Shifting patterns in digital ad spend: Shopping, responsive search and messenger ads soar

26/04/2019

Formats like Shopping Ads, Responsive Search Ads, and Messenger Ads rose in popularity this quarter as advertisers looked for new ways to capture consumer attention, according to new research.

Shifting patterns in digital ad spend: Shopping, responsive search and messenger ads soar

The findings, from digital marketing software firm Marin, form part of its global Q1 2019 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report.

Marin Software’s research confirms that Instagram continues to grow its share of Facebook spend, while newer ad formats like responsive search ads (RSAs) dominate as advertisers seek growth across channels and devices.

Marin Software presents its full Q1 2019 research and takeaways in an interactive format that allows viewers to analyse ad spending trends by region, industry, and publisher. Key findings include:

• Responsive Search Ads Rise in Popularity: 24% of advertisers are running RSAs, a dynamic, automated search ad format Google introduced less than a year ago that puts machine learning capabilities into the hands of every advertiser.

• Search CPCs Softening: There was a 6% decrease in CPCs YoY across all verticals worldwide, as inventory became less expensive outside of peak holiday season and lower-cost mobile formats consume a larger piece of the pie.

• Facebook Spend Evolving: Messenger had the highest CPC of all Facebook-owned inventory—including Facebook, Audience Network, and Instagram. Meanwhile, an overall year-over-year CPM decrease of 14% across all Facebook properties signifies Instagram Stories diversifying the number of Facebook placements and Instagram’s growing popularity among advertisers. Instagram Ads now command 20% of total Facebook spend share with 34% of those ads being Stories.

• Shopping Ads Continue to Dominate: 22% of advertisers are running Google Shopping Ads, with the format capturing 39% of search budgets.

• Mobile Remains King: Mobile accounted for 43% of spend share across all verticals, highlighting the growing importance of mobile search. This data also further supports the fact that search engines like Google favour mobile-friendly websites in search results.

“Up-and-coming ad formats like Shopping Ads, Responsive Search Ads, and Messenger Ads rose in popularity this quarter as advertisers looked for ways to capture consumer attention in this evolving digital landscape,” said Wesley MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software. “The lines across search, social, and eCommerce are more blurred than ever with the recent introduction of features like Checkout for Instagram or shoppable ads on Google Images. We look forward to tracking how these changes impact the industry in quarters to come and guiding current and future clients through the ever-evolving landscape of digital advertising.”

To create its Q1 2019 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report, Marin Software aggregated data from customers who invest billions of dollars in combined annualised 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 full report here

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