Social and search drive increase in global ad spending

Anne Freier | September 25, 2018

Mobile Advertising

Social media is driving global advertising expenditure between 2017 and 2020 according to a new forecast from Zenith Media.

The latest Advertising Expenditure Forecast predicts that total ad spend on social media will grow by $28 billion to $76 billion between the forecasting period. Meanwhile, paid search spending is predicted to jump $23 billion to $109 billion.

Overall, the data company predicts that annual global ad spend will reach $581 billion by the end of 2018 and is set to grow 4.2% by 2020.

The shift is largely being attributed to search and social becoming a more integral part of eCommerce and mCommerce retailers as well as brands over the last few years. Indeed, 67% of the estimate increase will come from brands investing more heavily into social media and paid search ads.

Overall,  the report suggests that social media ad spend will jump an average 16% until 2020.

However, Zenith reported that the lack of smart assistants and related marketing opportunities may be limiting paid search ad potential in the short-term.

“Better use of AI and integration with retail is driving continued strong growth in paid search,” explained Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting and director of global intelligence at Zenith Media. “As voice search becomes more important, though, brands will need to focus more on content and SEO to secure first-place organic results for their most important keywords.”

Meanwhile, Zenith’s regional forecasts were also revised. The report revised ad spend growth in the UK from 0.7% to 2.4% in 2018. Similarly, ad spend in Canada is likely to increase 5.6% compared to 3.8% as previously predicted.

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