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Social Media Ad Spend Spikes More Than 50% Worldwide

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Man showing a mobile screen with social media icons
The use of video content on social media channels continued to rise in Q4

Socialbakers, the leading social media marketing platform, has released its comprehensive report on Social Media Trends for Q4 2020.

The report reveals that global social media ad spend skyrocketed during the last quarter of 2020, despite the continuing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other insights from the report include a global rise in cost-per-click (CPC), expanded reach for advertisers on Facebook, a spike in the popularity and ad costs for videos, and a decline in the use of social media influencers for brand advertising over the holiday season.

Brands dramatically increased their investment in social media advertising in Q4. At its Q4 peak, worldwide ad spend increased by 50.3% compared to the holiday peak in Q4 2019,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, President, Socialbakers. “In Northern America alone peak spend increased by 92.3%. Doubling down in digital ad spend has become the new normal, as brands work to build lasting relationships with their customers and increase their online sales.”

Global social media ad spend jumps 50.3%

After a strong showing in Q3 2020, global social media ad spend continued its meteoric rise in Q4 with an overall 50.3% increase compared to the same period in 2019. Around the world, brands invested in social media ads like never before – including a remarkable 92.3% increase in North America, and a 39.6% increase in Western Europe.

Video popularity, especially Live Video 

The use of video content on social media channels continued to rise in Q4. Video posts on Twitter jumped by 26.7% from the previous quarter. Video accounted for 17.9% of all posts on Instagram, and 18.1% of all posts on Facebook, in Q4 2020. In terms of format, Facebook Live was by far the most engaging type of post on that platform in Q4 2020. The increasing popularity of Live Video content and the momentum around Live Shopping experiences highlights just how important social media is as a revenue generation tool. Live shopping is already a megatrend with the Gen Z in China and it’s rapidly gaining traction with brands and consumers in the West.

Influencer posts using #ad drop 17.6%

Despite the steep rise in global ad spend, brands appeared to scale back their use of Instagram influencers for paid ads in Q4. Overall, influencers using #ad dropped by 17.6% year over year. The number of brands working with influencers with an audience of more than 100K returned to almost pre-pandemic levels at the close of 2020, as brands shift their focus away from influencers with smaller audiences.

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The alcohol industry to set global standards for influencer marketing

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The alcohol industry to set global standards for influencer marketing
The influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $13.8 Billion in 2021.

After years of digital content not being properly filtered or disclosed as adverts, influencers working with some of the world’s leading brands will be subject to the first-ever industry-wide set of global standards for influencer marketing. These changes are under a new partnership aimed at establishing more concrete steps towards preventing minors from seeing alcohol marketing online, and reducing harmful drinking among adults.

The global initiative launched by International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), whose members are the leading global beer, wine, and spirits producers, in partnership with 13 leading advertising, public relations, and influencer agencies, will help ensure alcohol marketing by social influencers is responsibly advertised and aimed at an audience over the legal purchase age. Avoidance of making health claims, promoting illegal or excessive consumption, or positioning alcohol abstinence negatively will all be part of a set of commitments to be followed.

“This is a major step towards preventing minors from seeing alcohol marketing and IARD is proud to have united the world’s leading agencies to help raise global standards. It is a world-first initiative in raising collective standards of responsibility across multiple digital channels, and we call on our partners in the alcohol, advertising, and influencer industries to join us in our ongoing work to ensure that alcohol marketing across all forms of media is responsible.” – says Henry Ashworth, President and CEO at International Alliance for Responsible Drinking.

Influencer marketing is predicted to grow to $13.8 billion across all sectors by the end of 2021, according to an Influencer Marketing Hub Benchmark Report 2021 recently released.

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Third edition of the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards

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Coco Rocha, Foodgod and Ellen von Unwerth attend the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards 2021 | Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images
Coco Rocha, Foodgod and Ellen von Unwerth attend the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards 2021 | Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

Despite the COVID-19 situation and travel restrictions, the WIBA 2021 gathered the most prominent personalities from the Influencer world together at a much-awaited offline event in Cannes, hosted by Greta Sapkaite.

The titleholders of WIBA 2021 were “digital” supermodel Coco Rocha, iconic photographer Ellen von Unwerth, and the most influential food personality, Foodgod. Sadaf Beauty, Victoria Bonya, Nataliia Gotsii, Akash Mehta, Luanna, Kat Graham, Elisabetta Gregoraci, Philippe Uter, Lara Leito, and Malcolm the Akita were also among those awarded prizes.

“During this challenging year, influencers, more than ever before, have proven their value in society. They have provided useful advice and tangible initiatives, and many of them now play a crucial role in their countries.” – says Maria Grazhina Chaplin, CEO of the WIBA.

The World Influencers and Bloggers Awards was established in 2019 by the World Influencers and Bloggers Association, representing a community of bloggers and influencers with over 200 million followers on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube). WIBA is the first and only event of this kind that unites and celebrates top social media talents, as well as opinion leaders from different industries and continents.

In recent years, Influencer Marketing became a big game with social media users spending a significant amount of time consuming content. According to a May 2020 GlobalWebIndex survey, 96% of US and UK consumers who followed influencers were engaging with them more, or to the same extent, compared to before the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s no wonder that brands have been eager to tap into that high level engagement: Spending on influencer marketing in the U.S. will surge past the $3 billion mark in 2021, according to the latest projections from research firm eMarketer.

To find out more about the World Bloggers Awards, visit their official site here.

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OMD Worldwide tops global media agency ranking

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Florian Adamski, Global CEO at OMD Worldwide
Florian Adamski, Global CEO at OMD Worldwide

Despite a historic disruption, shrinking marketing spending in 2020, a new report from international research company COMvergence reveals that OMD Worldwide, named Adweek’s Global Media Agency of the Year in 2019 and 2020, has been ranked the number one global and EMEA media agency based on annual billings.

The 2020 Global Regional and Country Rankings report shows that the media group, formed with billings of $21.3 billion, outperformed its nearest competitor by more than $1.3 billion. Additionally, in a year of accelerated digital transformation and an exponential surge in ecommerce investment, OMD also dominates with $8.7 billion in digital activities.

The ranking bookends OMD’s performance at last month’s Cannes Lions – where the agency’s 38 wins made it the most awarded agency of the 2021 festival, taking place in France.

“Winning awards and dominating rankings is a by-product of what we strive for every day: a relentless focus on better business outcomes for our clients. What really matters is that OMD entered 2021 with the highest ever client satisfaction scores and a huge share of new business conversions and retentions. When we started our own transformation journey 3 years ago, no one could have foreseen the seismic shifts in our wider ecosystem and society, but it allowed us to build a start-up-like ability to respond to the business realities of a post-pandemic world.” – celebrates Florian Adamski, Global CEO of the agency founded in 1996 in Paris and currently present in over 80 countries.

According to COMvergence, OMD is well positioned for another strong year, having added more than $800M in new business wins and retentions in the first half of 2021, including Philips, The Home Depot, Citrix and the World Expo.

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