Search Spend Grows as Instagram Thrives: Our Q3 2018 Digital Benchmark Report

October 24, 2018

In Q3 2018, paid search saw healthy 13% year-over-year growth—driven almost equally by increased click volume and rising CPCs—while Shopping ad budget share reached an all-time high of 36%. Also, Instagram ads gained ground, grabbing 15% of total Facebook spend, with Facebook’s news feed accounting for over 80%.

We share these insights and more in our Q3 2018 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report. Our interactive format reveals the latest cross-channel advertising trends by region, industry, and publisher.

Other highlights for Q3 2018 include:

  • Instagram Gaining Momentum: Instagram Stories was the most popular ad format, accounting for 25% of all ads on the photo and video-sharing platform. Due to its rich ad format, deeper level of user engagement, and less crowded feed environment, advertisers are willing to pay a substantial premium for Instagram ad placements over Facebook. This includes a $0.82 CPC on Instagram, four times higher than the $0.19 CPC on Facebook.
  • Global Search Spend Barrels Ahead: In addition to 13% YoY growth in search spend, the average global CPC increased from $0.80 in Q3 2017 to $0.83 in Q3 2018.
  • European Paid Search Slows Down: Anomalous to increased global search spend, eurozone growth was relatively meager at 5.7% YoY in Q3 2018. Europe also saw lower CPCs than the global average, with a $0.44 CPC in Q3 2018 compared to the global average of $0.83. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) wrapping up its first full quarter, lingering privacy concerns may be taking a toll on the European search advertising market.
  • Shopping Ads Gain Share: Shopping ads captured 37% of the average retailer’s search spend, eclipsing the 36% observed in Q3 2017. The expectation is that dynamic ads will continue to take share from traditional text ads in Shopping and other verticals.

Download the report for other actionable insights for your digital ad campaigns.

Maria Breaux

Marin Software
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