Mobile: Social Ads Leave Search Ads In The Dust

August 12, 2015

Mobile Social Ads Leave Search Ads in the Dust

If you’re looking for the last word on the latest in paid search and social ads, Kenshoo has you covered. The marketing software company evaluated 550 billion impressions, 9.5 billion clicks and $ 5.5 billion in spend from Q2 2015.

Kenshoo discovered several interesting trends (detailed below). Perhaps the most interesting trend is that (within the mobile sector) social advertisements are leaving search advertisements behind in the dust. Advertisers aren’t just spending more on social ads…

…they’re also getting big results.

Mobile Social Ads Are Driving Clicks

Click-through rates on mobile social ads are up a resounding 535%. Even though existing advertisers have fewer opportunities for impressions, they are seeing much better click-through rates. The impressive numbers have encouraged other new advertisers to enter the mobile/social advertising marketplace.

This data aligns with Adobe’s Q2 2015 report, which stated that though Facebook impressions fell by half, click-through rates doubled over the quarter.

“Mobile has been the key driver of growth in both search and social, with 36% of revenue from advertiser sales now coming from mobile phones, up from 16% last year,” says Rob Coyne.

Key Insights On Mobile Social & Search Ads

  • What’s fueling YoY increase in paid search spending? According to Kenshoo, the answer is wrapped up entirely mobile. Phone-targeted ad spends rose 71% (4% increase for tablets and 2% decrease for desktop).
  • What’s the correlation between impressions and clicks in search ads? Both search impressions and clicks increased this quarter, but search clicks saw a slightly higher uptick due to marketers better optimizing their search campaigns.
  • Why are social clicks driving sharply up? YoY, social ad impressions have fallen a dramatic 64%, but clicks have gone up a steep 129% in the same period. What gives? Marketers are becoming savvier in figuring out what types of post earn engagement on Facebook. (For our suggestions on driving engagement, see these recent posts on responsiveness, native video publishing, and video-spend.)

Social Ads v. Search Ads Infographic

Check out all of the Kenshoo data for yourself below. What are your key takeaways? Will this affect how you allocate your mobile spend? From a content creation perspective, we view this data as good news for two reasons… For one, the data strongly suggests that social platforms are becoming much better at targeting ads, thereby making advertisers’ dollars stretch further. Secondly, the data indicates marketers are becoming increasingly savvy in creating ads that meet the specific needs of the audience – a triple win for the platform, advertiser, and end-user.


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