The PPC landscape is constantly changing and new techniques and trends are emerging at a seemingly increasing speed. If you are wondering what the most important PPC trends of the new decade will be, here are ten we think you should be keeping a close eye on over the coming months and years ahead.
1. Machine Learning, AI, and Automation
Machine learning, AI and automation are set to gain serious traction throughout 2020 and will remain at the forefront of every serious PPC marketer’s mind this year. These technologies bring myriad possibilities and the key here is to understand how to apply these tools in ways that deliver value.
Whilst AI and machine learning lacks the nuance and complexity of human decision making they can perform routine tasks far more efficiently than humans and in PPC there’s a lot of this. That means that if you aren’t implementing these capabilities into your workflow you will fall behind. Significantly, however, it is essential to focus on implementing technologies that will drive tangible results for clients and lay the foundations for long term success.
2. Enhanced Audience Targeting
Understanding how to speak to your audience at every point of the customer journey is essential for businesses and for smart marketers looking to thrive in 2020. Rather than focusing too closely on pushing marketing messaging shaped to drive direct sales, pivoting slightly to communicate how your offerings can help your audience in some way will help you to secure the growth you need to see.
Importantly, keywords will continue to play a key role here. Audience targeting and keywords are shaping up to be an ideal partnership that can produce exciting results over both the short and long term.
3. Virtual Reality
VR’s role in advertising is largely unexplored at this point but as technologies advance and users of VR increase, innovative techniques will emerge.
VR already allows users to evaluate products from all angles and advertising within the virtual landscape looks likely to provide marketers with a unique ability to accelerate customer journeys.
4. Building Brand Affinity
Building brand awareness is important, but enhancing brand affinity is essential. Why? Well, the days of simply ensuring that your audience is familiar with your brand are gone. Instead, you need to understand how to influence the way in which your potential customers feel about your brand and respond to your messaging. Forging and nurturing these connections has always mattered but it’s not traditionally been the arena of PPC to deliver this strategy.
Additionally, careful monitoring as to where and when your messaging is visible will continue to be something you cannot afford to overlook. This isn’t a new trend and big brands have been complaining about how offensive content can end up becoming associated with their brands for years. Given the upsurge of political advertising though, this is likely to intensify in 2020 and beyond (it’s such a big subject that it deserves it’s own article).
Suffice to say, leaving ad platforms free to place your messaging anywhere is a dangerous oversight nowadays because you run the risk of associating your brand with potentially offensive or politically extremist content. Actively monitoring for negative brand association on Ad networks is as important in 2020 as actively pushing positive messaging about your brand.
5. Video Ads
Videos are one of the most powerful forms of communication. In addition to being an ideal medium to showcase brand personality and tell stories, video facilitates engagement and audience connections in ways that other mediums simply cannot.
As it becomes simpler to produce high-quality videos, more businesses are investing in this type of content and pushing it out to audiences through a variety of channels. Although YouTube remains a primary advertising channel, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn offer native video capabilities that should also now be considered.
If you have ever looked at a product, decided not to purchase and then started seeing ads for that product on other websites, you have seen remarketing in action. The more times a consumer sees a product, the higher the chance they will purchase. It is essential, however, that remarketing strategies are carefully implemented and align with your customer journey.
The key to running effective remarketing campaigns is to understand your customers and accurately identify where they spend time online. Remarketing campaigns can reduce your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) by capturing potential customers who have previously demonstrated an interest in your brand.
7. A Focus on Conversion Rate Optimisation
CRO is something you should have been investing in for many years, however 2020 is the year this will finally become something you need to do. Smart marketers will continue to push for development in other channels including social and display, however the most notable results will be produced by strong CRO programs.
You must also keep in mind that customer optimisation goes hand in hand with CRO. As you are investing resources into acquiring customers, it is imperative to ensure that you also invest appropriately in measures to retain them.
As automation and AI takes on some of the more monotonous tasks, the demand for strategic PPC thinkers will increase. As the landscape continues to change and evolve, the right differentiation strategy becomes mission-critical.
An ability to devise a strong strategy which considers both client and audience needs will become invaluable during 2020. The best PPC marketers will use big-picture thinking to make strategic decisions in overcoming problems and driving results in line with core business goals and marketing objectives.
9. Voice Search
The proliferation of mobile technology has seen instances of voice search increase. In 2020, more than half of all searches will be voice searches, which makes this something marketers cannot afford to ignore.
Voice searches typically include more conversational phrases, which search engine algorithms need to interpret to serve the most relevant content. In terms of PPC adverts, voice searches also affect the SERPs adverts will appear on.
10. Looking Beyond Google and Facebook
At a time when more people are spending more time on platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat, businesses need to adapt their approach and increase their visibility in the places that matter to their audience.
Although targeting every ad platform would be a strategic error for most businesses, taking your messaging to your audience is an essential component of success within competitive sectors. This might mean that your budget is stretched across several platforms, which will require careful management and considered allocation based upon performance metrics.