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Marketers Accelerate Social Display Ad Spends in 2012

Published on March 26, 2012

Advertisers are still learning the social ad game, but as eMarketer reports, they are gaining confidence in buying display ads on social networks.

An Advertiser Perceptions survey revealed that fully 59% U.S.marketers and agencies plan to increase social media display ad spends (e.g., on Facebook, Twitter) over the next 12 months. In comparison, less than a third (31%) plan to raise display ad spending on ad networks and exchanges, while just 29% expected to do so on publisher sites.

Also true, the number of U.S. marketers and agencies that foresee spending more on social media advertising was more than double that for demand-side platforms (DSPs). As eMarketer describes, the complexity of purchasing inventory through DSPs and the inability to ensure brand-safe content placements are two contributing factors behind the could projected 14% of respondents that plan to decrease DSP budgets.

eMarketer estimates that U.S. online display ad spending will grow 24.1% in 2012 to $15.4 billion. This estimate includes banners, rich media, sponsorships and video purchased across publisher sites, networks, exchanges, DSPs, social networks and mobile.

Investment in paid advertising across social network sites, games and applications is expected to climb 43% this year, with mobile display ad spending jumping 80%. Still, overall spend in social and mobile display ads will be relatively low versus general display ad spending, so social and mobile have ample room for growth.

So, says David Hallerman, principal analyst at eMarketer, “Social display advertising’s relative underutilization compared to the rest of the web is encouraging marketers to ramp up their spending. Advertiser Perceptions found that marketers are eager to make social display ad spending a larger slice of the display ad pie. The company estimates that over the next 12 months, display ad spending on social networks will merit a greater share (27%) of total display ad budgets than traditional channels like publisher sites (26%), ad networks and exchanges (20%).