2014 was the year that organizations embraced social advertising as a significant marketing channel, alongside other major channels like TV and Search. The IAB reported in 2014 that mobile advertising powered largely by the growth in areas like Facebook surpassed Display ads as the second biggest digital channel in the US.

New products from the major social networks and elite in-house agency practices dedicated to social meant that creativity within the space exploded. Social.com took a look at these latest trends in digital media and compiled a comprehensive report: the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Advertising Benchmark.

The report takes a look at Social.com customers all around the world and how they’re leveraging the Big Three platforms: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Researchers found five major evolutions that represent the accelerated growth of social advertising in 2014.

1. Social advertising has gained a new level of maturity in 2014, with advertisers dramatically increasing their investment in various channels to achieve new and ever more sophisticated business goals

2. Agencies around the world have built elite social advertising practices staffed by specialists in optimizing advertising in channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

3. Business goals as diverse as generating significant new mobile app installs and then re-engagement to building top-of-funnel brand awareness through videos made with television level production quality to generating meaningful leads and sales revenue in both B2B and B2C use cases have become the standard for campaigns

4. The major social advertising platforms made significant investments in forward-thinking product launches and business acquisitions including Video & Mobile Networks, Group Messaging, Virtual Reality, Connecting TV to Digital and Lead Funnel Optimization

5. People-based advertising is the best way for brands to build and nurture customer relationships throughout their customer journey and platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with large identity based global networks and strong mobile footprint are the conduit for brands to truly customize their message to their customers.

While these trends will continue at a macro market level in 2015 and beyond, the specific advertising media trends are what occupies the minds today of campaign management teams today. There were some interesting evolutions in all channels in 2014, which from a broad perspective are further evidence of social advertising being adopted from brands from all sectors.

Facebook Global

  • Facebook's overall global media costs increased in CPM terms up to to $1.54 in Q3 (although CPC levels were relatively flat) however ad engagement rates also more than tripled up to a click through rate of 0.6%

  • Facebook's global mobile daily active users increased 65% from Q1 2013 to Q3 2014 up to 703M. A corresponding 47% increase in mobile CPMs across the same period also occurred up to $4.50 in Q3 2014

  • The CPE (cost per engagement) for Twitter's Promoted Accounts product globally increased 173% across the first 3 quarters of 2014 to $0.53 while there was only a 10% increase in the CPE of their Promoted Tweets product to $0.34 in the same period

  • LinkedIn's audience is viewed as a premium by many advertisers particularly in the B2B sector as an accurate way to reach decision makers and key stakeholders at organizations and CPCs increased from $4.38 in Q1 to $5.97 in Q3

We look forward to an exciting year ahead for advertisers in 2015 and look forward to bringing you more insights from the social advertising world throughout the year including a detailed look back at the all important Q4 in advertising.

The Social.com Advertising Benchmark report is here! Download the report at our website