Search and Social Platforms: How Facebook and Others Can Steal Dollars from Search - eMarketer
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Search and Social Platforms: How Facebook and Others Can Steal Dollars from Search

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: September 07, 2016

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

Everyone’s heard the one about social going after TV ad dollars. But the social platforms—led by Facebook—are aiming for paid search dollars as well. Can social be as good as search for some ad objectives? And can it gain a share of search budgets?

  • Smart advertisers already use search and social together, but new social ad products and changing usage trends are creating fresh opportunities.
  • Facebook isn’t just for branding; it offers ad products for all stages of the purchase funnel and is publicly comparing the return on investment (ROI) of some of those products, such as Dynamic Ads, to that of search.
  • Paid search has always been considered highly effective, but in some surveys, marketers rate social advertising even higher.
  • Attribution in social is improving, helping marketers know whether an ad placed on Facebook resulted in an action or a purchase. The better this gets, the less likely marketers will be to give sole credit to the last click (which often takes place on a search engine).
  • Budgets aren’t yet shifting from search to social, but emerging trends in search-heavy industries such as retail, travel and automotive are worth paying attention to.
  • Facebook will eventually start selling search advertising, and clues about what that might look like are starting to appear.

"Search engines and search on retailer websites are by far the most common channels used by US digital shoppers. But social search is also being employed, at every stage of the purchase process."

Table of Contents

The Growing Competition Between Search and Social

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Social Ad Effectiveness Is Improving

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At Facebook, Attribution Is a Priority

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Paid Search Isn’t Feeling the Pinch (Yet)

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Priming the Market for Paid Search on Facebook

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17 charts are included in the full report:

Search and Social Platforms: How Facebook and Others Can Steal Dollars from Search

Search Channels Used by US Digital Shoppers During the Purchase Process, by Stage, April 2016 (% of respondents)

The Growing Competition Between Search and Social

US Paid Search Ad Benchmarks: Ad Spending, Clicks and CPC YoY Growth, by Search Engine and Format, Q2 2016 (among campaigns analyzed by Merkle)

Social’s Role in Answering Questions

Sources Used to Research a Product/Brand Before Purchase According to US Internet Users, by Generation, May 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Search Channels Used by US Digital Shoppers During the Purchase Process, by Stage, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Digital Sources Currently Used by Internet Users Worldwide to Read Business, Lifestyle & News Stories, May 2016 (% of respondents)

A New Opportunity for Marketers

Lift in Unique Search Traffic due to Exposure* to Facebook Ads and Among US Brands, by Device, July-Sep 2015

Social Ad Effectiveness Is Improving

Performance of People-Based Advertising* vs. Select Formats According to Senior Advertisers in North America, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

Median ROI for Select Channels/Formats According to US Marketers, June 2016

At Facebook, Attribution Is a Priority

Likelihood of Prioritizing Marketing Measurement/Attribution According to US Marketing Professionals, April 2016 (% of respondents)

Most Significant Challenges of Putting Mobile at the Center of Integrated Marketing According to Client-Side Advertisers vs. Agencies Worldwide, March 2016 (% of respondents)

Paid Search Isn’t Feeling the Pinch (Yet)

Google Ad Benchmarks Worldwide: Paid Click and CPC YoY Growth, by Site Type, Q2 2015-Q2 2016 (among campaigns analyzed by Google)

Google Net Ad Revenues Worldwide, 2015-2018 (billions and % change)

Top 10 US Paid Search Advertisers, Ranked by Measured Search Ad Spending, 2014 & 2015 (millions and % change)

Three Categories to Watch: Retail, Travel and Auto

US Digital Ad Spending, by Industry and by Format, 2016 (billions)

Leading Areas in Which Digital Retail Marketers in North America Plan to Focus Their Customer Acquisition Marketing, June 2016 (% of respondents)

Paid Search Travel Ad Benchmarks Worldwide: CTR and CPC, Q1 2015-Q1 2016 (among ads tracked by Kenshoo)

Social Travel Ad Benchmarks Worldwide: CPM and CPC, Q1 2015-Q1 2016 (among ads tracked by Kenshoo)

Priming the Market for Paid Search on Facebook

Ways in Which US Digital Video Viewers Discover Original Digital Videos*, March 2016 (% of respondents)