Opinion
Published:
June 12, 2024

Social surges to the top in world's largest channel for spend

Will Jennings
Head of Paid Media

The recent report released by WARC states that social media ad spend has now surpassed paid search spend, with a 14.3% increase year on year, making it the largest channel by ad spend worldwide. While this competition was largely anticipated, it’s unlikely to be as straightforward as it sounds.

It’s no surprise that social platform spending has surged. Social platforms are evolving to cater to the presence of consumers, as social commerce continues to reach new heights. The way consumers search has naturally shifted, and search engines need to evolve to meet this demand or risk losing out.

For a while, YouTube was taking up a greater role as a research channel for consumers, a blazed trail now being followed by the likes of Meta and TikTok, especially for younger audiences, and therefore detracting from the search market leader, Google.

While it may seem like a watershed moment, it is simply a progression of user browsing behaviour. Search isn’t going away anytime soon, but the way in which people search is rapidly evolving, and how the major search engines adapt will become vital for their long-term survival.

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Social media ad spend has now surpassed paid search spend.

As a brand, it's essential to plan your media spend carefully and consider your audience, especially since social media is such a significant part of digital spending. Understanding the nuances of your customer and their purchase journey is key to allocating your budget effectively.

Just throwing money at campaigns won't work if your creative, audience understanding, and messaging foundations are off. You'll waste budget and miss the mark on engagement and conversions and given the increasing fragmentation of research behaviour, it's important to maintain a diverse media mix to reach your target consumer at the stage of search demand.

It's no longer enough to rely solely on Google search to capture all that demand and with in-platform metrics.

If you have a problem with understanding what drives revenue, past last click, then drop us a line to learn more about COmpass, our marketing science suite.

Source: https://www.warc.com/content/article/warc-curated-datapoints/social-overtakes-paid-search-to-become-the-worlds-largest-channel-by-ad-spend/en-gb/155700?

Will Jennings
Head of Paid Media
charlie oscar