At the end of a typical year, you sit down with your team and create a new strategy for the coming year. You base it on the metrics you’ve obtained from the previous year, analyze what worked and what didn’t, and use it to project what your plans are for the new year. It’s all pretty straightforward.
But this has been anything but a normal year.
People are stuck at home, which means their spending habits have changed significantly. A recent study suggests 42 percent of the workforce is now working from home full-time, while an additional 33 percent are not working at all.
Think that impacts the way people are using Google?
Think that has an impact on PPC trends and how you should approach your advertising?
According to a projection by SearchEngineJournal, for the first time in history, Google’s advertising revenue will drop this year by 5 percent. Google’s share of the digital ad space will decrease from 31.6 percent to 29.4 percent.
How did this happen? In one word: COVID.
The pandemic changed everything about consumer behavior. We’re no longer traveling; we’re staying close to home. That makes things like travel falling away from popular culture, while home products and services are trending at higher levels than ever before.
Will that change your approach to online marketing in the coming months? You bet. Are you accounting for these PPC trends as you plan for the new year?
Here’s what we believe.
1. PPC will stretch to many different platforms
Think pay-per-click is just about Google ads? Think again.
The goal of PPC is sales. When you pay for a click, it generates traffic, which leads to conversions, which ultimately leads to sales. The better you get at this process, the more you define the audience you’re targeting, the more interest you’ll generate for your site, your products, and your services.
This year we’ve seen a huge shift from people moving and traveling around the world, to staying close at home and focusing more on things they can do in their own community.
While Google isn’t going away, people are spending more time on other platforms such as Facebook and Amazon. That means as an advertiser, the more you define your audience, the more you understand where they are, the more you can reach out to them on different platforms and do so in a more direct way.
Using PPC on Google will pick up traffic from people starting their search process. But if you move to other platforms – Facebook, for example – you can get deeper into the heart of what they’re looking for. Your messages can expand in length. You can target your base in an entirely new way. And you can see results on an entirely different level than what you’ve experienced with Google.
Don’t negate your Google PPC ads. But be willing to expand and try new things as we define our new normal.
2. Rethink your audience and the buyer journey
In years before, it was easier to look at the data, analyze results, and make adjustments based on what the output tells you.
That’s becoming more difficult because of the way AI is impacting the way we search.
If you’ve ever been on the backend of ad platforms like Google or Facebook, you realize how much more they are relying on AI to make decisions. That means it’s more important than ever for you to dig deep into the experience you want to deliver your customers, and what they expect from you along the way.
Redefine your customer avatar. Ask important questions about your approach.
- How long does it take to finalize a sale?
- What questions do customers have along the journey?
- What information do they need?
- What are they searching for?
- What do they expect at each step of the process?
While PPC results are going to drive traffic to you, what do you want to say to your prospects once they get there? The clearer the picture you build of who they are and what they want, the more success you’ll find with this technology.
3. Perfect your message
One of the reasons PPC has always worked so well is because you can narrow your focus. Instead of creating one ad for a generic population, PPC allows you to define your target audience in detail, and get very specific with their needs and desires.
That’s not going to change. In fact, with AI, it will work even better. That means in the coming months, you should spend more time perfecting your message. That’s what is going to stand out between good and bad ads in the future. Good ads will speak directly to the audience and they will do it well.
This goes back to defining your customer avatar in detail. You may have multiple ideal customers – be very specific when you define them. As you pick up concepts that make your audience tick, you will be able to build an emotional connection with them beyond typical advertising strategies.
And that’s what people need now more than ever.
4. Don’t forget to cross platforms too
As people continue to stay home for both work and personal time, they rely on their mobile devices even more. They might sit at a desk in their bedroom during working hours, but they handle their smart devices from the moment they rise, until bedtime.
Instead of reaching out to people by thinking about the platform – Google or Facebook, for example – consider how they view the information. Think about how you can change up your ads to reflect the way people are now spending more time.
Have you ever thought about moving to video? YouTube has a lot of benefits for people willing to put video ads to work. It can bring a new dimension to the way you reach out to your audience.
How will PPC trends impact your business in 2021?
As we learned from this past year, our lives can change in an instant. But with careful thought and planning, you can use technology to reach out to your base in new and exciting ways.
If you’re planning for a profitable 2021, how can we help you achieve results?