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Digital Marketing Statistics 2023: How Your Strategy Measures Up

Kate Sukhanova Senior Statistics Contributor Author expertise
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Digital Marketing Statistics

What is digital marketing?
Everyone’s heard of it, and most realize that it involves using digital tools and channels to market products and services.

But how much do we really know about what it involves? Is it SEO? Google Ads? Emails?
The answer is – all of the above, plus many other concepts!

These concepts are growing more powerful, and more marketers are leveraging them every year. And given how many people are active online on a daily basis, that’s hardly surprising!
But to make the most of digital marketing, you need to understand what it’s about, how it’s been performing so far, and its key trends. Dive into this article to get these insights, and more! 

Let’s take a look at the key digital marketing statistics for recent years!

Digital Marketing Expenditure

In 2021, digital ad spending reached $522.5 billion. By 2026, it’s forecast to reach $835.2 billion.
When it comes to content marketing statistics on spending, 20% of American companies spent between $1000-3000 per month in 2022.
To give you a clearer picture, we put together a table with the figures for digital advertising and digital marketing growth across different segments:

Digital marketing activity Spending in 2023, USD Forecast spending in 2027, USD
Search ads 279.3 billion 389.80 billion
Video ads 176.60 billion 229.80 billion
Banner ads 161.80 billion 207 billion
Influencer marketing 30.81 billion 47.80 billion
Classified ads 21.05 billion 22.98 billion
Audio ads 10.14 billion 12.82 billion
Total 679.8 billion 910.3 billion

As you can see, search advertising will be the most valuable type of digital ads in the next 4 years. Indeed, digital marketing & SEO go hand-in-hand, as you’ll see later on.

Comparison with Traditional Marketing

The key difference between traditional and digital marketing in terms of value is that most consumers expect digital interaction with brands today. Therefore, traditional marketing yields fewer interactions – Amra & Elma even said the gap was as large as 50%

Brands confirmed that the best results come from integrating digital marketing with traditional marketing. And in terms of spending, digital marketing spending increased by 15.6% on average in 2021 and 2022, whereas the average spending on traditional marketing only grew by 1.2%.

Mobile Advertising

In September 2022, 13.7% of American companies’ marketing budget was dedicated to mobile marketing – a figure that’s expected to reach 16.9% by September 2023. For the UK, that figure is expected to reach 28% by 2028.
Given that over 7 billion mobile users worldwide use their mobiles daily for browsing, emails, and many other activities, this growth is no surprise! 

Overall, American companies spent $164.8 billion on mobile advertising in 2022. Most of that (31%) was in the B2C services sector. 

Social Media Advertising

In 2022, social media advertising was central to mobile advertising, its global spending amounting to $141 billion. Experts predict social media ad spending to almost double by 2028, reaching $262 billion. We’ll dive deeper into social media marketing insights later on.

E-Commerce

Were you mostly shopping online during Covid-19?

You’re not alone!
Studies show that e-commerce sales during the pandemic increased by 25% in the US, from $516 billion in 2019 to US$644 billion in 2020. And in 2023, the US e-commerce revenue is forecast to reach $1,011 billion. We can, therefore, be certain that e-commerce is a significant aspect of digital marketing, which is here to stay.

Social Media Marketing: Key Statistics

Did you know that 65% of consumers use social media to engage with brands?
Here are some more interesting SMM statistics for businesses:

Number of Social Media Users

In 2022, there were 4.59 billion social media users worldwide! And on average, they spent 144 minutes on social media per day.

social media users
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As you can see, Facebook remains the most popular social network, with almost 3 billion monthly active users (MAU), with Instagram and YouTube following closely behind.

Social Media Advertising Budgets

In 2023, the lion’s share of social media ad spending currently comes from mobile ad spending, amounting to $170.30 billion worldwide. To compare, social media advertising budget for desktops is only $36 billion!
The total global social media ad spending in 2023 is projected to be $207.10 billion – $8 billion more than in 2022.

Social Media Engagement 

Social media engagement rates are useful for measuring businesses’ lead generation and customer engagement. To increase conversion rates for social media, companies employ different strategies like short videos, polls, and carousels.

The most engaging type of social media content depends on the type of social media and audiences. However, video content has been found to be most engaging across most channels.

Demographics of Social Media Users

Social media demographics
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It’s funny to think that at its inception, Facebook’s core demographics were college students, and now, almost 28% of its male users are aged 25-44. And Facebook is the favorite social media platform for over 17% of 35-44-year-old males.


So, it’s somewhat of a misconception to presume that only young people are using social media – not least because 60% of 40-44-year-old  users are on their socials for an hour each day. However, a third of all social media users worldwide are aged 20-29, and 30-39-year-olds form almost a quarter of social media users. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Key Statistics

SEO keywords
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As we pointed out earlier, digital marketing & SEO are closely aligned. With the rightly optimized SEO, your website gets better traffic and better ranking, and people are more likely to find you in their search results. Let’s take a look at some SEO statistics!

Importance of SEO

Over 65% of all online experiences begin with a search. Websites get 300% more traffic from searches than social media. In addition, many searchers won’t go beyond the first page of Google results.  So, it’s vital for your business to optimize its SEO to be found. 

Here are some of the top SEO trends for 2023 and beyond, according to Hubspot:

  • Mobile and voice searches
  • Videos in search results
  • AI-generated content
  • Local SEO
  • Automation

SEO Metrics and Tools

The performance of a website’s SEO depends on these metrics:

  • Organic (unpaid) search traffic
  • Number of backlinks or referring domains mentioning the website
  • Keyword rankings
  • Click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Bounce rate

These metrics may sound intimidating, but fortunately, there are a lot of freemium and paid tools that you can use to optimize your SEO!
Some of the most popular free/freemium tools are Ubersuggest, HubSpot website grader, and Google’s suite of tools, like Analytics and Trends. When it comes to paid tools, Semrush, Ahrefs, and Screaming Frog are popular SEO SaaS tools among many businesses. We also recommend investing in these 7 digital tools to get the most value out of your marketing.

SEO Budgets

SEO pricing
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According to the marketing thought leader Neal Schaffer, over 40% of large businesses have a monthly SEO budget of over $20,000. This is quite a high figure, and reports from Ahrefs confirm that for many companies, the monthly SEO cost is under $5000.
The most popular monthly rate for SEO agencies is between $500-1,000 – over 20% of SEO professionals offer that rate. And in terms of hourly rates, 24% of agencies charge $75-100 per hour. 

ROI of SEO

Here’s what we found out about the ROI of SEO:

  • According to a study by Gitnux, 57% of B2B digital marketers see SEO as their biggest lead generator
  • The same study stipulates that SEO leads’ conversion rate is 14.6% – 8.5 times higher than the rate of outbound leeads.
  • The top three industries for SEO ROI in the last few years over 10 to 13 months were real estate (1,389%), medical devices (1,183%), and PCB design and manufacturing (1,101%)

As you can see, well-optimized SEO can really take your digital marketing to a new level!

Email Marketing: Key Statistics

Email Marketing Statistics

Spoiler alert – contrary to popular belief, email marketing isn’t dead. Here are some key statistics that prove it!

ROI of Email Marketing

Although the percentage of sales generated through email marketing dropped from 24% to 16% in 2019, things picked up again in 2020. That year, brands earned $36 for every dollar spent on email marketing. Moreover, in 2021, the average ROI of email marketing campaigns was 93%. 

Open Rates

The average email open rates vary by industry. For example, government emails have one of the highest open rates overall (more than 40%), and legal services have one of the lowest.
Here’s an overview of the average email open rates in 2021 by industry:

Industry Email open rate
Financial services 21.5%
Publishing 18.07
Auto 13.35%
Communications & Entertainment 12.46%
Tech 12.46%
Food 10.95%
Legal services 10.9%

Click-Through Rates, 

Click-through rates, or CTRs, represent the number of email subscribers that have clicked on the links in your marketing emails.
Like open rates, CTRs vary across industries. According to CampaignMonitor, 2.3% was the average CTR overall in 2022. The education industry was in the top spot with a 4.4% CTR. Perhaps surprisingly, the retail industry had a 0.7% CTR – the lowest across all industries.

Personalization

I often get emails titled “Kate, have you seen…”.

This sort of email personalization is possible thanks to tools like HubSpot, and it does have a visible impact on the success of digital marketing.
Without personalization, your email could easily get lost in hundreds of generic advertising emails. And in fact, 62% of consumers in 2022 said that a brand would lose their loyalty if it didn’t offer personalized messaging. 

Personalizing emails in subject lines can result in a 26% higher open rate and 139% higher CTR. So, it’s no surprise that companies that use email personalization have been found to generate 40% more revenue than those that don’t capture its value!

Mobile Optimization

Earlier, we highlighted the importance of digital marketing optimization for mobile. Email marketing is no exception. 71% of smartphone users have used their mobiles to check emails in 2021-2022. And the number of users who delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile is 7 out of 10!
That’s over two-thirds of your audience. To avoid losing them, brands should remember that over 50% of their subscribers likely read emails on mobile and consider investing in email mobile optimization.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Key Statistics

PPC Marketing Statistics

Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising is a form of digital marketing that displays a brand’s ads to users, and the brand is charged a small fee every time someone clicks on it. Here is some PPC ad statistics.

PPC Ad Spend

American companies spent over $101 billion on PPC advertising in 2020. In 2023, that figure is expected to reach $130.9 billion.

Google Ads is the global leader in PPC advertising, with over 80% of businesses worldwide relying on it. Its ad revenue was $224.5 billion in 2022 alone – $12.5 billion more than the year before.
For example, SaaS giants like Adobe and IBM spent over $80 million on Google Ads in 2022, with Adobe having spent almost $130 million!

Cost-Per-Click

Cost per Click Statistics

Cost-per-click, or CPC, is the amount paid by the business per each click on its PPC ads. This amount varies across different industries, with legal services being the most expensive – $8.67 per click on average. The real estate industry has the cheapest CPC of $1.36.

Conversion Rates

Like with CPC, conversion rates for Google Ads can vary, depending on your industry and the website’s quality and relevance. In 2022, the average conversion rate was 2.85%. It was slightly higher for search ads (4.2%) than for display ads (0.55%).

Retargeting

Retargeting, or remarketing is the practice of digital advertising, where you reach out to former visitors of your website or app by displaying relevant ads or emails. If you’ve ever had to “accept cookies” on a website, you could be subject to retargeting by the owners of that website.

80% of SMEs and 73% of large companies use social media retargeting. Driving sales and brand awareness are the key retargeting goals for over 50% of brands. This popularity of retargeting primarily stems from how it can help increase conversion rates by as much as 10% across many industries.

Is Digital Marketing in Demand in 2023?

Short answer – yes.

Financial projections speak for themselves. This year, the digital marketing spending exceeded $600 billion for the first time. And by 2026, it’s expected to reach $836 billion

In terms of staffing, the demand for digital marketing experts – both in-house and freelance – is very high, and the good ones are expensive. There are over 20,000 “digital marketing” job vacancies on LinkedIn in the UK alone and over 120,000 in the US.
According to Glassdoor, digital marketing specialists can make at least $50,000 per annum in the US. And for niche digital marketing experts, such as PPC and SEO managers, it can be even higher. Top SEO and content marketing freelancers on websites like Fiverr charge around $800-1,000 for their services. 

Top Marketers on the Future of Digital Marketing

AI & ML

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already used by many digital marketers for automation and personalization, according to Neil Patel. His research also shows that over a third of marketers are concerned about AI and how it might impact their careers.

As more and more consumers turn to voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, marketers search for ways to optimize their content marketing for voice search. According to a recent study, voice-based online searches compose 40% of all searches. This means that brands should think about how their content will be found and consumed through voice assistants.


NLP and long-tail keywords are one strategy they can adopt. Voice searches tend to be more conversational, so creating content that reflects this is necessary. Also, brands can use structured data to help voice assistants optimize the categorization of their content.

AI will never completely replace human marketers. The human element is too critical.

Neil Patel

Indeed, things like AI chatbot are supporting many organizations and will only grow in the future. Same with written content –  tools like ChatGPT and Jasper are gaining a lot of traction. However, these are just that – tools. Patel confirms that the human element is, at least for the foreseeable future, irreplaceable.

Personalization

Consumers expect personalization today, and marketers are leveraging AI and ML to deliver just that, to ensure their message is heard. Brands can create customized experiences that cater to each consumer’s interests and preferences by analyzing data on individual users.

Personalization goes beyond recommendations – it’s about creating an experience tailored to each user. This could mean offering personalized discounts or promotions, customizing website layouts based on user behavior, or creating personalized content that speaks directly to each user’s interests. Personalized emails, for example, decrease the risk of your email being deleted without reading, according to Neal Schaffer.

Video Content

Content Marketing Institute confirms that over 70% of companies will invest in video marketing in the coming years. And with short-form videos having very high ROIs and engagement rates, video is here to stay.

Therefore, marketers should focus on creating engaging, high-quality video content that resonates with their audience. Content marketing statistics from Wistia show that videos like product demos, webinars, and customer testimonials connect with the viewers, especially if supported by authentic employee content.

Privacy Concerns

With the rise of data breaches and other privacy issues, consumers are more aware of the risks associated with sharing their personal info online. In fact, privacy was the key challenge for 43% of mobile app marketers in 2022, according to Liftoff

Companies must, therefore, be transparent about collecting and using consumers’ data and offer them the option to control their own data. They can address these concerns by offering more personalized experiences without relying on personal data. For example, brands could use location-based targeting to deliver location-based ads. Additionally, they can give more control over data collection and offer straightforward opt-out options for users who don’t want their data to be collected.

Top Takeaways: Key Digital Marketing Statistics

  1. By 2026, digital ad spending is forecast to reach $835.2 billion
  2. Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with almost 3 billion MAUs.
  3. Over 40% of large businesses have a monthly SEO budget of over $20,000.
  4. The top industry for SEO ROI in the last few years over 10 to 13 months was real estate (1,389% ROI).
  5. Personalizing emails in subject lines can result in a 26% higher open rate and 139% higher CTR.
  6. Google Ads is the global leader in PPC advertising, with over 80% of businesses worldwide using it.

There are over 220,000 “digital marketing” job vacancies on LinkedIn in the US and over 20,000 in the UK.

Digital Marketing – Key Insights

These digital marketing and advertising statistics tell us that it’s a billion-dollar industry, the growth of which has been fueled by over 4 billion smartphone and social media users.
With the increasing use of smartphones, brands have had to adapt their digital marketing strategies to mobile, optimizing their ads, content, and emails for those devices. 

SEO and PPC marketing are also on the rise and are showing no signs of slowing down, offering high ROIs to those that implement it successfully.

We expect to see a lot more adoption of AI in digital marketing and marketers adapting to voice searches and leveraging their video content. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a digital marketer!

Kate Sukhanova Senior Statistics Contributor

Kate Sukhanova Senior Statistics Contributor

Kate is an accomplished tech writer and SaaS (Software as a Service) founder, renowned for her expertise in the technology industry. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the esteemed University of Exeter, where she honed his critical thinking and analytical skills.

Beyond her entrepreneurial endeavors, Kate is a true statistics geek. She revels in the world of data and derives insights that drive decision-making and business strategies. This penchant for numbers enhances her ability to craft data-driven articles, guiding readers through complex topics with clarity and reliability.

Kate's passion for knowledge and curiosity about emerging technologies drive her to learn and stay ahead of the curve continuously. She is deeply committed to sharing valuable information about innovations that have a tangible, positive impact on businesses and society.