A recent report by Optify investigated the major online marketing trends among B2B professionals in 2012. The numbers analyzed for the study originated from over 62 million visits and 350,000 leads, providing a wealth of data that can be translated into valuable information relating to the performance of various internet marketing channels.
Traffic Generation By Source
Search engine optimization proved to be the main source of traffic for B2B companies in 2012, as 41% of all visits from Optify’s data points originated from organic sources. Direct traffic accounted for the second most amount of visits; however, this statistic may be misleading because direct traffic can include erroneous data that accumulates from users within the company visiting their own sites. Trailing behind these two sources were referrals, paid search, social media, and email marketing.
Leads By Source
In terms of lead generation, the data points were more widespread among the top sources. In this case, direct traffic reigned supreme, with 34% of leads originating from users who entered the site directly. In second place was organic search with 26.5% of all leads generated, once again proving that an effective search engine optimization campaign can help B2B companies general viable leads. Social media and email marketing drove 4.75% and 9% of all leads respectively, providing advertisers with complementary marketing channels to leverage for lead generation.
Conversion Rates By Source
Website visits and leads are significant metrics to measure the efficacy of online marketing programs, but they prove to be rather vacuous until you dig deeper and analyze performance metrics against KPIs. In this study, email marketing proved to be the most effective, generating an average conversion rate of 2.89%, compared to 1.22% from social media marketing and 1.45% from SEO. Paid Search (such as PPC advertising on Google) was rather effective, generating a conversion rate of 1.96%, slightly above the overall average.
Pageviews Per Visit By Source
Email marketing proved rather dominant in this aspect, driving 3.75 pageviews per unique visit. This is rather significant because it means that users are not only targeted, but they are also genuinely interested in the website content and will on average view more than the initial landing page. On the other hand, social media only drove 2.02 pageviews per visit, and organic search was right on the median, generating 3 pageviews per visit.
Organic vs. Paid Search vs. Social Media
The aforementioned results, while significant, only scratch the surface and do not provide the necessary depth to determine whether B2B marketing professionals should adopt or disregard certain online advertising activities. The next two posts will analyze the effectiveness of search engine optimization, PPC advertising, and social media marketing based on the data collected by Optify.
Images and statistics courtesy of Optify.