A recent digital marketing report from Merkle shows that ad spend on Instagram climbed an incredible 177% year over year in Q2 2018. The statistic is particularly impressive when you compare it to the amount of growth in Facebook ad spend (excluding Instagram) over the same time period, which was just 40%. It’s clear that advertisers are shifting their ad dollars from Facebook to Instagram.

However, Instagram remains behind Facebook when it comes to advertising investment. Merkle reports that in terms of the median advertiser who is actively bidding on the two platforms, Instagram made up 23% as much spend as Facebook during the second quarter. The Instagram app noted 20% as many ad impressions as Facebook and 9% as many clicks.

Instagram impressions climbed by 209%, while CPM fell by 10%. The increasing Facebook ad spend can mostly be attributed to higher CPMs; they were 70% greater than the year before. Meanwhile, Facebook ad impressions decreased by 17% year on year.

Mobile is accounting for a larger share of Facebook ad spend than it did in the past. In the second quarter, it made up 82% of spend; the figure for the year before was just 74%. Meanwhile, almost all of Facebook’s ad clicks took place on mobile, with a remarkable 92% of ad clicks on mobile in the second quarter of 2018 compared to 79% in the second quarter of 2017. Moreover, Merkle notes that this is the first time that mobile ad click share on Facebook has exceeded 90%.

The Vice President of Research at Merkle, Mark Ballard, said that the firm’s data shows marketers continue to spend more with Instagram and Facebook even in the face of some of the negative attention the platforms received going into the quarter studied. Because users are still engaged on these platforms, the firm expects Facebook properties to continue to attract major investments from big brands.

YouTube also notes rising ad spend

YouTube joins Instagram in seeing triple digit ad spend growth during the period studied. According to Merkle, clients raised their ad spend on YouTube by 189% year over year on average in the second quarter of this year. Ad impressions rose by 225%, while CPM dropped 11%. Tablets and phones made up 79% of ad spend on the video platform, rising above the 71% noted one year ago.

Merkle posted a webinar on Monday to detail the findings of their Q2 2018 Digital Marketing report, which also covered traffic levels and organic search for other industry players such as Yahoo, Bing, and Amazon.

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.