In a shifting landscape, it’s important for competitive businesses to understand the latest pay-per-click (PPC) marketing trends, including a renewed focus on consumer privacy, a growing dependence on artificial intelligence, and alertness for any new ad platforms that may pop up.
1. FOCUS ON FIRST-PARTY DATA
Between Apple’s app tracking changes and Google moving to sunset third-party cookies, marketers are losing some of their most essential PPC data. The moves have been well received by a general public increasingly concerned with online privacy and security, so assume these changes are here to stay.
Customers are still there—brands just need to change their strategies to reach them.
The most important strategy is a focus on first-party data. The information a brand can collect without third parties will be essential. This includes website behavior, CRM data, survey data, lifecycle marketing performance, and purchase history.
2. AUDIT EXISTING MARKETING TECHNOLOGIES
In order for first-party data to be effective, brands are performing audits to analyze the quality of their first-party data. Look for gaps in the information and identify tech solutions to fill them. According to Google, third-party cookies don’t officially leave until 2024, so 2023 is the time to make sure all your systems are optimized for first-party data.
3. USE SEO BEST PRACTICES FOR VOICE SEARCH OPTIMIZATION
Search engine optimization (SEO) and PPC have always gone hand-in-hand. The difference in 2023 is the growing significance of voice-based search. 50% of shoppers use voice search on their buying journey. Voice search is still the wild west for PPC advertisers, but brands should optimize for it now. Don’t just use your target keywords in ads — make the tone conversational and helpful.
4. COPY ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA BEST PRACTICES
Just as SEO helps with PPC copy, organic social media should help with PPC assets. Customers expect paid and organic social media to look cohesive. Short-form videos and other social media trends will work well for PPC ads in 2023.
5. LOOK FOR PROGRAMMATIC MARKETING GROWTH
Programmatic marketing is the use of automated technology to buy media based on key factors that are likely to perform best — including demographics, viewing habits, and more. The use of programmatic advertising increased by 16% in 2022 and is expected to grow at that rate in the year ahead.
6. GET COMFORTABLE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
In tandem with programmatic marketing, the role of AI will continue to grow in PPC advertising in 2023, but it’s still important for experts to monitor. The technology is trustworthy, but there may be cases where AI parameters need to change. For example, smart bidding caps should be raised in competitive times like the holiday shopping season.
7. BENCHMARK INDUSTRY DATA
Artificial intelligence is also used to collect benchmarking data. It is easy to see how PPC metrics are performing MoM or YoY, but how do those numbers compare to your competitors? Machine learning can collect data across all the major platforms, sort it by industry, and let you know what’s working and what can be improved.
8. JUMP ON NEW SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS EARLY
Most marketers are comfortable on standard platforms like Google and Microsoft Ads; however, emerging social media platforms are becoming the best place for advertisers to snag up low cost-per-clicks and corner new markets. There will always be a learning curve with a new channel; however, the right strategy can help you get the biggest return possible from it. In 2023, that means jumping on budding social channels first.
9. WATCH FOR NEW EMERGING CHANNELS
Social media isn’t the only segment of PPC advertising with new channels emerging. Amazon pioneered marketplace-specific PPC, and now it is becoming the norm. Walmart and Sears have launched their own ad platforms in the Amazon model, with Netflix, Uber, Macy’s and more following suit.
This all adds up to a decentralization of PPC advertising. You can no longer get set up on Google Ads and Facebook Ads and call it a day. You need experts in a variety of platforms who can multitask and stay nimble.
10. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Apple’s app tracking transparency and Google’s elimination of third-party cookies were both surprises that rattled the PPC industry. On top of that, the last couple of years have brought a global pandemic, economic uncertainty and an overhaul in how people interact online. With so much rapid change, the most important PPC trend going into 2023 is to expect the unexpected.
By focusing on data you own, benchmarking and adapting to your results, and pioneering new channels and automation technology, your brand will be equipped for whatever future PPC trends emerge.
If you want to learn more about Strategic America’s pay-per-click services, contact us today.