Free Assessment: How does your sales & marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started
Social Media Marketing  |   News

Social media ad spend set to surpass print

Rosella Hill

By Rosella Hill

Oct 16, 2019

Social media ad spend set to surpass print

According to the latest Zenith forecast, social media ad spend is expected to grow 20% this year and surpass print ad spend for the first time in history. The report predicts that ad spend on print sources (newspapers and magazines) will drop 6%.

Accounting for 13% of global ad-spend, social media is now the third-largest medium for advertising, behind paid search (17%) and television ads (29%). With a growth rate of 8% per year, paid search is expected to exceed $100 billion for the first time, while television global ad-spend is shrinking.

Small businesses and digital brands drive ad growth

The Zenith report states that the US holds nearly half of the market share for global ad spend and is expected to contribute 48% this year. This growth is largely attributed to small and digital businesses that have taken advantage of the advanced localization and targeting capabilities of digital platforms.

The decline of print ads

Despite five consecutive years of growth in magazine readership, the industry has lost nearly half its yearly revenue over the past ten years. This may be due to print advertising losing popularity in favor of digital mediums.

The relevance of print ads is debated among marketing professionals. Some believe that print ads will continue to hold value, while others argue that it's a thing of the past. The arguments supporting print are compelling, pointing to the potential of print to bypass the digital ad blindness and ad blockers known so well to digital marketers.

It is worth noting that "print ads" includes things like direct mail, postcards, brochures, and banners as well.

What makes social media so attractive to advertisers?

Social media platforms can collect vast amounts of information from their users. The combination of the platform's data, social research tools and techniques, and existing customer data make it easier for brands to target ads to local and niche markets.

The interactive nature of social platforms presents a unique opportunity for businesses to grow their brand image and connect with customers at more of a personal level. Social media presents an opportunity to build trust, loyalty, and long-term relationships between brands and customers.

Because of this, advertisements on social networks can be geared toward selling, engagement, or building an audience, rather than just selling.

Although social media ad-spend should surpass print, its growth is expected to slow in the coming years. Social platforms actually experienced a decline in active users from 2018 to 2019. Exceptions include Instagram, which experienced no change, YouTube, which grew by one percent, and Reddit, which grew by four percent.

Other changes in ad trends

Ad spend for paid search is expected to grow 8% per year and account for 18% of total ad spend by 2021, according to Zenith.

There are more than 77,800 Google searches performed every second, and paid search ads should come to figure even more prominently.

Television ad spend is expected to lose 2% of its market share by 2021. Streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, and DVRs, which allow users to fast-forward through commercials, present a challenge for television advertisers.

A study from the Journal of Advertising Research found that "DVRs accounted for more than 25 percent of all advertisement views from dramas." The study suggests that "Time-sensitive advertisements might appear in sport or reality programs with fewer delayed views."

What this means for digital marketers

According to the Zenith report, social media and paid search are continuing to grow while print and television ads are declining. In a digitally-connected world and in the age of the internet, customers engage more in online settings.

Businesses should position themselves accordingly.

Additionally, paid search continues to play a critical role in advertising. You can take advantage of Google ads and pay-per-click advertising to fuel short and long-term growth. Paid searches lead customers to landing pages, sales pages, or shopping pages. When done well, this can be a crucial element of your marketing strategy.

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.

Related Articles

Why Short-Form Video Is a Vital Tool for Reaching Your Audience

September 25, 2023
Lindsey Schmidt Lindsey Schmidt

Your B2B Content Strategy Is Going to Need More Social

June 21, 2023
Nick Bennett Nick Bennett

12 Ways You're Totally Blowing Your Business Social Media Strategy

June 18, 2023
Mary Brown Mary Brown

Should Your Demand Gen Strategy Change in a Slumping Economy?

April 12, 2023
Nick Bennett Nick Bennett

How To Build an Effective Instagram Video Marketing Strategy

April 30, 2022
Ramona Sukhraj Ramona Sukhraj

How Facebook's news feed algorithm works and prioritizes content

July 14, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

Data: Facebook is No. 1 in revenue value for publishers, Twitter is a bust

July 7, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

Best times to post on social media in 2021 (new data)

May 19, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

Twitter fails to buy Clubhouse, whose creators can now make money... so what?

April 8, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

Marketers, Facebook Analytics will be no more on June 30, 2021

April 2, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

7 Best Social Media Management Tools (+ Video)

March 26, 2021
Connor DeLaney Connor DeLaney

Twitter teases Super Follows, Communities; undo send tweet still a rumor

March 11, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

LinkedIn adds new 'Products' highlight tab on company pages

February 25, 2021
Melissa Smith Melissa Smith

54 jaw-dropping social media statistics for businesses [New for 2021]

February 23, 2021
Connor DeLaney Connor DeLaney

Facebook video best practices: what you need to know to grow your video presence

February 16, 2021
Lindsey Schmidt Lindsey Schmidt

27 best digital marketing news sites

January 26, 2021
Liz Murphy Liz Murphy

Should you care about Clubhouse, the new audio-based social media app?

January 19, 2021
Nick Bennett Nick Bennett

How to maximize lead generation via Facebook posts and ads

January 18, 2021
Myriah Anderson Myriah Anderson

Working with IMPACT on paid media: What to expect

January 13, 2021
John Becker John Becker

Instagram advertisers can create branded content ads on creators’ accounts

January 6, 2021
Justine Timoteo Thomas Justine Timoteo Thomas

The top 10 social media trends for brand survival in 2021 [Infographic]

January 2, 2021
Joe Rinaldi Joe Rinaldi

6 holiday campaign examples that are total showstoppers

December 25, 2020
Dia Vavruska Dia Vavruska

Pinterest continues diversity and inclusion efforts with new features and leadership

December 16, 2020
Shandia Drummond-Butt Shandia Drummond-Butt

TikTok still available in the US despite not reaching a sell-off deal

December 11, 2020
Karisa Hamdi Karisa Hamdi

New Pinterest weighted ads have better CX customization

December 8, 2020
Allison Melnik Allison Melnik