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It has been a huge year for Australian advertisers on Facebook. Video has taken off, Mobile-first has become the new norm, Active Audiences is the new benchmark in Facebook performance advertising, Carousal Ads are over-delivering on expectations and the launch of Instagram ads to all advertisers has become a welcome addition to media plans across the country.

But how has such a fast paced year affected performance?

To help answer this question, Salesforce has just launched its latest benchmarks report covering Q2 (April to June) spend this year.

Competition to reach customers increases from Q1 to Q2

A trend globally is that Q2 was more expensive for reaching audiences compared to Q1 (CPM increased 22% across these two periods). In Australia however we experienced  a smaller increase heading into Winter 2015, with CPMs only increasing 15% in the same time frame.

Despite the increased cost of reaching your audience, CPC remained virtually steady (approximately a 5% increase), and importantly click through rates (CTR) increased by 10% - showing that our advertising has become more relevant to the audience we are reaching.

Across the board it is more expensive to advertise on Facebook in Australia than other countries. This is a broad digital trend as we have a much smaller population than some of our Asian, European, and North American counterparts.The increased competition to reach a smaller audience drives up the Facebook auction costs.

Advertising Performance by Industry

Something that is always interesting to look at is Industry performance.  e-commerce advertisers have the highest CPM ($10.23), with a shift in focus to optimising for website conversions instead of inexpensive impressions. The entertainment industry has the lowest CPM ($4.46) and the highest CTR (3.13%) as people engage with the content from the TV shows and movies they enjoy.

In contrast, Financial Services had the lowest CTR; an average of 0.34% recorded across Q2. When talking to our Financial Services customers, this low CTR is mostly attributed to the inability to use Custom Audiences and Website Custom Audiences due to regulatory conditions.

This is all about to change in the next year as Active Audiences is adopted by Salesforce customers for secure and automated advertising, leveraging CRM and Email data.

You can always reach me for a more detailed analysis on your industry at @kevinkddoyle

Have a great Christmas, and a cracking 2016!