YouTube leads other social media platforms as a channel or paid social media advertising, measured in terms of introducing consumers to new products and then converting them into actual paying customers, according to a new study by AOL Platforms and Convertro.
AOL and Convertro analyzed data from 500 million clicks and 15 million conversions across all the major social media platforms, to determine where in the “sales funnel” each social platform fell -- including “first” (top of the funnel), “middle,” and “last” (conversion to sale), as well as “only,” meaning the customer discovered the product and then converted all on the same platform.
YouTube led the way in “only,” with 14% of sales falling into this category, as well as in “last” at 14%. Thus between “only” and “last,” YouTube was at the bottom of the sales funnel, directly facilitating conversions, 28% of the time, and also led in introducing consumers, with “first” at 18%.
For comparison Facebook, in second place in terms of overall effectiveness, was the sole platform involved in the sale (“only”) 10% of the time, introduced the customer to the product (“first”) 11% of the time, and handled the conversion (“last”) 10% of the time. It occupied a middle position in the funnel 69% of the time, versus 54% for YouTube.
Other social networks were even more likely to fall in the middle of the sales funnel. Thus Google+ was in the middle 74% of the time, while it introduced customers to products 7% of the time and was responsible for the final conversion 10% of the time; it was the only platform involved in 7% of the sales. Pinterest was in fourth place, falling in the middle of the sales funnel 83% of the time, introducing customers to products 6% of the time, facilitating conversion 8% of the time, and the sole platform involved 2% of the time (the numbers don’t always add up to 100% due to rounding).
Earlier this month eMarketer estimated that YouTube’s total video ad revenue will hit $1.13 billion this year, up 39% from last year.