- For the 2018 holiday season, brands are expanding their budgets and reach by investing more in social media stories, mobile and Amazon ads, and maintaining or increasing budgets for traditional holiday ads, such as Google and Facebook, according to the new report "Digital Advertising Trends for the 2018 Holiday Season" by ClickZ and Kenshoo.
- Seventy-three percent of brands think mobile will be "more important" or "much more important" than desktop sales this year, and 10% think desktop will be the main device for sales. Among advertisers, 38% will invest in Facebook Stories and 37% in Instagram Stories.
- Brands planning to advertise on Amazon will devote 21% of their overall budgets to the channel, with 82% creating Christmas-specific campaigns and 67% dedicated campaigns for Black Friday. Thirty-three percent will run Google Search ads. For retailers, 56% of retail or e-commerce brands will maintain or increase their Amazon ad budgets this year.
Marketers have been slow to invest in social media Stories, despite their popularity with users, but the ClickZ-Kenshoo research shows that marketers are coming around. Instagram recently expanded its Shopping tool to Instagram Stories, which could be attracting brands. More than one-third of Instagram Stories users say they've become more interested in a product or brand after seeing it on Stories. Facebook also has new ad products in the works for Stories, the company announced during its Q3 2018 earnings call.
The research also supports other indicators that Amazon is becoming a prominent ad platform, with some marketers shifting 50% to 60% of their search budgets, usually allocated to Google, to Amazon, according to a CNBC report. Marketers are attracted by the possibility of reaching consumers who are poised to poised to make a purchase, the fact that about half of product searches begin on Amazon and the platform's streamlined shopping experience.
The 2018 holiday season is expected to be one of the biggest when it comes to digital ad spend, according to the researchers. Boosting marketing spend could pay off for brands, as consumers are showing more confidence in the economy this year, and 80% plan to spend the same amount or more on gifts in 2018, compared to last year, according to an OpenX survey.
The finding that marketers see mobile as an important platform for holiday shopping isn't much of a surprise, especially as consumers are spending more time on their smartphones and less time watching traditional TV. Last year, 71.6% of consumers did their holiday shopping on mobile devices, both at home and while traveling, and 60.1% used their smartphones while they were in-store, according to iVend Retail's 2018 Global Path to Purchase survey.