expected to grow past $526 billion. That translates to an 85% growth over 6 years, or since 2018.


3. Digital vs. Traditional Marketing – Which One is More Popular?


The statistics mentioned above go to show just how popular digital marketing is. Still, when it comes to overall marketing stats, where does digital marketing stand? Besides, we still have traditional marketing to consider.


Research shows that of the global budget spent on marketing and advertising in 2021, 46% will be spent on digital marketing campaigns. However, the exact percentage will vary for each company depending on:


  • Sector/Industry
  • Target market
  • Expansion strategy, etc.


Here is how.


Take a traditional business targeting an older generation that might not be online. It’s expected that conventional marketing would take a bigger chunk of the marketing and advertising budget for such a brand. On the other hand, brands that rely on e-commerce will undoubtedly spend more on digital marketing and advertising.


Yet, there will be other brands that will split the budget equally!


That said, it’s more evident today more than ever that it’s only a matter of time before digital marketing surpasses and dominates traditional marketing. Unfortunately, that gives brands only one choice if they want to survive – invest in a digital marketing strategy if you don’t have one. Or revamp an outdated strategy if you have one gathering dust on a shelf (virtual or physical).


4. Which Digital Platform is the Best to Focus on in 2021?


When it comes to digital marketing, there’s barely a one-size-fits-all platform. Sure, some platforms will do better for different businesses than others. However, some platforms are becoming increasingly popular, and where most marketers are focusing their efforts for a good reason – video and mobile marketing!


Statistics for 2021 show that these two channels will surpass any other in terms of popularity. In fact, surveys show that 90% of all marketers will invest in video and mobile ads in 2021.


Of this number, 70% will increase their marketing budget on the two channels, with only 3% expecting to spend less than last year. In addition, approximately 6 out of 10 marketers will be increasing their video marketing budget on YouTube, while about 7 in 10 plan to spend more on mobile ads.


Why are more marketers willing to spend more on mobile ads? Well, there are increasingly more people spending their digital time on mobile phones. In fact, 80% of the time consumers spend online is spent on their mobile phones! So, with that, let’s look at more digital marketing statistics for mobile.


5. How Many Consumers Use a Smartphone to Access the Internet?


As of January 2021, stats show that 66.6% of the global population are unique mobile phone users. That translates to approximately 5.2 billion people!


That number is a 1.8 increase from January 2020. That means the past year alone has seen an additional 93 million new mobile phone users join the pool of potential customers for any brand. If the trend continues, then mobile marketing will become even more essential. Think about it, how much of your time spent online is on a PC?


If you’re like me, I’m guessing only about 20%. With numbers like these, mobile advertising is set to grow even more significantly soon. If you’re not yet running mobile ads as part of your digital advertising strategy, there has never been a better time to start.


6. Digital Marketing Statistics in the US: Mobile Ad Spend


As the number of mobile users in the US expands, so does the budget that marketers are willing to spend to attract these potential consumers.


In 2020, experts predicted that the total spent on mobile advertising in the US would be approximately $156 billion by 2023. Before that, the predictions had pegged that number a billion lower. Although 2020 showed a dip in mobile ad spend as businesses struggled to stay afloat, that number is expected to pick in 2021 and beyond.


Surprisingly, the expected growth in the coming years has been triggered by COVID. During this pandemic, more people have been engaging more with ads on their phones. In addition, people have been streaming more video content, shopping on their smartphones, and even playing more games to pass the time or wind down.


7. Organic Search Engine Visits via Mobile Phones


Mobile advertising doesn’t necessarily have to be on paid ads. If numbers are anything to go by, it’s vital to allocate part of your mobile marketing budget to organic search optimization. Over the past few years, organic searches via mobile have been growing steadily.


So much so that 56% of all organic searches in Q1 of 2020 were on mobile phones. That is an 11% growth over the last 5 years. The number of US mobile phone search users has also grown to 211 million in 2020 from 178 million in 2016.


As for the search engine that’s most popular, Google beats all the other combined. Of all mobile searches in the US in December 2020, 94.5% were on Google!


8. Ads are Facebook’s Biggest Income Earner


Picture this, in the third quarter of 2020, Facebook’s ad revenue hit $21.2 billion, a 22% increase. And that’s despite the pandemic. Just imagine how much more that is set to grow post-pandemic! When talking about digital marketing, Facebook is by far one of the most popular advertising platforms.


With an audience of 2.14 billion people, it’s easy to see why!


As the platform becomes more popular, its advertising revenue will keep growing as more companies seek to reach their target consumers. To put it into perspective, the company’s ad revenue growth in Q3 of 2020 was 21.8% more than in 2019!


And if you thought that was impressive, ad revenue accounts for over 90% of Facebook’s revenue. In Q3 of 2020, Facebook had total revenue of $21.5 billion, out of which $21.2 was from digital marketing!


9. TikTok is The Next Best Platform for Advertising


If you had to focus on one social media platform to advertise on in 2021, I’d say focus on TikTok. TikTok had the fastest-growing audience and user base in 2020, with a user growth of a mind-blowing 75% in only nine months! That growth translated to the highest revenue among all social media apps.


If you thought that was impressive, TikTok is set to see an even bigger bump in their revenue. 44% of advertisers say they’ll be increasing their advertising budget on TikTok. That translates to 5% more than what’s expected for Facebook, which means that TikTok might overthrow FB as the King of Social Media. Text...