This year, we’ve seen some big changes in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing — not least of which was the rebranding of AdWords to Google Ads.
From a focus on audiences and automation to the launch of different campaigns, tools, and enhancements by Google, the general shift in advertising goals and targeting methods this year is something that digital marketers need to get familiar with for 2019.
We’ve looked up the top 10 paid advertising trends to help guide you in your PPC strategy for 2019.
1. From Keywords to Context and People
Results from Walker’s research revealed that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
In 2019, PPC marketers predict a shift from keywords to audiences and context. There are now infinitely more layers to campaign targeting, particularly in Google Ads. With these increased audience segments comes the opportunity to build more hyper-targeted, personalised and relevant ads to drive higher ROI.
If you are still not using audience insights for your PPC campaigns, you are already a few steps behind from everybody else.
2. The Rise of Marketing Automation and AI
According to Social Media Today, 80 percent of respondents surveyed view artificial intelligence as an important player in the digital advertising industry during 2018.
As we noted in our Partner Summit wrap-up, Google is encouraging marketers more and more to lean in to the numerous data points available in its automated bidding strategies and ad formats. Marketing automation and artificial intelligence are fast becoming mainstays in the marketing space.
In 2019, we’ll be seeing seeing more automation and the adoption of AI-powered tools and features for audience targeting, freeing up marketers to add subtlety, intelligence and strategy to their campaigns.
3. Diversifying PPC Spend with New Advertising Alternatives
Statista reports that paid search advertising spending is expected to grow by 8.6 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.
In 2019, brands will have more options to choose from to reach prospective buyers. We'll see better automation, smarter ad formats and laser-targeted personalisation from other the other big players in this space, such as Facebook Ads, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Bing Ads.
4. A New Challenge for PPC Marketers
With automation becoming ever present in the industry, PPC marketers need to strategise for 2019 and explore how they can develop new skills that can help them to better leverage automation and become more competitive.
5. Cross-Channel Advertising Experiences
Aberdeen Group reports that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers.
By now, marketers should be aware that no one channel works. Most brands today engage with their customers across multiple channels. In 2018, it became even easier to build well-coordinated multi-channel campaigns. In 2019, it will be more about cross-channel strategies across different devices, as well as platforms.
Recognising that there are a number of touchpoints across the purchasing journey and identifying how to have a consistent user experience across all of these will be key in 2019. The customer journey isn’t isolated to a single channel anymore; blended user journeys across search and social means your paid strategies need to work together harmoniously.
6. Integrated Ads and the Single Cohesive Message
33% of internet users find display ads completely intolerable. And as social algorithms present users with more and more personalised feeds, so too are consumers expecting personalisation in the ads they see.
The prevalence of adblocking software and apps means PPC marketers need to look into how they can improve ads themselves. This means reviewing all elements of the ads: including headings imagery and ad text, and making sure they all integrate into one cohesive message that stands out from the noise.
7. The Intersection of Video and Social Media
As social media algorithms are increasingly favour video and search results pages feature more and more video placements, marketers in 2019 need to prioritise the use of video in their PPC strategy.
In terms of mobile content, video remains king. By 2019, marketers need to continue to adapt to changes in video ad trends such as Google’s vertical video ads, which is already being launched by YouTube for its TrueView and universal app campaigns.
Ad formats in Instagram stories will continue to grow and it’s essential that marketers learn how and where their prospects are consuming video.
8. Remarketing for better engagementRemarketing — particularly across channels — can be hugely powerful in driving return on ad spend. The higher CTRs and conversion rates make it particularly lucrative paid media strategy in 2019. We’ve seen the ability to build new remarketing audiences grow in 2018, with Facebook’s Click to Message ad format a handy new way to re-engage prospects and existing customers.
9. Building a Better Brand
The quest for increased return on ad spend (ROAS) has often been at the expense of investing in the brand. But Google reports that search ads can boost brand awareness by as much as 80 percent, making consumers more likely to remember your brand and engage.
In 2019, it’s important for marketers to also focus on building their brand and not just on increasing ROI. The long-term effect of creating brand integrity and loyalty is hugely valuable, and the resulting increased product demand will ensure marketers are able to continue achieving their goals even as platforms and strategies come and go.
10. Surprise New Ad Features
The new year is sure to bring out new surprises in paid advertising.Marketers will have to learn how to contend with new tools, reports, and ad types.
But it’s important to keep your eyes open for different conversion-based opportunities. Local Services Ads will be rolled out across different industries, and there will be a shift from the standard keywords to in-market audiences, responsive ads, and landing pages. It’s likely we’ll see continued developments in automation as the major platforms seek to make paid advertising more accessible to the masses.