Marketers: SEO Generates Leads, But Social Is the Future

November 8th, 2011

The State of Digital Marketing

by Daniel Hadaway

Search Engine Land just posted an infographic based on some research they recently wrapped. The 2011 State of Digital Marketing Report provides some key insights into how marketers are viewing the roles SEO, Search and Social Media play in effective marketing:

SEO currently has the biggest impact on lead generation. Marketers (both B2B and B2C) currently view SEO as the most effective tool for generating leads, which isn’t surprising considering the positive perception and emphasis the digital marketing world has placed on it during the past 5 years. But, the current emphasis and “trendiness” of social media as a marketing tool is driving change on this front…

Despite SEO currently generating more leads, social media will receive the biggest increases in spend next year. This marks a significant sea-change in the digital marketing world. Generally, marketers will find out what is generating leads, and plan on spending more on that next year. But in this case, almost as many marketers are planning to maintain their spend on SEO as are planning to increase. Compare this to 60% who are planning to increase spend on social media vs. 36% who are maintaining, and you’ll see an industry that believes social is the future of marketing.

Even though the allocation of spend is shifting to different mediums, people are most interested in learning more about comprehensive, cross-promotional digital strategies– which is a great sign for the future of digital marketing! A comprehensive plan, spanning not only SEO, social media and paid search, but also landing pages, email marketing, display advertising and more is key to effective long-term marketing.

Based on the infographic, the state of digital marketing is as strong as ever- but look for social media to become a more prominent aspect of comprehensive marketing strategies moving into the future.

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