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Paid search still dominates digital advertising in 2019


A new study shows that paid search is still at the top of digital advertising channels when it comes to advertiser budgets.

paid search accounted for 39% of the total advertiser budget

According to Marin Software's State of Digital Advertising 2019 report, paid search accounted for 39% of the total advertising budget.

We surveyed 460 digital marketers (managers and above). They represent decision-makers of large companies or marketing directors. In other words, those making processes in search, social, e-commerce, and advertising display.

The research began in May and ended in June 2019. All data collection took place online. The following respondents were involved:

Company types:

  • В2В - 44%
  • В2С - 44%
  • B2C and B2B - 12%


  • Automotive
  • Sale of consumer goods
  • Financial services and insurance
  • Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
  • Manufacturing and engineering
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Printing/publishing
  • Professional Services
  • Retail/e-commerce
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel and hospitality

69% of respondents estimate their annual digital advertising spend to be between $1 million and $9 million, and 31% estimate it to be between $10 million and $49 million a year. And while paid search is still the dominant advertising channel, advertisers are spending more budget on other advertising channels than they did last year.

Advertising spending on paid social media ads is on the rise.

Paid social media advertising accounts for the second largest share of advertiser budgets (18%), followed by display advertising (16%).

growth in advertising spending on paid social media advertising

The percentage of advertising expenses on Instagram is significantly growing.

Will Instagram outrank Facebook? You can see that 61% of respondents will increase their advertising budget on Instagram. Of these people, 33% plan to change their advertising budget and transfer money from Facebook to Instagram. The rest will look for additional funds.

The study found that the increased spending on Instagram is not the result of advertisers spending less on ads on other social networks.

Advertisers are going to increase ad spending on Amazon

Mainly not the transfer of advertising spending from other social networks, but the budget rise caused the increase in advertising spending on Instagram.

Advertisers are going to increase ad spending on Amazon

According to the study, 60% of those surveyed plan to increase their ad spend on Amazon next year.

60% of respondents plan to increase advertising costs on Amazon

In addition, 55% of those surveyed say they started using Amazon ads because they see it as an opportunity for rapid growth.

When asked what their goals are for using Amazon ads, one in four respondents said they wanted to increase the conversion of leads to customers.

What’s Trending in 2019?

And a few more additional points of the report:

Google is the most trusted publisher among advertisers - 98% of those surveyed gave it a score of 4 or 5 (where 5 is the highest score) according to the trust index.

60% of respondents plan to increase advertising costs on Amazon

84% of those surveyed using paid search plan to use or are already using Google's Responsive Search Ads( (RSAs).

65% say the use of purchased images in search will increase in 2019.

shopping ad growth forecasts in 2019

62% of respondents currently using paid advertising on social media think that the share of Shoppable Ads will increase in 2019.

32% say video is the most effective social ad format, followed by image ads (26%), Instagram stories (23%) and carousels (19%).

the most effective social advertising formats

For more information, download the full report here.

Liya Shestakova
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