As marketers engage in Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing, it’s vital that we keep our finger on the proverbial pulse of the latest PPC trends. While no one can predict the future, we can make some extrapolations based on trends we’re seeing in the present, and base some predictions on new features that have rose to prominence in the last few years. With more and more businesses utilizing PPC marketing as a means of generating more sales, PPC has become one of the most powerful sources of new technology in all of internet marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent trends that we believe you should be following.
In the past several years, we have seen a new rise of audience targeting technologies, and this is something more and more marketers have been taking advantage of. Expect to see more personalized ads utilizing audience targeting options – and we expect to see audience targeting integrated directly into Adwords. Ads in 2017 look to be increasingly targeted by device, age, and behavior, with an emphasis on interest-based targeting.
Overall, the purpose of using audience targeting is to help build stronger relationships before a customer converts. The transformation of prospect to conversion will be reflected in the way this target advertising sequentially engages them: finding consumers in the top of the funnel, and gradually leading them down to the purchase. Audience targeting helps marketers develop a strategy that moves beyond last-click attribution, and transcends all levels of the “funnel.”
For these reasons, we think it’s important for marketers to focus on audience targeted just as heavily as we focus on keyword targeting. All three of these targeting metrics: keyword, location, and audience, will play crucial roles in developing a strong PPC strategy in 2017 and beyond. If you’re not using audience targeting already, it’s time to start.
The rise of voice search is something that few of us could have predicted in past years, but today there is no question: voice search is a rising trend among consumers and with mobile assistants getting more accurate, with devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home, it’s only going to get larger. For these reasons, 2017 could be the year we see a shift toward voice search in a big way. For this reason, we may begin to see analytics on whether users interact via voice or text search in PPC marketing in the near future. This information will assist marketers in tailoring messaging not only to audiences and to keywords, but also to the search method. So – how can we make sure we’re ready when voice search takes the spotlight? Make sure your site’s information is voice search friendly, and keep an eye out for voice advertising news, to make sure you’re ready to be on top of this trend as soon as you can.
Think About Bing
When Bing launched, many of us took a bit of an aloof, even askance view of it. Today, while it certainly isn’t matching market share with Google by any stretch, it is continuing to grow in the marketing realm, and every year sees an increase in Bing ad use, particularly as the platform expands with more extensions – and audience targeting capabilities. As we’ve mentioned, audience targeting is a trend you should be on top of in your PPC efforts, and that means it’s not the time to forget that Bing ads exist. The Bing audience is unique, and their lower CPC on keywords makes them an attractive platform for PPC marketing. Take advantage of these lower costs before Bing grows even more, and you could reap the benefits before your competitors. We recommend simply copying your AdWords campaign to Bing, and beginning with a small budget – and of course, don’t forget audience targeting.
Respect the Kings
Of course, while we’re paying attention to new approaches like Bing, and voice searches via Amazon Echo, don’t forget that the kings are very much secure in their thrones at least for the time being. In terms of search, Google won’t be usurped anytime soon, and in the social media world Facebook continues to reign supreme. Google’s audience continues to grow and their PPC technologies get more and more robust. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to diversify its own revenues by expanding their ad options. For the PPC marketer, growth in Google and Facebook means higher returns from integrated campaigns using both of these services.
So, what about other social media platforms? We don’t mean to downplay the ad potential of Twitter and LinkedIn – to the contrary, they are growing as well. Additionally, since visual content and video is a very effective tool for engaging an audience, don’t neglect the urge to expand into visual platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube in your PPC strategy.
Optimize and Automate
Finally, we’re seeing a lot of new automation tools in the PPC world, and those should be used to their fullest extent, allowing you to focus on top level strategy for your PPC efforts. Automation helps to boost ROI, and allows marketers to use their time more wisely. Using scripts, rules, and the AI already built into computers, in addition to new tools like prediction engines and intelligent bidding to limit overspending, enables us to exercise more control than ever over a wide array of metrics. Don’t fight automation – use it, and use your time to focus on higher level tasks!
Are you a PPC marketer with insights as to recent trends? If so, would love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you’re looking for help getting you PPC campaigns set up, reach out and our team would be glad to help! As always, remember to follow Visible Factors on Twitter.