We’ve made it through the second quarter of 2019, one filled with many important B2B marketing changes and several unexpected twists and turns that will all combine to affect how the industry moves forward as we enter Q3 and push ahead to 2020.
Q2 saw several exciting shifts in entirely new directions, and a few seemingly slight directional maneuvers and adjustments that are nonetheless set to make big impacts in the coming year.
We’re always working to bring you the most relevant B2B marketing news, including weekly industry news videos from Tiffani Allen and Joshua Nite here on our blog and on our TopRank Marketing YouTube channel, and each quarter we reflect on what’s happened and look ahead with key trends.
Let’s take a look at both the challenges and opportunities the quarter’s top B2B marketing news has brought.
The Digital Marketing Sights and Sounds of Q2
When It Comes to Digital Marketing Spending …
Forecasts from the quarter show that global digital advertising spending is expected to continue to climb over the next four years, including a prediction from Juniper Research that spending will reach $520 billion by 2023, and that:
- Spending will increase significantly from 2019’s $294 billion
- Amazon’s share is projected to hit 8% — up from 2018’s 3%
- Google’s digital ad revenue is expected to top $230 billion by 2023
- 63% of B2B companies plan to raise spending on email marketing, with top goals being increased engagement, conversion, and lead generation, according to survey data released during the beginning of the quarter. (MediaPost)
- By 2019 global digital advertising spending is expected to increase 4.7%, up from the 4% predicted in December 2018, while by 2021 spend will reach $329 billion, some of the trends of interest to digital marketers among forecast data released during Q2 by Zenith. (Marketing Dive)
- Digital video advertising spend has seen continued growth according to IAB study data, with the average survey advertiser projected to spend $18 million in 2019, up from 2018’s $14.2 million, one of several items of interest to digital marketers in the Q2 report. (Adweek)
- Twitter’s advertising revenue expanded by 18% year-over-year to $679 million during the first quarter of 2019, while ad engagement on the platform saw a 23% increase with cost-per-engagement decreasing by 4%, according to the social firm’s earnings statement that came out in Q2. (MarTech Today)
- A Q2 Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report showed that 2018 was the first year U.S. digital advertising earnings topped the $100 billion mark, hitting $107.5 billion, up from 2017’s $88.3 billion, led primarily by the strength of mobile and video. Users also spent 22% more time on social media properties in 2018 than during 2017, the report detailed. (Adweek)
- Social media advertising spending has risen 27% year-over-year, topped by a 44% increase for video ads, with accompanying impressions also up 20%, some of the results of interest to digital marketers in report data from Kenshoo’s trends report. (ClickZ)
- The highly-anticipated Internet Trends report for 2019 was released at the end of Q2, including digital spending data of interest to digital marketers. For more than 21 years venture capitalist Mary Meeker, partner at Kleiner Perkins, has researched and put out the report, this year weighing in at 333 pages. I recently took an in-depth look at the report.
- Digital ad sales are expected to grow by 14% in 2019, according to additional forecast data, a bright spot in predictions showing a slowdown in the overall rate of growth for ad sales, down from 2018’s 8% to 5%. (AdAge)
Read more on this topic:
- Pump it Up: How to Maximize Your B2B Content Marketing Campaign Investments
- Around the World in 50 Captivating Digital Marketing Statistics
When It Comes to Search Marketing …
Q2 saw Google launch a search update focused on domain diversity, by having fewer first-page results that come from the same domain, and the search giant also rolled out several other changes including:
- Making the firm’s mobile-first indexing the default for new sites
- New guidelines for using “how-to” structured mark-up data and related image recommendations, offering digital marketers more precise instructions to work towards getting pages that generate automatic how-to rich search result entries
- Best-practices for building your FAQ pages
- Google rolled out automatic transcription to certain podcasts on its Google Podcasts app, providing a boon to discoverability via search that will likely help attract new audiences to podcast episodes that include Google’s new podcast metadata. (Search Engine Land)
- Display and video ads sold with Google Ad Manager, Google’s ad server and publisher exchange, got additional auction functionality aimed at removing Google’s “last-look” outbidding advantage, while also bringing new minimum pricing strategies and rules. (Marketing Land)
- Google’s annual Marketing Live event saw the firm announce expanded mobile-first native ads that display in a more visually-rich view across multiple Google feed environments, along with mobile-only gallery ads and several other features of interest to online marketers. (Search Engine Land)
- 20% of Android Google App searches now come from voice, and SEMrush examined ranking factors including the importance of first-page placement and other facets of voice search. (SEMrush)
Read more on this topic:
- 10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers
- Hey Alexa: How Do I Bake Voice Search Into My B2B Marketing Strategy?
When It Comes to Content Marketing …
The end of Q2 saw content marketers getting new data on the optimal times for publishing content on various social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Sprout Social updated its best-times-to-post study, showing that:
- Facebook content posted on Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. has the greatest engagement
- Instagram also shows Wednesday as the top day, along with Fridays between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
- Twitter posts have the greatest success when made on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- *LinkedIn posts were seen to get the highest engagement on Wednesdays between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
- Instagram began offering a new branded content ad option that allows organic branded content feed posts from creators, expanding the Facebook-owned platform’s tools for digital marketers. The new ads contain “Paid Partnership,” and are part of Instagram’s efforts at increased ad transparency. (Adweek)
- The end of Q2 saw the release of Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer report, showing that 75% of consumers now value trust over trendiness, along with a wide swatch of other digital marketing insights. (AdAge)
- The hyper-personalised advertising brands can deliver with the nascent efforts at merging DNA analysis with marketing may be uncharted waters, but some marketers began testing the genetic marketing waters during Q2. (Marketing Dive)
Read more on this topic:
When It Comes to Social Media …
Several Q2 reports pointed to social media usage remaining mostly unchanged, while the way people use social platforms has shifted, offering digital marketers new opportunities as well as some additional new hurdles to conquer.
- Instagram was the only major social media platform to see an significant increase in usage among U.S. adults since early 2018 according to Q2 Pew Research survey data, showing the rest of the most popular platforms saw statistically unchanged usage, with slowing growth across the board aside from the Facebook-owned Instagram. (Pew Research Center)
- The Q2 Edison Research and Triton Digital Social Habit study showed largely unchanged social media usage over the past four years, yet some growth for Instagram among young Americans, a drop in Facebook’s popularity, and several other statistics of interest to digital marketers. (Convince and Convert)
- 2019 will be the first year during which more people — 51.7% — use social media platforms from mobile devices than from computers, and those using mobile for all their Internet usage is also expected to increase by 10.6%, according to research data on U.S. social network users released during the quarter. (eMarketer)
- Facebook advertisers and users of the firm’s Business Manager platform got new layout changes and features, including streamlined Ads Manager navigation and tools to improve new client on-boarding, Facebook announced in Q2. (Marketing Land)
- LinkedIn saw revenue growth of 27% for FY19 Q3, a 24% increase in on-platform sessions, and record engagement and job posting levels, according to report data from parent company Microsoft. (Social Media Today)
- Q2 study data showed significant differences in social media usage not only between traditional age group categories, but also within generational groups, such as older Gen Xers using LinkedIn 9% more than average consumers, while younger Gen Xers use Instagram 11% more than average. The study offered a variety of demographic information of interest to digital marketers. (Adweek)
- Social Media Examiner released its eleventh-annual social media marketing industry report, offering 46 pages of statistical data gathered from surveying over 4,800 marketers, offering insight and interpretation on how a variety of social media platforms and practices are working for marketers today. (Social Media Examiner)
- U.S. adults are using Instagram more than ever, at an average of 27 minutes daily and expected to increase through 2020, while Facebook and Snapchat have both seen a drop in the average number of minutes of use per day, according to Q2 forecast data from consultancy eMarketer. (eMarketer)
Read more on this topic:
- The Relationship Between SEO and Social: It’s Complicated … and Complementary
- Why Twitter Lists Are Still a Great Tool for B2B Marketers
When It Comes to Influencer Marketing …
- Increased use of AI
- Democratized Influence
- Brandividal Media
- More Engaging Content Formats
- Influencer Tech Integration with other Martech
- Consumerization of B2B Influencers and Content
- Influencer Experience Management
- Influencer marketing saw success in numerous industries, delivering strong performance to some firms in the travel industry, and MarTech Advisor took a look at which influencer marketing strategies have worked well in this market. (MarTech Advisor)
- Influencer marketing statistics were explored in infographic form, including predictions showing the practice is poised to top the $10 billion mark by 2022, and revealing a 1,500% increase in searches for information about influencer marketing over the past three years. (Social Media Today)
- Instagram tested the elimination of likes and follower counts as a possible method for driving more focus to content, and Marketing Land took a look at the impact such a move by the Facebook-owned platform could have on influencer marketing. (Marketing Land)
- Customized influencer apps released during Q2 from decentralized social media platform Escapex represent a new twist on a longstanding social media theme, bringing new challenges and opportunities for digital marketers. (Fast Company)
Read more on this topic:
- How to Intertwine Online & Offline Tactics to Cultivate B2B Influencer Relationships
- Do Your Homework: Selecting the Right Influencers for Your B2B Brand With Tips from the Experts
When It Comes to The TopRank Marketing Team …
The team at TopRank Marketing has had a busy, exciting, and productive Q2, and here are just a few of some of the team’s highlights in the press during the querter:
- Marketing Influencers: Our 2019 Top 30 (ExoB2B)
- Modern Marketing Influencer Series: Key Ingredients of a Great Content Marketing Strategy for 2019 (Oracle Modern Marketing Blog) (client)
- An Undervalued Work Management Strategy: Listening (Workfront)
- B2B Lead Generation Ideas: A Full-course Content Planning Dinner (DivvyHQ)
- Learn How To Solve The Experience Equation With The Right Technology And The Right Strategy (Digitalist Magazine)
- Influencer Marketing Trends for 2019 – A live interview with TopRank’s Lee Odden (Rival IQ)
- A Sophisticated Marketer’s Perspective: Lee Odden on Ruling the Content Kingdom (LinkedIn)
- Leading Influencer Marketing Agencies (Influencer Marketing Hub)
- B2B Influencer Marketing in 2019 (Rival IQ)
- Top 31 Best Social Media Blogs of 2019 (HowSociable)
- Onalytica – The Influential Times Episode 1 [Podcast] (Onalytica)
- 10 branding strategies for your small business to build awareness and loyalty (Intuit / QuickBooks)
- How a Best Answer Content Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results [BuzzSumo Webinar Video] (YouTube / BuzzSumo)
Goodbye, Q2. Hello and Welcome, Q3.
B2B marketers, we hope that your Q3 is filled with plenty of success and innovation, and hope that you’ll join us each week and keep up with the latest industry news, trends, and opportunities in our Digital Marketing News Roundup, with highlights and video commentary from Tiffani Allen and Joshua Nite.
*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.