Which Companies Are Earning the Most of Their Online Marketing Dollars?

In today’s digital world, consumers have become knowledgeable and savvy, knowing exactly what they want and need, thanks in large part to the numerous digital marketing and SEO companies available.

Now, more than ever before, businesses need to ensure that they are investing in channels and strategies that generate revenue.

According to a new study from digital marketing agency Canva, one of the biggest challenges for businesses trying to optimize their online strategies is that it’s become increasingly difficult to determine which channels and tactics bring in the most revenue.

To assist businesses in their fight for digital marketing domination, Canva’s research team evaluated nearly 2,000 companies across 11 crucial performance indicators. From how much traffic the business gets to how much online marketing expenditure (excluding website and content costs) each company spends per month, they developed a method to accurately determine a channel’s “profitability”.

How Does it Work?

To begin with, the analysis compares the company’s historical performance across a range of digital marketing and SEO tactics, including paid search (like Google Ads), social media (like Facebook and Instagram), email marketing, and content creation (like blog posts and videos to attract, engage, and convert leads).

Each tactic is assigned a score between 1 and 10, with 1 being the least advantageous and 10 being the most advantageous. The scores for each channel are then combined to create a single aggregated score to provide a clear overview of the channel’s effectiveness. Using a similar scoring system, the analysis then identifies the top-most profitable digital marketing channels.

The Most Profitable Digital Marketing Channels

The analysis reveals that video content and paid search traffic together bring in the most revenue for businesses.

Video content is growing in importance to consumers, especially millennials, who research products and learn about brands through short-form videos. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 78% of consumers have watched an explainer video to better understand or learn about a brand or product. And in a recent study from Future Inc., 82% of consumers said they’d rather watch an explainer video than read an article to understand something.

Along with video content, paid search traffic from Google Ads is also among the most profitable channels for businesses. The theory here is that by paying to have your business or product mentioned on the search engine, you are guaranteed to appear above the competition.

However, even though these two tactics generate the most revenue, they are both notoriously difficult to manage.

Managing video content, whether that’s creating videos regularly or hiring freelancers to provide bespoke content, is both expensive and time-consuming. And paid search, regardless of how wealthy your keywords are, is still a game of chance, as your potential earnings are entirely dependent on the whims of the search engine.

Where Do I Start?

If you’re looking for a place to start your digital marketing journey, these are the channels that we recommend. Not only do they generate a significant amount of revenue, but they are also both relatively easy to understand and implement.

Video Content

While video content isn’t new, it has always been significantly more difficult to measure and analyze. Thanks to platforms like YouTube allowing businesses to track metrics like views, subscribers, and videos watched by people in their target audience, it is now possible to fully grasp the value and importance of video content to a business’ overall success.

Whether you are creating an explainer video to educate your audience about a new product or service, an instructional video to teach your team a new approach to working together, or just a funny video to make your friends and family smile, video content is a great way to gain exposure and make an impression on potential customers.

Paid Search

Paid search is all the rage when it comes to online marketing, and with good reason. Not only does it allow you to target your audience more accurately, but you also know exactly how much money you are spending on each action, like click or impression.

However, even with all of these perks, paid search is still difficult to manage. To ensure you are reaching your target audience with your ads and getting the right results, you need to optimize your campaigns on the back-end to ensure you are paying only for the right keywords and are setting the right budget. If you’re looking for a tool to help you manage your paid search efforts, check out our review of the best internet marketing software.

Social Media

Social media, especially when used effectively, is a powerful channel for marketing and advertising, and more and more people are realizing this.

Thanks to the various platforms available, like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, it is now possible to connect with millions of customers, prospects, and followers across the world. And with the right strategy, you can gain immense value and make a significant impact from your social media channels.

With the right content, products, and engagement strategies, you can not only gain valuable insights into how your customers and potential customers are finding and engaging with your content, but you can also use social media to create long-term relationships and grow your business.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another tactic that, until recently, has been significantly more difficult to measure. However, with platforms like MailChimp allowing you to create highly personalized emails and segment your audience based on interest, it is now possible to target your customers with content they are more likely to value and remember.

Whether you are selling a product or offering a service that you believe will be of interest to your audience, you can use email to communicate with your customers and prospects. And with a little bit of creativity, you can stand out from the crowd and engage your audience with valuable and relevant information.

In addition to the metrics available on MailChimp, like clicks, opens, and unsubscribes, you can also use a tool like OptinMonster to track the success of your email marketing efforts. With all of this data, it is now possible to see the value and importance of email marketing in your business. And, as with all of the other major digital marketing channels, you can start building your email list with a free tool like AWeber.

Content Creation

Similar to video content, content creation is another channel that, until recently, has been difficult to track and analyze.

However, with platforms like HubSpot and Marketo giving you the ability to create various content types, like blogs, eBooks, case studies, and more, it is now possible to fully understand the importance and effectiveness of this channel.

If you are looking to educate your audience about your industry, the products and services you offer, or just want to create a sense of value and trust, you can use content to do so. Whether you are creating an infographic on the wonders of water heaters or want to launch a new product and educate your audience about its benefits, you can use content to tell your story.

In order to ensure you are reaching your target audience, creating content for each of these major digital marketing channels, you need to follow a proven method to attract, engage, and convert your audience. To assist you in creating content that will bring in the revenue you are looking for, we have compiled a list of 37 companies that are successfully using content creation to build their businesses.

Which Channels Should I Avoid?

Not every channel will suit every business. If you look at the metrics for the top-most profitable channels, you will notice that many of them have a low number of engaged followers and sparse content.

For example, Klout scores for Influencers and celebrities, Google Ads, and YouTube videos are all based on the number of “impressions,” or views, that each channel receives. And similar to video content, the metrics for these channels generally indicate that their content is not particularly popular.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the channels like TikTok, with its massive user base, highly engaged followers, and ever-increasing popularity. If you are looking for a place to start your digital marketing efforts, consider using TikTok.