Q4 is an exciting time of year in the advertising space. The speed of work picks up significantly as brands clamor for share of wallet in the biggest consumer buying season of the year. This quarterly report tells the story emerging from campaign data across all the advertisers Kinetic Social works with, and in Q4 it’s important to read that story within this holiday season context.
Overall, they saw a sharp increase in demand, correlating with greater competition for ad space and thus increased pricing. The majority of that increase came in the form of performance or “direct response” advertising, driving to a specific online action, which is to be expected in Q4. These findings are based on Kinetic’s client base specifically and, they make clear, are not meant to be representative of all advertising running on social networks.
Among the most interesting findings in Q4: the Facebook CTR (click through rate) dropped and eCPC (enhanced cost-per-click) increased significantly, which would seem to look not quite right. Well, it was due in part to increased demand during a hectic Q4, as well as a shift in clients’ business objectives on Facebook.
Direct Response Favored More of Kinetic’s clients moved to direct response on both FB and Twitter in Q4. The best DR (direct response) strategy on Facebook is to optimize campaigns to users who convert or buy. To do that, brands need to de-emphasize clicks and focus on users who buy even if they don’t click. So, CTR drops and eCPC increases, but return on ad spend goes up because even the non-clicks purchase at higher rates.
Social Media Recap
Facebook video ads continue to be very effective, with the lowest eCPC and a high CTR. Link ads show the opposite, again as a result of the focus on conversion rather than clicks
Video length continues to be heavily correlated with completion rates, with 40% considerable drop-off for any videos longer than 30 seconds.
Carousel units continue to out-perform non-Carousel units in terms of link click CTR.
Mobile inventory continues to dramatically outperform Desktop inventory, and the Carousel Link ad unit continues to be far more effective than other forms of Link ad units.
Instagram captures 35% of Kinetic’s active Facebook advertisers.
Twitter shifted drastically in November and December from primarily being a branding platform to becoming more of a direct response or performance marketing platform, with website clicks being the objective for nearly 55% of all media running in December. This is to be expected during the holiday period. The cost of those clicks, however, increased significantly over prior quarters. This is likely due to increased competition among advertisers during this period of heavy media investment.
Twitter video continues to perform extraordinarily well and increasingly so. December showed the lowest Cost Per View (CPV) Kinetic has seen on Twitter, and nearly 35% of video viewers completed the video, higher than the rate we see on Facebook.
Pinterest popularity increased with advertisers, with an 80% increase in the number of advertisers and a 200% increase in ad spend.