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Facebook Q3 2016 Advertising Trends Show Strength in Video and Direct Response

The research below was cited in a November 2016  New York Times piece.

Brands are moving away from a focus on vanity metrics—such as paying for social media “likes”—to measuring true business objectives such as brand perception, awareness, and sales, a shift that makes it easier for marketers to justify the spend.

SocialCode’s clients are ramping up their spend in two key areas: video and direct response. According to SocialCode Data™, including advertising trends among hundreds of brands and thousands of campaigns, video represented 47% of SocialCode clients’ total spend on Facebook and Instagram in Q3 2016, up from 33% in Q3 2015.


Brands are also dedicating more of their Facebook and Instagram budgets to direct response campaigns.

In Q3 2016, direct response made up 46% of clients’ spend on Facebook and Instagram, up from 34% in Q1 2015. For retail clients specifically, direct response accounted for 80% of spend on Facebook and Instagram in Q3 2016, up from 66% during the same quarter last year. This growth is driven primarily by retail clients, who are increasingly investing in Facebook’s direct response units (i.e. product catalog ads) to drive online sales.


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  • Diana Gonimah, Content Strategy Associate