POV: 2017 Q2 Paid Social Trends Report

Despite the fact that paid social has been around a while, it is still a relatively new area and one that is always evolving as new platforms are launched and existing platforms release new features and tools to better support various advertising models. It’s actually only in recent years that paid social has begun to gain consistent and widespread traction as the most forward-looking platforms have increased their efforts to deliver reliable ad products.

To provide marketers with both a high-level overview and detailed insights about what’s driving performance in paid social today, iProspect is proud to release the inaugural edition of the Quarterly Paid Social Trends Report for Q2 2017.

Based on analysis of data from more than 210 brands advertising on both Facebook and Instagram (all of which are managed by iProspect U.S., though spend is not confined to just U.S. markets), this report provides a summary of the emerging trends and opportunities in the paid social channel.

Selected key insights from the Q2 2017 report include:

  • Paid social spend is up overall. Across all of iProspect’s clients, paid social spend is up 132% year over year (YoY). Even constraining data to only the clients for whom we have managed paid social since Q2 of last year, we still see an average of 76% YoY spend growth.
  • Pinterest and Instagram have greatest growth. While Facebook investment still accounts for the largest percentage of total social spend by client, Instagram and Pinterest show the largest percentage spend growth at 257% YoY and 216% YoY respectively. This growth is a result of the improvement these platforms have made to their ad products and their newly demonstrated ability to scale performance in a way that we’ve historically only seen on Facebook. The most notable improvements are Instagram’s Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) and Pinterest’s first-party data targeting and One-Tap product.
  • Facebook remains king of the hill. While Instagram and Pinterest are making great strides, Facebook still makes up 66% of our clients’ total paid social spend, up from 51% in Q2 of 2016. While almost half of the YoY gain is due to increased spend on video placements, investment in pixel and click-based placements is also up quarter over quarter (QoQ).
  • Spend increases are improving efficiency. Spend increases have contributed to performance improvements, which have driven cost per click (CPC) and Cost Per Video View (CPVV) down. Efficiency is increasing despite rising Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) as auctions become ever more competitive in response to brands fighting to a) capture the summer-fueled social traffic on mobile devices, b) begin to seed their brand messaging, and c) use the strength of social prospecting to build their cross-channel retargeting pools in preparation for holiday.

For all the findings, download the full report and for more insights that will help you make the most of your paid social marketing efforts.