Patrina Fallon, Senior PPC Account Manager, Loud Mouth Media, looks at the emerging trends, including how we use data, how consumers use the internet and exploring emerging features and technologies…
Pay Per Click (PPC) is a vital tool for businesses with a digital presence – whether that be in the retail industry, where the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve at a rapid speed; or for start-ups aiming to enter new markets around the world. Ultimately, the internet and the onslaught of social media platforms are generating more opportunities for brands to attract and engage with users on a global scale. However, this creates extreme competition, and PPC is a great way to ensure your brand is noticed by the right people at the right time.
Alongside PPC, the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also allowing companies to leverage technologies to better engage with customers and gain a competitive advantage. With technology advancing daily, brands can respond and stay on top of new PPC trends, while those that don’t risk falling behind. It’s all about making informed decisions to drive a return on investment – and that’s where innovative thinking and technical expertise comes in.
So why do brands and marketers need to adapt to the latest PPC trends to improve their media strategies? Building a customer base and driving results and revenue are a given, but what are some other PPC trends that are essential in today’s digital economy?
Re-evaluate the way you use data
Complex and sometimes indecipherable data will, unfortunately, still be a challenge, so marketers need to review the analytics they are using to make the best of the data they have. With so many online sources for brands to track, obstacles and limitations will occur, so end-users need to be flexible. Platforms like Google Ads limit access to search query data, and tracking cookies could well be eliminated; so digital marketers must adapt, if they haven’t already, in a big way as we head into 2022.
The events of 2020 changed the way people look at data and online technology, meaning we have newfound expectations for the tools and services we choose to use. Brands have seen new demands from their customers, including more behind-the-scenes access to how data is being used.
This last year has been Google Ads’ worst year on record for moving away from transparency and limiting the data we need to make the best decisions for accounts. With the future now anticipating a much bigger reliance on AI and machine learning, we can expect Google to continue hiding data so that advertisers rely more on these technologies than on their own expertise. However, this trend is not one-size-fits-all, and while it may help the smaller advertiser, it could be detrimental to large and more sophisticated advertisers.
In order to succeed in this environment, marketers need to overcome the imperfect data, and instead of focusing on the loss see what’s working best with the information they have. Reviewing patterns of search queries, rather than individual search terms is a good way to approach this, whilst also learning to achieve more with less.
Make sure you're mobile
If brands want to be successful, then one of the first places to start is by creating an accessible website. While this may seem obvious, there are still so many brands that don’t have a website that offers its customers a good mobile experience. And with 57 percent of internet users revealing that they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website, a mobile-friendly online presence is a must for any business.
Brands need to test and review the mobile experience through the eyes of their customers, especially as so many people now prefer to use their mobile devices over desktops, with 56 percent of users choosing phones over computers when accessing websites – up from just 6 percent in 2011.
Test new platforms to understand the customer journey
One of the most recommended PPC practices to implement is to not be afraid to think outside the box and test new paid platforms. Advertising through social media and using the likes of Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn will help achieve the best results, so marketers should take the time to run the rule over the features available to see if one benefits their campaign.
When researching the tools available, it’s important to remember the audience that you’re looking to target. Those advertisers that align their PPC marketing efforts with the journey of the end-user will be the ones who come out on top and can be achieved through thinking about what the customer is searching for, where they interact and how long the buying process takes.
PPC advertising will continue to be an integral element of any digital marketing strategy, and though the landscape is changing, its budget-friendly nature and highly targeted way of working means PPC advertising is here to stay.
The availability of data will, as discussed, continue to change and will therefore alter the way marketers and brands approach their advertising. However, the increasing influence of AI and machine learning is already being implemented. As expected, the advances in technology will be what set the tone for PPC advertising in 2022 and beyond, but by keeping on top of the latest trends and adapting to the changes, PPC marketing will continue to increase reach and drive traffic to websites.
By Patrina Fallon
Senior PPC Account Manager
Loud Mouth Media