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The Most Effective Paid Digital Media Channel in 2Q14

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
September 2, 2014

Social media was the most effective online paid channel for driving impressions, clicks, and conversions at a low cost in the second quarter of 2014, according to a recent report from Neustar.

Social demonstrated the best cost efficiency of the four paid online channels examined (social, portals, networks, and exchanges), indexing 70% cheaper than the average cost for digital spend and showing a 32% decrease in cost quarter over quarter.

The reduced pricing of social inventory in 2Q14 came thanks largely to the increased use of demand-side platforms (DSPs), which allow for programmatic and real-time buying.

Digital ad networks registered a 28% increase in cost compared with 1Q14, partly due to the FIFA Men's World Cup, when marketers invested in premium placements on networks serving soccer-related content.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from more than 220 billion digital events that occurred in the second quarter of 2014.

Reach Efficiency

Social media also had the best reach efficiency in 2Q14, defined in the report as a channel's ability to reach exclusive users (those not found on other channels) cost-effectively.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Alex Rivas Mon Sep 8, 2014 via web

    Hi Ayaz,

    Could you please explain in more detail the Sales Funnel? Does it mean that Exchanges are being more often used to target "ready to buy" customers? Is there any other reading to this?


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