Marketers Look to Diversify Their Online Spending, Survey Finds

72% Plan to Spend on Instagram Next Year

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Marketers said they saw the best ROI with Facebook and most said they plan on increasing their spend with the platform in the future.
Marketers said they saw the best ROI with Facebook and most said they plan on increasing their spend with the platform in the future. Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Facebook's video ad service is gaining some traction with marketers, who are looking in general to spread ad dollars among more platforms, according to a recent study published by RBC Capital Markets in partnership with Ad Age.

Of the 1,000 advertising professionals surveyed, about 11% felt Facebook video ads were "significantly" better than YouTube's from a return on investment perspective, and another 25% felt the social media giants video ads were "somewhat better."

Only 6% of those surveyed felt YouTube's video ads were "significantly" better than Facebook's, and another 15% said the company's video advertising was "somewhat better."

About $7.77 billion will be spent on digital video ads in the U.S. this year, according to eMarketer.

The various data presented in the RBC study suggests marketers are looking to increase their online advertising spend while distributing ad dollars more diversely in 2015 and beyond.

A whopping 72%, for example, said they want to allocate ad dollars toward Instagram come 2016.

Besides Instagram, marketers also expressed significant interest in advertising with other emerging platforms such as Pinterest (41%), SnapChat (36%) and Amazon (34%), according to the study.

Other online advertising outlets, such as Reddit and Yelp, for example, had less interest from marketers.

The study suggests Facebook's overall ad dollar penetration growth is far from cresting, given that, according to the study, 61% of marketers surveyed said they plan on increasing their ad spend with the company. The study also citied the untapped potential of Instagram's platform to attract additional revenue.

The report estimated that 2015 ad revenue will total $2.1 billion at Twitter, $6.1 billion at YouTube, $16.2 billion at Facebook and $60.4 billion at Google (excluding YouTube).

And while the study shows Facebook has yet to hit its stride, Google is still king.

Spending at Google is higher than other ad networks and marketer satisfaction with Google remains high, the study said. Specifically, 14% of respondents spent 51% or more of their online marketing budgets with Google. Meanwhile, only 7% of those surveyed said they would not be spending any ad dollars with Google.

Some areas of the report were mildly interesting; advertisers seem short on Twitter and Yahoo, and AOL lags behind LinkedIn with regards to return on investment, respondents said. Other parts were not surprising at all, such as the fact that most of the digital advertising dollars are coming from print and TV, the study said.

Of those surveyed, 22.2% were marketers or clients and another 28.5% work at an agency, the study said. About 11% were marketing consultants and 17% work for a media company.

Those who participated in the survey worked for companies with different annual revenues, from $1 billion to less than $5 million, the study said.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article was erroneously headlined "Facebook Video Ads 'Significantly' Better Than YouTube's: Report." As noted in the story, the report actually said only 11% of respondents found Facebook's video ads "significantly" better. The article also said the study estimated YouTube's 2015 ad revenue at $2.1 billion; the correct figure was $6.1 billion. And it said the study estimated Facebook's 2015 ad revenue of $6.1 billion; the correct figure was $16.2 billion.

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