Today we released our quarterly global search and social advertising trends infographic, the Kenshoo Search and Social Snapshot: Q2 2014. After digging into overall Q2 search and social performance data, we found that although search and social are at different stages of maturity, both channels are showing steady growth and delivering quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and year-over-year (YoY) profit.

Naturally, since paid search advertising is more mature, we’re continuing to see steady growth across the market, with key performance metrics stabilizing and improving due to optimizations and increased sophistication among marketers.

On the other hand, social advertising performance fluctuates a bit more, with many marketers testing new targeting options and ad formats. As shown in the charts below, search marketers are seeing extreme efficiency within their campaigns, with clicks growing at a faster rate than impressions. In Q2, paid search clicks increased 15% YoY whereas impressions decreased 9% YoY, driving an all time high click-through rate.

Search impressions & clicks

From a social perspective, as additional ad formats and audience targeting features are added to social advertising platforms like Facebook, marketers are beginning to test and implement multiple strategies, optimize these efforts, and uncover most effective and efficient options. This, along with the number of new entrants, contributes to the fluctuation in overall paid social performance as volume metrics such as impressions and clicks vary, affecting average cost-per-click and click-through rates. In Q2, paid social clicks remained fairly stable while impressions increased 13% YoY, causing CPC to rise 54% YoY.

social imps and clicks

By utilizing features such as Kenshoo Demand Driven Campaigns™(DDC), marketers can heighten paid social performance by automating Facebook ad creation using the top performing products from inventory feeds, product listing ads, and search campaigns.

While it’s valuable to run search and social programs simultaneously, the true value comes from the integration of the two channels — utilizing insight from one channel to inform actions on the other. Kenshoo Intent-Driven Audiences™ enable marketers to target their highest value audiences, instead of just keywords or interests, by automatically creating and updating Facebook Custom Audiences based on the intent consumers demonstrate through their search engine activity. Implementing these cross-channel efforts can positively impact individual performance and produce higher return on investment.

Based on our Q2 analysis, search and social remain solid online advertising channels that can drive qualified users with high intent and generate traffic, engagement, and conversions. View the Search and Social Snapshot: Q2 2014 infographic in full to uncover all Q2 trends along with accompanying tips and insights to take your search and social programs to the next level.