PPC marketing changed rapidly in 2016. 2017 will be no different. Learn what our experts see on the horizon.
“2017 will be the year that Ecommerce advertisers stop focusing on initial ROAS and start focusing on LTV”
Steve Claridge, Senior PPC Consultant
Focusing on initial ROAS has encouraged a “gold rush” as new advertisers jump on the Amazon bandwagon. Problems arise for new Amazon advertisers as they scramble to compete with each other for the 1st sale with a customer, saturating the Amazon market.
The competition issue intensifies due to the fact that you don’t get the customer’s email on Amazon, making reaching a customer for that 2nd and 3rd sale even harder.
This is where your reliable AdWords shopping campaigns come into play. Yeah I know the CPCs are more expensive on Google than Amazon. But hold on a second, they are more expensive for a reason. The reason being the revenue multiplier, AKA LTV, that shopping campaigns cultivate. See Steve’s SEMPO article.
If you get someone to visit your website with AdWords you have 3 options to get value from their visit:
- You can sell to them via a product page.
- Have them signup for a newsletter.
- Add them to a remarketing list.
Option 1 is great because not only are you making a sale but they are getting comfortable buying from YOU not Amazon.
Option 2 and 3 are great because they are extremely low cost ways of warming visitors up for their first sale. And once you get that first sale you can use email and remarketing to sell to them again and again improving your brand and LTV.
“2017 will be the year that your PPC agency fires you!”
Kevin Clark, Senior PPC Consultant
Back in the day PPC was like the Wild West. Anyone with a little trick or advanced skill could run and gun and be successful at it. It didn’t matter if the product you were selling was any good as you could literally sell ice to an Eskimo! On the other end of the spectrum, if you had something great to offer you could do well with just mediocre PPC; because hey, you were doing PPC and your competitors weren’t. That was literally all it took!
Things are different now. The quality and quantity of the competition online has increased significantly. Cost-per-clicks are higher than ever and agencies are equipping themselves with advanced software and tools. A great PPC team or agency might still be able to get a few wins in 2017 for a business with an OK product and brand, but that’s it. Long term success will be out of reach.
If you’re struggling to see success with PPC then you need to ask yourself these questions about your business to see if you’re holding up your end of the bargain:
• Do we truly have a strong USP? (and no, “good customer service” is not a strong USP)
• Are we competitively positioned in our target market?
• Are we establishing ourselves as experts in our field (Are we providing free, expert content? Are we active in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out? etc…)
• Are we providing good after-sale support, and providing it through channels that our customers prefer?
• Are we increasing our income and maximizing customer lifetime value through back-end sales and up-selling?
• Are we investing in brand growth and not just focusing on the bottom of the funnel?
If you can’t answer yes to all of them you’ll need to shape up in 2017 to be successful (and avoid getting fired by your PPC agency)!
“One landing page does not rule them all. Personalization will finally push through in 2017.”
Mike Renton, PPC Landing Pages Expert
Personalize your landing page so that it is more relevant to your users.
You have probably heard this a million times, but how many marketers have actually gone beyond the basics and implemented a meaningful and well researched landing page personalization strategy?
I get it. The modern marketer is so busy with just trying to keep up with the never ending changes to their digital environment that extra work becomes a pipe dream. This is, however, one of those things where we will need to adopt or die.
Now everyone knows that it is best practice to send users to a landing page for your PPC campaigns, right? After which you may be testing two different variants of that landing page to see which one has a higher conversion rate.
This is the basic set up of a lot of PPC accounts as a whole. They don’t do much to push the relevance based on the targeting or any other wide range of factors.
Typically this is where the opportunity is being missed. For example, you may identify in your research that certain networks, or targeting options lead to drastically different areas in which your users are in the funnel. This is your opportunity to take it one step further and customize the message and offer (or anything else you deem fit).
It has been discussed extensively, but my guess is that this is the year this strategy will explode as ad networks increasingly become more complex and saturated.
Things to keep in mind that will help you get started personalizing your landing pages:
1. Do your homework and use the tools available to you to gain a solid understanding of the aspects that help make landing page experiences better.
2. Your landing page testing should tie directly into personalization. Landing page testing, already being a form of personalization, is essential if you haven’t already started.
3. Don’t get tunnel vision. You will still want to look at this from a broad perspective where personalized landing pages still fit into your overall PPC strategy.
“The flood of Facebook advertisers will continue, however many more will drown.”
Rollan Budi, Paid Social Consultant
I’ve seen a flood of Facebook advertisers in the last two years. Everyone is excited about the demographic and behavioral targeting gold mine, especially for advertising consumer products.
This is all good but it seems to me that people are underestimating what it takes to manage the network effectively. I’ve seen messy or overly simple account structures. Inaccurate or complete lack of revenue tracking. Worst of all is a “set it and forget it” mentality.
My experience (and struggle!) on the platform has taught me the opposite:
• Account structure is as important in Facebook as it is in paid search.
• The management of targeting and optimization options can get quite complex.
• You can’t keep hitting the same audience with the same ad all year round. Promotions should be rotated regularly to keep things fresh and give consumers a reason to buy –this requires time and effort.
• The default revenue attribution setting is generous. As a result, people are making decisions based on inflated results.
• Managing the profitability of accounts during heavy promotional periods require daily vigilance.
I predict the flood of advertisers will continue. People will continue to lazily pour money into the network thinking they are profitable when in reality they’re eating away at their profits. This will separate the contenders from the pretenders.
“Getting a brand’s message out in 2017 will be about authenticity and accuracy.”
Michael Pendreigh, Social Media Marketing
The social media marketing space is saturated with the first wave of social media best practices and “guru” guidelines. The focus being in the first wave on capability, i.e., proving that social media advertising can work. In 2017, I predict a change in mindset as those who have found success with social will look to improve the quality of their results by catering to the customer’s experience while maintaining the bottom line.
Because social users grow more internet savvy and the market itself gets more saturated everyday they will only engage with ads that rise above the white noise with messages that resonate with their personal experience.
Live videos may be one of the tools marketers use to create experiences that entertain and engage with potential customers and brand fans. Facebook already supports live video and sites such as Twitch.tv gain viewers everyday.
I also think 2017 will see new developments in AI branding tools such as brand representatives that will be able to learn from and engage with customers and fans at scale. Businesses that can adopt this seemingly inevitable technology early may gain an upper hand on their competitors.