Today, we released our quarterly global search and social advertising trends data to provide you with a Search and Social Snapshot for Q1 2014. While the search and social data each tell their own unique stories, it is evident that both marketing channels remain strong, viable advertising platforms driving YoY performance increases.

Paid search marketing has been a staple of digital marketing plans for more than a decade, so naturally, its performance has stabilized as the channel has matured.  With search representing more than 50% of most online ad budgets, low double-digit quarterly growth rates (10% for spend and 12% for revenue) are quite impressive.

In Q1 2014, while paid search impressions and clicks decreased slightly quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) due to seasonality, clicks are climbing faster than impressions, per the chart below. With an +8% YoY increase in total clicks and a -18% YoY decrease in total impressions, search marketers have clearly become more sophisticated in their messaging and bidding, arming themselves with advanced technologies to drive click-through rate up +31% YoY to an all-time high in Q1.

Chart 1

While paid search is stabilizing and maturing, paid social advertising is just ramping up, with advertisers increasing spend +37% YoY in Q1. Organic reach on Facebook is declining, so marketers are actively turning to paid social advertising to maintain social visibility.

This investment is paying off, driving a 191% YoY increase in total revenue in Q1, as shown in the chart below. As marketers continue to expand their paid social efforts and test new audience targeting, they will be able to drive even more qualified traffic and engagement.

Chart 2

While paid search and paid social advertising are at different levels of maturity, both avenues provide opportunity for marketers to engage with their consumers and drive traffic, conversions, and revenue.

Viewing paid search and social insights side-by-side helps to give us an idea of the impact of each of these channels, but integrating the channels can take your digital marketing program even further. In Kenshoo’s most recent guide, the Kenshoo Guide to Search and Social Intersections, we highlight the 4 key reasons to integrate search and social advertising and share the challenges and solutions to integrating. Download your copy to take your search and social efforts to the next level!

To discover all Q1 2014 paid search and social trends and insights, view the infographic in full.