Lane Ellis

15 Reports Charting the Future of Content Marketing

Lane Ellis on Jun 26th, 2019     Content Marketing

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How can you be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible for the complex and challenging future ahead for content marketing?

Here are 15 insightful reports loaded with B2B data to help you define and chart your optimal content marketing future, and provide the best-answer and trust-building solutions clients expect today.

The reports here, presented in random order, are all excellent sources of information to help you gain a clearer understanding of B2B content marketing, while keeping more than an eye open towards the future as marketers push onward to 2020.

1 — Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study

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The 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn* B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study examines the theme that thought leadership digital content is in high demand, and that it remains hard to find, presenting an opportunity gap.

“Senior decision-makers are willing to pay a premium. B2B buyers are likely to pay more to work with companies who have clearly articulated their vision through thought leadership,” the study notes, pointing to a rising leadership vision trend, as our own CEO Lee Odden has examined in detail in his recent “7 Top B2B Influencer Marketing Trends for 2020.”

“The growth of influence on individual and organizational effectiveness in the B2B marketing world will continue for years to come.” @LeeOdden Click To Tweet

MarketingProfs’ Ayaz Nanji also digs into some of the Edelman-LinkedIn study’s findings in “What B2B Firms Get Wrong About Thought-Leadership Content.”

Also worth exploring is another fine new report from Edelman, the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust?, which Ethan Jakob Craft recently explored for AdAge.

2 — Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

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Agency content marketing statistics and budgeting trends for 2019 are examined in the fascinating and detailed “B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America” report from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, which is explored in Lisa Murton Beets’ “2019 B2B Content Marketing Research: It Pays to Put Audience First.”

3 — Chief Marketer 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook Survey

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The Chief Marketer 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook Survey offers a wealth of B2B marketing data to learn from and apply to your own campaign strategies. Whether it’s which marketing channels are performing the best for B2B lead generation and nurturing, the increasing demand for higher-quality B2B content, or data to help increase support from the corporate suite, this report offers helpful insight.

4 — Vidyard: Video in Business Benchmark Report

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The average length of B2B video has decreased by 33 percent to just over four minutes, while the number of viewers watching the entirety of videos has climbed to 52 percent, up from 2017’s 46 percent — just a few of the detailed statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in the newly-released 2019 Video in Business Benchmark Report from Vidyard.

The report is explored by Chief Marketer in “B2B Video Length Drops, but Engagement Increases,” and additional bonus video insight comes from a separate recent study, with MediaRadar’s “Research Insight: Video Ads Are Getting Longer.”

5 — Cision 2019 Global State of the Media Report

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For 2019, the tenth-annual Cision Global State of the Media Report surveyed some 2,000 journalists to find out what matters the most in the push towards 2020, including insights into social media, trust and distrust in the media, and how big data will inform the future of content marketing.

6 — Shutterstock: State of Content Marketing

Shutterstock: State of Content Marketing Image

A different take on the future of content comes from the Shutterstock: State of Content Marketing report, examining the changing roles of micro-influencers, data privacy and blockchain, micro-moments, social segmentation and personalization, plus other trends to follow.

7 — Mary Meeker 2019 Internet Trends Report

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Since 1995, one of the most anticipated reports containing B2B trend data is the “Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report,” and for 2019 it comes in packing a whopping 333 pages of information.

Mary Meeker is founder of venture capital firm Bond Capital and former Kleiner Perkins general partner, and I recently took a close look at many of the B2B elements contained in her new report in “Key B2B Takeaways From the 2019 Internet Trends Report.”

“Mary Meeker’s 2019 report paints a picture of a world where it’s more challenging than ever to find new growth in certain areas, but one that also shows very real opportunities in others.” @lanerellis Click To Tweet

8 — LinkedIn: The Enlightened Tech Buyer: Powering Customer Decisions from Acquisition to Renewal

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LinkedIn’s 2019 global report “The Enlightened Tech Buyer: Powering Customer Decisions from Acquisition to Renewal” includes many insights for B2B marketers, taken from a survey of over 5,200 global professionals with roles centered around adopting new technology solutions.

Our Senior Content Strategist Nick Nelson examines the report in detail in “Top Takeaways from LinkedIn’s New ‘Enlightened Tech Buyer’ Report,” a great way to quickly dig in to how B2B technology brands can market and sell more effectively.

“Effective marketing now goes beyond the scope of traditional functions. Brands need to be readily available, with the right content at the right time.” @NickNelsonMN Click To Tweet

9 — Buffer: 2019 State of Social

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Buffer’s detailed 2019 State of Social report offers an in-depth look at what digital marketers are focusing on, along with an examination of many new and ongoing trends, and how the industry is changing.

In conjunction with Social Chain, the newest Buffer report utilizes survey data gathered from over 1,800 marketers at firms of all sizes, and looks at issues such as how businesses are investing in influencer marketing and which social platforms businesses are having the most success with.

10 — Edison Research and Triton Digital: The Social Habit

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The latest Edison Research and Triton Digital The Social Habit 2019 study includes many B2B marketing insights, leaning towards the social media side, showing how we’ve entered a new era now that social media usage has remained largely unchanged over the past four years, while Instagram has seen newfound success especially among young Americans.

Jay Baer, Founder of Convince and Convert, takes a look at the study in “Social Media Usage Statistics for 2019 Reveal Surprising Shifts.”

11 — Pew Research Center: Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2019

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How the mobile landscape is changing in 2019 will have an impact on B2B marketers, and the Pew Research Center offers up a selection of related insights in its Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2019 report.

12 — Sprout Social: Sprout Social Index: Edition XV: Empower & Elevate (2019)

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Sprout Social’s most recent Sprout Social Index: Edition XV: Empower & Elevate (2019) surveyed more than 1,000 social media marketers to find out where their biggest successes are coming from, and where they plan to place their focus moving ahead.

The report shows that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, and LinkedIn are the most-used social media platforms among social marketers, and includes data relevant to B2B marketers well worth researching.

Nathan Mendenhall took a look at some of the study results in “8 Social Media Marketing Stats You Shouldn’t Ignore.”

Sprout Social has also recently updated its study of the optimal times for publishing content on various social media platforms.

13 — Hootsuite / We Are Social: Digital 2019 Q2 Global Digital Statshot

Hootsuite / We Are Social Digital 2019 Image

Hootsuite and We Are Social have produced another report filled with helpful information for B2B marketers, with their latest Digital 2019 Q2 Global Digital Statshot. The report utilized numerous sources and offers plenty of insight into where social media marketing currently stands and where it appears likely to be heading.

14 — Pew Research Center: January 2019 Core Trends Survey (2019)

Pew Research Center: January 2019 Core Trends Image

The Pew Research Center has also taken a close look at how U.S. adults are using social media, in its recent “Share of U.S. adults using social media, including Facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018,” offering additional data to help B2B marketers prepare for the social world of 2020 and beyond.

15 — Social Media Examiner: 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Social Media Examiner 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report Image

The final of our 15 reports is Social Media Examiner’s eleventh-annual social media marketing industry report, the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Company founder Michael Stelzner shares 46 pages of various statistical data pulled in from surveying over 4,800 marketers, and the report offers interpretation on how various aspects of social media are working for marketers today.

Fly High & Implement What You’ve Learned From 15 Reports

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The 15 insightful and data-packed reports we’ve explored here from the Pew Research Center, Edelman, Edison Research, Cision, Shutterstock, Mary Meeker, Buffer, LinkedIn, Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, Chief Marketer, Vidyard, Triton Digital, Sprout Social, Social Media Examiner, Hootsuite, and We Are Social will help you be as prepared and up-to-date as possible for whatever the future of content marketing may hold.

Because it takes considerable time, top skills, and plenty of effort to create best-answer content marketing, it’s often wise to partner with a top-tier marketing agency, such as TopRank Marketing. We’ve had the honor of being named by Forrester as the only B2B marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in its latest “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.”

*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

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Lane Ellis About Lane Ellis

Lane R. Ellis (@lanerellis), TopRank Marketing Social Media and Content Marketing Manager, has over 35 years’ experience working with and writing about the Internet. Lane spent more than a decade as Lead Editor for prestigious conference firm Pubcon. When he's not writing, Lane enjoys distance running (11 marathons including two ultras so far), genealogical research, cross-country skate skiing, vegetarian cooking, and spending time with his wonderful wife Julie Ahasay and their three cats in beautiful Duluth, Minnesota.