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New Developments In PPC: Experts Weigh In

Discover the top PPC trends for 2024. Stay competitive by embracing new developments, user behaviors, and channels in your advertising campaigns.

New Developments In PPC: Experts Weigh In

This is an excerpt from SEJ’s PPC Trends 2024 ebook, our annual roundup of expert opinions on what you can expect over the course of the next 12 months. 

With all the potential challenges on the horizon for 2024, diversification – embracing new developments, user behaviors, and channels – is one way you can insulate your businesses from disruption.

Adding more channels and sources of data requires:

  • Clear cross-platform strategy, messaging, and identity.
  • Willingness to experiment to discover positive and negative outcomes.
  • Buy-in from stakeholders to be flexible about key performance indicators (KPIs) – and be willing to engage in activity that’s more difficult to measure directly.

So, this is a section about leaning into change, but in service of marketing strategies that have always been effective.

If I had to summarize the key insights of this article in three sentences, they would be:

  • Meet people where they are isn’t a new concept, but it will require you to learn new platforms and new ways of engagement.
  • Stubborn adherence to one channel or one data source won’t work: You need new channels, new sources of data, and a model to draw insights from various sources.
  • Embrace the new in service of what you’ve always known about marketing.

Meet Users Where They Are & Engage Them In New Ways

Alex Macura, Founder/CEO, Your Digital Assembly

Leveraging User-Generated Content

Alex Macura

In the age of personalization, what’s more customized than user-generated content (UGC)? Any time a customer shares their experience and reviews your product or service, that’s authentic feedback that can be leveraged to propel your brand even further.

It’s this kind of genuine relationship between customer and brand that encourages interaction and can help bring new customers on board. Content creation on social media is an excellent source of engagement and exposure, with the power to make your brand go viral.

If you’re able to establish that level of connection with your customers and create an organic, loyal community, that’s value you can bank on.

The Rise Of Online Video Shopping

Want to increase your engagement while giving customers convenient, real-time access to your products? That’s the power of online video shopping – the influencer marketing strategy that allows your customers to browse, shop, and purchase – all via a dynamic, engaging live stream.

Live video shopping is primarily done through influencers on social media platforms. This makes it a powerful opportunity to build your brand presence on social media. Influencers bring an audience, but instead of simply providing a link with a code, users can buy directly through the platform right there and then.

Given its relative newness, taking your shopping experience to influencer livestreams can help you stand out from competitors and give you the edge you’re looking for. But you will need to prepare carefully to make online video shopping a success.

The Future Of Marketing

What does 2024 hold for marketing trends? We’ll find out in a few short months. Which trends will work for your brand?

You’ll have to discover that for yourself. But don’t waste any time – you don’t want to be left behind.

Create Holistic Strategies & Cohesive Messaging To Win In The Attention Economy

Amalia Fowler, Principal Strategist, Good AF Consulting

Amalia Fowler

For 2024, the focus needs to be both on the overall media mix and accurate measurement. We should see a trend towards more holistic planning, looking at the integration between platforms and optimizing for an overall marketing goal, instead of laser focus on individual platform key performance indicators (KPIs).

For example, if you are using search ads only but not running social or video, you’re missing opportunities at the beginning of the user journey. Consider owned properties, too. If marketers are siloing their thinking and efforts by only looking on-platform, they’re missing out on optimization opportunities elsewhere.

To cut through the noise and stand out in the attention economy, marketers need a cohesive media mix with messaging that meets users’ needs at each stage of their journey – across paid, owned, and earned marketing efforts.

It is not simply about platform choice, but also ad messaging, specific calls-to-action, and ensuring message match from channel to channel, and ad to landing page.

Finally, if you aren’t accurately measuring any of the above, you will run into considerable issues.

The forced adoption of GA4 and continued discussions around tracking mean importing offline conversions, and the use of tools like UTM tags are more important than ever.

Lean Into Privacy-First Advertising & Measurement

Ben Wood, Director of Growth & Innovation, Hallam

Ben Wood

A key trend that will continue into 2024 and beyond is privacy-first measurement and advertising: serving targeted ads without disclosing users’ information. With Google finally set to phase out third-party cookies in 2024, we’ll see more advertisers trialing contextual advertising to get ahead.

We’ve already seen major brands such as the Guardian, Bauer, and Haymarket teaming up to run a large-scale test of a privacy-enhancing technology for ‘post cookie’ advertising, and this will ripple down to smaller advertisers in the year ahead as the effectiveness of third-party targeting options starts to fizzle out. This is also the focus of the Privacy Sandbox project.

We’ll continue to see challenges around measurement.

Multi-touch attribution often attributes too much weight to lower-funnel advertising tactics and fails to recognize the value of brand and upper-funnel advertising investments.

I expect to see more advertisers trial alternative tactics such as media mix modeling (econometrics) and incrementality experiments to triangulate return on investment (ROI).

Embrace New Models Of Audience Targeting & New Channels

Ginny Marvin, Ads Product Liaison, Google

Privacy, Audiences And Consented, First-Party Data

With the coming deprecation of third-party cookies and greater privacy regulations and expectations, having a first-party data strategy is even more valuable and important now, and going into 2024.

These shifts are already changing how we think about audience targeting, for example. Similar audiences sunset in August 2023. First-party audience segments can be used instead as a signal in optimized targeting, audience expansion, and Smart Bidding to reach relevant audiences and measure in privacy-centric ways.

Using your first-party data also needs to be easier. New tools will help businesses more easily use their consented first-party data – regardless of where it is stored.

Speaking of analytics, Google Analytics 4 was built with privacy at its core. That makes it more resilient to privacy changes that cause less user data to be observable via cookies, and more data being aggregated to protect user anonymity. When accounts have sufficient data, GA4 uses AI to build predictive audiences that can be used in Ads campaigns.

Video, Video, Video

Whether it’s in short form on mobile or long form on TV, video keeps growing. Video has traditionally been used by brand marketers to drive awareness, but some incredibly talented marketers have been successfully using video to drive performance.

Expect to see brand marketers move down the funnel and use video to drive performance, and to see performance advertisers continue using video to drive performance, and also move up the funnel to drive more awareness goals.

And, of course, AI will also help with video creation – it can already automatically reformat horizontal video ads to vertical or square videos, for example!

Mind Meld With GA4 & Embrace New Data Models

Lisa Raehsler, Founder and SEM Strategy Consultant, Big Click Co.

The migration to GA4 has been chaotic for some advertisers but should level out and become more useful in 2024.

Even though most advertisers have migrated to the new version of GA4, many still need to customize it to use its full power to extract the most actionable data. This is invaluable for paid search efforts and optimizing strategies, budgets, and creatives across all digital platforms such as display, video, shopping, social media, and retargeting.

The events-based model gives more in-depth, full insights into traffic acquisition, audiences, and engagement from PPC and other channels.

Advertisers who mind-meld, embrace, and excel at this new model will have a competitive advantage and improve performance across digital channels.

More resources:

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

Category Paid Media
SEJ STAFF Ben Steele

SEO content writer and editor for 6+ years. Formerly a live theater professional. Bumbling through fatherhood. I’m fascinated by how ...

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