Brands are now spending almost as much of their paid social budgets on Instagram (21%) as they do on Facebook (27%), highlighting a shift away from Facebook as their primary social media target.
Indeed, 61% of respondents expect their Instagram budgets to increase in 2019, according to research by Marin Software.
Paid search continues to be the dominant digital ad channel, commanding 39% of total budgets. Paid social takes a share of 18% of ad budgets followed by display (16%).
Meanwhile, Amazon has seen ad dollars rise rapidly with 60% of respondents planning to increase their Amazon spend over the next year. Another 55% said they saw Amazon as a significant growth opportunity, whilst one in four would like to increase purchases at the low end of the funnel.
However, Amazon campaign management tools aren’t optimal (37%) and reporting tools require improvement (23%).
Additionally, 30% of advertisers cited a lack of expertise with Amazon ads their main reason for not using the platform.
“This year’s report shows a shift in advertising spend as marketers explore alternative channels and emerging ad formats,” said Wes MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software. “The digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, with advertisers struggling to close the skills gap as publishers innovate. At Marin, we’re seeing a greater emphasis on video and new ad formats like Responsive Search Ads and Shoppable Images to gain mindshare and drive growth. The eCommerce landscape is a hotbed of innovation, presenting retail brands with many opportunities and some challenges to navigate.”
Among the top challenges within search, advertisers cited hitting volume targets (29%), matching efficiency targets (28%) and integrating product feeds (27%).
Meanwhile, attribution (28%), quality creative (26%) and brand safety (26%) were the top challenges for social advertisers.
84% of paid search users said they already made use or are planning to use Google’s new responsive search ad formats in 2019.
Shoppable formats are also increasing rapidly with 65% saying their company will use Shoppable images in 2019.
Video ads continue to lead for paid social with 32% of respondents reporting video as the most effective social ad format, followed by image ads (26%), Instagram Stories (23%) and carousel ads (19%).