2019 is finally here. After a hectic and change-filled 2018, the New Year finds pay-per-click marketers facing fresh opportunities and challenges. In this article, we are going to review some of the major trends we expect to dominate paid search in 2019 and what you should be doing to follow these trends.
Face The Automation
If you’re searching for the biggest buzzword that you’ll hear this year, look no further. “Automation” is on the mind of every PPC specialist, but there’s no real consensus on exactly what it means for their work. For some, automation is a harbinger of doom. They point to recent Google rollouts of ad automation as a sign of the search giant’s intent to phase out the human side of PPC management. However, others believe that automation allows PPC specialists to work smarter, not harder, to manage campaigns.
No matter what side of the fence you sit on, those working in paid search need to confront the reality that automation is here, and it’s not going anywhere.
Keep Tabs on Your Campaigns
Automation is great, but it can often reinforce a sense of complacency amongst even seasoned PPC experts. Just remember that there is no substitute for a regular review of your campaigns and your budgets. You may find opportunities to move funds around in ways that the software you’re using failed to.
Some things (May) Never Change
Even as automation is poised to take over the PPC world heading into the next decade, there are two trends from 2018 and earlier that we see continuing strong in 2019: the power of video ads and mobile-first customization. Search engines (and actual users) have long preferred video content. If your campaigns are late to the game, start by creating short-runtime videos focused on specific targets.
Become More Human
Paradoxically, as more automation enters the picture, PPC management requires more humanity than ever. Pay-per-click ads need to be more than just a collection of keywords thrown out onto the proverbial street. They need to be viewed through a user experience lens. More than ever before, marketers need to critically think about the audience, the intent of the ad, the call-to-action, and the place where the ad is going. In other words, you need to write ads for humans, not algorithms.
This is especially true when you weigh the ever-expanding territory of voice search. Voice search is natural language, which means it is probably the closest reflection of what the 2020s will look like for both organic and paid search. Our recommendation is that you begin the process—if you haven’t already—of optimizing your content for voice search.
Building Your Brand
PPC advertising isn’t just about what converts. It’s also about how your ads fit within and elevate your brand. All great advertising, from billboards to paid search, conveys a message about the company, product, or service being advertised. You have to balance performance with perception. An algorithm may be able to build and promote an effective ad but creating something that appeals to people and reinforces your brand message gives it a human touch.
As more and more of PPC management is becoming software-driven, marketers need to evaluate if their ads protect the brand.
A World Beyond Google?
For more than a decade, Google has dominated the world of paid search. That’s unlikely to change in 2019. However, what has shifted is that there are now more options for diversifying your pay-per-click budget than ever. Consider some of these options:
- Facebook: Almost every marketing agency is now doing some form of Facebook advertising. However, the rollout of new features like the instant storefront offers marketers a highly visual and engaging way to connect with users.
- Amazon: This shopping giant is flexing its own search muscle more and more. Buoyed by the popularity of Amazon Echo voice search devices and its Amazon Prime membership program, Amazon now offers more to advertisers than ever before.
- Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn: Once considered to be far beyond Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, these three platforms have new digital advertising features for PPC specialists to use as a means of spreading out their budget.
Team Up and Stay in The Loop
Pay-per-click advertising is evolving at an incredible pace. If there’s nothing else you take from this article, believe this: doing things the way they’ve always been done isn’t going to work in 2019. Test new features debuting in Google Ads. Be ambitious with your automation goals. Find new avenues for diversifying your paid search budget.
We recommend collaborating and engaging with your fellow digital marketers. Talk to them, toss ideas around, and share resources. Identify areas where you share both challenges and successes. An isolated PPC specialist is a vulnerable one because they face a world of changes alone.
Putting together a winning PPC strategy isn’t really about “solving” PPC. It’s about being able to adapt to change, use new tools, and overcome challenges.
This is a guest post by Raluca Crasuleac. Raluca is the senior editor and digital marketing strategist at 5 Fold Marketing, an online marketing company providing professional services for a variety of businesses throughout the US. Raluca has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing at ASU and has adventured into studying foundational neuroscience at Duke University. By combining her marketing insights with her neuroscience knowledge, Raluca has a better understanding on how consumers make buying decisions.