Instagram is now being utilized more than Twitter in social media advertising campaigns, according the most recent Advertising Agency Survey by media technology firm STRATA. While Facebook and YouTube maintain their top positions (96% and 67% of agencies plan on advertising on those sites), 63% plan to use Instagram while 56% are planning to use Twitter, which fell to fourth place—marking the first time the photo-sharing program has gained more agency attention than Twitter in the survey.
Instagram’s rise in the survey has been consistently strong, jumping 86% from last year while Twitter has fallen 4% in the same time. Social spend is on the rise overall, with 17% of agencies saying they will allocate up to a quarter of their budgets on social, a 76% increase from last quarter. Social media also moved into the top spot for digital spend at 77% of agencies, a 28% increase over last quarter to overtake display (73%).
The first quarter survey found that digital spend is increasingly being executed through programmatic exchanges. Thirty-seven percent trust programmatic to execute digital orders, a 22% increase from last quarter. Overall, more dollars are flowing to programmatic buying as agency trust in programmatic improves for digital and non-digital buying. Twenty-one percent of agencies plan on conducting 20-40% of ad spend programmatically, a 50% increase from last quarter, while another 41% plan on executing between 10% and 20% of ad buys programmatically. Thirty percent of agencies say they are not planning on making buys programmatically, the lowest percentage of agencies seen in the history of the Agency Survey.
Advertisers are also more confident in the ROI of online video ad purchases, as almost half (49%) are fairly confident in its value, while another 10% are “very” confident. Just over a third of agencies are still unsure if they are getting a good ROI on online video ads. Targeting has also improved as more than half (56%) of agencies say their online video ads reach their intended targets most of the time.
Streaming video and audio both continue to garner more agency interest. Video sites like Hulu and YouTube are also seeing major demand as 71% of agencies are more interested in advertising on those platforms than they were a year ago, while only 3% say they are not as interested as they were last year, the lowest amount ever in the survey. On the audio side, over half (53%) of agencies are more interested in streaming radio like Pandora and iHeartRadio than they were last year, a 15% increase over 1Q15.
“Digital publishers keep on getting better at providing more advertising opportunities to ad buyers. Within digital, the fastest growth we’re seeing is in social media. In particular, it’s interesting to chart Instagram’s growth in agency interest. It’s no surprise that the social media ad space is getting more competitive as advertisers are given more options,” said J.D. Miller, director at STRATA, in a news release. “However, along with social’s rise, video—both local and streaming—continues to dominate. Overall, agencies are getting a better handle on their media mix and are creating exciting campaigns with these various tools.”
Comparing all advertising mediums, TV is the top choice for agencies as 48% say they are more focused on spot TV/cable than any other medium, a 16% increase from a year ago. Spot TV saw a 19% increase in agency focus from a year ago, while cable TV saw a 24% increase.
The advertising economy looks strong as 49% more agencies project an increase in business in the second quarter over the same period last year, and 46% project their growth in the first half of the year to be better than the last half of 2015. Forty-two percent plan to hire staff this year, while attracting new clients remains the top challenge for agencies (30%), followed by media mix (25%) and client spend (18%).
Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel