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Marketers seem to have an ever-growing number of ways to drive customer engagement on brand websites. In a March 2012 online survey of US marketing professionals, trade publication Chief Marketer found that the most popular tool in digital campaigns was tried-and-true email marketing, which 78% of respondents said they used. Email newsletters were the No. 2 tactic (59%), followed closely by a social network presence (58%). This year, for the first time, Chief Marketer asked respondents if they hosted original video content on their sites or on aggregator sites like YouTube; one-third of respondents said they did.
At this point, these are all mainstream marketing tactics. The survey also asked marketers a separate question about which “niche” or “secondary” interactive marketing tools they used. Almost three in 10 respondents incorporated webinars—the most popular secondary feature used. And 20% said they used social apps, making it the fastest-adopted niche tool. Branded games also saw impressive growth; 13% of respondents said they used the tactic, up from 7% the previous year.
As they worked to include a growing number of mainstream and niche digital tactics in their campaigns, marketers also focused on improving their organic search presence. The most popular method was to add Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons to sites, with just over two-thirds of respondents having used this approach. In addition, almost half of marketers said they were increasing the amount of new content being uploaded to their sites, underscoring how important a robust set of owned media is becoming for brands in the digital space.
The majority of marketers, 65%, said their digital display ad budgets would either grow or stay the same in 2012, when compared with the previous year. Further, of those who said their budgets were growing, 59% said they wanted to increase visibility on social media and mobile platforms. eMarketer projects that display ad spending will hit $15.4 billion in the US this year, climbing to $26.7 billion by 2016.
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