- E-commerce channel advertising (ECA) saw a fivefold surge last year as marketers piled into Amazon Ads, according to a quarterly report by digital ad platform Kenshoo provided to sister publication Mobile Marketer. Mobile remained the fastest-growing segment of paid search, with three out of four search shopping impressions occurring on mobile phones.
- ECA spending far outpaced the 31% growth for social media channels in Q4 2018 from a year earlier, as well as the 14% growth for search. Spending on image-collecting site Pinterest jumped 58% in Q4 from the previous quarter, while engagement increased ahead of the holiday season, Kenshoo said.
- Instagram spending more than doubled (up 120%) in Q4 from a year earlier, making the Facebook-owned app a major driver of social advertising growth. Social video ads represented 40% of social spend during Q4, demonstrating little change from the prior quarter.
Kenshoo's quarter-end study echoes other reports that indicate Amazon's rapidly growing presence in the digital ad market, in which last year it became the third-biggest seller of digital advertising after Google and Facebook. The e-commerce platform was especially prominent during the holiday season as marketers made a significant push to drive sales on key shopping days, including the "Cyber 5" of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the holiday weekend and Cyber Monday.
Search advertising remains the most mature segment of the digital ad space, but its 14% annual gain was bolstered by mobile ads that now make up half of all spending. Retailers spent heavily on shopping campaigns, which rose 34% from a year earlier and 81% up from the prior quarter, during the end-of-year holiday rush. Mobile search shopping campaigns maintained their status as the fastest-growing segment in search advertising, rising 52% year-over-year and 87% quarter-over-quarter.
Instagram's strong growth helped to lift the broader social ad segment. Most of Instagram's growth came from advertisers that have been on Instagram for at least five quarters, Kenshoo found. For every dollar spent on Instagram by a new advertiser in 2018, existing advertisers boosted their spending by $4, Chris Costello, Kenshoo's senior director of marketing research, said. This growth comes as the platform has dominated the influencer marketing space, a billion dollar industry.