Digital Marketing 2021

After a year of complete upheaval both in the business world and our personal lives, changes in consumer behaviors, businesses and their associated digital marketing strategies will have a lasting impact. Not only has the messaging changed but also product and services and how they are delivered.

So what is important in Digital Marketing for 2021?

2021 will see even more migration to digital platforms, including e-commerce, chatbots, email, apps, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, omnichannel marketing and augmented and virtual reality. Any technologies which create a more seamless customer experience are of prime focus.

Omnichannel marketing is key, as people are engaging with your brand, now with screens from home for both consumers and working professionals. Marketing Communications and how this information is accessed has dramatically increased the importance of digital channels as part of the customer journey. E.g. Purchase rate of omnichannel campaigns is 287% higher than single-channel campaigns. Reactivation campaigns recovered 2.13% of otherwise churned customers, which not only recovers them in the moment, but potentially for the future as well. (Omnisend 2020).

 

Artificial Intelligence, SEO & Social

Artificial intelligence (AI) is really changing how people interact with online content which will continue to impact social media marketing and SEO performance. Algorithms will rely even more on interaction, engagement and video. Content is ranked based on algorithms inspecting content quality, and user interest so location history, browsing history, app usage, calendars, search history, and home and work locations are all relevant. AI has never been as influential in Digital Marketing as it is now, so it will pay dividends to understand the capabilities of these tools in 2021.


Mobile Responsiveness

Make sure that the mobile page content quality is as good as the desktop page, and this is for everything you do on the web. Build your sites for mobile, and worry about the desktop version as a second priority. Most traffic will come to your site through mobile devices, so make sure those visitors have a great user experience on the site.

Video


Online video continues to be a really important format for all digital activity. With over 1 billion users on YouTube and video projected to surpass all other content forms in terms of consumption, you need to include video as a key part of your Digital Strategy.
Optimise your video channel name and description using a user-friendly overview of what your channel is about.

Virtual events have seen significant growth and are here to stay as an impactful way of connecting with your key target personas and delivering your marketing message. Traditional events like trade shows and conferences will struggle and adapt.

 

Use your analytics to understand how your digital marketing strategy is performing

 

 


Which challenges are driving high quality traffic? Which specific activities are delivering conversions? Which content formats are getting more engagement? Which content is increasing shares of your website pages? From an SEO perspective on your website, what URLs are being crawled? What websites are referring quality traffic? How long are your pages taking to load? Are all pages being indexed? Are users engaging and staying on your pages or bouncing? Consider all these types of information in order to monitor you’re your performance.

The focus continues to be around building quality content that will engage your target personas naturally, based on their issues, motivations and where they are in the purchase process. In 2021, the same applies with more sophisticated formats, tracking and ways of drawing relevant insights.

From our years of experience working with clients on Digital Marketing activities, we have helped businesses overcome challenges of all types. Obviously the digital activities you focus on will depend on your key business objectives. A focused strategy with a robust, but creative messaging will help you build the right profile with the right personas.

Our focus is on making your Digital Marketing drive the right conversions for your business and driving ROI.

If you would like to improve your Digital performance, backed with a results driven content strategy, consider our Digital Mentor Programme. We have worked with many businesses over several years to implement an effective long term Digital Marketing Strategy to drive the results they want

Download our Digital Marketing Strategy ebook and get access to our proven 5 step process that delivers results every time

This year has been unpredictable, to put it mildly.

However, the digital advertising space has held strong and, as such, PPC saw an increase in budget across both B2B and B2C markets. After the initial shock at the end of the first quarter, normal business resumed and companies invested heavily in their digital operations to help them survive.

On top of the global situation, Google also made some changes to their advertising operations. These included new ways to target audiences, new extensions for the ads, a new kind of search query report and much more. As a result of these changes and more, advertisers have needed to change their SEM strategies in order to continue their success and see a return on their investment.

So, in light of this, we’ve brought you 6 PPC trends we expect to see in 2021:

1. Campaign Diversification

Because the B2B space is so highly competitive, advertisers need to differentiate themselves in order to stand out and catch their potential customer’s attention. B2B advertisers are trying different campaign types alongside the traditional search and display campaign formats. B2B advertisers are seeing a good performance with Discovery Campaigns, which are delivering a CTR higher than display, and a lower CPL than search, so we expect them to increase their investment in this campaign type in 2021.

Quick tip

When using Discovery Campaigns, give them time. Let them run for a couple of weeks without making changes as the bidding algorithm is learning during that period and you will see little consistency across all metrics. After that, you will be able to see which segments are performing well and prioritise them. Performance improves consistently after 4-5 weeks.

2. Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) gain in popularity

Dynamic Search Ads

Following the search query report update in September, Dynamic Search Ad campaigns will become even more popular with B2B advertisers. The search query report will give you search terms that a number of people have used. As a result, advertisers have lost visibility into low-volume keywords that drive traffic and can generate leads. DSA campaigns offer an efficient way to find new keywords. Their search query reports can help reveal gaps in keyword coverage. DSA can complement your existing search campaigns and improve CTR, CPC, and ROI.

Quick tip

If you are running lead generation ads and are operating with strict CPL goals, create separate campaigns for DSA so you have more control and visibility of your budget. Start by targeting your landing pages so you can have some control over potential queries and headlines.

 

3. PPC managers embrace automation

As Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly advanced, more and more marketers are embracing automation tools in order to see better results and spend less time managing the accounts. Some of the best automated features – automated bidding strategies, responsive search ads and ad rotation in Google Ads – will continue to gain popularity in 2021. We should also expect to see higher adoption of auction-time bidding, dynamic extensions, and dynamic search ads as B2B advertisers seek to optimise and scale their paid search campaigns.

Quick tip

When evaluating automated bidding strategies for lead generation accounts, don’t worry about higher CPCs as you will likely be paying more for higher quality clicks. If you are seeing a high volume of leads at a low CPL, you are going in the right direction. And always set your target CPA based on the last 30 days’ average, even if it is higher than your goal. Otherwise, you will see a decrease in lead volume.

4. YouTube ad investment increases

YouTube PPC Trends

Online video ads have become more important for marketers during COVID-19 times. B2B buyers are using online video ads more often to inform purchase decisions: 64% of B2B buyers have increased their use of online video and 51% have increased their use of search, according to eMarketer.  We expect B2B advertisers to increase their YouTube investment in 2021 and to launch video campaigns both to generate brand awareness and to generate leads. In addition, B2B advertisers will invest more in creating video content — and YouTubes’ new betas will make that content easier to create.

Quick tip

For a full-funnel video strategy, prioritise videos that are 6-, 15- and 30-seconds long as short videos engage users the most. Also, avoid salesy videos and try to create videos that show the personality of your brand so you can connect with your audience.

 

5. Mobile investment drops

Lower mobility driven by COVID-19 has decreased the number of mobile buyers while increasing time in front of computers, leading to strong desktop growth. During the pandemic, paid search desktop traffic is up 60%, while mobile traffic has dropped 7% compared to the pre-COVID period. Moreover, the conversion rate for desktop has increased by 4% while the conversion rate for mobile decreased by almost 19%. 

Quick tip

Leverage automated bidding strategies to save time and prioritise the devices that are performing best. And don’t forget to look at the assisted conversions report when evaluating mobile performance if you are still using last-click attribution.

 

6. Paid search messaging becomes increasingly customer-centric

B2B buyers are looking for new solutions as they accelerate purchases, and are expecting more from their solution providers according to the 2020 B2B Buyer Behaviour Study. So, we’ll see more ads from B2B companies highlighting features, functionality, customer support services, product training, and implementation support in order to attract and engage B2B buyers. For successful SEM campaigns, promoting relevant content that speaks to industry needs will be a must.

Quick tip

If you have lead generation campaigns and prefer to drive traffic to a landing page with a form, use site links and callouts to highlight the additional services or training you have available for your customers.

 

With new campaign types and messaging to test, and more automation features and tools at hand, 2021 promises to provide plenty of ways for B2B advertisers to optimise their campaigns and ensure they are driving return on investment.

If you would benefit from a free “no obligation’ Google Ads audit, talk to us today.

 

 

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improve visitor quality google ads

Google Ads, if set up correctly and aligned with your business objectives, can have a huge impact in terms of driving revenue for your business.

The key to success with Google Ads is to ensure you are getting the right kind of visitor/potential customer onto your website. To achieve this involves  research, careful planning and knowledge of Google Ads functionality and your target demographic. The foundation of a successful Google Ads is setting up the right structure in terms of Campaigns and AdGroups. The biggest mistake you can make is launching into setting up campaigns without thoroughly considering your objectives, your audience and your strategy.

The following six key points will help you improve the quality of clicks and visitors you’re getting via your Google Ads.

Identify the relevant search terms for your business and use suitable match types

Think of search terms that are most relevant to your business and industry. Consider how your potential customers are searching for your product.

Keywords and match types are key to ensuring you are bringing the right audience to your website and spending your budget efficiently. The natural impulse is to use keywords that bring in the highest number of clicks. However, with Google Ads, it’s about quality and not quantity.

Then test each keyword by asking yourself if it could be related to an unrelated business. If it could, then try and quality it more so that its only bringing in relevant clicks for your business.

If you are selling running shoes online, rather than just targeting ‘running shoes’, you may target exact keyword phrases terms like ‘buy running shoes online’. Or for a local business, it may be worth creating a separate campaign for “Near Me” searchers e.g. If you offer locksmith services you might benefit from using terms like; locksmiths near me’,locksmiths nearby’, ‘closest locksmiths’ and ‘local locksmiths’. 

Advertisers are not always clear on the impact of keyword match types. Google Ads allows you to designate each keyword/key phrase as broad match, broad match with modifier, phrase match, and exact match. Broad match will always bring in the highest number of clicks because it gives license to Google to interpret your keywords in many different search queries. Exact match is the opposite. It ensures that Google only shows an ad if an exact key phrase is queried.

Maximising your Google Ads campaigns relies on striking the right balance between match types, relying mostly on phrase and exact matches with a sprinkling of broad modified match terms. Be clear on the possible outcome of using each of the different match types and the impact they have in relation to displaying your ads. See examples of match types below:

Set out the structure of your campaigns

When setting up your campaigns and ad groups initially, take the time to break out your ad groups in detail. There are numerous different strategies you can use.

When you choose a strategy, understand the “why” behind it and monitor it closely, particularly during the initial “learning” stages.

One such strategy example you can use is SKAGS (Single Keyword AdGroups). With SKAGS, each search term you are targeting goes into its own ad group with different match types, e.g. modified broad match, exact match and phrase match (you wouldn’t generally use ‘broad match’ here).

SKAGS allow you to deliver relevant ads to those who are searching for your product or service, through the search terms you are targeting, resulting in lower cost per click and higher click through rates and thus improved visitor quality, all of which impact your advertising costs and results.

Constantly manage your negative keywords

Negative Keywords Visitor Quality

Each time you go into your Google Ads account, check out the search queries that generate clicks. If the clicks are not relevant, it means you are getting the wrong type of visitor to your website, and paying for the privilege of it. It’s important to:

  1. Identify why these irrelevant clicks came in. Do you need to modify your keyword match types to avoid further irrelevant clicks? Or do the additional impressions you get outweigh the negative clicks. E.g. will changing the match type of the term that allows these negatives in, block other clicks that are relevant?
  2. Add the term as a negative in all match types that are relevant. Yes, you say this is an obvious step. However, many businesses are not aware of the importance of adding the relevant match types as negatives. Match types don’t behave exactly the same as negatives, as they do as part of the search campaigns.

Each match type has a purpose, so be sure to use the match types that achieve what is relevant for your ad group or campaign, or both.

Broad Match Negatives: If you add a negative term as a broad match, it will block out where someone uses both of the terms together. However, negative broad match will not block out ads where someone searches for only one of the terms on its own. e.g. adding ‘Google Ads Agency’ as a negative will prevent searches for “Google Ads” and “Agency” used in the same search term, but it will not prevent clicks for searches where only one word is used with a different work e.g. ‘DIY Google Ads’ or ‘Property Agency’.

Phrase Match Negatives: Exclude your ad for searches that include the exact keyword phrase. If a search includes additional words, the ad won’t show as long as the keywords are included in the search in the same order. If someone searches for only one of the terms in your selected phrase, your ad will still appear. For example, if your negative is “AdWords Agency” and a user searches for DIY AdWords, your ad will still appear. This also means that if additional words are used in the search query, such as ‘AdWords Services Agency’, your ad will still appear as ‘AdWords’ and ‘Agency’ are not next to each other in the search query.

Exact Match Negatives: This adds the exact terms, without extra words. Your ad may still show for searches that include the keyword phrase with additional words. When using exact match negatives, it will only block that exact term. So adding [Google Ads Agency] as a negative does not block ‘Google Ads Agency Ireland’ or ‘Google Ads Agencies’. Close variants (any misspelling, singular or plural form, acronym, stemmings, abbreviations of the keyword) do not apply for negative keywords.

Maximise use of Bid Adjustments to customise to your audiences

Google Ads bid adjustments use manually set percentage changes, in order to increase or decrease the weight of your maximum cost per click bid amounts. The result is more control over when, where and to whom your ads are shown to. and better targeting of segments based on their likelihood of converting. With Bid Adjustment, you get greater flexibility, within the same campaign. Previously, in order to achieve this, you would have to set up individual ad groups for each segment. For example, if you know that people who live in Dublin are more likely to convert than those living in Cork, you can set negative bid adjustments for the Cork in relevant campaigns. This means that Cork will get impressions/clicks at a certain (lower in this case) bid level, thus prioritising impressions/clicks for Dublin and improving your overall visitor quality.

Use All Ad Extensions Available

google ads extensions

Ad extensions are a very powerful way of delivering a personalised ad to each user. These customised ads often deliver higher click-through rates, improve quality score and simply make your ad more prominent on search results. Use every Ad Extension available and relevant to your campaign.

It’s important to customise at ad group level, where it makes sense to do so. Rather than setting up a few top level extensions, make them specific to your ad groups and you will find they will perform far better. From text message extensions, which allow Google searchers to send you a text, to structured snippets to app downloads, there are now a great range of options to use to promote the important aspects of your business to highly targeted potential customers, and offer them a range of ways to get in touch with you, depending on what suits them (and you) best. 

Utilise Your Remarketing

Remarketing is a PPC strategy that targets people who have already visited your website and/or bought from your website. By it’s very nature, it is guaranteed to bring good quality visitors to your website through Google Ads.

In Google Ads, there are four types of remarketing. Standard Remarketing shows your static image ads to people who’ve previously visited your website via the display network. Dynamic Remarketing shows dynamic image ads for specific products and services that a visitor has previously looked at. For example, if you’re looking at a stainless steel crockpot on Amazon, Jeff Bezos can use dynamic remarketing to create an ad using the exact same model on a display ad on your favourite blog. To use dynamic remarketing you must also have a Google Merchant Centre account. Remarketing lists for Search Ads (RLSA) re-targets people who’ve visited your site and the subsequently search for a relevant term. You might target people who have already visited your website, for search terms that are more generic or broad, as you know they are relevant targets.

An outline of your typical re-marketing campaign.

Video Remarketing re-targets people who have watched your YouTube videos. You can also use YouTube ads to remarket to people who visited your site.

While businesses managing their own campaigns are familiar with the areas discussed, often Ads management isn’t an ongoing priority, resulting in campaigns not being structured to meet business objectives and poor quality visitors, thus leading to a poor Return On Investment. Functionality is often applied without understanding how best to use it for the campaigns in question.

As Google Ads becomes more automated, agencies will show their true value by ensuring business objectives are being addressed through campaign set up, structure and ongoing management and through strong communication with businesses on their markets and business objectives. If you are currently managing your own campaigns and would like a Google Ads audie to see how you are doing, please get in touch with us at WebResults.