Display Ads, Social Media Marketing Grow Despite Obstacles

When the economy started going south, many expected mediums such as paid search to be the winners – if there were any – in the advertising industry. Being able to track conversions would be crucial in an uncertain economy. But two new data releases are showing that display ads and social media are weathering the storm.

First up, display advertising for consumer goods is up 57% since 2007, according to Nielsen Online. YouTube and AOL.com are experiencing some of the greatest growth at 572% and 179% from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009 respectively.


While display ads typically don’t convert as well as paid search on their own, we know that display ads combined with paid search perform better than either one as a silo.

Next up is social media. Results from a new Sapient study reveal that 65% of marketers say it’s easier to secure funds for a new media/social media campaign than it was a year ago due to the economy.

However, there are reservations. 77% expressed concern over the performance at least one of their social media campaigns. Still, only 6% said that they would cut social media dollars if they had to in just one area.

Clearly, social media is at play, but marketers are still trying to figure out how to best leverage the medium. Considering that social media, more than most forms of advertising, relies on the actions of consumers to deliver the creative, it’s easy to see why marketers are having trouble taming the beast. On the flip side, considering social networking is so hot right now, it’s easy to see why they still want to play.

What are your thoughts on these data sets? Share your reaction in the comments below.

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