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The coronavirus pandemic and the run-up to the eventual boycott by some brands of advertising on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms took their toll on paid advertising trends in the second quarter of 2020, while a surge in the usage of video was the largest development for brands organically, according to the Social Media Trends Report Q2 2020 from social media marketing platform Socialbakers.The company said in the report, “Initially, worldwide paid metrics like ad spend, cost per click and CPM (cost per thousand impressions) saw dramatic increases during the quarter, as many regions of the world started to normalize after the initial effects of the pandemic. For example, worldwide ad spend increased by 26.2% in the second quarter compared to where it was at the end of the first quarter. However, that increase was even greater in June before a pair of protests—Blackout Tuesday and the Facebook ad boycott—made significant, if brief, impacts on overall paid advertising.”Socialbakers said that in North America, ad spend shot up 91.7% from the end of the first quarter until mid-June, before dropping 31.6% in the final two weeks of the month and quarterCPC for all brand ad accounts slid throughout the pandemic, reaching a low of $0.075 in April, but it then rose 42.7% to reach $0.107 by the end of the second quarter. However, it was still 23.6% below the $0.14 mark it posted at the end of the second quarter of 2019.Click-through rates for brand ad accounts slipped throughout the second quarter, winding up at 1.003%, down 2.3% year-over-year.Socialbakers said ad spend for Facebook News Feed fell 2.6% during the period, while Instagram feed saw a 4.2% drop.Facebook News Feed accounted for 64.1% of total spend in January 2019, and that figure has now slid to 57.7%, while the share for Instagram’s feed reached a high of 21.4% last July and a low of 18.8% this May.For the second quarter overall, Facebook News Feed accounted for 59.7% of relative ad spend, with Instagram feed and Instagram Stories combining for 27.8%.Facebook News Feed ads posted the highest CTRs during the period, at 1.85%, followed by Facebook video feeds (0.79%), Facebook in-stream video (0.56%), Instagram feed (0.33%) and Instagram Stories (0.23%).During the second quarter, CPC for Facebook News Feed ads fell 37% and CPM dropped 28%, while those numbers for Instagram feed and Stories were 37% and 28%, respectively.Socialbakers said the only placement to show gains was Facebook in-stream video, with CPC up 21.4% and CPM up 18.9%.Socialbakers CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak said in the report, “The second quarter was a dynamic quarter from a marketing perspective. We saw paid advertising bounce back and CPC increase as business started to return to normal across most regions and industries. However, after largely increasing throughout the quarter, we did see a dip in ad spend in early June, most notably in the U.S., which corresponds to #BlackoutTuesday. However, we saw ad spend returning to normal almost immediately, as brands have no real alternative to Facebook to reach and engage with users at such scale. There was another dip in ad spend at the end of June, which was likely related to an ad boycott that could also affect figures in the third quarter of 2020.”Turning to interactions on posts, Socialbakers wrote, “On Facebook, the relative post interactions for the top 50 largest brands returned to normal levels in the second quarter after a sharp increase at the end of the first quarter that was likely related to the worldwide pandemic. Meanwhile, on Instagram interactions have remained relatively stable over the past 15 months. They hit their peak early in 2020 and again neared the peak at the end of the second quarter, but overall, interactions rarely went below 80% of their max. This shows a consistency on Instagram that may be easier for marketers to plan around.”Continue Reading

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