The year 2017 was an exciting one as far as Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing and marketers were concerned. Now that 2017 has come to a close, it is time to understand as to what worked this year and what is in store for the coming year. According to industry experts, voice search and artificial intelligence which were the hot topics in 2017 will most likely be part of the PPC trends 2018. They feel that better audience targeting would be the key consideration for paid search trends 2018. The other aspects to be considered are the role of automation and investment in social platforms. Read on to know more about PPC updates 2018.
Trend #1: Adoption of Machine Learning:
Among the top PPC trends 2018, this will be the biggest one as far as the marketers are concerned. Google is expected to upgrade its smart bidding technology, update ad rotation settings, and also introduce smart display campaigns. All these point to the fact that there will be a great deal of focus on adoption of machine learning for the purpose of boosting performance.
A PPC marketer will have to focus on machine learning in order to gain better insights for monitoring account performance. It is also essential to understand the underlying drivers so that account manager can make informed strategic decisions. Machine learning can be leveraged to drive audience targeting, creative messaging, bidding in new and more granular ways that help marketers stand out amidst competitors.
#2: Audience Management:
Marketers looking to achieve more success will be pushed on both audience management as well as voice search front though challenges such as multi-channel attribution, cross-device analytics, and smart bidding automation will still have to be contended with. In order to understand the intelligence behind keyword-inferred demand, audience data and paid search campaigns will have to be integrated. This is because keywords would continue to be the key factor in determining the users’ needs, but audience data would differentiate the superheroes from the civilians. However, improved audience targeting would enable marketers to customize messages, monetization strategies, and user experience in a better manner.
#3: Voice Search:
Voice search may still be in its fledgling stage. However, it is not wise to ignore it. Marketers should rework their strategies for both natural presence and PPC. This is because voice gives access to another type of behaviour of mobile users.
In 2018, the changes in the behaviour of the consumers would continue to evolve and change the way the products are marketed through paid search. In this holiday season, in-home gadgets such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo/Dot were at the top of the shopping lists. This would encourage Amazon and Google to introduce new advertising formats, presenting great opportunities for paid search.
#4: Brand Safety:
Brand safety will play a key role in 2018 as far as the biddable media decisions are concerned. For a very long time, the aim of the marketers was to get to the right person as effectively and efficiently as possible. Now, it is also important to ensure representation of brands alongside credible and safe content. Over the last six months, many of the large advertisers have highlighted this specific issue by not buying ads from large publishers. As such, publishers will have to bring in significant improvements in their capabilities to ensure brand safety. A shift in demand and supply could potentially lead to this, but brand-safe impressions would become more expensive because of a reduction in the availability of impressions.
#5: Automation of Campaign Management by Google:
Google would continue to enable the interface to do two things simultaneously: automation of campaign management for end-advertisers and make campaign management difficult for agencies. Google may not come out with fully automated AdWords campaigns, but Google would introduce elements that could take control away from PPC managers. Google's intention is not to avoid the agencies and PPC managers would still be there. However, this may create an opportunity for use of third-party tools.
#6: Ad Targeting Features of Google and Facebook May Merge:
At the highest level, Google ads and Facebook Ads offer different ad targeting features. Google users know what they want but do not where to get them. When it comes to Facebook, the demographics, behaviours, and interests of the target audience are clearly known. Therefore, marketers do not want to wait till they search. In the coming years, the ad targeting features of Facebook and Google would merge.
Ever since Facebook started placing ads, marketers have focused not only keywords but also on the people who are using the keywords to find them. Users may not know what keywords are and how they work. Marketers always understand audiences. Traditional media know their audiences and business schools teach the students about audiences. Facebook leads when it comes to efficient audience targeting and Google does not want to lose market share. So, keywords will not lose their importance anytime soon, but the intent of users will assume more importance.
#7: Artificial Intelligence:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the buzzword in 2017. In 2018, AI would have a bigger role to play in marketing workflows. Google introduced AI for conversion optimization and attribution modelling. Next year, the use of Google’s AI would skyrocket as bid management platforms have already started adopting AI into algorithms. While the performance of the AI improves, it pays to remember that human interaction is also equally important.
#8: Network Expansion:
An increase in competition has resulted in advertising costs rising consistently. It is now common to find many smaller businesses that are branded as ambitionless entertaining varied advertising networks, breaking away from Google Search, Bing Search, Shopping, and Display. Smaller businesses are more likely to use paid social for improving their advertising efficiency in the coming years. PPC marketers can benefit from this network expansion by using audience list data that are built across different social networks. They can then replicate the process through Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) and target Google AdWords advertisements.
Hope you found this blog on ‘Top PPC Trends 2018’ helpful. Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.