Social media ad trends: Instagram Stories taking bigger slice of budgets

15/02/2019

Instagram received 18% of total Facebook spend, with 34% of that spend allocated to Instagram Stories, according to new research looking into social media ad spend.

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Marin Software, a leading provider of digital marketing software for performance-driven advertisers and agencies, released research findings from its global Q4 2018 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report.

In Q4 2018, paid search continued its upward trend, growing 10% YoY. As inventory gets more expensive, however, more spend doesn’t necessarily mean more clicks—there was a modest 10% increase year-over-year in Retail, less than the search spend for the vertical.

Key findings:

1. Instagram received 18% of total Facebook spend, with 34% of that spend allocated to Instagram Stories
2. Dynamic Product Ads accounted for 35% of total Facebook spend in Q4
3. Paid search continued its upward trend, growing 10% YoY
a. Q4 remained the strongest quarter, with Financial Services (+25%) and Retail (+12%) leading the charge
4. eCommerce on the rise with Google Shopping Ads capturing 36% of search spend for all verticals

Instagram Stories and Dynamic Product Ads ruled, however—Instagram received 18% of total Facebook spend, with 34% of that spend allocated to Instagram Stories, a 36% increase from the previous quarter. Dynamic Product Ads accounted for 35% of total Facebook spend in Q4.

Other highlights for Q4 2018 include:

• eCommerce on the Rise: Google Shopping Ads captured 36% of search spend for all verticals. Shopping Ads remained retail advertisers’ bread and butter, as eCommerce search engines increasingly join the quest to deliver relevant, targeted experiences. According to Marin Software data, monthly spending on eCommerce channel ads increased 5x since January 2018.

• Paid Search Up, CTRs Down: Paid search spend grew 10% globally year-over-year. Q4 remained the strongest quarter, with Financial Services (+25%) and Retail (+12%) leading the charge. As inventory gets more expensive, however, more spend doesn’t necessarily mean more clicks—there was a modest 10% increase year-over-year in Retail, less than the search spend for the vertical.

• Search CPCs Vary by Vertical: Travel clocked the lowest global CPC in Q4 at $0.45, followed by Retail at $0.48. Education and Technology represented the highest CPCs in Q4, at $2.92 and $1.51, respectively.

• Mobile Search Holds Steady: Mobile accounted for 36% of search spend share in Retail and 41% of spend share across all verticals in Q4. Mobile continued to be a crucial touchpoint for product purchasing decisions, especially during the fast-paced and competitive holiday season.

“eCommerce is growing as an advertising channel. As a result, we’re seeing the industry shift more spend toward lower-funnel ad formats. This includes Google Shopping Ads and Dynamic Product Ads on Facebook, that allow brands to capture consumers’ attention at the most critical points in the purchase journey.” said Wesley MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software. “Instagram stories have been another up-and-coming ad format that the industry is paying close attention to. With 400 million daily active users, advertisers are flocking to this format to take advantage of the direct attention of a massive audience. It’s a lower-cost yet effective alternative to Instagram feed ads.”

To create its Q4 2018 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report, Marin Software aggregated data from customers who invest billions of dollars in combined annualized ad spend on paid search, social, mobile, and eCommerce. Marin Software only includes those advertisers active on its platform for the past five quarters, measuring key performance indicators on a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter basis, and removing any outliers with significant YoY or QoQ changes.

View the report here

www.marinsoftware.co.uk

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