Stories’ share of Instagram ad spend showed a marked increase in the third quarter of this year, per the latest quarterly digital marketing report [download page] from Merkle. The study reveals that, among Merkle’s clients, 29% of total ad spend on Instagram was invested in Stories, up from 22% in the first two quarters of 2020.
It’s not just share of ad spend that has seen an increase when it comes to Instagram Stories. Stories accounted for more than one-third (35%) of the total ad impressions on Instagram in Q3. This is up from 30% in Q2 and 28% in Q1. Merkle notes that due to lower than average CPMs, Stories remains a “cost-effective tool for driving brand engagement.”
Instagram itself saw a lift in ad spend in Q3, increasing 34% year-over-year (y-o-y). And, while that’s not as high as the growth in ad spend seen in Q1, it’s a slight uptick from the 30% y-o-y growth experienced in Q2.
For the quarter, Instagram accounted for one-third of total ad spend on Facebook for brands that advertise on both platforms. It also accounted for 36% of impressions across both platforms during the quarter.
For its part, Facebook has had more of a bumpy ride so far in 2020. Facebook ad spend (excluding Instagram) among Merkle’s clients grew by 12% y-o-y in Q3, up from 4% in Q2 but less than the 19% growth in Q1. Even though Q3’s growth did not reach the Q1 high, it did come amid a July boycott brought on by Facebook’s failure to monitor hate speech that saw many top brands, including Disney and Procter & Gamble, pull their advertising from the platform for at least that month.
Impressions on Facebook, which dropped more than 10% in Q1, saw growth of 25% y-o-y in Q3. Meanwhile, CPM fell 10% in Q3, up from the 17% y-o-y drop in Q2.
The full report can be downloaded here.