Large B2C Advertisers Are Deriving Value from YouTube

March 1, 2023

Almost half of large B2C advertisers are dedicating more than one-quarter of their overall marketing budgets to social media advertising, and 45% agree that they plan to spend more on social media ads this year than last. So finds a study on Digital Advertising Trends from

For the purposes of the report, commissioned WBR Insights to survey 100 director-level or above respondents from across the US and Canada. These respondents represent B2C companies with annual revenues of $1 billion to $10 billion+, and about half spend at least $10 million on digital advertising each year.

Most respondents are currently advertising on an array of channels and platforms, including more than 8 in 10 doing so on Instagram (94%), Facebook (92%), Google ads (87%) and YouTube (83%). TikTok (68%) is also popular, as are connected TV (65%) and digital out-of-home (63%), though LinkedIn (25%) and Pinterest (23%) have less appeal as advertising destinations.

Among those various options, Google Ads and Instagram are the most preferred, with 27% and 24% of respondents, respectively, saying that they are the channel or platform in which they’re spending the most on digital ads. Facebook (17%) and YouTube (14%) trail, with no other channel or platform being the single biggest ad-spending destination for more than 1 in 10 respondents.

Interestingly, while Instagram outpaces YouTube as a top source for ad spend, respondents are more enthusiastic about the returns they’re garnering from YouTube. Asked to identify which platform gives them the best return on ad spend (ROAS) – and focused specifically on social advertising – 48% share of respondents pointed to YouTube, compared to 35% for Instagram. The remaining platforms identified – Facebook (11% share), TikTok (3% share), Snapchat (2% share) and Twitter (1%) share – trailed distantly.

Perhaps as a result, YouTube is the channel with the most bullish outlook for spending this year. Some 79% plan to increase their ad spend on the platform, compared to 75% saying the same about Instagram, 66% for Google Ads, 64% for Facebook and 52% for TikTok.

Notably, recent research has found that media agencies also are enthusiastic about YouTube spending this year, though on the basis of it being more of a connected TV platform than a social media one.

Digital Ad Creative

Social video is having a moment: it’s considered by marketers to be the most important consumer trend of the year, while agencies perceive short-form video to be the most impactful trend of the year. Not surprisingly, then, motion creative (such as animations, videos, reels) is the type of visual asset that is most planned for increased usage this year. Some 33% cited this as the visual asset they plan to increase usage of the most, ahead of static creative (cited by 24%) and innovative creative, such as 3D/AR/Lens, Dall-e (cited by 24%).

Encouragingly, more than 3 in 4 (77% of) respondents feel that their digital advertising and creative teams collaborate effectively in all stages of the marketing process. However, about 3 in 4 also agree that their digital advertising campaign delivery involves manual processes that are often time consuming, and two-thirds that their digital ad creation involves manual processes that are often time-consuming.

To combat this, almost 1 in 3 (31%) are automating campaign creation and optimization. A further 55% are automating at least part of the process, but admit that it needs improvement.

Likewise, about one-third (35%) automate the creative production of digital ads sufficiently and successfully, while another 54% automate at least part of the process but are in need of improvement.

Producing enough creative emerges as one of the key pain points for digital advertising this year, as cited by almost half (48%) of respondents. When producing creative assets, the top challenges are: personalizing creative and making sure each variation adheres to each platform; and the time for creativity and finding new ideas.

All told, 6 in 10 agree that they will invest more in digital advertising tools and technology this year, while 44% will invest more in creative automation.

For more, download the report here.


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