STUDY: Facebook, Other Social Networks Deliver Highest-Quality Users In Ad Campaigns

By David Cohen 

Media intelligence company Aggregate Knowledge analyzed more than 27 billion online ad impressions during the first quarter of 2013, finding that social networks and portals drove efficiency for brands, with social networks delivering the highest-quality users, or those most likely to lead to conversions, while ad exchanges continued to be cost-effective.

Aggregate Knowledge released its Q1 2013 Global Media Intelligence Report Tuesday, and findings from the study included:

  • Portals and social continue to drive reach efficiency, with portals improving five times quarter-over-quarter.
  • Social continues to deliver the highest-quality users, performing 65 percent better than the industry overall and 33 percent better than the next best channel.
  • Social influence in the attribution funnel increased 61 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012, highlighting its value when looking at all customer touch points.
  • Exchanges continue to be cost-effective, delivering the lowest cost at 2.5 times below the indexed industry average.

Aggregate Knowledge CEO David Jakubowski said in an interview with AllFacebook that the company was able to expand its study across such a large scale due to its complete neutrality in the process, adding:

We don’t buy and sell any media, and we don’t buy and sell any data. We have more certification to see more audiences and more data than anyone on the planet. Because of that neutral position, we can stitch together a holistic view, for the very first time, for marketers in a dashboard.

In terms of Facebook’s role in the mix, Jakubowski added:

Facebook has really created this new category and kind of occupies it in terms of a purchase funnel — conversation. Users engage as they haven’t with any other type of media. If you’re not doing something with social, you’re not maximizing your customer reach.

Content dominates from both a social and a portal perspective.

Facebook is big everywhere. It’s big in everything. I would say our customers’ use of Facebook as social is proportionate to what you would expect from an industry average. Social is not a disproportionate number of the 27 billion impressions.

Facebook has probably done more with ad products than the rest of the industry combined, and it’s starting to show up in upper funnel influence, very specific for brands — the best job at evolving toward where brands want to be.

The answer about mobile’s place in the influence chain is less clear. Its volume isn’t near where the others are. There’s no question that mobile is an important part of it, but the next 12 months will probably see a lot of experimentation and a lot of research done by our customers and us on how mobile fits — playing in “experiment-land” for at least a year.

And Jakubowski said in a press release announcing the Q1 2013 Global Media Intelligence Report:

We’re witnessing the end of advertising as we know it. Brands are starting to realize the importance of digital marketing and using analytics to inform media buying decisions across all channels. These insights resulted in more than $120 million media buys in the first quarter alone.