B2B Digital Marketing Trends, Budgets, and Benchmarks: Highlights for 2019

B2B Digital Marketing Trends, Budgets, and Benchmarks: Highlights for 2019

Supply chain and logistics companies: here are your key takeaways on digital marketing trends from the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 survey.


  • For 2019, resolve to put your audience first.
  • Building audience trust is crucial.
  • Make sure your content is performing well by keeping pace with changes to search engines.

The Content Marketing Institute has published its ninth annual survey, giving insight into the most significant digital marketing trends and priorities for 2019. We’ll get into some key takeaways in detail, but perhaps the most striking finding was one that we’ve been talking about for years.

Of the top performing B2B marketers surveyed, the vast majority (90%) reported that they “prioritize the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message.” That’s a powerful statistic. And when you consider that of the least successful B2B marketers, only 56% doing the same, it’s hard not to agree that the success gap is accounted for by this prioritization.

Digital marketing trends in 2019: making the audience a priority

Looking at the key trends from 2018, which will set the pace for 2019, some overall themes emerge. Foremost among them is the need to put audiences first. When 96% of the most successful B2B marketers report that their organizations have “built credibility and trust with their audience,” it indicates that those organizations have been highly effective at listening to their audiences and delivering value with their content.

Savvy marketers going forward will devote time and resources to researching the needs of their audience. Currently, only 23% of marketers are using email to encourage audience participation, build community, and bring new perspectives to their efforts. Not only that, but only 42% report seeking conversations with customers as a form of audience research.

Successful marketers in 2019 will lead the charge, putting email and other forms of digital marketing to use not only to publish their own content, but to form a deeper understanding of the needs and perspectives of their audience.

3 key digital marketing trends for 2019

1) Email campaigns and educational content win the day.

The majority (58%) of CMI’s survey respondents report that they have successfully used content marketing to nurture subscribers, audience, or leads within the past year. Their most successful methods were email (87%) and educational content (77%).

When it comes to building trust among your audience, and nurturing relationships with prospects, educational content can be your best friend. Click To Tweet

We’ve written before about the overwhelming preference among B2B buyers for educational content like case studies. When it comes to building trust among your audience, and nurturing relationships with prospects, educational content can be your best friend. Similarly, email marketing, when used strategically, is an ideal way to usher prospects down the sales funnel with your content. For more insights, take a look through our top 7 email marketing posts from 2018.

2) Video continues to gain popularity.

We talk a lot about the value of video marketing for the supply chain. Once again this year, video has continued to increase its popularity. More than 50% of survey respondents increased their use of video marketing. Interestingly, a majority also bumped up their use of text-based digital marketing, as well as images (such as infographics, photos, and charts).

Video is on the rise all over the internet, and it gets easier all the time to create focused, engaging, and creative video content to market your business. That being said, successful B2B companies in the supply chain are increasingly outsourcing tasks like videography in order to ensure optimal video strategy, creation, production, and distribution across social media and content platforms.

3) SEO and search algorithms are a concern.

CMI’s survey asked about content marketing issues that organizations are concerned about and found that 61% are worried about changes to SEO/search algorithms. A significant minority (45%) are also concerned about changes to social media algorithms.

It’s true that just as people are changing how they search, search engines themselves are shifting their algorithms, becoming more sophisticated, and making the simple keyword model rapidly outmoded. Keeping up with the change can be overwhelming, but resources exist to help you. Our four-part series on writing for SEO can help you adjust your strategies and provides guidance on topic clusters and pillar content, as well as how to evaluate the success of your content.

What other digital marketing trends are you looking out for in 2019?

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