Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report gives us very useful insights into all the trends that shape the Internet landscape. There are more than 300 slides that present the latest trends on the Internet. We wanted to make it easier for you to focus on key insights so we’ve highlighted the most interesting stats around social media usage, advertising and the evolution of social media platforms.
The rise of Internet ad spending
The Internet ad spend has accelerated by 22% since last year. What’s interesting is that the biggest contributor to this growth is the rise of mobile advertising. Over the last years, there has been a stable increase in the mobile ad spend.
More marketers are eager to increase their budget for advertising seeing the growing potential on different sides of digital marketing. We’ve also read earlier this year about the increased ad spend on Instagram and how it can affect your digital strategy.
It’s not everything about Google and Facebook
When it comes to the ad share and the most popular platforms, Google and Facebook are still leading the way. Google saw +1.4x increase in their ad revenue since 2017 while Facebook even saw +1.9x increase in their ad revenue.
They may be behind the two ad giants, but they still make ground for new territory in our digital marketing strategies and the rising channels.
The key drivers of ad success
Looking at the key drivers of ad success over the past years, we can explore all the different elements that make each social media platform powerful:
- Facebook ads are perfect for targeting the right audience. Customization can also improve your targeting, which makes your ads more effective.
- YouTube has used machine learning to introduce automatic time-edits to clips and it brings out a new concept that many platforms would like to imitate.
- Pinterest has turned into a very effective social media platform for e-commerce and the new shoppable catalogs can be very useful when promoting your products.
- Twitter can be a platform of high relevance and the ads can help you improve the reach and the engagement of your tweets to the right people based on their followers and their interests.
These are the most frequently used social media platforms
It’s not a surprise that Facebook is still the most frequently used social media platform. 30% of global users use it at least once a day. However, it saw a drop from last year when the percentage reached 31% of Internet users.
YouTube is coming second as 27% of Internet users access it at least once. There is a 5% increase from last year, which proves that it’s still the most powerful video platform to consume content.
WhatsApp and Instagram also saw an increased use this year and they make three out of the four most popular social media apps coming from the Facebook family.
These stats can be useful when combined with the ad spend on each social media platform to understand how you want to allocate your resources and budget for each platform.
The power of images on social media
Storytelling can be very powerful on social media and an image is certainly worth more than a thousand words.
All social media platforms have started focusing on visual content and it’s interesting to explore the evolution of image creation and sharing.
It is estimated that more than 50% of Tweet impressions come from tweets containing images, video or other media (e.g. GIFs)
Instagram, for example, started in 2011 as an image editing/sharing platform. It soon focused on discovery and curation and it’s not turning into a very engaging social media app that can also blend shoppable products and e-commerce capabilities.
Pinterest started out in 2011 as a social media platform that lets you organize your images based on your interest boards. Nowadays, it has turned into a powerful visual search engine. It is also allowing you to explore image-based product discovery to facilitate the purchasing process. In fact, Pinterest has turned out to be a very popular option for many e-commerce brands over the last few years and their ads can lead to a great ROI.
What can we learn from these?
It’s always useful to look at Mary Meeker’s annual reports to explore the latest trends and anything new that we might have missed. It is also helpful to review our strategies and the tactics that we’re spending most of our time.
Social media can be a key part of a digital marketing strategy nowadays and the stats we’ve highlighted indicate the growth both on organic and paid social.
Storytelling and engaging images can help you improve your organic success and a closer look at the most popular social media platforms can make it easier to decide where to allocate your budget.
As for the increasing ad spend, it’s not surprising to see that more marketers are ready to invest in it. Social media and online platforms are maturing and the ROI seems to be more important than ever.