burger and friesNormally, the idea of sitting down to write a "McDonald's vs. Burger King" blog post would make my arteries cringe -- but not today. No sir! Today, we're talking about which one of these two fast food giants executes the best online marketing. And while we love the idea of Ronald McDonald duking it out against the King in a steel cage match, we decided to rely on data from the newly launched Marketing Grader for our answer. Marketing Grader is a new HubSpot assessment tool that analyzes your entire marketing funnel and compares your efforts to that of your competitors. Let's see how the two burger behemoths stacked up against each other!

Social Media Impact and Effort: McDonald's Wins

This one was all McDonald's. The Golden Arches have more Facebook fans and more Twitter followers (almost 11:1, in millions) than Burger King. But we're not just giving them the edge in this category because they've amassed more followers. That's only half the battle. McDonald's crushes Burger King in social media because the company interact more with its audience. Where Burger King uses social media as a bullhorn to blather on and on about their sandwiches and promotions, McDonald's carries on meaningful conversations with its followers. They post fan pictures, direct message coupons on Twitter, and retweet the fan love they get as much as they can. And how does the Burger King mascot not have a Twitter account? Honestly, the ad spots they did with him were disturbingly funny. He should have an online voice. Loss of additional points for that one.

Website Pages With Inbound Links: McDonald's Dominates

McDonald's dominates this category with over 7,000 website pages and close to 16,000 inbound links. While SEO and rankings might not concern these global brands very much, even they can't deny the power of inbound links. Links are votes in the online popularity contest that is the internet, and inroads to your website for folks who didn't necessarily have an inclination to go there. The huge number of linked references and online mentions McDonald's is cultivating means more traffic, exposure, and awareness of their brand and products.

Website Engagement Metrics: McDonald's Wins Again

McDonald's wins again. Burger King's website is little more than a directory of its different language sites, a setup evidently daunting to first-time visitors. McDonald's, on the other hand, a behemoth site of over 7,500 pages, has tons of content, games, stories, nutritional information, and apps on its site. The result? A massive edge in website visitor engagement. The King sees visitors rarely click and bounce in under a minute, where McDonald's holds the attention of its visitors for over 3 minutes, on average, and gets up to 6 clicks/pages per visit. One can only imagine how that website interest is translating into dollars at the drive-thru!

Marketing Winner: Clearly, McDonald's

McDonald's vs. Burger KingBig Mac 3, Whopper 0. This was two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun of pure domination by McDonald's. With super-sized edges in social media, online footprint, and website engagement, McDonald's carved out a significant competitive advantage over its biggest competitor.

How would you do in a battle against your biggest competitor?

Photo Credit: Simon Miller

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Originally published Dec 13, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016


Inbound Marketing