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I’m Hailey – content strategist and founder here at Your Content Empire where we help you create more profitable, purposeful and productive content — and hopefully enjoy yourself more while doing it too. Learn more about me here >>

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The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

At the beginning of 2021, we surveyed 425 online business owners on their content marketing, systems and sales strategies to get a picture of what’s working now in content. 

A major issue with typical marketing surveys out there is that they’re designed to tell you about how content and marketing work in big corporations or funded start-ups. This is a survey for online business owners by online business owners to give you insights into the state of content and content trends that impact US. 

Here’s what you’ll discover: 

  • Content Marketing Strategies: What’s working NOW for online business owners, preferences and standard practices when it comes to content
  • Content Systems: How much time is typically spent on different aspects of content marketing 
  • Sales: The most effective sales strategies for online business owners and common challenges when it comes to sales
  • How businesses at different monthly sales levels approach content marketing differently 

So if you want to take the guesswork out of content, read on for the 2021 stat run down or download the full report below: 

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Content Strategy

What is the #1 feeling when you think of your content strategy?

  • 104 of the responses mention ‘overwhelm’ 
  • 46 of the responses mention ‘consistent’ (most are specifically not consistent or inconsistent)
  • 41 of the responses mention ‘not enough’ 
  • 19 of the responses mention ‘optimistic’ or ‘hope’
  • 16 of the responses mention ‘scattered’ 

Nearly 25% of online business owners feel some kind of overwhelm when it comes to their content strategies. In fact, it was the number one reported feeling when it comes to content

Do you blog (whether it’s a written blog, podcast or videos)?

  • Yes 78.6% 78.6%
  • No 21.4% 21.4%

What are your most important content goals for 2021?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

24.2% of respondents want to get more consistent with their content and marketing. 23.4% of respondents want to attract more leads, clients, and customers. And 19.3% of respondents want to systemize and streamline their business and marketing.

What are your biggest roadblocks when it comes to content?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

Nearly 30% of survey takers cited having too many ideas and trying to do too much at once as the biggest roadblock when it comes to their content. 

What's your go-to blogging format?

  • Written 54.5% 54.5%
  • Videos 12.9% 12.9%
  • Podcasts 9.5% 9.5%

How frequently are you blogging?

  • Weekly 20% 20%
  • Bi-Weekly 9.4% 9.4%
  • Monthly 9.7% 9.7%
  • At Random Intervals 30.1% 30.1%
  • Never 22.4% 22.4%
  • Daily 0.9% 0.9%
  • Other 3.3% 3.3%

What’s the main type of lead magnet you plan on creating in 2021?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

52.7% of survey takers plan on creating PDFs as lead magnets in 2021, while 44% will be creating micro-offers and 35.1% challenges.

What types of lead magnets do you find the most effective?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

Over a quarter (28.5%) of those who use micro-offers as lead magnets find them to be very effective, while only 13.4% of those who use email courses find them to be effective. 

Which social media platforms do you use?

  • Facebook 90.1% 90.1%
  • Instagram 80.2% 80.2%
  • Pinterest 51.1% 51.1%
  • LinkedIn 34.8% 34.8%
  • Twitter 29.7% 29.7%
  • YouTube 28.5% 28.5%
  • Clubhouse 9.2% 9.2%
  • TikTok 8.4% 8.4%

Which social media platform do you find most effective in 2021 for finding new leads?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

The only three platforms where the majority of survey takers found them to be more effective versus not effective are: Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

How much are you spending per month on marketing?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

Over 70% of survey takers spend $100 or less on marketing their businesses.

How much are you spending per month on business coaching & education?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

Over a third of survey-takers (36.9%) spend between $100-$500 per month on business education, while only 13.9% spend nothing per month on business education.

Get a Full Copy of the Report Here:

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Content Systems

How much time do you spend on content per week?

Based on the survey, most online business owners spend: 

  • Less than an hour planning their content per week (42.6%)
  • A few hours per week creating content (42.1%)
  • Less than an hour promoting their content per week (51.3%)

How much time do you spend planning content per week?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

How much time do you spend creating content per week?

How much time do you spend promoting content per week?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

How much time do you spend on social media per week?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

The majority of survey takers spend a few hours per week on social media (32%) with most of that time being spent on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

What tools do you use to manage your content plan?

The majority of people use more than 1 type of tool to plan their content with 58.8% of survey takers using paper and pen (which might include a physical content planner or printing out a digital one) and 51.3% of survey takers use a project management tool (like Asana, Trello, Notion, Airtable, etc.).

  • Paper and Pen 58.8% 58.8%
  • Digital Content Planner 28.9% 28.9%
  • Spreadsheet 32.5% 32.5%
  • Project Management Tool 51.3% 51.3%

How would you rank your content systems?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

Over a third of survey-takers (41.9%) give their content systems a score of 1/5 (meaning they don’t have any content systems in place) while 2.6% of them give their content systems a score of 5/5 (meaning that their content systems are well documented). 

Sales

What sales methods do you find effective right now?

  • #1 – Upsell from Paid Challenge: 29.6% Very Effective, 33.3% Moderately Effective, 37% Not Effective
  • #2 – Free Trials: 28.8% Very Effective, 40.9% Moderately Effective, 30.3% Not Effective
  • #3 – Upsell from Paid Workshop: 28.6% Very Effective, 44.9% Moderately Effective, 26.5% Not Effective
  • #4 – Live Webinars: 24% Very Effective, 42.7% Moderately Effective, 33.3% Not Effective
  • #5 – Email Marketing (Either Sales Emails or Automated Sequences): 22.2% Very Effective, 51.2% Moderately Effective, 26.6% Not Effective
  • #6 – Summits: 21.8% Very Effective, 52.7% Moderately Effective, 25.5% Not Effective
  • #7 – Automated Webinars – 18.2% Very Effective, 45.5% Moderately Effective, 36.4% Not Effective
  • #8 – Paid Ads – 17.6% Very Effective, 41.5% Moderately Effective, 40.8% Not Effective
  • #9 – Selling via Social Media – 16.8% Very Effective, 49.2% Moderately Effective, 34% Not Effective
  • #10 – Free Challenge – 16.1% Very Effective, 52.5% Moderately Effective, 31.4% Not Effective

What are your top roadblocks when it comes to sales?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

Nearly a third of survey takers report that not having enough leads is their biggest roadblock when it comes to sales (31%), while only 1.6% report that they don’t have any major roadblocks.

Content Profiles

Below you'll find information on how business owners with businesses at different monthly sales levels approach content. The four groups are broken down by:

  • Under $1000 per month in sales
  • Between $1000-$5000 per month in sales
  • Between $5000-$10000 per month in sales
  • Over $10000 per month in sales

How long have you been running your business?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Less than a year 39.11% 39.11%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: 3-5 Years 33.7% 33.7%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: 3-5 years 23.7% 23.7%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: 7-10 years 37.5% 37.5%

What do you sell in your business?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Services 27.5% 27.5%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Services 35.4% 35.4%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Services 29.2% 29.2%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Digital Products 34.6% 34.6%

What is your most important business goal for 2021?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Get more consistent with my content and marketing 25.6% 25.6%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Get more consistent with my content and marketing 23.4% 23.4%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Attract more leads, clients and customers 23.3% 23.3%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Systemize and streamline my business and marketing 24.1% 24.1%

What is your biggest roadblock when it comes to content?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Too many ideas—I'm trying to do too much at once 28.2% 28.2%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Too many ideas—I'm trying to do too much at once 30.2% 30.2%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Too many ideas—I'm trying to do too much at once 32.9% 32.9%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Too many ideas—I'm trying to do too much at once 32.6% 32.6%

How far in advance do you plan your content?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: A day or two in advance if I'm lucky 30.3% 30.3%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: A day or two in advance if I'm lucky 30.4% 30.4%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: About a week or two in advance 34.2% 34.2%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: I plan on a quarterly basis 25% 25%

How far in advance do you create your content?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: I create most of my content a day or so in advance 36.5% 36.5%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: I create most of my content a day or so in advance 40.2% 40.2%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: About a week or two in advance 34.2% 34.2%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: About a week or two in advance 41.7% 41.7%

How frequently are you publishing blogs, videos or podcast episodes?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: At random intervals 28.4% 28.4%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: At random intervals 31.5% 31.5%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Weekly 34.2% 34.2%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Weekly 37.5% 37.5%

Do you have systems set up for your content?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Yes 49.8% 49.8%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Yes 70.7% 70.7%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Yes 73.7% 73.7%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Yes 81% 81%

How much time do you spend planning content per week?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Less than an hour a week 39.8% 39.8%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Less than an hour a week 46.7% 46.7%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Around an hour a week 47.4% 47.4%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: A few hours a week 37.5% 37.5%

How much time do you spend creating content per week?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: A few hours a week 39.8% 39.8%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: A few hours a week 48.9% 48.9%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Around an hour a week 44.7% 44.7%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Less than an hour a week 62.5% 62.5%

How much time do you spend on social media per week?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: A few hours a week 31.7% 31.7%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: A few hours a week 33.7% 33.7%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: About an hour most days 31.6% 31.6%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Around an hour a week 33.3% 33.3%

What social media platforms do you use most often?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

What types of lead magnets are you using to attract potential customers?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

What are the top 3 ways you attract new leads?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

How are you reaching your sales goals this year?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: I'd need to sell a mix of different offers each month to hit my sales goals 42% 42%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: I'd need to sell a mix of different offers each month to hit my sales goals 47.8% 47.8%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: I'd need to make a few higher-priced sales each month to reach my goals 44.7% 44.7%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: I'd need to make a few higher-priced sales each month to reach my goals 37.5% 37.5%

What is your current sales strategy?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: I am still setting up my sales systems 45% 45%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: I have my offers on my website or in my shop for people to browse when they visit my website 28.3% 28.3%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: I run live launches or promotions of my offers 31.6% 31.6%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: I have an evergreen sales funnel and also run live launches or promotions for my offers 33.3% 33.3%

What is your top channel for making sales?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Selling via social 66.8% 66.8%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Selling via social 73.9% 73.9%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Email Marketing 84.2% 84.2%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Email Marketing 83.3% 83.3%

How often do you send sales emails to your email list?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Never 36.2% 36.2%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Never 32.6% 32.6%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Monthly 31.6% 31.6%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: Monthly 25% 25%

How often do you send sales emails to your email list?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: $0 42% 42%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Less than $100 42.4% 42.4%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: Less than $100 31.6% 31.6%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: $100-$500 29.2% 29.2%

How much are you spending a month on business coaching and courses?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Less than $100 36.2% 36.2%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: $100-$500 41.3% 41.3%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: $100-$500 34.2% 34.2%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: $1000-$5000 45.8% 45.8%

How much are you spending a month on business coaching and courses?

The Ultimate List of 2021 Marketing Stats for Online Business Owners

What is the main type of support you're looking for in 2021?

  • Under $1K Per Month In Sales: Courses 22.7% 22.7%
  • Between $1K-$5K Per Month In Sales: Courses 16.4% 16.4%
  • Between $5K-$10K Per Month In Sales: 1-1 Services or Contractors 21.9% 21.9%
  • Between Over $10K Per Month In Sales: High-Level Mastermind 28.6% 28.6%

Get a Full Copy of the Report Here:

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