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esome Social Advertising price index Q4|2018

Posted on February 25, 2019

The fourth quarter in social advertising surprised with lower CTRs and a low CPM. Not as surprisingly are the trends around Stories: this price index covers the development from feed usage to story usage and its importance for advertising activities.

Traditionally, the fourth quarter in the advertising industry is one of the most competitive quarters of the year. With the goal of attracting as many potential customers as possible to their brands and products before and during the busy time around Black Friday and Christmas, advertisers compete each year for valuable advertising inventory. The fourth quarter of 2018 surprised on the social platforms with lower click-through rates and low CPM. The expectation of the annually sharp price increase in Q4, due to the Christmas business, was not fulfilled.

Facebook & Instagram

Although contact prices on Facebook and Instagram rose slightly in comparison to the previous quarters, they were still below the CPM of the previous year. Similarly, a declining click-through rate and, consequently, a rising CPLC (cost per link click) in the whole Facebook universe was registered. Only on Facebook Messenger the CPM significantly increased - In contrast to other platforms, the CPM increased by more than 70 % and thus almost reached the previous year's level.

Snapchat & Facebook Audience Network

Contrary to expectations, the CPM decreased on Snapchat and the Facebook Audience in the fourth quarter. With above-average swipe-up rates and a low contact price, Snapchat was as attractive to advertisers as it had never been before. The significantly increased swipe-up rate combined with the declining CPM led to a very low CPSU (cost per swipe-up). The good performance on Snapchat is also a result of the advertisers’ precise targeting, focusing on Snapchat’s young and specific audience.

Rising advertising spend while Festive Season

Time just before Christmas brought interesting insights: From beginning of November until shortly before the festive days, advertising spend on the social platforms increased steadily and began to decline rapidly with Christmas. In the run-up to Christmas, advertisers are increasingly using Transaction campaigns. The peak of the transaction campaigns in the calendar week 46 was much earlier than in previous years - this shift was caused by the more and more established Black Friday in Germany, which heralded the Christmas business with strong special offers. As Christmas came closer, advertisers shifted budget from transaction to branding and interaction campaigns.

Stories as an evolution of video trend

After the video format has established itself in the market, the next megatrend for advertisers on social platforms is set with stories. Stories advertising spend has nearly quadrupled over the year, making it by far the largest growth driver in the social universe, with stable prices. The vertical format of the stories adapts the users’ behaviour on the social media and thus represents an evolution of the video trend.


Download the current price index here.

Click here to get to our dynamic price index.


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