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Merkle FB Instagram YouTube Ad Growth in Q12020 Apr2020Early projections show that US media spend on paid social in 2020 is expected to increase by 17% over last year to reach more than $42 billion. And, while the coronavirus may have an effect on overall social media spend this year, Q1 2020 data [download page] from Merkle shows that its clients have already been upping their spend on three social media powerhouses.

Merkle’s latest quarterly report reveals that its North American clients hiked Facebook ad spend by 19% year-over-year (y-o-y), with YouTube also seeing the same lift in spend. Instagram saw the greatest increase in client spend, with a 39% y-o-y jump.

Data from the final quarter of 2019 revealed that both Instagram and YouTube accounted for more than one-quarter of their parent companies’ (Facebook and Google, respectively) spend. This has changed somewhat in the first quarter of 2020. Although Instagram’s share of Facebook’s ad spend remained at 27%, YouTube only accounted for 18% of Google’s search ad spend. Merkle attributes this slowdown to some advertisers’ pausing their campaigns towards the end of the quarter as a result of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, advertisers appear to be reaping the benefits of their large increased spending on Instagram. Ad impressions were up by 80% y-o-y in Q1, which is dramatically higher than the 29% y-o-y increase advertisers saw just one quarter earlier.

More than one-quarter (28%) of those impressions came from Instagram Stories which has already proven its effectiveness with marketers. Stories also accounted for slightly more than one-fifth (22%) of Instagram’s ad spend in Q1.

By comparison, Facebook and YouTube both experienced a decrease in impressions, with Facebook impressions falling by 13% y-o-y and YouTube’s by 2%.

Not only that, but CPMs climbed on both platforms – up by 36% y-o-y for Facebook advertisers and by 21% for YouTube advertisers. However, CPMs fell by 23% on Instagram.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Figures are based on spend among Merkle clients in North America. Samples are restricted to those with active programs for at least 19 months and have not significantly changed their strategic objectives or product offerings.

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