As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to celebrate our achievements, but also reflect on the next stage of the paid search landscape in 2016. We have identified the top trends for agencies and brands to watch for in the coming year. There were considerable developments to the paid search arena; here are some key take aways:
What’s Working: Brands
It looks like the two biggest movers in paid search for 2016 will be conversion rate optimisation and social advertising, while text ads, mobile, and remarketing remain tried and true channels for paid search. Brands have been extremely pleased with their 2015 PPC results and have earmarked substantially more spend towards paid search campaigns for 2016. The largest gains in this area appear to be, unsurprisingly, in mobile with a 75% industry-wide increase in mobile advertising predicted for the next year. Automation software also ranked highly with brands as it cut down on wastage and returned profitable results.
With mobile engagement on the rise, taking home 25% of all shopping transactions, Google has come out with 2 new products that tap into this unique venue: Customer Match, and Universal App Campaigns. Customer Match has been likened to Facebook Audiences and gives brands the ability to upload email addresses to Google. Customer Match is available across YouTube, TruView, Gmail, and the Google Display Network. This is a powerful new tool that allows brands to recapture former customers, cross-sell, personalise PPC ads, follow customers across devices, and create look-alikes.
Coming to an App Store Near You
Google has created a new campaign for marketers, dubbed ‘Universal App Campaigns’ because the ads reach across Google’s platforms. This ties in neatly with Google putting out search ads in the Google Play Store this past February to help developers stand out in the crowd.
Google Shopping Update: Don’t Miss Out
Google has enhanced its PLAs and shopping campaigns to showcase items merchants are missing in their feeds. Shopping assortment reports allow marketers to uncover products they may not be offering, but that are popular with shoppers. This provides an opportunity to add coveted products to their feed and capture new business.
Location, Location, Location
A recent update to ad customisers enables brands and agencies to tailor ads based on a person’s location. Mobile users now have important purchasing information at their fingertips: store inventory, store hours, shipping information and location, all at the regional level. Location targeting will continue to be big going into 2016, especially since searches by mobile users can convert into sales quickly, in some instances, immediately or within the hour.
Making It Personal
The push for personalisation remains strong as we move into 2016. Personalising the user experience has never been easier with multiple avenues readily available for relevant targeting: behaviour, location and preference. Connecting meaningfully with new and past customers has been a key objective for agencies and brands and will continue to do so in the coming months.