What Are Digital Advertisers Focusing On This Year?

July 24, 2019

Just over midway through the year, digital marketers have named one of their top strategic priorities as increasing brand awareness, while on the tactical side, they are striving to deliver personalization. But how are marketers working to fulfill these priorities? Marin Software’s State of Digital Advertising 2019 [download page] report has found that video advertising is thought to be one of the most impactful trends this year.

In the four months between January and April 2019, Standard Media Index (SMI) found that 58% of ad spend from major US marketers went towards video. It’s clear that video is a winning format in marketers’ minds. Indeed, one-third (32%) of the 460 digital marketers surveyed for Marin’s report identified video as the most effective social ad format, topping images, Stories and carousel ads.

Video advertising’s prominence in this survey is even more impressive considering other data showing that Stories have been at least somewhat effective for a majority of marketers and, in the case of Instagram, marketers are filtering more of Facebook’s share of ad spend towards Stories.

Paid Search Still Dominates Ad Spend

While video may be a go-to for paid social, social ads still come in a distant second to paid search in terms of the allocation of digital ad budgets. In fact, respondents (all of whom have an estimated expenditure in digital advertising of at least $1 million, with 31% spending between $10-$49 million per year) allocate about twice as much of their ad spend to paid search than to paid social. Other channels such as display, YouTube, mobile/in-app and Amazon receive a smaller percentage.

As the place where consumers turn for online shopping inspiration as well as the place they start their purchasing journey, Google, along with Facebook, together account for about 61% share of internet ad spend. But Google has the upper hand in trust when it comes to the duopoly. On a scale of 0 to 5, Google scored a 4.5 on Marin Software’s publisher trust index, followed by YouTube (4.3), Amazon (4.2), Facebook (4.1) and Instagram (4.1).

Advertising Trends For 2019

Video advertising within social is not the only trend of note for this year. The IAB reports that 49% of the marketers they surveyed are intending to use shoppable video ads this year, representing growth from 2018. Marin’s study comes to a similar conclusion in terms of the increasingly mainstream nature of shoppable ads: the research reveals that 65% of major digital advertisers will increase their use of shoppable ads within paid search this year. Additionally, of those respondents who currently use paid social, 62% believe they will increase their use of Shoppable Images and Shopping Ads within the channel this year.

Another trend for advertisers this year is the increased use of Google’s responsive search ads (RSA). A full 84% of those respondents who use paid search are either currently using or plan to use this new ad format this year.

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: Marin surveyed 460 digital marketers (managers or above). They represent the decision-makers—or stakeholders in the final decision-making process—in search, social, eCommerce, display, and programmatic advertising within B2B (44%), B2C (44%) and B2C/B2B (12%) sectors. Some 69% of the respondents have an estimated annual expenditure in digital advertising of $1M – $9M, and 31% spend between $10M – $49M each year.

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