PPC trends we cover in this article:
- PPC Audience Targeting: Utilize Google Ads’ target audiences to reach specific user segments based on demographics, interests, and interactions with your business.
- PPC Video Ads: Leverage video campaigns on platforms like YouTube to engage users and increase brand visibility.
- PPC Smart Bidding Strategy: Choose the right bidding strategy, including smart bidding, to optimize your ad performance and achieve specific campaign goals.
- Re-marketing PPC: Use re-marketing campaigns to target previous website visitors, who are more likely to convert.
- Responsive Search Ads: Create ads that adapt to show relevant messages to customers.
- SEO & PPC: Combine PPC data with SEO efforts to inform keyword targeting and improve ad copy.
- Rise in Voice Search: Optimize PPC campaigns for voice search by focusing on mobile-first, natural language, and question-oriented keywords.
- Social Media PPC: Use paid advertising on social media platforms to target specific user groups and generate engagement.
- PPC Marketing on TikTok: Explore PPC opportunities on TikTok, a rapidly growing platform with a massive user base.
- Mobile PPC: Optimize PPC campaigns for mobile platforms, considering mobile-responsive websites and high-quality video content.
- Expanding to Virtual Reality: Consider virtual reality as a new channel for immersive advertising experiences.
PPC Marketing remains one of the most successful ways to grow your business in 2022. However, with tech constantly developing and consumers’ wants and needs forever changing the same PPC marketing methods that worked in 2021 may not have the same effect in 2022. As a digital marketer, it is important to stay informed so you know the best ways to grow your business.
In this article, we outline 11 PPC marketing trends that are important to consider in 2022.
1. PPC Audience Targeting
One of the latest features of Google Ads is the ability to add target audiences to your campaigns. This effectively groups users together based on specific data, such as demographic or behavioural data, and presents them to you as user segments. These user segments can then be used to make informed decisions about your ads performance.
You can add audience segment targeting to campaigns and ad groups to reach people based on who they are, their interests and habits, what they’re actively researching or how they’ve interacted with your business.
You can specifically target your ads towards an audience, or you can set up ‘observational’ audiences, where you can get data on your ads performance amongst this group, without limiting your ads to only target that group.
At Salt Water Digital, we always recommend setting up Observational Audiences first and then analyzing ad performance amongst this group before using Targeted Audiences in your campaigns.
Below we break down the different types of audiences and how they work:
- Affinity: These allow you to reach users based on what they’re passionate about and what their interests and habits are.
- Detailed Demographics: These allow you to reach users based on long-term life facts, such as age, gender or marital status.
- In-Market: These allow you to reach users based on their recent purchase intent, and can be very useful for determining where in the buying cycle the customer is, and how likely they are to convert.
- Your Data Segments: These allow you to reach users that have previously interacted with your business. This can be especially useful for creating remarking display campaigns.
2. PPC Video Ads
Video campaigns allow you to display your ads in videos on YouTube, other websites, and other applications within Google’s video partners. While video ad content must be hosted on YouTube, video ads can appear on YouTube and across websites and apps running on Google video partners. You can choose different types of Youtube ads, namely In Search, In-Display, and In-Stream ads.
In Search Ads will appear within a user’s search results, In-Display will appear next to a user’s recommended videos, and in-stream will show before, during or after the users video on YouTube.
There are a number of In Search Ads available to you, including: Skippable in-stream ads, Non-skippable in-stream ads, In-feed video ads, Bumper ads and Mast Head ads.
The type of video ad you chose will depend on your content and your campaign goals. For example, Non-Skippable in-stream ads can be useful as you can ensure the user will not skip the ad, however skippable in-stream ads can be more effective, as non-qualified traffic will skip the ad and you will only pay for qualified traffic that do not skip the ad.
Research shows that by 2024, business spending on video ads within google will increase by 41.9%. This shows the huge potential within the video ads space on Google.
One of the most common uses of Video Ads on Google is creating a Google Display network Re-marketing campaign. This effectively targets previous visitors to your website with visual content, trying to entice them back to your website to convert, be it a purchase or subscription. These campaigns can be extremely effective as targeted users will have already been on your website and interacted with your brand, and this makes them highly qualified and more likely to convert.
3. PPC Smart Bidding Strategy
When building out your Google Ads Campaigns, one of the first and most important aspects is choosing the bidding strategy that you will use for your campaigns and ad groups. Your bidding strategy informs Google what your priorities are when going to the ad auction. It means that you can focus on specific goals, such as increasing website visitors, with a Maximise Clicks bidding strategy, or increasing sales, with a Maximise Conversion Value bidding strategy.
Choosing the correct bidding strategy is critical to the success of your campaign, and can help you drive down costs and maximize your ROI. You can choose from a number of Automated and Manual Bidding strategies, with Smart Bidding being a subset of the automated bidding strategy group.
Smart Bidding uses machine learning in order to optimize your Google Ads and automatically bid on search terms based on the goal that you have set. Essentially, it takes the guesswork out of Google Ads bidding and helps you to optimize your ads.
With more and more consumers researching in unexpected ways, keeping on top of campaign optimizations has become a challenge for marketers. Smart bidding takes away the pain of manually optimizing each ad campaign and helps advertisers improve ad performance.
4. Re-marketing PPC
Re-Marketing is a form of PPC advertising that displays visual ads to users who have visited specific pages of your website previously. To retarget, or show ads to these previous users, you need to install a ‘tag’ on your website that tracks website visitors. This can be done via the Facebook Pixel or Google Re-marketing tag. Re-marketing is a great way to reach previous website visitors who are more qualified, boost conversions and reduce costs.
A re-marketing campaign is probably the best thing you can do for your business. The average click-through rate (CTR) for a retargeted ad is 0.7%. This is surprisingly 10 times larger than the CTR for generic display ads. This is because the customer has already visited your website and is interested in your brand, therefore more likely to choose you over competitors.
5. Responsive Search Ads
Responsive search ads are a type of ad available to you within Google Ads. They let you create an ad that adapts to show more relevant messages to your customers. When creating your Responsive Search Ad, you enter multiple headlines and descriptions, and over time, Google Ads automatically tests different combinations and learns which combinations perform best. By adapting your ad’s content to more closely match potential customers’ search terms, responsive search ads may improve your campaign’s performance.
Automation is becoming a key focus for marketers within the Google platform, and from June 30 2022 responsive search ads (RSAs) will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited within standard search campaigns. Expanded text ads (ETAs) will no longer be an option for marketers.
There should be two clear benefits for advertisers using RSAs v ETAs. First, increased engagement from customers due to improved click-through rates; and, second, lower costs due to improved ad copy.
At SaltWater, we follow a few Golden rules when setting up our RSA’s for success:
- Always recommend A/B testing different ad copy to see what performs best.
- Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion to closely match your ad copy with the users’ search term.
- Make use of pinning to order how your ad copy is displayed. For example, pin CTA’s such as learn more in position 3.
6. SEO & PPC
Your Google Ads PPC Campaign will often target similar keywords your SEO or Search Engine Optimization efforts are targeting. SEO works to get your site higher in the organic rankings so that you rank for customers typing queries applicable to your content. Google Ads allow you to target particular keyword phrases and then create an ad that promotes your site and content for those using those keywords.
When creating your digital marketing strategy, it can be useful to use PPC data to help inform what keywords are worth targeting with your SEO efforts. You can also use your PPC data to help determine what copy is working in your niche.
7. Rise In Voice Search
With applications such as Siri and Dictate, voice search is becoming more and more commonplace in everyday users’ lives. This is also true of Google, with more Google Searches being completed via Voice. By 2022, it is estimated that a whopping 50% of all searches will be conducted using voice instead of text. Businesses that fail to create PPC campaigns with voice search in mind, will miss out on the opportunity to be featured in voice search results. This has far-reaching implications for marketers when they’re setting up Google Ads campaigns, including:
- Mobile-first: Although voice search is available on many devices, it is used mostly on mobile devices.
- Natural language: People use a more natural and conversational style when using voice search. This means that short-tail keywords may not prove to be very beneficial.
- Question-oriented: The majority of voice searches start with question-oriented keywords.
With this in mind, it is important for advertisers to optimize their PPC campaigns for voice search from the setup phase. Below we discuss some of the best ways to optimize your campaign for voice search:
- Evaluate current search terms: To better optimize for voice search, look at the specific search terms that people have already used to see your ad.
- Focus on long-tail keywords and question phrases: Voice searches are longer and more conversational than text searches. Most voice searches start with questions like “what,” “where,” “how,” etc.
- Add or remove negative keywords: If you’re an online retailer, you wouldn’t want to display your ads for local searches like “a restaurant near me” or “a shoe store in Manhattan.” Instead, you need to add these as negative keywords in order to optimize the search terms your ads show up for.
- Know where the searcher is in the buying cycle: Generally, people who use the terms “who” or “what” are at the awareness stage, whereas people who use “when” or “where” are close to the conversion stage. For PPC, bidding on “when” and “where” keywords can prove beneficial. E.g. Where can I buy the latest Fifa game?
- Use call extensions on your PPC campaigns. By including your phone number and a call extension within your ad, you can let users call your business directly via voice search. This can be especially beneficial as a lot of voice searches are completed on mobile.
8. Social Media PPC
Social PPC (Pay Per Click) is a form of paid digital advertising, but solely for placement on Social Media platforms. These ads can be targeted to groups of users based on demographics, interest in topics, or other data gathered by the platform. Typically, these ads will appear in a users “feed” or “timeline”, and advertisers can pay by utilizing two bid strategies: CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions).
Social PPC should be thought of more like display advertising than search advertising. The advertiser determines who will see the ad and when, as opposed to this being lead by the user’s search terms.
Also unlike search advertising, Social PPC also has the ability to create deeper engagement with the user. Sure, it can generate a click-through to a landing page, but it could also be a Like, Follow, re-Tweet, Check-In, Share or Re-Pin. Social PPC is great for brand awareness too. Every click that doesn’t convert into a sale or sign-up lost; there will be a few more people out there who know your brand and have experienced something to do with it.
Here at SaltWater Digital, we always recommend an integrated marketing communications strategy that employs multiple communication channels. As with Google Ads, a crucial aspect of your paid social media advertising campaigns will be conversion tracking. It is crucial to be able to link value to each of your goals and translate performance metrics into real-world actionable data. Some of the metrics you can use for this include:
- Return On Ad Spend: This measures the amount of revenue, number of leads and CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).
- Determine Additional Actions besides sales or leads, like Likes, Follows or Fans and derive a CPA for those actions too.
- Set goals for Engagement with the Landing Page: Whether that’s time on site, number of page views, loyalty (new or returning visitor?) or recency, downloads or form enquiries. It’s important not to forget about measuring the value beyond social media.
- Cost-per-click: It is also important to measure CPC across campaigns and marketing channels. If you’re able to find additional niches or targeting that can bring visitors to your site for less, you can start to maximize ROI.
- PPC Marketing on TickTok
9. PPC Marketing On TikTok
You already know the importance of PPC advertising on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. However, the newest obsession cannot be ignored. TikTok is growing bigger every day and offers amazing opportunities for PPC marketing.
According to Insider Intelligence, TikTok has more than doubled its worldwide user base between 2019 and 2021 (291.4 million to 655.9 million). It had 755.0 million monthly users last year, and by 2025, TikTok will approach 1 billion users.
The platform has created limitless openings to engage with audiences through emotive, full-screen ads, and it has recently partnered with Shopify to streamline the advertising process and uncomplicate marketing on the platform.
10. Mobile PPC
Mobile users make up a significant percentage of paid search impressions. If you’re not yet optimized for mobile, you’re missing out. Whether you are interested in making your current website more mobile responsive or creating a separate mobile website, your brand’s platform must be mobile-friendly. Now and going forward, PPC campaigns need to be tailored to mobile platforms to stay in the game. When creating your Google Ads campaigns, it is crucial to test your landing pages and web forms on both desktops and mobile.
The most consumed content for mobile users is video. Video advertising should be high-quality, aesthetically pleasing, and relevant to the mobile audience as Google extends its direct video ad preferences in 2022.
According to Wysowl, 73% of survey participants said they’d prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service. Of that group, 11% said they preferred to read a text-based article, website, or post, 4% preferred to view an infographic, 3% preferred to download an eBook or manual, 3% preferred to attend a webinar or pitch, and 3% preferred a sales call or demo.
Online video viewership has also increased significantly over the past few years:
11. Expanding To Virtual Reality
A virtual reality (VR) headset allows viewers to be fully immersed in a scenario. This could create a multitude of different and exciting advertising opportunities for those prepared to enter this new channel of digital technology.
VR will give people a better feel of what you offer than what is usually possible with normal digital advertising. Consider real estates’ creating virtual experiences of houses for sale, allowing people to view the property without having to travel to view it, without time constraints of when the house can be viewed. VR opens up a new world of possibilities to a new audience of consumers, something which should excite marketers.
VR marketing may be able to sidestep some of the current issues faced with digital marketing. One of the main problems faced by digital marketers is that they cannot guarantee that people will have seen their ads, sure there are conditions to be met for an ad to be deemed as viewed by customers, but this still has its problems. VR technology could overcome this by using eye-tracking technology to be sure that an ad is seen and for how long it was looked at. This not only will give definitive proof that an ad was seen, but also can help marketers see which adverts perform better.