RTB House: Parallel retargeting display campaigns (social and classic), better results together then separate

In an analysis conducted by RTB House in more than 40 markets, parallel retargeting display campaigns (social and classic) showed better results than either standalone activities, despite social media ad space emerging as an exciting new revenue channel. Plain-old clicks on website banners remain the leading conversion stream and marketers can create a more diverse lineup for better results by combining the two in a dual-channel approach.

Worldwide digital ad spend is expected to reach $223.74 billion in 2017, and represents 38.3% of all paid media outlays. Digital media ad spending is expected to see double-digit growth through 2020, eMarketer estimates. This growth is largely due to how explosive social media ad input has become, as consumers and brands have evolved together to create an entirely new environment of hyper-relevant, ultra-personalized interactions. Facebook Dynamic Product Ads (DPA), for instance, have been a rapidly growing source of revenue for all kinds of industries.

Reading reviews, commentary or seeing particular brands in social media can directly influence buying behaviors, to the point where in-channel social media purchases are now part of the buying journey. Advertising agency Zenith Optimedia predicts that global ad spend on social media will account for 20% of all online advertising in 2019, reaching $50 billion.

With such high impact results coming from new social media channels, RTB House set out to re-examine a fundamental question: what makes an effective digital advertising campaign today?

The retargeting company analyzed hundreds of its own advertising campaigns run for clients in over 40 markets to find out how personalized retargeting campaigns compared when run on both ‘social and classic’ models (e.g. DPA, Instagram, etc. + classic) against those only run in a single mode.

Click through rates (abbr. CTR, the ratio of users who click on the ad, against the number of impressions) were significantly higher in social retargeting. The analysis found that creatives in social media had 90% higher CTRs than banners displayed on websites, with an average 1.52% CTR for socials vs. 0.80% on websites.

The most striking results were seen in Slovakia (350% higher CTR when compared to traditional digital display ads), Hungary (113%), Turkey (110% higher) and Romania (101% higher).

However, Conversion Rate (abbr. CR, the ratio of users who took action from clicking on an ad) for regular activities was 42% higher than social media retargeting, with an average 6.06% CR for regular retargeting, versus 4.26% for socials. The biggest difference was noted in Hungary (289% higher CR in RTB display), Slovakia (122%) and Turkey (88%).

Daniel Surmacz from RTB House observes that “social targeting might be more effective when it comes to gaining people’s interests but not prompting them to take action. Social displays appear within their streams organically, making it a part of their browse-and-click experience which marks out higher CTRs, but not necessarily purchasing. Ultimately, getting people to act seems to still be focused around a typical banner display on a website. RTB House analysis showed that social and regular retargeting provided two approaches to the singular advertising message – in combination with a regular RTB campaign, social display can bring a stronger visibility, while regular RTB converts that visibility into actions.”

The research included banner ads displayed by RTB House in March 2017. All the creatives used RTB (Real-Time Bidding) – a technology enabling purchase and sale of individual page views in real time. The data is derived from a tool for personalized retargeting by RTB House.

RTB House is a global company that provides state-of-the-art retargeting technology for top brands worldwide. With its proprietary ad buying engine, powered by deep learning algorithms, RTB House helps advertisers multiply sales to reach their short, mid and long-term goals.

Founded in 2012, RTB House serves over 1,000 campaigns across more than 40 markets of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Pacific and Latin America. The team consists of over 200 professionals and growing.

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