InnovationSocial mediaThe rise of Instagram Stories ads in Q2 2019

The rise of Instagram Stories ads in Q2 2019

Spend on Instagram Stories ads has seen the biggest growth in social advertising budgets, doubling since last year, according to Kenshoo's latest report.

More marketers are willing to invest a bigger budget on social advertising. Instagram Stories ads in particular have seen the biggest growth over the past quarters.

Social advertising is growing and marketers seem ready to spend more of their budget to create effective ads.

The number of options in channels and ad formats brings up new opportunities to create more successful marketing campaigns. What’s important though is to look at the latest trends and how to jump on them right on time to get the best ROI.

Kenshoo has released its Q2 2019 Quarterly Trends Report looking at the latest trends in advertising and their changes over the previous quarters.

Here are the most important findings you need to know.

An increased interest in social advertising

increased interest in social advertising 2019

More marketers are interested in social advertising. A closer look at Kenshoo’s report indicates a growth both in impressions but also in spending from Q2 2018.

The growth is actually consistent not just temporary as it seems to be equally distributed throughout the year and not just during the holiday season.

More specifically, there has been a 24% increase in impressions from last year and a 37% increase in spending from Q2 2018. The spending has even increased by 7% from the last quarter, which indicates the growing interest in social advertising as an effective marketing tactic. There has been a drop in clicks by 12% from last year but this could also be attributed to the changing objectives and the fact that links are not the main goal in all ads.

For example, video ads do not necessarily aim for link clicks and their appeal in terms of awareness and brand lift can still make them very effective for marketers.

The growing success of video ads

growth of social video ad spend in 2019

Social advertising is at a maturity level that allows marketers to explore new creative ideas for their ads. Video ads are becoming one of the most important ad formats in social advertising and the spending on them has increased by 53% from Q2 2018.

It’s interesting to see that video advertising is taking more than 40% of the social budget over the past year. More specifically video ads consist of 43% off of the total social budget in Q2 2019. The cost of video ads and their production may be higher than other formats but the growing use of budget for video ads also indicates the rising interest and ROI that marketers can get from this format.

Instagram Stories see massive growth

Instagram Stories ads growing in popularity from 2018 to 2019

Instagram seems to be the fastest-growing social media platform over the past few years both in terms of engagement and efficiency.

The spending volume is constantly increasing since Q1 2018, with Q1 2019 being the only slow quarter over the last year. Q2 2019 proved that the spend is not slowing down though as there was an increase in Instagram spend both for news feed ads and Stories ads.

In fact, the biggest growth has been observed in the spend on Stories ads as it doubled from 9% to 18% year-over-year.

Stories ads make a very engaging ad format that appeals to consumers in new creative ways. As Instagram is introducing more options to stay engaged through Stories, brands are exploring new creative paths to promote their products.

Marketers are quickly realizing that Stories can make a very direct and appealing placement for consumers without necessarily revamping their current strategy.

We’ve asked Chris Costello, Senior Director of Marketing Research at Kenshoo his thoughts on the growth of the Instagram Stories advertising budget:

The growth of Stories indicates that marketers have increasing confidence in ad formats that blur the lines between branding and direct response. We can anticipate increased interest in measuring the incremental value of those effects—which can be difficult to isolate—through newer methods like incrementality testing. Marketers are also starting to better understand the influence of these ads with interactions that happen on other publishers, like purchase events on Amazon, and will be investing more in cross-channel conversion data to put their investments in context.

Is it time to create more Instagram Stories Ads?

It’s always useful to look at the latest trends in social advertising especially when we’re ready to plan our upcoming campaigns for the busier end of the year.

The growing interest in Instagram Stories ads and the slower growth of Instagram news feed ads prove that more marketers understand their users and where they are spending most of the time.

Stories are currently very engaging and video ads are also proving to be very effective.

What’s important to remember is that as Stories ads become more popular, the competition will also become higher.

Before you jump into the latest trend, make sure you consider these key questions:

  • Is your target audience on Instagram
  • Have you created other Stories ads before?
  • Do you need to experiment with a smaller budget before you plan a big campaign?
  • What are your main objectives from your upcoming ads and how will you measure success?

The answers to these questions can help you be more strategic with your spending to make sure that you’re maintaining the return on investment on the best channels and ad offerings for your brand.


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