Instagram Stories Accounting for Growing Share of Facebook Ad Spend

February 19, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Creative & Formats | Digital | Social Media | Spending & Spenders

Instagram now accounts for almost 1 in 5 (18% of) marketing dollars spent on Facebook’s properties, according to Marin Software’s latest quarterly benchmark report covering client activity in Q4 2018.

The image-centered social network has seen its share of Facebook spend as a percentage double in just a year, up from 9.1% in Q4 2017. Growth at this level has also been noted in other benchmark reports, with Merkle’s Q4 2018 data reporting a 134% year-over-year rise in spend on the platform.

A significant driver behind Instagram’s continued growth is the Stories format. Marin reports that for its clients, Stories accounted for about one-third (34%) of the ad spend on Instagram in Q4 2018 – a more than 10-fold increase  in share when compared to the year-earlier period.

Copying Snapchat’s format has paid off very well for Facebook. Figures from Piper Jaffray’s semi-annual study showed that Instagram was gaining ground on becoming the social network of choice for teens, although this has much to do with the waning popularity of Facebook.

Instagram’s success in clawing marketing dollars could be in part because of the way it allows brands to engage with consumers, making it an attractive platform for advertisers. Data from the Center for Generational Kinetics noted that, for Gen Z consumers, Instagram came tops for hearing from brands. Perhaps following that lead, an increasing share of Fortune 500 companies are now active on the platform.

In terms of paid performance on social overall, Marin’s data highlights what could be signs of both increased competition from advertisers and noise for consumers. Social clickthrough rates (CTR) declined from a high of 2% in Q1 2018 down to 1.22% in the final quarter of the year. At the same time, average cost-per-click (CPC) rose from $0.16 to $0.23 during the course of the year. Marin notes that there has been a significant shift in spend from Page Like ads to lower-funnel formats such as Dynamic Product Ads and Collection Ads.

The rest of the data, including performance on search, can be found here.

About the Data: Marin’s data is based on aggregate advertising performance from across its customer base. Benchmarks are calculated using a “same-store sales” approach with only the advertisers who were clients during Q4 2017 to Q4 2018 being included in the sample.

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