If last year taught B2B organizations anything, it is the importance digital channels now play. Indeed, US B2B digital advertising investment saw considerable growth in 2020, and a forecast from eMarketer suggests that the growth will continue in the years to come.
Last year, eMarketer estimated that growth in US B2B digital advertising would be close to 23% over 2019. It turns out that it actually grew by a whopping 32.5% year-over-year (y-o-y) to reach $8.68 billion.
This year, estimates put growth at 24.9%, with B2B advertisers spending $10.84 billion on digital ads. That’s nearly double what was spent in 2018 ($5.46 billion). And, while growth rates are expected to slow down somewhat, by 2023 spending is expected to near the $15 billion mark.
Digital ad investment is particularly strong among Technology Products and Services companies, with this category accounting for almost one-third (32%) of total B2B digital ad spend. As the second-biggest investor in digital advertising, Financial Services accounts for one-quarter of total digital ad spending.
Here’s a closer look at where some of that spend is going:
The share of US B2B digital ad spend allocated to display ads is forecast to climb through 2023. This year, display is estimated to account for 47% of B2B digital ad spend, and by 2023 it is expected to account for half of total digital ad spending.
In terms of actual spending, eMarketer foresees investment in display ads growing by 32.2% y-o-y to reach $3.84 billion this year.
LinkedIn Accounts for a Third of B2B Display Ad Revenue
Additional data from eMarketer shows that LinkedIn display ad spending is likely to account for nearly one-third (32.2%) of total B2B display ad spending in 2021. This share of display ad spending is expected to remain consistent through the next two years, as well.
The social media platform used by some 8 in 10 (81% of) B2B and professional service buyers is estimated to see a total of $1.64 billion in display spending this year, up 27.1% y-o-y. With continued double-digit y-o-y growth, spending on US B2B LinkedIn display ads is expected to reach $2.33 billion in 2023.
Paid Search Ads
When a survey from Episerver asked B2B marketers to identify a single channel that was most effective in helping them reach customers, paid search was second only to social media. This year, B2B organizations are forecast to spend $5.36 billion in paid search ads, up 19.5% over last year.
Although B2Bs are currently investing more in paid search ads than display, the channel has been gradually conceding its majority share of total digital ad spending. Only four years ago, paid search accounted for 54.6% of total digital ad spending. This year it is expected to account for 49.5%, and by 2023, estimates put paid search’s share of B2B digital spend below that of display, at 47%.
About the Data: As noted by eMarketers US B2B digital ad spend figures include: “advertising that appears on desktop and laptop computers as well as mobile phones, tablets, and other internet-connected devices on all formats mentioned; includes ad such as Facebook’s News Feed Ads and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets.”