New Budget, New Year, What Now?

As the New Year saying goes “New Year, New You”, well shouldn’t that also apply to your digital marketing strategy? 2015 had some major wins, from huge strides with mobile to the continued progression of cross-device attribution. And with 2016 off to a running start, we should continue to see advancements in the PPC field. With that said, what does this mean for you and your paid search strategy? Let’s take a look at a few tactics that will be essential to your PPC success in 2016.

One of the current most buzzed about PPC items is custom audience targeting. In the past, audience targeting was limited to demographic, geographic and time-specific data. However, with the advent of cross-device and cross-channel applications, audience targeting has evolved beyond our wildest dreams. You now have the ability to uniquely reach some of your most valuable customers. Facebook has led the charge with custom audiences, allowing advertisers to target audiences based on their email address, phone number or Facebook user ID. With the visible success of custom audiences in Facebook, Google has created a slightly different version titled Customer Match. With this newer product from Google (released in September 2015), you are able to upload a list of email addresses that will in turn be matched to signed-in users on Google, all the while honoring these users’ security and privacy. Once uploaded, you have the ability to create custom campaigns and ads designed specifically to reach these new audiences. Audience targeting is moving from its original broad roots, now favoring more specific and tailored targeting methods.

The days of advertising solely on Google AdWords are over. While Google still maintains a large percentage of the market share, it is important to note that there are other qualified players in the game. First and foremost, 2016 will see continued gains in market share for Bing. With AOL Web Search now being powered by Bing, you can expect to see increases in their search and paid ads. This switch not only increases Bing’s market share, it also provides another avenue for Bing Ads to advertise and thus increase exposure of their ads.

Aside from Google and Bing, we expect to see some of the non-traditional search platforms like Facebook and Instagram capture more of the available market share in 2016. As mentioned in our earlier blog Top 5 PPC Trends of 2016 “Advertisers are expanding their reach to better captures those most likely to convert”, and Facebook has become one such platform that advertisers are turning towards. Facebook’s advanced audience targeting features, multitude of ad types and vast reach make them a viable contender for ad spend. In addition to Facebook, it is important to call out the fact that Instagram has surpassed Twitter, Snapchat and several other social networks in membership with over 400 million users. Instagram’s wide reach and new advertising structure make it an advertising platform to consider allocating some of your ad spend.

While these are only a few suggestions towards a “Better PPC You in 2016”, please take the time to do additional research and meet with your SEM representative to see how you can customize and implement these strategies to see a new level of success in 2016. Cheers and best of luck in the year ahead!

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