When the Ultimate PPC Experts Peer into 2017, What Do They See?

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Advertising, PPC News | 4 Comments
When the Ultimate PPC Experts Peer into 2017, What Do They See?

AdStage has had the honor of meeting some incredibly talented and inspiring folks throughout the years, whether through partnerships, The PPC Show#PPCChat, or at marketing events such as HeroConf.

Our conversations with this fantastic community of PPC experts always leave us with a deeper appreciation of the nuances of our field and we wanted to spread that love around as we usher in the new year. So, we asked the sharpest minds in PPC to reveal their favorite optimization techniques in 2016, and what they predict will be big trends moving into 2017.


Dennis Yu PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.ioDennis Yu

CTO, Blitzmetrics

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016, and what do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I’m super excited about call to action buttons in native Facebook posts. For the folks who don’t spend 10 hours a day in Facebook all day making ads, this means you can include things like a “call now” button in an organic post and then boost. And if they tap “call now” while browsing on their phone, it dials your number.

Or maybe you want to drive leads, event registrations, or other goals. Now the person posting on the page has become part of your lead gen team, instead of someone who schedules random quotes and things.

It means they are an integral part of your ads team and that conversion-oriented posts are not some separate thing by some external team or other agency.

I’m calling this the “Facebook Lead Gen Machine” and I made a diagram for you that nobody else has seen before.

Facebook Lead Gen Machine via blog.adstage.io

Because Facebook is collapsing the number of layers necessary to drive conversion, this means you PPC people will be more actively involved in posting on the page, creating lots of videos, slicing up lots of videos, and learning things like video metrics and call metrics.

It means you will have to learn a whole new set of tools to manage videos, build landing pages inside Facebook (canvas and Instant Articles), and so forth. Most of these will be native– meaning they were built by Facebook for you to use and they’re free. Well, free except what you spend in advertising.


Brad Geddes PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Brad Geddes

Co-Founder, AdAlysis

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization technique is to use multi-ad group ad testing to find great insights within or across campaigns and then apply those insights where appropriate, which could be other ads, landing pages, emails, title tags, account structure, and more.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I think the big trend this year is going to be a large growth of implementation and strategies for audience targeting. Audience targeting itself isn’t new; but it’s been woefully underused in AdWords & Bing Ads. With the changes to demographic bidding, responsive ads, similar audiences, campaign level audience targeting, and customer match management; it’s now very easy to create and manage audiences.

While 2016 gave rise to audience features and implementation of savvy and large companies; most features weren’t widely adopted and most strategies were very basic. With these changes, we’re going to see a lot more interesting strategies, more complete implementation, and a huge growth in the usage of audience targeting.


Melissa Mackey PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Melissa Mackey

Search Supervisor, gyro

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization from this year was the ability to run expanded text ads and legacy ads side by side. This enabled us to test various expanded ad messages against tried and true legacy copy. In many cases, the expanded text ads outperformed the legacy ads; but there have been more than a few instances where the legacy ads performed much better than the expanded ads. Having the ability to test multiple rounds of expanded ad copy prior to being forced to roll it out is allowing us to maintain performance during the transition.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I think we’re going to see an explosion of voice search in 2017, and it’s going to change how search marketers think about keywords and ad copy. We’re going to be forced to think about natural language as opposed to two and three word keyword phrases. In some ways, voice search gives the marketer a much clearer idea of what the user is searching for. On the other hand, it exposes the limitations of PPC marketing as it stands today. Both the search engines and the marketers will need to rapidly adapt to the increasing prevalence of voice search.


Jonathan Dane PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Johnathan Dane

CEO, Klientboost

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization technique actually comes on the landing page side. We’ve been asking our clients what the frequently asked questions are from their prospects, and then using those as drop down fields for the first step of multi-step landing pages.

It’s been performing insanely well, and obviously helps lower cost per conversions so we have much more wiggle room in the PPC accounts.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

CPCs, CTRs, Quality Scores and other metrics will start to matter less. We’ll find that we get faster results when we’re okay to sacrifice micro metrics in favor of the ones that matter the most – making more money.

With more and more targeting options and new ad formats and advertising channels to use, the scrappiness of a growth mindset will outpace the excel heavy tinkerer. Speed, scrappiness, and creativity will win. We’ll find that marketers and advertisers will venture into other disciplines, like UX, to understand that a visitor is a human being that responds emotionally and doesn’t care whether you use a hyphen or period in your ad copy.


Soso Sazesh PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Soso Sazesh

CEO, GrowthPilots

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

Expanded Text Ads on Google. We’ve seen dramatic performance improvements for many clients since implementing ETAs and there’s still a lot of opportunity as many advertisers still haven’t rolled them out yet!

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

Facebook is going to start flexing their identity-based attribution muscle more and giving marketers much better insight into performance of their ads beyond Facebook newsfeed ads. This includes Facebook’s audience network becoming a meaningful threat to GDN as advertisers seek better measurement/attribution.


JD Prater PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

JD Prater

Head of Social, Hanapin Marketing

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite new feature came from Pinterest. In the last half of 2016 they added in the functionality and capability to better target audiences, updated their tracking pixel to include event tracking and opened up different types of Pins to marketers. All of these features really allow marketers to have more control over ad sequencing and target different stages of the funnel. I couldn’t be happier that Pinterest is evolving into a legit advertising platform.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

Live Video Adoption – In 2016, we saw live video introduced and brands have been experimenting how to best use it. In 2017, we’ll see marketers actually adopt the features across social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. This will lead to marketers stepping out from the blog and getting in front of the camera. On the networks we’ll see clickable links within live video to drive people back to websites, and my prediction is we’ll eventually see product cards become available. In the end, we’ll see live video become more widely adopted with the networks giving brands the ability to add CTAs to drive action.


Ginny Marvin PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Ginny Marvin

Paid Media Reporter, Search Engine Land

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

My favorite optimization tactic this year comes courtesy of finally being able to measure campaign performance beyond last click contribution in AdWords and optimize accordingly. Attribution still isn’t a perfect science, of course, but being able to evaluate conversion contribution up and down the funnel has facilitated a shift in conversations about budget allocations. I’d also add that being able to more with Bing Ad’s Universal Event Tracking (UET) for measuring conversion impact and search retargeting has made a big impact in optimizing Bing campaigns.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I’m sure I’m not alone in predicting that audience targeting is going to be a major trend in 2017. Search is finally catching up with social in this area. We’ve been talking about audience targeting in search for several years. Customer Match was the first big push for parity with social, but being able to target unowned search audiences with greater demographic granularity and layer those audiences will make 2017 a breakthrough year for audience targeting in search. Likewise, cross-device retargeting based on Google logins is an important update that marketers should be attuned to when it fully rolls out.


Kirk Williams PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Kirk Williams

Owner, ZATO

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

I was overjoyed to get Bing Ads Editor for Mac in 2016. We’ve waited a long time (years!) for this, so to have it finally came through was a big help to my Bing accounts. You could even say that it made me holly and jolly.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

I think Audience Targeting is going to grow significantly in multiple ways. Social will obviously continue to grow in popularity and usage since it is by its very nature “audience targeting”, but I think we will see Google and Bing continue to add new and creative ways to group audiences together to supplement our current targeting options in both the Display and Search networks. Personally, I would love to see LinkedIn audience targeting capabilities in Bing Ads now that Microsoft owns LinkedIn. One can hope!


Bryan Garvin PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Bryant Garvin

Director of Digital Marketing, Purple

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

While not a “new” offering I have fallen in love with Facebook advertising this year. Specifically Facebook Video advertising and how it can drive demand generation in search. A prime example is looking at google trends for Purple Mattress. All of that demand (which didn’t exist before this year) was driven by Facebook and Social advertising primarily. The focus on social and video to drive revenue allowed Purple to catapult forward to be the fastest growing company in Utah. Forget $15 CPC on non-brand search terms (we are just now testing these at Purple). If you invest in good video, or social campaigns you can drive brand awareness and revenue for a fraction of the cost.

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

As we in PPC or paid digital advertising moves into more and more channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc, that attribution is going to become harder and harder. There are new offerings on the way from companies like Atlas (part of Facebook) that could help with some of it, but it still isn’t perfect. I see 2017 being the year more “online advertisers” start looking at their data a little more like traditional media buyers do.


Eva Sharf PPC Predictions via blog.adstage.io

Eva Sharf

Digital Marketing Manager, Bizible

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What’s your favorite optimization technique or new offering from 2016?

LinkedIn’s new bulk upload tool is a favorite from 2016. We efficiently implemented account-based marketing campaigns at scale without the headache of individually entering company names (and we are seeing great results).

What do you predict is going to be a big trend this year?

Marketing teams will focus on account-based marketing measurement to optimize towards channels and campaigns that are engaging contacts from target accounts. Marketers (and sales teams) will also prioritize which accounts to engage based on predictive modeling.

 

Michael McEuen

Director of Marketing at AdStage. Social ads convert, and perpetual tinkerer. B2B pipeline generation is my jam.

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