Paid Search Clicks on Video Conferencing Ads Spike in the First Two Weeks of March
With nearly three in four Americans sheltering at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, video conferencing has taken on a new importance in U.S. society, for both businesses engaging with work-at-home employees and consumers maintaining social bonds with family and friends.
To assess recent advertising in the video conferencing category, Kantar analyzed paid search ad campaigns displaying on U.S. Google for six popular non-branded keywords related to video conferencing, including ‘video conferencing’, ‘free video conferencing’ and ‘video conferencing software’.
Looking at weekly spend on the six video conferencing keywords, Kantar found paid search spend spiked in the first two weeks of March, shooting up by an average of 38% compared to the month of February, and then dropped below February numbers before leveling off.
Evidence suggests the spike in paid search spend in the first half of March was primarily due to an increase in interest by searchers rather than advertisers purposefully increasing their spending due to the situation, as represented by a 35% average increase in clicks on ads displaying for video conferencing keywords from March 1-14 compared to the weeks in February.
It’s difficult to determine why there was a significant drop in spend for the following week of March 15 but it may be attributable to a general trend of advertisers pulling back their spending on paid search and other advertising due to economic conditions brought on by the crisis. Spending resumed to February levels the following week of March 22, however, likely due to video conferencing being in great demand, as noted prior.
Zoom Leads Competition in Non-Branded Paid Search Clicks
Focusing on just the first two weeks of March, we found the advertisers benefitting most from the surge in video conferencing ad clicks were Zoom, which captured 21.1% of all clicks during the period, followed by Logitech (17.6% click share), Avaya (16.4% click share), 8x8 (9% click share) and Lifesize (7.7% click share).
Most Popular Brands by Share of Voice
Looking at the category from another angle, Kantar also examined weekly share of voice trends based on impressions of paid search ads displaying for the branded keywords of 10 popular video conferencing brands, including Zoom, GoToMeeting, Webex, Ring Central, Avaya, 8x8, BlueJeans, Logitech, HighFive and Lifesize.
Ads for Zoom and Cisco’s Webex captured the most prominent share of voice from February 2 through the week of March 8. However, from March 15 through March 28, Logitech took over share of voice, while Zoom and Cisco receded. GoToMeeting, 8x8 and Avaya also increased in share of voice in the second half of March.
Notably, we did not find any paid search ad creative referencing the coronavirus pandemic during the period for ads displaying for either branded or non-branded keywords, suggesting providers are staying the course with their creative strategy rather adjusting messaging due to the crisis.