Social Ad Spending Remains Strong Amidst Media Attention

Apr 24, 2018

Kenshoo, a provider of marketing technology, released the results of it Kenshoo Digital Marketing Quarterly Trends Report: Q1 2018, detailing spending growth in social (37%) and paid search (11%) year-over-year (YoY). In social, there was no discernable impact of recent media scrutiny, as overall growth was consistent with recent quarters. Video ad spending accounted for 41% of total social spending; Instagram ad spending doubled YoY while clicks tripled. In paid search, Shopping Campaign cost-per-click (CPC) dropped across devices YoY; improved responsiveness likely helped increase mobile click-through rate (CTR) while mobile accounted for 44% of search spending in Q1 2018.

Other key findings include:

  • Social spending increased 37% YoY
  • Social impressions decreased 9% YoY
  • Social clicks increased 93% YoY and 19% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ)
  • Social click-through rate (CTR) increased 111% YoY and 20% QoQ
  • Social cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions increased 50% YoY and decreased 12% QoQ*
  • Paid search spending increased 11% YoY
  • Paid search impressions increased 17% YoY
  • Paid search clicks increased 22% YoY
  • Paid search CTR increased 4% YoY
  • Social spending decreased 12% QoQ and search spending decreased 15% QoQ as the annual effects of Q4 seasonality receded

Mobile continues to be a driving force for both paid social and paid search advertising, outpacing overall growth across both channels; mobile accounted for 78% of social spending and 44% of paid search spending in Q1 2018. Spending on Product Ads increased YoY for both social (73%) and paid search (20%) even while retreating from peak holiday season levels established in Q4 2017.

*A structural  decrease in low-cost desktop impression inventory had an outsized influence on the YoY change in CPM; with that inventory excluded, the increase would be a more modest 13% YoY , while the QoQ decrease would be 15%