The first in what is set to be a series of quarterly studies on global advertising on Facebook suggests that the number of brand campaigns on the social network increased by 104pc between the first two quarters of this year and by 1900pc year-on-year.
The TBG Digital Global Facebook Advertising Report, which is based on data from 167 companies operating in 21 markets and generating 200 billion ad impressions, also indicates that brands targeting existing fans on Facebook see a 435pc improvement in campaign conversion rates.
According to the study, retail has emerged as the biggest growth sector on Facebook. It gets the best click-through-rates (CTR) and grew to 36pc of total impressions in Q2 2011 from being almost non-existent in the third quarter of 2010. TBG Digital said retailers should continue to try to take advantage of this area as it expects the upward trend in retail will continue as consumer shopping moves into the Facebook environment.
The report also found that cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) rose by 45pc across four markets – the UK, US, Germany and France -between Q2 2010 and Q2 2011, while cost-per-click (CPC) rose by a very substantial 74pc during the same period. Elsewhere, it reveals that the use of Sponsored Stories ads in Facebook campaigns decreases cost-per-acquisition (CPA) by 32pc.
TBG said the report demonstrates that with rising CPC and CPM prices in key markets, advertisers need to be more strategic with advertising budgets. Achieving this, it said, requires the continued growth of brand advertising for better targeting and more proactive engagement with consumers and key audiences as well as better use of the recently-launched Sponsored Stories
Interestingly, the report also reveals one of the top five areas of growth to have been the business and industrial sector, suggesting that Facebook is also fast becoming a valid B2B marketing channel.
TBG Digital’s CEO, Simon Mansell, said his company works with 100 of the top 500 advertisers on Facebook and that increasing numbers of these customers are saying that they are reallocating budget from offline media to Facebook.
“I think the numbers in this report back up the anecdotal evidence of my conversations with TBG’s customers: Facebook is the transformational platform which is making advertisers move brand budgets from the traditional areas of TV and press to online,” he said.