Looking to increase your marketing budget? Here are the digital channels where your peers are investing this year.

As digital marketing evolves, we’re constantly hearing about new trends, new areas to focus on and the best ways to stay ahead of the curve. For once, however, it appears that the trend suggests marketers want to keep doing what’s already working.

New research from Regalix suggests the top areas where marketers want to increase their budgets in 2016 aren’t necessarily groundbreaking or all that different from last year. The top three areas where most marketers want to increase their spend are:

  • Website
  • Email
  • Social Media

These channels were among the top four (SEO was also included) marketing tactics that saw the most success in 2015, so as part of a holistic content marketing strategy, this makes sense. Your website is your hub, where people find you and where conversions take place. But to get people onto your website, platforms like email and social media are two of your best places to garner referral traffic.

Regalix Marketing Budgets 2016

Inbound marketing activities trump paid ads

It’s important to note that from 2014 to 2015, paid options were the only formats that saw decreasing success rates.

  • In 2014, paid search saw 35% success. In 2015, it dropped to 30%.
  • In 2014, online display ads saw 26%. In 2015, it dropped to 21%.

This falls inline with a recent HubSpot study that found PPC is the “most overrated” marketing tactic. More on that here.

This year, marketers are realizing their lack of success with paid strategies. One quarter of those surveyed said they plan to decrease their online display ad spend, and 20 percent said they plan to decreased their spend on paid search.

A united front of online & offline marketing will see the best success

As marketers, we don’t want to miss new trends but we also want to continue investing in areas that have proven success. We’re left with a balancing act of staying in our comfort zones and forging innovative strategies.

When content marketing strategies became mainstream, this was absolutely the case. Marketers who’d seen success in the past were adamant about sticking with their traditional marketing strategies, like direct mail, brochures, outdoor ads and radio.

Now, as digital strategies moved to the forefront, marketers have adjusted budgets to make room for traditional and digital. But new research from Regalix suggests brands that “perfectly integrate” the two into a unified whole will see the best results.

According to Regalix’s 2016 State of B2B marketing report, slightly over half (52 percent) of marketers said both their online and offline marketing efforts were effective last year, but integration remains a priority.

Regalix Online Offline Budgeting 2016

Of offline activities, however, there was only one tactic the majority of marketers are looking to increase: events.

Regalix Offline Marketing Budgets 2016

When it comes to bridging the gap between digital and traditional marketing activities, events are an easy way to combine forces. Check out the following resources on ways marketers can integrate their exhibitions, tradeshows and conferences with online activities:

Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.