Spending on Social Advertising Is on the Rise (Report)

2016 may have been the year of growth, but 2017 promises to be a year of change for marketers.

Growth across social networks was a defining feature throughout 2016. While the increase in mobile and media consumption made headlines, the underlying growth–spending on social advertising–will yield more change. A fourth-quarter report from data science and media technology provider 4C Insights examines the evolution in social advertising spending.

4C analyzed more than 900 brands and over $150 million in ad spending, and it found a 43 percent quarter-over-quarter increase and a 65 percent year-over-year gain in paid media spend. Spending on Facebook grew even more, with a 74 percent YoY increase.

On Instagram, which saw user numbers rise to more than 600 million last year, advertising spend soared 138 percent YoY. Clearly, advertisers see the value of meeting their audiences as they transition to more platforms and networks.

4C chief marketing officer Aaron Goldman told SocialTimes:

Q4 was a strong quarter across the board for social and mobile advertising. Each of the major platforms saw growth, and we see that momentum carrying into 2017. Brands continue to find new and innovative ways to leverage social media to connect with their audiences, and at 4C, we’re helping them do it at scale and connect across screens to TV, as well.

4C also began monitoring ad growth on Snapchat during the fourth quarter. The mobile messaging application has come into its own throughout 2016, and now its ad services seem to be delivering promising results, according to Ben Hovaness, group director for Resolution Media, who was quoted in the report:

In the first two months since the Snapchat launch, Resolution has seen promising early results. Apples-to-apples comparisons of CPMs (cost per thousand impressions)–same demographic targeting parameters and spend volumes–indicate a consistent 10 percent to 15 percent  discount imparted to Snap Ads between user stories purchased at auction relative to the same media purchased at rate card prices.

While 2016 may have been the year of growth, 2017 promises to be a year of change for marketers. Emerging trends in search focused social, fragmented niche audiences and the growing influence of video could all present challenges throughout next year. For expert advice and more insights from 4C, download the full report.