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“More than simply a pandemic bounce-back”: Global social media ad spend up 50% YoY

Global ad spend on Facebook and Instagram increased almost 50% year-over-year, demonstrating more than simply a “pandemic bounce-back”, according to CX platform Emplifi’s “State of Social Media and CX” report for Q2 2021.

While only modest growth was seen from Q1 to Q2 2021 (up 3.2%), there was a notable increase year-over-year (YoY). Marketers spent 49.9% more on Facebook and Instagram advertising compared to Q2 2020. 

Overall spend for the industries analyzed grew by 58.9%, with every industry growing its YoY ad spend by at least 40%. That includes Fashion (95.5%), Alcohol (88.4%), Beauty (44.1%), and Ecommerce (41.4%).

The pandemic altered people’s habits, changing where and how marketers could reach their audience with advertising. That shift is here to stay, as Emplifi data shows an increasingly heavy reliance on social media marketing.

The ongoing increase in social media ad spend is proving to be more than just a pandemic-related ‘bounce-back’ scenario. More and more brands are relying on social media marketing to engage with their audiences meaningfully and at scale. 

Zarnaz Arlia, Chief Marketing Officer, Emplifi

Investigating ad spend, organic post performance and influencer trends, the research highlights key data points for social media ad spend by industry and region. Some other interesting stats from the report include:

  • The engagement gap between Facebook and Instagram increased – brand accounts earn 6.4x more interactions on Instagram than Facebook
  • Meanwhile, Facebook ad reach dropped 12% globally – despite modest increases in early 2021, growth has slowed down, so it’s vital for marketers to monitor reach fluctuations and adapt their spend accordingly
  • Facebook Lives earned 3x the engagement of regular videos, despite accounting for less than 1% of brand posts

With total Facebook and Instagram spend reaching new highs this year, the overall worldwide costs to advertise grew by 85.1% YoY in Q2 2021.

While advertising costs grow, CTR remains stable

While total ad spend and costs are steadily increasing, what has remained very stable, however, is the click-through rate (CTR) of Facebook and Instagram ads.

This trend suggests that businesses can depend on social media advertising to return value, even if other channels are not working as well. 

Social media users are engaging far more with live video than traditional content

The report also examines IGTV performance rates, finding that IGTV videos performed nearly as well as photo-based posts and delivered higher engagement rates than standard video posts on Instagram. 

Another takeaway: Facebook Live videos earned the highest number of organic post interactions and delivered three-times the engagement rates of standard videos, but account for less than 1% of branded posts. 

Social commerce and the formats which support it are also becoming more prevalent as the year goes on, as more brands recognise the value of live streaming and start to leverage more live content to cater to users at different stages of the customer journey.

Zarnaz Arlia, Chief Marketing Officer, Emplifi

Ad spend is only expected to keep growing through 2021 as marketers continue to adapt their tactics to reach the right audience at the right time during this unique period.

Download the full report here:
Emplifi’s State of Social Media and CX for Q2 2021