Mobile continues to be the key driver of growth in both social and search advertising, with spend targeted at phones and tablets increasing by 159% year-on-year (YoY) in social and 66% YoY in search.
According to the latest quarterly global data from Kenshoo, mobile devices accounted for 50% of all paid search clicks and 68% of all paid social clicks in the third quarter of 2015.
The data is presented in a new infographic, Kenshoo Digital Marketing Snapshot: Q3 2015, highlighting key quarterly global metrics and benchmarks for social advertising and paid search based on 550 billion impressions, 11 billion clicks and $6 billion (USD) in advertiser spend through the Kenshoo Infinity Suite.
Paid social advertising continues to grow as new entrants come into the market and existing marketers raise budgets. This has driven social ad spend up 112% YoY supported by the underlying +159% uptick in mobile advertising investment.
Overall cost-per-click (CPC) is up 21% YoY in social advertising and despite impression levels steadily dropping, the volume of clicks on ads has continued to increase, rising 75% YoY. Social ad campaigns are continuing to deliver improvements in engagement levels with click-through rates climbing steadily over the past 5 quarters, rising by 174% YoY in Q3.
With Facebook recently revising its definition of CPC to focus on link clicks (rather than engagement clicks such as likes, comments and shares) Kenshoo expects marketers to see improvements in overall campaign effectiveness in coming quarters. The company also expects recent changes to Facebook’s Marketing API (designed to make bidding and optimisation processes simpler) to cause initial fluctuations in CPC as marketers become attuned to these updates.
Spend on paid search advertising grew by 8% YoY in Q3, fuelled entirely by the 66% rise in budgets allocated to smartphone ads (search ad spend on desktop and tablet ads was down -3% over the period). Overall search clicks were up 16%, outpacing growth in impressions (3%) and leading to a 12% rise in CTR across all devices. The increased activity on phones meant a rise in the number of ad impressions on phones and a greater than 100% increase in phone clicks compared with 2014. The increase in phone spend and clicks has helped to drive overall search CPC down by -7% (as clicks on smartphones are priced slightly lower than desktop and tablet clicks)
“Our data shows that mobile continues to be the most exciting area of positive change in both social and search advertising,” said Rob Coyne, Kenshoo’s Managing Director for EMEA. “As consumers spend more of their time on mobile devices, marketers are developing increasingly better optimised campaigns to make the most of the opportunity. Looking ahead, we expect to see these trends continue into the 4th quarter as retailers intensify their digital marketing activity over the holiday shopping season.”
The Kenshoo Digital Marketing Snapshot: Q3 2015 infographic can be viewed at Kenshoo.com/digital-marketing-snapshot/