Facebook takes ever greater share of brand advertising spend
TBI Research has put out some really interesting figures on how Facebook is gaining an increasing share of what major brands are spending online and it is doing it at the expense of Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN. The portals are really getting it.
Not only that, but the amounts advertisers are spending on Facebook are steadily rising also. “Reach Blocks” on Facebook, the equivalent of homepage takeovers, now cost “almost as much as a basic homepage takeover on Yahoo and MSN”.
TBI says that Facebook is having success at getting large advertisers to buy these. The success of brands like Starbucks (how did it get 6.8 million fans?) and campaigns like McDonalds and its gherkin in or out clearly help.
There is also an apparent drift of adspend away from search towards Facebook’s self-serve platform. That means Google must be feeling some of that although its size clearly has a limit on the impact .
“We noticed a small number of search advertisers starting to move budgets to Facebook’s hyper-targeted self-serve about six months ago. We have seen this trend accelerate in 2010. Of particular importance is the fact that large brands are now slowly coming on board (initially, self-serve was mostly used by small local businesses). Ikea, Dennys, and World Wrestling Entertainment are large brands that have used the self-serve product recently,” TBI said.
All this is good news for Facebook and its ever growing user base (it passed the 400m mark in February, but really bad news for the struggling Yahoo! and fellow portals AOL and MSN. They can not show anything like the growth the Facebook is now able to achieve. And it will not be long before it outstrips them in terms of total size. Facebook passed Yahoo! in terms of page views last year. It will be unique visitors next.
TBI quotes figures saying that the bigger “reach block” campaigns, where advertisers can buy all the banner and video inventory on the homepages of users in a target demographic, are going for as much as $300,000 per day.
These campaigns are becoming increasingly common on Facebook as brands see the value of the interactions the activity brings. Starbucks, Cadburys and Little Debbie’s have all recently bought reach blocks.
Still some advertisers are holding back and TBI quoted one major agency source with a large FMCG client that is not putting a great deal of budget into Facebook because of what it described as a lack of “quality inventory”.
Unilever, Johnson & Johnson maybe? Well we know for pretty much sure that it is not P&G. While it expressed reservations about Twitter earlier this year it has more love for Facebook.
“For those things that Proctor & Gamble thinks are most interesting and important, they do not believe that Twitter will ever approach the value they can get out of a Google or Facebook. But they are open to looking at other alternatives that will have more of the engagement and brand building attributes that they hope to exploit in Facebook.”
The news of this ad growth on Facebook supports reports last month that it could hit revenues of $2bn this year.