Report Finds Facebook Outpacing Google in Display Ad Growth

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

advertising-word-cloudFacebook and Google are two of the most dominating entities on the internet, but in most cases the two giants occupied different spheres. While Google is still the leader in search and Facebook, the leader of social media, the two companies are competing more and more for the same online advertising revenue. In a sign of the growing importance of social media marketing, a new report suggests that Facebook’s display ad revenue is now growing faster than Google.

The analysis came from IgnitionOne’s Q3 2015 Digital Marketing Report, highlighting trends and data for digital marketing across search, programmatic display, social and mobile. The report found that Facebook had exceptionally strong display ad growth, with a 40 percent year-over-year increase in ad costs. In comparison, Google saw their ad costs drop by 19 percent.

Overall, the third quarter showed that growth in display ad spending was continuing an upward trend. For the fourth consecutive quarter with increases, growth in paid search spend in the U.S, up 12% year-over-year (YoY), as well as a 7% increase in spend for programmatic display.

“While Google still owns the majority of display spend, Facebook is quickly catching up,” said Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne. “And with Facebook’s debut of Atlas and Google’s response of Custom Match, it’s clear that these two heavyweight champs intend to keep going at each other in the ring like Ali and Frazier. It’s only a matter of time before we find ourselves with another Thrilla in Manila on our hands – neither of these players is going down without a fight.”

Though Facebook and Google are battling for their share of that sweet ad revenue pie, there’s no reason to assume either completely remove the other anytime soon. The report even notes that Yahoo’s recent changes to their agreement with Bing can also change the the landscape. The addition to the marketplace of Yahoo Gemini gives Yahoo the ability sell its own Mobile and Native ads into its own search results while giving it more control.

The report also had positive news on the growth in mobile display advertising. The report notes how the shifts in the way people use mobile devices, along with advances in how to target those users in ads, has led to an increased demand for mobile ad spending. These user behavior shifts lead to an increase in mobile search spend of 56 percent year over year.

Interestingly, tablets, along with desktops, were relatively flat in growth. The report suggests this due to the similar ways they’re managed by users, and the increased sophistication and interest in mobile traffic. This resulted in nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of mobile spend share going to phones and 36 percent going to tablets.

Other insights from the reports analysis of the Q3, include a slight shift toward remarketing ads. Remarketing ads are up slightly compared to last quarter, and now account for about 53 percent of ad spending. Remarketing ads are something business owners should consider as the holidays get closer.

Also, the report showed that display ads were working for almost every industry. The report states that auto, travel, retail and education saw strong gains, with finance as the outlier this quarter.

As the holidays get closer, business owners should use display ads to get their service or product in front of their target audience. For more information on online advertising, read this article on more consumers viewing and interacting with ads.


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