1 in 3 Marketers and Agencies to Increase Spending on TikTok in 2020

December 9, 2019

With 2020 just around the corner, marketers around the world are considering where they want to spend their marketing dollars. While many plan to increase their investment in digital channels like Instagram, YouTube and Google, which have a proven track-record, marketers are also looking to increase their investment in emerging channels such as TikTok, per a new report from WARC.

Instagram is set to see an increase in spending in the coming year, with 68% of the nearly 800 global client and agency-side executives surveyed saying their investment in the social media channel will increase. Their expectations work out to a net change (% increasing minus % decreasing) of +65%.

YouTube is also expected to see an increase in spending from just less than two-thirds (64% share) of respondents (+61% net budget change).

This may reflect a commitment to target youth, for whom (at least in the US) Instagram is the most-used social media channel and YouTube the most-watched video platform.

Meanwhile, 3 in 5 respondents to the WARC survey also intend to increase their spending on Google, with only 2% saying they will decrease their spend on this channel, for a net budget change of +58%.

The other behemoth, Facebook, has a more mixed outlook. The vast majority (93%) of respondents will use the platform next year. And while 34% plan to up their spending on the platform, fully 20% will cut back.

Other, lesser-used channels will also be seeing an increase in marketing investment in 2020. Although more than half (52%) of respondents say they or their clients don’t use TikTok, which is seeing increased popularity in the US, especially among younger teens. one-third (33%) of respondents say they will increase their investment in the platform next year (+31% net budget change). This means that more than two-thirds of marketers and agencies already investing in TikTok will up their spend next year.

This plan for increased investment comes at a time when TikTok’s global lifetime user spending has reached $175 million, per Sensor Tower, with $115.3 million of that coming in 2019 alone.

WeChat (+17% net budget change) and Baidu (7% net budget change) are other channels that are used by fewer marketers but will see a positive change in budgets in the coming year.

On the other hand, SnapChat, which has seen a drop in preference among its key users, teens, is one of only two channels that is expected to experience a negative net budget change. Only 12% of respondents plan to increase their investments in the platform, compared to 18% who forecast a decrease.

The other channel with an expected net decline is Twitter, for which 17% predict an increase in spend versus 19% with a decrease.

Budgets Increase for Online Video

Four in 5 (81% share) respondents say they plan to increase their investment in online videos (including video on social media) next year, for a +80% net change. More than two-thirds (68%) also say they will increase their spend on mobile (+67% net budget change).

Following the trend of marketers decreasing their spending on traditional media channels, radio (-2%), cinema (-5%), TV (-17%) and print (-51%) will all experience a negative net budget change in the next year. The only traditional channel that has escaped this pattern is out-of-home advertising, which will see a +5% net budget change.

Live Video’s An Important Emerging Tech

With the increased investment in online video and digital channels including YouTube and TikTok, marketers are clearly aware of consumers’ love for video. As such, live video is an emerging technology that three-quarters of respondents say is either quite (43%) or very (31%) important to themselves or their clients in 2020.

Two-thirds of respondents also say that voice interfaces represent another emerging technology that is quite (44%) or very (22%) important to themselves or their clients. However, nearly 7 in 10 say that they or their clients are not prepared for voice.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of nearly 800 client and agency-side executives around the world following WARC’s STEIP (society, technology, economy, industry and policy) ‘drivers of change’ methodology.

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