What Experts Say Are the Most Effective PPC Channels

Pat McKay

11/06/2017

Need a little help figuring out where you should be putting your ad spend?

We’ve got you covered with the latest survey on PPC advertising. We pulled information from the 2017-18 State of PPC report produced by Hanapin Marketing to show you which PPC channels the experts say are “the most effective.”

First, consider this: 79% of survey respondents said they had a higher PPC budget in 2017 than in 2016, and will have an even higher budget in 2018. If you have a similar plan in place, make sure you spend your ad dollars wisely by taking into account what others are saying about the performance of various channels.    

Use the rankings below as a compass for your future decision-making. We promise it will help guide your way!

1. Text ads – 87%

With billions of search queries processed on Google every single day, it’s no surprise that PPC managers say they’re benefiting the most from text ads. Just think about it: how often do you turn to a search engine to find a product, service provider or simple solution?  

By placing your ads within the four paid spots at the top of search results, you immediately capture the attention of potential customers right when they are searching. With 60% of PPC teams saying they’ve spent more on text ads in 2017, it’s clearly an investment that many view as profitable.   

2. Remarketing – 66%  

Retargeting users who have previously visited your site without converting is a perfect way to capitalize on your ad spend. Not only do your image ads give users a personalized incentive to return, but they also keep your brand in front of your target audience and improve recall, all at the same time.     

By retargeting users, you remain confident knowing that you never let potential customers slip away easily after having already shown interest. Remarketing is essentially a second chance for you to seal the deal. Look at it this way: you already have prospects on the hook, so now it’s only a matter of reeling them in.   

3. Mobile – 67%

Optimizing your PPC campaigns for mobile devices is vital to your success with online advertising, and only a microcosm of what’s happening in the industry as a whole. That’s why mobile was chosen as the most important aspect of digital marketing in 2017.  

Developing a website with fast loading times and a satisfying user-experience makes it easy for prospects to convert after clicking your ads. From the time people begin searching to when they click your ads and land on a page of your site, everything must be seamless for mobile users.   

4. Social – 53%

An impressive 72% of PPC marketing teams spent more on social ads in 2017 than they did in 2016. The reason being, social platforms collect a sea of data on users, which advertisers may use to target their audience down to an extremely granular level.  

With 75% of PPC teams expected to increase their Facebook budgets for 2018, social media advertising is proving to be a strong investment for the majority of brands. Offering an immense reach with incredible precision, it’s only natural to expect social media to move up in the rankings in years to come.   

5. Shopping – 40%

Although shopping comes in at number five, it’s important to consider that many brands may not be in an industry that aligns with e-commerce. Therefore, it be unwise for retailers to downplay its effectiveness based on this figure. Online shopping is actually exploding in popularity and expected to continue setting records through 2018.

That’s why businesses in e-commerce shouldn’t think twice about using this strategy to showcase their listings. By displaying a professional image, short description, price, reviews and a CTA like “Free Shipping” or “50% OFF,” your ads will appeal to the needs of potential customers at the very top of search results, above paid listings.       

6. Display – 25%

Developing attractive image ads with clean, concise copy that effectively draws your audience in is certainly one of the hardest things to do with paid advertising. Most online users are exposed to an abundance of display ads every day, making it difficult for yours to stand out among the rest.

However, there is still a way for you to fully capitalize on Google Display Network’s 92% reach of all Internet users: invest in best-in-class image ads that resonate with your audience, and run continuous tests to learn what’s most effective. With many online users becoming nearly desensitized to image ads, the quality of your designs will make all the difference moving forward.  

7. Programmatic – 16%

Many PPC agencies have recently adopted programmatic advertising, which involves the algorithmic purchase and sale of ad space in real time. The process is almost entirely streamlined by software that automates the buying, placement and optimization of media inventory via a bidding system. 

By drawing a variety of insights from your customers and the larger audience you want to target, personalized ads are shown to the right users, at the right time in the right context. With a more precise method of displaying ads, programmatic allows you to increase the efficiency of your targeted campaigns and avoid the “spray and pray” methods often associated with digital advertising.

Although programmatic advertising may still be in its infancy stage, it will likely play an even more important role in the future considering the push for automation across the industry.

8. Native – 13%

Lastly, native advertising offers the most subtle means of attracting clicks to your site. It works by matching your ads with platforms that are similar in form and function, making it easy for your messages to look less like traditional ads, and more like entertainment or educational resources.

If you think this sounds a lot like content marketing, you would be correct. Articles, infographics and videos are all examples of native advertising. A leading objective in content marketing is to provide value to an audience while simultaneously spreading brand awareness. And since people are already bombarded with ads on the web, engaging material tossed into a mix of similar content will help you build trust with your audience.

As seen with content marketing campaigns, the research, time and effort you put into content creation is recognized and rewarded by your audience. By providing an opportunity to teach or entertain users instead of simply suggesting that they take action, your audience will appreciate your choice to be different and, therefore, be more inclined to pursue your services.

The Last Word

Although text ads, remarketing and mobile were ranked as the top three “most effective” PPC channels, it’s crucial that you factor more spending into those that you believe would best represent your brand online. For example, shopping ranked at No. 5, but if you specialize in e-commerce, shopping is still what you might want to focus on most, in front of text ads.

Similarly, display came in at No. 6, however, if your brand boasts best-in-class designs and crushes it with ad copy, then you might as well continue focusing on your strengths. Either way, remember to never rely almost exclusively on just one channel.

Instead, use these rankings as a guide to help you develop a strong cross-channel approach to online advertising that not only considers what might be most profitable, but also what aligns with your specific brand and industry. You already know what’s working for everybody else, but now it’s time for you to create your own rankings for what’s going to work best for you.   

Interested in AdWords management services? Contact us today to speak with an expert about how we can boost your ROI from PPC.

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