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A person sits on a blue chair with a laptop on their lap. The background features colorful abstract shapes with the text "PPC in 2020: Here's what you need to know now.

WebBox PPC expert Tom R. reveals the latest paid search enhancements — and how to stay ahead of the digital marketing game in 2020.

Predicting the future of digital is never an easy job — especially when it comes to PPC. Digital marketers don’t usually know the latest trends until they’re about to launch — or even, in some cases, until they’ve actually landed. It can be a tough task keeping up to speed with the latest updates from the likes of Google, YouTube and Bing — and even harder to adapt to the changes. But hey, that’s the nature of the fast-evolving world of paid search — and that’s why we love it.

One thing for sure though — and that’s the fact that PPC will be more important than ever in 2020.

Paid search ads have been shown to increase brand awareness by a massive 80%. And with an increasingly competitive digital marketplace, carefully managed PPC campaigns will be vital for your campaign’s exposure, outreach, lead generation, conversions and ROI.

What else do you need to know about PPC in 2020? Here’s what our expert, Tom R, had to say.

What’s the biggest PPC trend for 2020?

Automation! It’s probably on the mind of every PPC marketer right now. The likes of Google are already pushing a more automated approach, but I’m approaching it with caution. At the moment, this method isn’t always generating the best results for client campaigns, so the trickiest task for paid search experts like me will be balancing automation with manual bidding strategies to generate the best outcome for each campaign.

Will this be the main focus of PPC campaigns in 2020?

Absolutely. The main focus for digital marketers will be testing automated campaigns with more manual bidding strategies, discovering which campaigns work well on a fully automated basis and which ones still need some manual tweaking in terms of bids and audience segmentation.

I also think we’ll see plenty more opportunities on smaller, up-and-coming platforms. As the larger, more established platforms are getting so competitive, I’ll be testing smaller alternatives to see if the ROI is more optimal.

What type of content will be key for PPC in 2020?

Being more creative with content will be crucial for a successful PPC campaign in 2020. Running a standard newsfeed ad through Facebook just doesn’t cut it any more. Punchy brand messages, coupled with a range of images and videos across multiple platforms — including Facebook, Google, Instagram Stories and YouTube — will be important for paid search campaigns this year.

And I can’t stress enough that video will be key in 2020. According to HubSpot, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. In fact, a recent study found that if video and text are both available on the same page, 72% of people will watch the video to learn about a product or service rather than read the text.

How will audience targeting change in 2020?

Audience targeting is already changing to a less transparent model — and I see this continuing in 2020. As automated campaigns increase, digital advertisers will have fewer insights into — and control over — the audiences that are being targeted through their campaigns. This is already happening through Google’s ‘Smart’ campaigns. Marketers are given no data on the breakdown of the audiences that have generated the most clicks or conversions for a campaign, so the challenge for marketers will be how we analyse and report on this going forward.

Top tips for a successful PPC campaign in 2020?

My top tip is to keep testing different bidding strategies and automation throughout 2020. Make use of the new features that get released for each platform. Learn them and adapt to the changes to make sure you’re always one step ahead of your competitors.

PPC is always evolving and it can be a struggle to stay on top of the changes and trends. But our digital marketing experts are always on hand to make sure you’re ahead of the game and maximising your ROI. To keep on top in 2020, you can click here to speak to our PPC experts, Tom R and Tom W, directly.

Stats for this article are thanks to HubSpot.

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