Ever since Google introduced AdWords in 2000, advertisers have been pouring money into online ads. Today digital marketing allows you to reach a slice of the 4.66 billion internet users worldwide.
To give you an easy-to-digest overview of this topic, we curated the most interesting digital marketing statistics for the UK. Let’s dive in.
A recent report by Credo and Enders Analysis shows that online marketers invested £13.4 billion in the UK in 2018, making it the world’s third-biggest online advertising market behind the US and China.
More than half of small businesses think that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital marketing is more important than ever. According to small business digital marketing statistics from an IAB UK study, 67% of businesses use free online marketing tools, while 60% rely on paid digital advertising.
Businesses consider a variety of channels to execute their advertising campaigns and to boost their sales. According to a Clutch survey, 81% of advertisers use social media, 78% use web marketing, and 69% use email.
(NI Business Info)
To answer this question, let’s go over some of the benefits of digital marketing. The key advantage is that it allows advertisers to reach a targeted audience cost-effectively in any place in the world. What’s more, it provides measurable results, and using channels such as social media helps raise brand awareness organically.
Statista reports that in 2020, 36% of British web users used ad-blocking software—a five percentage points drop from 2018. Ad-blockers were most often used by people aged between 18 and 24.
Businesses use digital marketing to take advantage of the opportunities that the internet offers for expansion. Last year the total digital advertising revenue in the UK was approximately £15.6 billion. In 2020, marketers spent almost two-thirds of their budgets on digital marketing.
(Statista) (Credo Report)
According to a Credo and Enders Analysis report, over the past decade, both online advertising spending and internet retail spending in the UK has been growing constantly. In 2019, digital advertising spending per person was €324.7, while in 2017, it was €240.
2020’s advertising statistics reveal that the travel industry took a massive hit, with a 36.7% decline in digital spend. On the other side was retail—fueled by the pandemic, this sector saw spending of £3.02 billion or 20% of all digital ad spending. Consumer packaged goods held second place, with a 13.5% share.
In 2020, there was a 15% increase in digital video spend compared to 2019. Marketers spent £3.72 billion on video advertising, which accounted for 52.8% of the total display ads spending. According to an eMarketer projection, by 2024, digital video spend will account for 60% of total display ads spending.
Most people use Google when they search for a product or service. That’s why around 64% of advertisers invest time and funds in SEO (search engine optimisation). In 2019, search advertising accounted for 51% of total digital ad spend in the UK, or £6.72 billion.
UK advertising trends reveal that the most significant part of display ad spend belongs to programmatic display advertising, with 88,9% of total display ads in 2020. Digital display advertising was the second-largest format in this category.
The return on investment (ROI) is the best way to find if your digital advertising strategy is effective. Looking at digital marketing ROI statistics, we can see that digital advertisement in the UK had a return of 12:1 in recent years, which is exceptional.
The content marketing statistics in the UK from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) show that 86% of marketers use this approach to reach customers. CMI’s statistics also indicate that 50% of marketers described their organisation’s commitment level to content marketing as extremely or very committed.
(CMI) (CMI report)
When it comes to internet marketing strategies, CMI says content is one of the most effective ways to promote a business. According to their content marketing stats, 78% of companies say their organisation has a content marketing strategy. 38% of those have a documented plan, while 40% have a verbal one only.
Despite any difficulties, it’s essential to have a correct measurement of ROI to justify your content marketing efforts. CMI’s digital content marketing stats show that 45% of marketers have measured their return on investment. On the other hand, 36% of marketers haven’t. 41% of them think it’s too complicated, and 21% think it’s too time-consuming.
Blogs are the core of any content strategy. Blog posts need to be at least 300 words to rank on search engines, but if you want to boost SEO and user engagement, you need 1,000+ words. According to HubSpot, the more you publish, the more traffic you drive to your website.
To check if their email marketing strategy is on the right track, marketers need to learn how to calculate some important metrics. The average email open rate in the UK is currently 19.27%, according to GetResponse. The research also found the current average click-through rate is 2.51%, while the average unsubscribe rate is 0.16%.
(NI Business Info)
Email marketing is a valuable tool with a lot of benefits. Marketing by email can be a quick, scalable, and cost-effective way to reach new potential customers and maintain current ones. Also, it’s better for the environment than postal mail marketing.
Email marketing offers an excellent investment return. Email marketing stats from CMI show that the ROI of this approach currently stands at over £42 for every pound spent—an increase of almost £10 from the previous study.
As reported by Statista, in 2020, the UK had 48.6 million active social media users. Social media demographics show a constant increase in the number of users. This trend of social networks usage is projected to continue in the coming years.
The UK social media advertising segment reached a value of £3.59 billion in 2019, or 23% of the total digital ad spend. Statista’s analysis predicts that social ad spending will hit £5.2 billion in 2021 and further increase to £6.5 billion by 2025.
If social marketers want to reach the broadest possible internet audience in the UK, they should focus their internet marketing strategies on platforms like YouTube or Facebook. 78% of UK internet users use YouTube, and 73% use Facebook, making them the two most popular social networks.
Pinterest has the longest life for a piece of content compared to posts from other social networks. Pins on this image-based platform can sometimes generate engagement for a year or even longer, with the average lifespan being three months. Pinterest users also have higher purchasing intent than those of other platforms.
At a global level, in April 2021, the number of unique mobile phone users reached 5.27 billion, or 67.1% of the worldwide population. According to the Ofcom 2020 Summary report in the UK, over 80% of time spent online is on smartphones.
The largest share of UK ecommerce sales comes from mobile devices. Mobile shopping statistics reveal that retail mcommerce sales amounted to £61.14 billion in 2020 and are expected to grow to £105.28 billion by 2024.
In a survey conducted by Statista in 2019, the UK’s total digital ads revenue was £15.7 billion, and smartphones ad revenue accounted for £8.8 billion of that.
SMS texts continue to be an effective tool for customer interaction simply because consumers are more likely to open a text than respond to an unsolicited email or phone call. The SMS open rate is 95%—a far greater rate than for any other channel.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were significant cuts in travel ad spending, which led to a decrease of 5.5% in Google’s overall ad revenue. Google held 40% of the UK’s total digital ad market size. The company is expected to stay at the top in 2021, although Facebook is narrowing the gap.
Facebook showed that it’s more resistant than Google to shake-ups in the digital marketing industry, such as the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts attribute that to Facebook’s easy-to-use and direct-response advertising options. After a minor dip, the social platform’s ad revenue actually grew in 2020.
(Digital Marketing Jobs)
The salaries of digital marketing industry professionals are highly dependent on experience. For example, the average salary for the Head of Digital Marketing position ranges from £36,713 to £43,313, while a Digital Marketing Executive makes an average wage of £23,950. Pay also varies by location.
According to eMarketer’s digital marketing vs traditional marketing statistics, 2019 was the first year ever when Brits spent more time with digital media than traditional media. The projection for 2021 is that the daily average time spent on digital media will grow to 5 hours and 35 minutes.
The relevance of traditional marketing and its impact on the world is gradually declining. The average time spent with traditional media has been falling since 2018, and in 2021 is predicted to decrease from close to 5 hours to 4 hours and 33 minutes.
After a decade of growth in the UK, digital ad spend declined across all categories. It’s expected that search and display ads won’t see positive growth until 2021. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, total advertising expenditure growth declined by 16.7%.
(Social Media Today)
The UK advertising trends for digital have been hotly debated lately. Two of the key marketing trends in 2021 advertisers need to consider are livestream and influencer marketing. What’s more, brands need to have more transparent goodwill and purpose-driven missions to fit the needs of modern consumers.
In today’s world, digital marketing is more relevant than ever. Advertisers need to develop a strong online presence if they want to expand their business or even just keep afloat.
Hopefully, this list of digital marketing statistics for the UK gave you a better understanding of the current state of the sector and its expected development.
As a digital marketing specialist, I am well aware of how hard it can be to find credible sources online. Frustrated at the state of affairs, I created Don’t Disappoint Me. Now, together with my team of dedicated experts, we aim to bring you 100% reliable, unbiased and recent content on everything you could ever imagine. When I’m not working, you’ll catch me watching a documentary or two, rewatching LOTR for the 20th time, or going on walks with my two dogs, which take up most of my free time. But hey, who’s complaining?