Social media delivered the highest quality users in ad campaigns during the first quarter of 2013, performing 65% better than the industry overall and 33% better than the next best channel, according to a recent report by Aggregate Knowledge.

Coming off the high season of 4Q12, portals had the lowest cost of any channel in 1Q13—performing 2.5X better than the indexed industry average.

Below, additional findings from the Global Media Intelligence Report, which compared the cost, reach, influence customer engagement levels of various digital media channels:

Cost Index

The report's cost index measured a channel’s cost in relation to driving impressions, clicks, and conversions.

  • The largest decrease in cost from Q4 to Q1 came from portals as volume and spend normalized because of seasonal trends.
  • Ad exchanges continued to deliver clicks and conversions in Q1 at a relatively low cost.

Reach Efficiency Index

The reach efficiency index measured a channel’s efficiency in reaching new users, coupled with exclusivity and cost.

  • Portals and social media had the best reach efficiency, with portals improving 5X quarter over quarter.

User Quality Index

The user quality index measured a channel’s ability to reach a user that can be marketed to consistently.

  • Social media performed 65% better in Q1 than the indexed industry average.

About the research: The report was based on data compiled from a representative sample of Aggregate Knowledge's customer base. This included 872 campaigns, accounting for 80% of the company's total impression volume, and 79% of conversions across approximately 130 billion ad events.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. 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