How Business Communication Platforms Allocated $26M in Digital Ads in 1 Year

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YouTube
Paid Search
Display Ads
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TikTok
Twitter
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OTT
December 14, 2022
SaaS

Key Takeaways

Advertising Channel Scan™ 

Advertising Trends

  • Brands in the competitive set spent the most on Paid Search ($14.2M), followed by OTT ($2.5M) and Display ($2.4M). Snapchat ($37K) saw the lowest ad spend allocations.
  • All brands in the competitive set saw decreases in ad spend from the first half to the second half of the time period except for Meta Workplace (+50%). 
  • All channels saw decreases in ad spend from the first half to the second half of the period except for Display (+22%) and Twitter (+27%). TikTok was experimented with for the first time in the second half of the period.
  • 62% of brands saw Paid Search advertising on their top 2 rosters for the highest spends.
  • Zoom had the highest budget amongst the competitive set, with an ad spend of $13.9M from Nov. ‘21 - Oct. ‘22.

Content Trends

  • Zoom had ads that focused on incentivizing the viewer to click by providing a free sign-up or a 50% discount on its sign-up.
  • Microsoft Teams ran an Instagram ad advertising that they’re now on YouTube. The copy states this YouTube channel shares tips and how-to guides for Microsoft Teams.
  • Microsoft Teams partnered with Starbucks during the holiday season to help their users easily give a gift to their coworkers using their platform. 
  • Cisco Webex utilizes their client, Formula 1 McLaren team, in their ads to convey to viewers the reliability of their platform and capitalize on the popularity of Formula 1.

The following companies were included in the competitive set for this analysis:

From November 2021 to October 2022, the competitive set spent $19.3M on digital advertising. Zooms’ Paid Search and Display spend led to the spike in investment. 

All brands in the competitive set saw decreases in ad spend from the first half to the second half of the time period except for Meta Workplace (+50%). 

All channels saw decreases in ad spend from the first half to the second half of the period except for Display (+22%) and Twitter (+27%). TikTok was experimented with for the first time in the second half of the period.

Paid Search ($14.2M) saw the highest budget allocation across the competitive set, followed by OTT ($2.5M) and Display ($2.4M). 

TikTok ($226K) and Snapchat ($37K) saw the lowest ad spend allocations from November 2021 to October 2022.

Paid Search not available for Microsoft Team because they do not have a standalone website.

From November 2021 to October 2022, the United States saw the highest budget allocation across the competitive set at $17.2M

Ad spend in Canada represented 13% of the budget at $2.6M. All brands in the competitive set had a budget allocation of less than 15% toward Canada.

From November 2021 to October 2022, Zoom spent $13.9M on digital advertising. 83% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($11.5M), followed by Display at $1.3M.

Zoom budgeted $9.8M toward Desktop Paid Search (85%) compared to $1.7M on Mobile Paid Search (15%).

Paid Search Tactics

Zoom spent $11.5M on Paid Search from November 2021 to October 2022. January 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $2.2M*

Catchy Tagline:

  • Both ads from Zoom featured the memorable tagline “start zooming today”. 

Free Sign Ups:

  • Zoom’s ads both feature call-to-actions like “request a demo” and “sign up free today” to incentivize customers to click on their ad. 
Landing Page #1 | Landing Page #2
*Ads shown from January 2022

Zoom budgeted $964K toward Desktop Display ads (72%) compared to $376K on Mobile Paid Search (28%).

Display Tactics

Zoom spent $1.3M on Display ads from November 2021 to October 2022.

Utilizing Buttons:

  • Both top display ads from Zoom utilized an eye-catching bright orange button against a white background to incentivize people to click on the ad. 

Keeping It Minimal:

  • Both display ads are minimal in design and contain a limited amount of text. Maintaining a simple design can allow for quicker comprehension.
Landing Page #1 | Landing Page #2

From November 2021 to October 2022, Cisco Webex spent $3.9M on digital advertising. 50% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($2M), followed by OTT at $985K (25%).

Cisco Webex budgeted $1.5M toward Desktop Paid Search (77%) compared to $455K on Mobile Paid Search (23%).

Paid Search Tactics

Cisco Webex spent $1.97M on Paid Search from November 2021 to October 2022. May 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $413K*

Answering Concerns:

  • Both ads from Cisco Webex answer the concerns of company executives looking for a new platform with phrases like “seamless integration”, “security & privacy”, and “more effectively”.

One Size Fits All:

  • Cisco Webex ensures that the viewer knows that their platform can support companies of any size through phrases like “scalable for large teams” and “teams of any size”.
Landing Page #1 | Landing Page #2
*Ads shown from May 2022

Cisco Webex budgeted $839K toward Other* OTT (85%) compared to $112K on Hulu OTT (11%).

*Other OTT includes spend from streaming services other than Hulu, Pluto TV, Peacock, Tubi, and Paramount +.

OTT Tactics

Cisco Webex spent $985K on OTT from November 2021 to October 2022. January 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $231K

Sports Team Partnerships:

  • In this ad, Cisco Webex features their partnership with Formula 1 team, McLaren, to leverage Formula 1’s popularity and showcase how McLaren trusts and relies on Cisco Webex.

Work from Anywhere:

  • In this ad, Cisco Webex uses multiple working scenarios to showcase the variety of places one can use it’s platform.
Landing Page #1 | Landing Page #2

From November 2021 to October 2022, Meta Workplace spent $1.2M on digital advertising. 55% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($665K), followed by Twitter at $308K (26%).

Meta Workplace budgeted $552K toward Desktop Paid Search (84%) compared to $104K on Mobile Paid Search (16%).

Paid Search Tactics

Meta Workplace spent $665K* on Paid Search from November 2021 to October 2022. September 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $350K*

Focus on Community:

  • Both ads focus on community connection messaging with phrases like “give…workers a voice to be part of the company conversation”.

Create Urgency:

  • Meta Workplaces creates a sense of urgency in their paid search ads by using the words “today” or “now” in their call-to-actions.

Mobile First:

  • Meta Workplace highlights their focus on being “mobile first” in their ads.
Landing Page #1 | Landing Page #2
*Meta Workplace had zero paid search spend for 7/12 months in the analysis. *Ads shown from September 2022.

On Twitter, Meta Workplace budgeted $305K toward Photo ads (99%).

Twitter Tactics

Meta Workplace spent $308K on Facebook from November 2021 to October 2022. November 2021 saw the highest ad spend of $239K*

Signature Colors:

  • Meta Workplace utilizes it’s signature brand colours of purple and gray in every single one of their photos.

Carousel Photos:

  • Both ads contain a carousel of photos that match the same theme.

Animated Objects:

  • Meta Workplace brings an element of fun into their ad by using animated objects such as a plant or slippers with eyes.

Spend: $105K | Imp.: 14.5M | CPM: $7.2 

Spend: $85K | Imp.: 11.7M | CPM: $7.2

From November 2021 to October 2022, Microsoft Teams spent $301K in digital advertising. 63% of their budget went towards Instagram ($189K), followed by Display ads at $75K (25%).

On Instagram, Microsoft Teams budgeted $103K toward Video Post ads (54%) followed by Story Post ads at $86K (46%).

Instagram Tactics

Microsoft Teams spent $189K on Instagram from November 2021 to October 2022.

Festive Partnerships:

  • Microsoft Teams partnered with Starbucks to help employees easily give a gift to their coworkers during the holiday season.

From Instagram to YouTube:

  • Microsoft Teams ran an Instagram ad advertising that they’re now on YouTube. The copy states this YouTube channel shares tips and how-to guides for Microsoft Teams.

Spend: $27K | Imp.: 2.8M | CPM: $9.64 

Spend: $14K | Imp.: 1.9M | CPM: $7.37 

*Ads shown from November 2021.

Microsoft Teams allocated the majority of their Display ad budget towards Desktop (99%).

Display Tactics

Microsoft Teams spent $75K on Display ads from November 2021 to October 2022. May 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $9.1K

Case Study Backed:

  • Microsoft Teams utilizes business case studies to back up their claims on how their platform can help a company save time and money. 

Optimized Landing Page:

  • Both ads lead to a landing page that is broken down into 3 parts:
  • 1.) Case studies of small businesses using Teams.
  • 2.) Benefits of using Teams.
  • 3.) Plan cost breakdown.
Landing Page #1 | Landing Page #2

*Ad spend includes Paid Search, OTT, Facebook, Display, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. Data not available for OTT, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter in Canada.
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.
*Digital Ad Spend in US & Canada (USD).
*Data not available for Instagram and Snapchat in Canada. 
*Paid Search not available for Microsoft Team because they do not have a standalone website.

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