Where are Facebook advertisers spending their money?

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As Facebook looks to expand its reach internationally with the acquisition of WhatsApp, a new study by Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Marin Software shows that 52 percent of ad spend still takes place in North America. Conversely, 28 percent of Facebook users are located in the Asia/Pacific regions, yet only 0.71 percent of the overall Facebook ad spend is dedicated there.

Matt Ackley, Marin Software’s Chief Marketing Officer, discussed the findings in a press release:

The increasing competition to reach Facebook’s North American users has driven CPMs for these ads dramatically higher – yet the cost of ads targeting the ‘other 85%’ of Facebook users remains quite low. Now is a golden opportunity for brands to launch impactful, cost-effective campaigns internationally – before competition and CPMs rise.

The report illustrates how regions such as Asia Pacific are expected to grow quickly. Its Facebook userbase share is currently at 28 percent, and that’s expected to grow to 32 percent.

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The white paper explains how Asia-Pacific should be a big market for advertisers:

Based on its high user volume and low advertising competition levels, APAC appears to be the most promising region for Facebook advertisers in 2014. Yet according to eMarketer, social advertising spend – of which Facebook comprises the vast majority – in APAC is expected to grow by the lowest percentage relative to the other regions studied. This growth estimate suggests that companies doing business in APAC have yet to realize the full potential of Facebook as an acquisition channel. It is likely that, as additional user growth data becomes available, more Facebook advertisers will look to the region as a source of opportunity in 2014.

Marin also found that Latin America leads all international markets on Facebook in terms of ad engagement. The area has the world’s highest percentage of Facebook penetration (at 66 percent of Internet users) and also generates the highest Facebook ad clickthrough rates (CTR). The CTR for Latin America is 33 percent higher than North America and 54 percent higher than Western European markets.

Readers: How are you breaking up your Facebook ad spend internationally?

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