It’s 2021 and a new decade of digital marketing strategy is upon us.
With TikTok set to revolutionise the definition of snackable video content, and brand transparency guaranteed to capture the fleeting attention of Generation Z, this year’s trends will spark a dramatic shift in marketing technologies and consumer behaviours worldwide.
PPC is no different.
As an intrinsic component of the digital marketing landscape, PPC is renowned for providing a staggering ROI under the correct circumstances. The very evidence of this notion is in the statistics. PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase than organic visitors as of 2019, and 40% of brands are anxious to increase their PPC budget.
With the intricacies of PPC growing at an exponential rate year-on-year, we’ve predicted a number of trends in the field for 2020.
1. AI will transform the digital marketing landscape
We can’t refer to 2020 PPC without addressing the behemoth topic that is AI.
It’s no secret that an increasing number of agencies have invested in AI and machine learning tools in recent years — think smart campaigns and automated bidding strategies.
An enormous part of PPC’s success lies in its use of automation tools to aid invaluable decision-making frameworks. Machine learning software manages all aspects of a campaign through statistical learning methods and bid management, resulting in an impressive 22% increase in conversions as of 2018.
In 2020, machine learning and automation will continue to pick up rapid speed. With AI producing analytics and performing complex tasks faster and better than humans, Google can offer advertisers highly targeted audiences, delivering ads to those in search of specific solutions in real-time.
Gartner predicts that by the year 2024, artificial intelligence identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see. Of course, this inevitable rise of AI and the loss of control that comes with it can be daunting to those who question Google’s intent. However, the days of PPC account managers and keywords are not over — they are simply changing.
2. Savvy marketers will use multiple platforms
When it comes to the staggering success of PPC, the majority of marketers still think solely of networks implemented by the duopoly of Facebook and Google.
In 2020, smart marketers are predicted to test multiple platforms in order to decipher whether or not an individual platform will be advantageous to their marketing strategy. With social media growing at a remarkably fast pace, testing platforms for LinkedIn Ads, Amazon Ads, and Twitter Ads offers the chance to experiment with new PPC networks, indulge in a variety of targeting options, and reach millions of customers worldwide.
Of course, social media is just a small cornerstone in the expansive maze of PPC networks. From Bing, to Bidvertiser, to RevContent, to Advertise.com, there are multiple, specialised platforms out there for marketers to effectively implement a PPC campaign.
In summary — marketers will broaden their PPC platform horizons this 2020.
3. Target audiences will be reached consistently
2021 will be the year of consistent, strategic audience targeting.
While 2019 focused on audience targeting through remarketing lists for search ads and custom affinity audiences, 2020 will focus on targeting audiences at specific touch points throughout the buying journey. Savvy marketers will speak to their target audience at the right time and in a way that enables customer growth, instead of bombarding them with one message for a direct sale.
According to the Marketo Engagement Gap Report, 56% of consumers believe businesses need to have a deeper understanding of their needs. In 2020, marketers will be forced to consider how their advertising improves customer wellbeing and fulfils personal learning.
In short, marketers are shifting their attention to the heart of all successful PPC campaigns: the people.
Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN) will also continue to drive audience targeting in 2020, combining user intent from search with user profile data to match consumers with advertisers.
4. PPC marketers will be forced to up their strategy
With automation set to replace both data-driven and mundane tasks, PPC marketers will be forced to either drive innovation through their own strategy, or fall dangerously behind.
While it is impossible for an individual to compete with the genius complexities of Google’s automated technology, PPC marketers will be required to adopt a more strategic mindset for themselves and for their clients. Instead of focusing on tasks now automated, marketers will be encouraged to develop their creativity and target audience strategy.
Learning the strengths and weaknesses of a broad scope of automation tools and embracing CRM data is the key to deciphering whether or not AI options are best practice for campaign management. Working with AI to build successful campaigns and not as a subordinate, marketers can also optimise their own process by building algorithms to automate tasks.
So, smart marketers will adapt to AI in order to survive and strive.
5. The rise of chatbots
A chatbot is a software program that interacts with customers and site visitors in a way that is both natural-sounding and real-time. This strategy can save massive costs on hiring someone to monitor your website and communicate with visitors on an ad hoc basis. A chatbot is personable, unbiased and informative. It allows customers to make faster decisions and makes users feel like they’re being treated as individuals.
If you’re not already on the chatbot train, you’d be well advised to buy a ticket. Decide whether it’s necessary to use software unique to your company or one of the existing options on the market. This choice is contingent on your budget and the predicted complexity of the audience-chatbot interactions.
6. Up your personalized content marketing game (again)
The competition never sleeps in digital marketing. Every single company is on the lookout for the next big thing, the freshest ideas, the most unique and quirky advertising strategies. High-quality content is and always will be one of the most effective ways of generating leads and closing deals.
As we move into the 2020s, consumers are increasingly insisting on adverts with depth. Your content needs to become even more focused, even more highly specialized, in recognition of your consumers’ idiosyncrasies and preferences. Ultimately, you should be striving for a user experience that is holistic, multichannel and incomparably personable.
7. PPC and SEO will become close allies
Although they are often deemed each other’s nemeses, PPC and SEO have a crucial relationship that drives the results of a campaign.
In 2021, this relationship will be better used to maximize success. By exchanging important keyword data and SEO ranking data, SEO and PPC teams will integrate to identify position strategy and increase SERP coverage for all clients.
Why is 2021 the year for PPC and SEO integration? After all, this relationship has been building for multiple years. It is more important than ever before for marketers to address the relationship between PPC and SEO because they will be forced to reconsider their strategy in a landscape driven by constant change.
Many still approach PPC and SEO as completely separate strategies with separate results. 2020 is the year for marketers to broaden their horizons and rebuild old fashioned strategies from the ground up.