Darren Low posted on 25 November 2020
Global ad spend on social media has absolutely gone sky high in Q3. This is post-Covid, of course. However, there seems to be a real boost of confidence too.
After the worldwide slowdown in March as COVID-19 spread, social media advertising seems to have had a shot in the arm. Global social media ad spending jumped a huge 56.4% in Q3, so it is definitely back in business.
Furthermore, this leap means that global ad spend was almost double that of late March 2020, when the epidemic was hitting hardest. It’s a bounce back, and a massive show of confidence in social media and the impact of advertising on the various platforms.
As a further sign that confidence is growing, CPC had a huge rise too. CPC rose by 42.4% compared to June of this year.
So which platforms did well?
There has been an interesting outcome in the war between the two biggest social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook. Instagram continued to have more reach with brand profiles. The difference between it and Facebook was considerable, with the reach on Instagram being 34.7% higher than on Facebook. Instagram also showed that it had more engagement too.
However, Facebook is still incredibly popular,and over 60% of all brand posts on social were on Facebook for Q3. Brands are still using their budgets more on this particular platform.
Then we come to ad formats. Facebook owns Instagram, and ad formats are similar on both platforms. The biggest piece of news from the last quarter served to further confirm that organic interactions are really becoming old news. Organic interactions declined heavily on Instagram, and across all formats during Q3. Facebook Live showed a little growth during the three months.
Instagram has great carousel ads, and these continued to be very effective in Q3. In fcat, carousel ads on Instagram proved to be it’s most engaging format during the three month period.
All in all, there has been more spending perhaps as a ‘rebound’ effect after the slow down in Q2.
An overall vote of confidence
COVID-19 stopped everything, and it was no surprise to see marketers and agencies shrink back from business as usual as the pandemic grew. While it has taken months for spending to come back to what it was before, it is heartening to see that confidence returning.
It also tells us a few things about what audiences are feeling after COVID-19. Overall, and perhaps this is the most obvious repercussion of the impact of a pandemic, customers are becoming more confident in digital offerings that were introduced during and after the pandemic. Digital has become more attractive to shoppers, and ad spend is reflecting this push towards online purchasing.
At the same time, the growth in ad spending reflects the power of the platforms. Facebook and Instagram are increasingly being relied upon by brands. The huge results they are getting from these two platforms highlights how organic is almost pointless now. Budgets don’t have to be huge though. With a high quality approach to ads (video is very much vital right now) and sensible spending, even smaller brands can get huge ROI using Instagram, for example.
It’s an incredible result for Q3, one which may not be repeated in Q4. However, it shows that, barring major worldwide events, social media advertising is an industry that is growing incredibly fast.
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