Last week, Twitter was the last of the “Big 7” Ad Platforms to report their 2020 figures. That means we’ve now got access to the major financials for the biggest online ad companies in the world–well, at least those who do report publicly. So now we can paint a picture of the truly wild ride that was the year 2020.
Sure, some of these raw figures have a wow factor all on their own (we’ve done up an infographic below that you’re free to share), but we’ve also included a bit of our own analysis from some of our experts here at Optily to situate them in a broader marketing context.
The Big Guys are Still on Top
Google and Facebook are still eating up the vast majority of the global digital ad spend pie. While there are other contenders in the PPC and social media fields, you simply can’t get around running ads on both of these platforms, just due to their sheer size and reach.
Google’s Going Strong
Optily’s Product Manager and Google Specialist, Randall Glick commented on Google’s consistent dominance, “Despite reports in mid-2020 that Google would not be growing its ad revenue, Google bounced back strongly, which is a great indicator of advertisers’ trust in them. Mid-year reports by eMarketer were looking at the signals that Covid was causing and some interpreted this to be a decline in Google. In reality, it was a decline in advertising that has been seen in the past as well, most recently in the economic collapse in 2008, that affected large portions of the world’s economy. The main difference between that crisis and Covid is that it took time for businesses to come to grips with the new reality that Covid presented, one where they had to focus more online than offline.
Google’s service in delivering fast and relevant Search Results remains the main reason why Internet users go there and as long as that service remains strong, that is where marketing spend will happen. It was this leap in alternative businesses advertising online that made up for the huge drop in more traditional business geared towards hospitality and travel.”
Facebook is Adapting to a Shifting Landscape
Keith O’Reilly, Optily’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, said regarding Facebook’s performance, “Facebook has proven itself to be remarkably robust and resilient in facing into headwinds and 2020 was no exception. The company benefited from the explosion in growth in online commerce, both in terms of retailers embracing tools and more frequent user engagement with all platforms, as folks endeavor to stay connected to their friends and communities.
The sheer range of offerings for eCommerce is breathtaking. For smaller businesses, there is Facebook Shops, where businesses can easily create an online store on Facebook and Instagram and, via WhatsApp or Messenger, offer support and customer service.
On the other end of the scale, Facebook has built large-scale integrations with eCommerce infrastructure powerhouses like BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Shopify. With iOS 14, policy changes regarding political advertising, and this week’s news on the dissemination of news in Australia, the coming 12 months should be interesting to watch, but have no doubt, Facebook isn’t going anywhere.”
The Digital Pie is Growing
Despite the pandemic, or more probably because of it, spending on online ads jumped 15% overall, with the size of the global digital ad revenue on these platforms ballooning to a massive $278 billion last year. This is striking, as ad revenue overall took a significant plunge of over 9%, meaning while digital marketing spend is going strong, traditional advertising has seen a huge loss.
Amazon is Making Leaps and Bounds
It’s no surprise that eCommerce has been booming in a year of stay-at-home orders, so advertising across the behemoth of the industry was naturally going to go up. Even so, 53% year over year growth is nothing to scoff at. Amazon surpassed Microsoft and LinkedIn (combined) to take the bronze medal for ad revenue in 2020.
Optily CEO, Brendan Hughes, noted, “Amazon’s advertising is fuelled by the massive growth in eCommerce we’ve seen in 2020. Amazon is now very much a pay-to-play environment. If you are selling through Amazon it is clear that you will need to invest in sponsored ad units on Amazon itself to ensure your product pages receive traffic. Sellers can now also use Amazon display ads to direct users to their eCommerce website, which creates a great opportunity to find in-market consumers and drive them to your own online store.”
Keep an Eye on the Little Guys
It’s not just Amazon that’s been seeing amazing results compared to 2019, Snapchat and Pinterest have increased their revenues by nearly half as well. If you’ve been overlooking ads on these two platforms, you may want to start familiarizing yourself with them. Of course, these two are still a bit niche and everything will depend on your audience, but you’ll still want to keep them on your radar.
If you’re not quite sure how to diversify your ads and what the best omnichannel approach would be for your unique business situation, the team at Optily would be happy to help. Just reach out to our Strategy Squad for a quick call, and we can see what solutions would work best for you.
Big 7 Platforms’ Ad Revenue 2020 Infographic