Stories’ share of Instagram ad spend increased by a sizable degree in the first quarter of this year over the same quarter in 2020, per the latest quarterly digital marketing report [download page] from Merkle. This most recent analysis of Merkle’s clients shows that Instagram Stories accounted for 32% of total ad spend on Instagram in Q1, up from 22% in Q1 2020.
However, this is not the first quarter that investment in Stories has accounted for one-third of Instagram ad spend. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Stories accounted for a full 33% of total Instagram ad spend.
In terms of engagement, although Instagram Stories accounted for 33% of impressions on Instagram in Q1 2021, its share of impressions does seem to be slipping slightly from Q3 (35%) and Q4 (34%) last year.
Instagram itself saw a lift in ad spend in Q1, increasing 57.5% year-over-year (y-o-y). This is up from the 34% growth seen in Q3 2020 and the 29.6% in Q4 2020.
The first quarter of this year saw Instagram account for 14% of total ad spend on Facebook for brands that advertise on both platforms. This is compared to data from Q1 2020 that shows Instagram’s share of Facebook ad spend was nearly twice that of what it was this year. Instagram also accounted for 12% of impressions across both platforms during Q1.
Ad spending on Facebook (excluding Instagram) grew by 12% y-o-y among Merkle’s clients during the quarter. Impressions on the platform saw very modest growth (2%) during Q1. CPM has been on a relatively steady path upwards, growing 18% y-o-y in Q1 after growing 10.2% in the final quarter of 2020.
The full report can be downloaded here.