Adobe Q2 Report: Facebook Beats Google/YouTube at Getting You to Click on Ads

By Justin Lafferty Comment

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The great social video war is on, and Facebook is making up ground on Google with effective, targeted advertising.

In Adobe’s Q2 Social Intelligence Report, the company (a Facebook Marketing Developer) points out that viewers feel Facebook delivers much more relevant advertising than Google’s YouTube. 51 percent of those surveyed by Adobe said Facebook ads were of “genuine interest,” while only 17 percent said the same about YouTube.

Among those polled by Adobe, the company found that YouTube users skewed heavily desktop vs. mobile (27 percent vs. 13 percent), while Facebook’s Instagram (created as a mobile app) naturally had a 21 percent viewership on mobile, compared to 4 percent on desktop.

Adobe found Facebook ads are getting more effective — while cost-per-click has remained generally flat in the past year, clickthrough rate has soared.

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Tamara Gaffney, principal at Adobe Digital Index, discussed how Facebook has grown as an ad platform, despite plummeting reach:

Back in the day, Facebook put four display ads on a page and one day reduced it to two, recognizing that its mobile user base didn’t want to be looking at so many ads. Additionally, the company began to show ads within the newsfeed as well, further optimizing for the mobile user. These were both very radical changes that threw marketers off. Essentially, decreasing the number of ads on a page reduced the total number of impressions served, but the trade-off has been an increase in engagement.

Clicks of Facebook ads are up 12 percent year-over-year, while impressions dropped by 47 percent.

But as Facebook ads get more targeted and relevant, are they getting creepier? Adobe asked if the personalization of Facebook ads was too much: 25 percent of regular users said ads shouldn’t be personalized; 43 percent of occasional users agreed.

What kinds of posts are Facebook users most interested in? Here’s a look:

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Facebook and Google aren’t the only ones in a social video battle. Meerkat and Periscope, the two live-streaming video apps, have been racing for prominence, as well.Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 8.43.19 PM

Adobe tracked social chatter around the two apps, finding that Periscope (owned by Twitter) is putting major distance on Meerkat. Both apps experienced a spike around the Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao fight, as the debate of the legality of streaming a live pay-per-view event sprung up.

In general, more and more mobile users are using devices for social over search:

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Adobe also found that Google’s much-hyped “mobilegeddon,” did in fact favor sites with a mobile presence. Companies without a mobile-friendly site have lost 10 percent of traffic year-over-year. Gaffney described the effect:

While there wasn’t a precipitous drop among non-friendly sites, the effect is pronounced over the 10 weeks after the event. Such continued loss of traffic suggests that immediate emphasis would have been placed on paid search as a quick way to recover traffic. But that strategy is not necessarily sustainable.

Adobe’s data is based on consumer data for more than 5,000 brand sites in 2014 and 2015. It encompasses more than 500 billion Facebook post impressions, more than 525 billion Google and Yahoo! Bing ad impressions and more than 8 million social streaming app mentions.

Readers: Do you feel like Facebook’s ads are relevant to you?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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