The three biggest advertisers on Facebook in the local market have spent a combined $4.5 million on the social media channel over the past six months.

The top spot was taken by consumer goods corporation Wix.com, which spent $2.1m on Facebook for the six months ended June 1, 2021.

This was followed by Air New Zealand on $1.3m and Insurance Underwriters NZ on $982,000.

The data comes from the digital marketing analytics platform Pathmatics, which has today announced its expansion into Australia and New Zealand. Launched in California in 2011, the uses to data to help clients minimise waste in their marketing budgets by ensuring that ads appear in the right place and at the right time.

The company’s local market research shows Spark, Vodafone, The Warehouse Group, Farmers and Xero among the top advertisers this year so far.

Public sector departments are also splashing out on Facebook ads, with Auckland Transport and Watercare Services Limited making it into the top 10.

Pathmatics have identified a number of interesting trends in Facebook advertising over the past 12 months.

In April 2020, the New Zealand Government surged to the number 2 spot due to a three-fold increase in ad spending.

However, with the pandemic evolving, the Government pulled back on its advertising.

The travel industry has also been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

In New Zealand, 60 per cent of digital ad dollars in the travel category have been concentrated on Facebook since January of 2020.

The category saw a drastic decline during the height of the pandemic, with spend ramping up again in October of 2020, dipping slightly in December of 2020, and climbing steadily since then into 2021.

Top 2021 travel advertiser Air New Zealand has already increased Facebook advertising spend by an estimated 65 per cent in January-May 2021 compared to the same time period in 2021.

The focus of its advertising has, however, shifted from long-haul international flights to low-cost deals for local destinations.

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