As we near the end of 2021, a new year and hopefully a return to normalcy can’t come soon enough.

As we let go of the old and welcome the new, we’re looking to build on what we’ve accomplished this year and seek out new opportunities to stay ahead of the game.

With the mindset of in with the new and out with the old, here are five PPC trends we’re keeping an eye on.

 

 

Voice Search

 

This is the year of voice search. Although it may seem like we’ve heard this song before, this just might be the year it really takes off.  Frequent reviews of the search terms report shows very long-tailed queries being made and quite often, they are made in the form of a question. We are definitely seeing more and more queries that start with where, what and how.

How to ensure you don’t miss out on these queries?

Target high intent phrases that include near me, nearby or closest. This will help make sure relevant local intent keywords are covered when trying to drive foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar location.

Crafting the ad copy to answer these where and what questions can also help fill the need of the user. Imagine reading an ad that tells you this particular retailer has what you’re looking for, and where to go to get it.

 

Responsive Search Ads

 

Since Google announced the sunsetting of expanded text ads (ETAs) next summer, Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) will be the ad format that we’re all going to live and die with. Yes, you do lose some control over your ad copy but it’s not all gloom and doom. On the bright side, you no longer have to obsess over expanded text ad copy and can focus on other things that can be controlled.

As this is an obvious step in Google’s push for automation, you’ll need to position your efforts to adapt to these changes and ensure accounts are set up for success when expanded text ads are removed.

What to do?

Continue to create expanded text ads and test as many as you can so that the best ones can still continue to run afterward. New ETAs cannot be created but existing ones can still run.

Start creating more responsive search ads and test them by taking advantage of the native tools available during ad creation. You want to get accustomed to how these perform differently from ETAs and update them frequently to avoid ad fatigue.

 

Youtube And Chill

 

More and more people are tuning into Youtube on their TVs and consuming content just like they would on traditional TV. Users are turning to Youtube for entertainment and as a source for learning to upgrade their skills. With more than 2 billion logged-in users each month, Youtube is a proven place for reaching a massive audience.

This signals the importance of including videos ads in your PPC mix as Youtube ads continue to improve and drive value.

Choosing and testing various ad formats that resonate most with your audience will be key.   Bumpers ads, skippable in-stream ads, or non-skippable in-stream ads are all available to maximize a campaign’s impact.

Adding to that is Google’s recent announcement that Video reach campaigns are now available globally for all Google Ads Users.

 

Machine Learning And AI

 

Another tune that we’ve heard every year but with each passing year, the more data sets are collected and the more powerful machine learning becomes. It’s helping marketers create smarter and more relevant campaigns as well as measuring performance more effectively.

AI can help campaign performance by:

  • Predicting the rate of clicks for future ads
  • Calculate the quality and impact of ads
  • Suggest optimization opportunities
  • Help acquire leads at a fixed cost
  • Identify which ads perform best for various queries

Machine learning helps automate many processes and eliminate guesswork to enable advertisers to make informed decisions.

 

Post-Pandemic Marketing

The global pandemic had a major impact in shaping our offline and online habits and new norms have formed as a result.  Many businesses had been quick to pivot and adapt to the changing landscape.

A new year allows us to look forward and hopefully put the pandemic behind us but even then, consumer habits remain.

Some businesses will need to focus on what made them successful in their efforts to acquire new customers. There are opportunities as consumers have been trying new brands during the pandemic. They need to recognize this migration between brands by increasing promotional activity and employing strategies that will help raise brand awareness like video advertising.

Others may need to proactively look at customer retention with competition becoming more fierce. Promotional activity that helps reinforce relationships with customers will best serve these businesses.