Inbound Marketing Statistics 2023 – ROI, Tools, Strategies
Inbound marketing involves a set of techniques and strategies that marketers utilize to attract potential customers. Unlike traditional outbound marketing methods, inbound marketing creates a reason for customers to come to you rather than the other way around. What makes this approach significant is its proven effectiveness for businesses. In fact, those that implement inbound practices report significant returns on their marketing investments.
That is why we have curated the latest benchmarks, insights, and resources related to inbound marketing statistics to help you build a smarter inbound marketing approach. Whether you are looking to invest in inbound marketing for the first time or enhance your existing strategy, these inbound marketing stats will prove invaluable.
Five Interesting Inbound Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Needs to Know
- Videos (59%), blogs (48%), and images (46%) are the top media formats used by marketers in 2023.
- Case studies (43%), webinars (39%), lead nurturing campaigns (39%), industry events (39%), and videos (31%) are the top five tactics to generate high-quality leads.
- Inbound marketing generates 3x more leads per dollar than traditional marketing. Inbound marketing can be 10x more effective when properly executed compared to outbound strategies.
- Research-driven content creation (37%) and paying more attention to keyword research (36%) are used by marketers to increase their content ranking.
- 83% of marketers believe that the highest quality content is essential, even if it means posting less frequently, while 17% prefer quantity over quality.
Inbound Marketing Statistics: Latest Trends
1. 78% of marketers say marketing has changed more in the past three years than in the last 50.
According to HubSpot, over half of the marketers pivoted to new marketing strategies in 2021. Of those who pivoted, 83% changed their course 2-4 times a year. These pivots are a result of changing consumers’ attitudes, preferences, and buying behavior in today’s digital and hyper-connected world.
The HubSpot survey indicates that old marketing efforts are still practical, but it is crucial to adapt to new trends if marketers want to meet consumers’ needs.
For instance, influencer marketing was still novel for most marketers in 2021. However, it gained momentum and became the #1 emerging marketing trend in 2022.
Influencer marketing has since become a consistent inbound marketing approach. As indicated in the influencer marketing statistics guide, 17% of marketers will invest in influencer marketing for the first time in 2023.
Of the marketers that have already invested in influencer marketing, 89% will either increase or maintain their budget this year.
HubSpot suggests that it has become easier for businesses to use influencer marketing.
For example, companies that need help knowing where and how to start can use reliable influencer marketing platforms. These platforms can connect businesses with qualified influencers in every niche, helping to expand reach, connect with a broader audience, and drive sales.
In 2023, the top inbound marketing trends that marketers will leverage include short-form video content, mobile-friendly website design, and selling goods via social apps.
Short-form video content is the #1 marketing trend in 2023 and is expected to yield the highest ROI.
33% of marketers use short-form video content (such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts). Of these, 90% of marketers will maintain or increase their budget this year.
On top of that, 21% of marketers will invest in short-form video content marketing for the first time in 2023.
2. 36% of marketers are expanding to new markets, segments, and geographies to answer economic instability.
Nearly all marketers surveyed by Deloitte state that tackling current economic instability and rising inflation is their top concern. However, most marketers are increasing their investments and marketing efforts instead of cutting costs.
The Deloitte inbound marketing survey revealed:
- 38% of marketers are adopting new digital technologies and platforms.
- 36% of marketers are implementing or creating algorithms for improved customer personalization.
- 26% of marketers are developing new products and services.
Overall, marketers are responding to economic instability with an investment mindset.
Positive Inbound Marketing ROI Statistics
3. Inbound marketing generates 3x more leads per dollar than traditional marketing.
The success of a marketing plan is one of the best indicators of ROI; businesses must earn more from customers than they spend to acquire them.
Invespcro's inbound marketing stats reveal that acquiring leads with inbound marketing costs 61% less than outbound leads. Additionally, businesses that primarily rely on inbound marketing save more than $14 on every newly acquired customer compared to those using outbound methods.
According to marketers:
- 41% say inbound marketing delivers measurable ROI.
- 82% believe content marketing provides positive ROI.
- 71% of companies investing in content marketing report a positive return on investment.
The inbound marketing success statistics from Invespcro reveal that when executed correctly, inbound marketing can be 10x more effective than outbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Statistics: Content Creation
4. Videos (59%), blogs (48%), and images (46%) are the top media formats used by marketers in 2023.
(HubSpot — State of Inbound Marketing)
It is important to note that video is the top choice for marketers to attract customers for the third year in a row.
In terms of content types, 45% of marketers use infographics, and 42% use case studies to showcase their organization's voice.
When it comes to content used by marketers on social media platforms:
- 47% of marketers use content reflecting their brand's values (equality, diversity, etc.).
- 45% use interactive content, like polls and augmented reality.
- 45% use humorous content to connect with the audience.
- 32% use educational or informational content on social media platforms.
HubSpot's inbound marketing survey also asked marketers about the most effective content on social media platforms. The inbound marketing stats reveals: 80% of marketers said humorous content is the most effective, followed by interactive (77%), authentic (68%), and relatable content (67%).
Regarding how marketers track their content marketing success: 37% mentioned sales, and 33% measured likes and comments.
Additionally, marketers track web traffic (33%), impressions and views (30%), and clicks (27%) to gauge the effectiveness of their content marketing campaigns.
5. 55% of marketers say they create more content to boost their Google ranking.
(SEMrush’s State of Content Marketing)
53% of marketers say they are enhancing the quality and delivering more valuable content to improve their ranking on search engines. Research-driven content creation (37%) and paying closer attention to keyword research (36%) are also used by marketers to increase their content ranking in search engine results.
When asked about the tactics that have helped boost content ranking, marketers reported the following:
- 47% said researching the audience helps to boost content ranking on search engines.
- 45% said publishing more content and increasing posting frequency has helped them improve their search engine ranking.
- 40% said making the content visually appealing boosts ranking on search engines.
30% of marketers also use technical SEO to boost their ranking. For this reason, SEMrush suggests that marketers use Search Engine Optimization tools to improve their content ranking on search engines.
This is because reliable SEO tools help marketers carry out thorough keyword research, examine competitors' tactics, and optimize both on-page and off-page elements. As a result, they can boost their visibility and performance in search engine results.
Another interesting digital marketing trend this year was that nearly all businesses increased their budgets instead of cutting them amidst the looming global recession.
SEMrush's content marketing statistics reveal that 1 in 4 marketers is planning a significant increase in their content strategy budget.
28% of marketers plan to implement medium budget increases for their content marketing strategy. Some 10% anticipate a slight rise. At the same time, 21% said their content marketing budget would remain unchanged. And only 3% of marketers plan to decrease their content marketing budget in 2023.
Tools and Technologies Used for Inbound Marketing
6. 61% of marketers say they either do not have the right technology or aren’t using it to its full potential.
(Content Marketing Institute)
Only 28% of marketers say they have the right technologies for inbound marketing and are using the tools to their full potential.
Focusing on the tools and technologies used by marketers for inbound marketing in 2023, the Content Marketing Institute's inbound marketing statistics reveal:
- 84% of marketers use website analytics tools (like Google Analytics) to learn about their website traffic and audience demographics.
- 73% of marketers use social media management tools. Also important to note, the use of social media scheduling tools has decreased from 80% in 2022 to 73% in 2023.
- The use of email marketing software has also reduced from 75% in 2022 to 68% in 2023.
7. The use of content creation, calendaring, collaboration, and workflow tools among marketers has decreased from 73% in 2022 to 65% in 2023.
(Content Marketing Institute 2021 and 2022 Annual Report)
The use of customer relationship software (CRM) systems has also decreased from 53% in 2022 to 51% in 2023. The same is the case for marketing automation tools. 32% of marketers will continue to use marketing automation systems in 2023 vs. 34% in 2022.
8. 81% of marketers say their company measures inbound marketing performance, up from 75% in 2021.
(CMI’s 2022 Annual Report)
86% of marketers track website traffic to measure content performance. Likewise, 83% of marketers use email engagement, and an exact number of marketers track website engagement to measure content performance.
When it comes to the most reliable metrics to measure content performance, marketers say they rely on conversions (70%), quality of leads (60%), and website engagement (57%).
However, many marketers face multiple challenges in measuring inbound marketing performance:
- 48% of marketers find it challenging to correlate data from multiple platforms.
- 45% say they lack organizational marketing KPIs to measure inbound marketing ROI.
- 43% find it difficult to relate performance data to the organization's goals.
- 42% believe it is challenging to extract data from gathered insights.
In fact, only 9% of marketers say they do not face any difficulties in measuring inbound marketing performance.
Inbound Marketing Statistics: Video Marketing
9. Video uploads by businesses have increased by 59% since 2019.
Wistia's digital marketing report states that video uploads by businesses exploded during the pandemic. Businesses uploaded 44% more videos in 2020-2021 compared to 2019.
According to Wistia, businesses are using video strategically to promote their brand:
- 63% of businesses use videos to educate customers about their products.
- 52% of companies use videos for brand awareness.
- 50% use videos for customer engagement.
- 46% of businesses use them for generating leads.
Marketers also report using videos to drive sales (44%) and highlight company culture (13%). These inbound marketing statistics reveal that brands succeed with videos across many business areas.
Most marketers also saw measurable outcomes from using video; here are the top outcomes of success reported by marketers:
According to Wistia, 14% of businesses posted their first brand video in 2022. However, the concerning part is 43% of businesses still do not have a video marketing strategy.
Businesses must understand that video marketing is crucial for boosting traffic and engagement, as well as acquiring customers.
As indicated in the video marketing statistics, viewers spend 2.6x more time on a page with a video than a page without one. These inbound marketing stats only highlight one of the many benefits of using videos as a key marketing channel.
10. 17% of marketers utilized video for the first time as part of their inbound marketing strategy in 2022.
96% of marketers consider video as an “important part” of their inbound marketing approach. In 2023, at least 91% of marketers plan to use video marketing to promote their brand, educate users about products and services, and share their organization's identity and culture.
According to Wyzowl's inbound marketing stats, video marketers created these types of videos in 2022:
- 71% of video marketers created social media videos.
- 70% created explainer videos.
- 50% created presentation videos, while 46% of marketers created testimonial videos to present their brand authentically.
Additionally, live-action videos (66%), screen recorded (57%), and animated videos (55%) were the most popular types of videos created by video marketers in 2022.
The most crucial inbound marketing statistic to focus on is that videos have become easier and more affordable to create. For instance, 41% of marketers say it is easier to create in-house videos.
However, there are also challenges to creating videos. Wyzowl's reports:
- 30% of marketers do not make videos because they do not have time.
- 18% say they need help figuring out where to start.
- 10% of people feel creating videos is too expensive.
Nonetheless, Wyzowl suggests businesses can create brand videos without a Hollywood-sized production or budget. Even small companies can use video editing tools or MP4 editing tools to create brand videos asap on a modest budget.
Inbound Marketing Statistics: Social Media Marketing
11. Promoting products and services (35%), boosting brand awareness (34%), and increasing sales (34%) are the main objectives of marketers with a social media strategy.
(HubSpot — State of Inbound Marketing)
Instagram (67%), YouTube (66%), and Facebook (64%) are the most popular social media channels leveraged by marketers today.
As indicated in our YouTube statistics guide, YouTube was the fourth most popular social channel among marketers in 2021; however, it now stands at #2.
Regarding the inbound marketing ROI via social channels, Facebook (21%) and Instagram (18%) deliver the best value for marketers across B2B and B2C organizations.
However, most marketers plan to increase their investment in TikTok (62%), Instagram (54%), and YouTube (49%) this year.
12. Creating engaging content was the #1 social media marketing challenge reported by marketers in 2022.
(HubSpot — State of Inbound, 2022)
As indicated in the social media statistics, 98% of internet users between the ages of 16 to 64 utilize social media at least once a month. Therefore, ignoring social media channels is not an option for marketers. The good news is the majority (91%) of them have a social media strategy for their inbound marketing efforts.
However, it has become increasingly challenging for marketers to keep up with the demands of social media and develop new ideas to engage and connect with users.
One in every four marketers (25%) cites creating engaging content as their top social media marketing challenge. But that's not the only challenge marketers face:
- 25% of marketers say it is challenging to reach the target audience.
- 23% say developing new ideas and gaining and keeping followers is difficult.
- 21% say they do not know how to measure social media marketing ROI.
13. 83% of marketers say the highest quality content is essential for social media even if it means posting less often vs. 17% who prefer quantity over quality.
(HubSpot — State of Inbound Marketing, 2022)
The earlier inbound marketing statistics indicated that most marketers struggle with connecting with users on social media. But it is not difficult to connect with users once marketers learn about the latest trends.
Here are the latest insights from the social media marketing statistics guide to help marketers update their social media strategy and grow their audience in 2023:
- Short-form videos like Instagram Reels and TikTok videos (85%), live streaming (70%), and live audio chat rooms (65%) are the most effective social content formats.
- The best time to post content on social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter is between 6 PM to 9 PM.
- Most marketers post content on social channels every day. Additionally, Thursday is the best day to post on Facebook and Instagram, receiving the most engagement from users. Tuesday is the best day to post on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Email is Still an Important Part of Inbound Marketing Strategy
14. Email marketing is 56% more effective than other types of inbound marketing strategies.
(FounderJar — Email Marketing Statistics, 2022)
As highlighted in the email marketing statistics guide, email marketing is a highly effective inbound marketing strategy. It dominates other marketing channels in terms of positive ROI and acquisition or retention costs. For instance:
- Email marketing conversion rates are 3x more than social media conversion rates.
- Companies receive a return of $44 for every dollar invested in email marketing.
- Email marketing is 40x more effective than other marketing channels for generating leads and retaining customers.
- Early-stage lead generation is most effectively achieved through email marketing, according to 53% of marketers.
Given that there are over 4.3 billion global email users, it's essential not to overlook email marketing. With reliable mass email marketing tools and email autoresponders, generating leads and attracting customers have become easier than ever before.
In all, it is crucial to use email marketing to maximize ROI and connect with customers. You can grab the ultimate guide to successful email marketing and learn how to scale up your inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
15. 48% of marketers say webinars were the best inbound marketing tactics that generated the most high-quality leads in 2022.
(Demand Gen Report, 2023)
Some 55% of marketers said webinars were the top-of-the-funnel format that helped them generate leads in 2021. In fact, webinars remained the industry staple year-over-year to create leads, indicating the importance of including webinars in your digital marketing approach.
As the webinar statistics guide indicates, 89% of marketers believe that webinars create high-quality leads. But only 58% of marketers use webinars as a part of their inbound marketing strategy.
Demand Gen Report also revealed that the following are the best tactics for early-stage lead generation:
- 43% of marketers pointed out that lead nurturing campaigns worked best for lead generation.
- 41% of marketers say industry events and trade shows have worked the best to generate leads.
- Case studies (34%) and videos (30%) are the best inbound practices that generate marketing leads.
While webinars proved to be the best engagement inbound tactics for generating top-of-the-funnel leads, these tactics proved to be the best for middle and late-stage engagements:
It is important to note that case studies, webinars, lead nurturing campaigns, industry events, and videos are the top five tactics to generate inbound marketing leads in 2023.
16. Intent data (37%), multichannel lead nurturing (34%), and account-based marketing are the top three tactics marketers will invest in for lead generation in 2023.
(Demand Gen Survey)
Marketing automation (34%) and retargeting (32%) also received popularity among marketers when asked about the inbound marketing tactics that business decision-makers are looking to invest in this year.
While intent-based marketing is a key area that marketers are looking to invest in, most have yet to use intent data strategically.
However, most are looking to change how they handle intent data. Marketers say:
- 27% are still developing demand-generation initiatives in their organization.
- 25% of organizations use intent data but need a more thoroughly designed strategy.
- 13% are still looking into intent data solutions.
And only 18% of organizations have an intent data strategy.
It is also important to note that most marketers are now focusing on the quality of leads rather than quantity. Here are the responses from marketers when asked about their demand-generation initiatives in 2023:
- 52% of marketers say they are practicing account-based marketing to ensure they are targeting the right leads.
- 44% are communicating with the sales team to ensure leads are followed up.
What These Inbound Marketing Statistics Mean for Your Business?
The digital marketing industry is in a constant state of flux. And it falls on marketers to keep up with new trends and meet the evolving needs of customers.
As previously mentioned, some of the most significant inbound marketing trends for 2023 include influencer marketing, short-form video content, and mobile-friendly website design. To achieve maximum ROI, marketers must prioritize inbound marketing, given that inbound marketing costs 61% less than outbound leads.
In addition, blog content creation is crucial for improving search engine ranking and brand visibility. In fact, creating a high-quality blog post and relevant content is now a primary objective for marketers to improve their search engine visibility instead of just focusing on content creation alone.
The good news is that almost all marketers are increasing their investment in digital marketing, even in the face of rising inflation and economic pressures, emphasizing a focus on investment to drive business growth. Furthermore, the use of tools and technology for inbound marketing has remained consistent.
Marketers must recognize the benefits of inbound marketing if they want to achieve their desired ROI and connect with their intended audience. With its cost-effective approach to lead conversion, improved brand visibility, and enhanced Google search engine ranking, inbound marketing provides several benefits that traditional outbound marketing cannot match.
In simple words, by embracing inbound marketing, companies can sustain their operations and flourish in today's fiercely competitive marketing landscape.
- HubSpot — Marketing Trends 2023
- Deloitte — CMO Priorities for 12 Months
- Invespcro – How Effective is Inbound Marketing – Statistics and Trends
- HubSpot — State of Inbound Marketing
- SEMrush’s State of Content Marketing
- Content Marketing Institute – 2022 Annual Report
- Content Marketing Institute 2021 Annual Report
- Wistia — State of Video 2022
- Wyzowl – Video Marketing Statistics 2023
- Email Marketing Statistics — FounderJar
- Demand Gen Survey, 2023