Top Marketing Challenges [CHART]

Chart: Top Marketing Challenges

Proving ROI has long been a top challenge for marketers. But marketers participating in HubSpot’s latest annual State of Inbound report have bigger fish to fry: generating traffic and leads. In fact, growing traffic is not only a bigger challenge than proving ROI, it’s also a bigger priority.

The top marketing priority for the coming year is actually converting contacts and leads to customers, cited by 70% of respondents. But a majority (55%) also said that growing traffic to their websites is a top priority.

Doing so may not be too easy, at least on the consumer side: a recent study from Adobe Digital Insights declared that “organic web traffic in North America is saturating,” pointing out that web traffic had only grown by 0.1% per annum over the preceding 42 months for the measured verticals. (Those were Media & Entertainment, Retail, Travel, Finance, Automotive and Health.)

The response to these challenges? At least on the inbound side of things, it’s about improving SEO presence. Some 61% of respondents said that when thinking specifically about inbound marketing, growing their SEO/organic presence is a top priority. That’s the third consecutive year in which this is the leading priority, perhaps reflecting the continuing changes and updates made by Google.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that SEO is a top lead- and revenue-producing channel that’s highly rated for ROI.

In order to support their SEO efforts, inbound marketing projects will lean heavily on content, per the report’s findings. Indeed, blog content creation (53%) and content distribution/amplification (47%) are the next-most prioritized inbound marketing areas, with YouTube the social channel most likely to be added to distribution plans this year. Read the rest at