Every quarter, IgnitionOne checks in with the ongoing trends in digital marketing and publishes a report based on the data flowing through our platform. Frankly, the people who find this report most interesting are the investors and financial analysts who live and die by whether they should buy, sell or hold various stock. But for you, the day-to-day marketer, what do all these trends mean?
Search, While Not Sexy, Still Works
This quarter marks the third straight of strong growth for paid search spending, up 22 percent when compared to last year. In fact, search has grown every quarter since 2009. The reason? It's a powerful advertising channel. Constant innovation from search tools makes bidding on keywords — of which there are often millions for retailers — more efficient and effective. In addition, engines are continually pushing the envelope with new ways to target and reach consumers. Shopping, remarketing for search, click to call, ad extensions and more all help you sell products.
With this in mind, consider these search marketing tips:
- Make sure you're getting the most out of paid search. Are your tools the best for your needs? Is your team constantly reviewing keyword, creative and portfolio strategies?
- Understand how top-of-the-funnel keywords affect bottom-of-the-funnel searches. With an attribution solution — both inter- and intrachannel — you can see how keywords and messages interact.
- Stay on top of new capabilities. Partner with experts who can guide you through testing and optimizing.
Mobile: Where Your Customers Are, Where You Need to Be
We again saw huge increases for advertising on mobile devices. Advertising on mobile opens up many possibilities that are only now being tapped. Beacon-based messaging gives you the ability to reach customers as they pass by your store. Hyper-geotargeting allows you to deliver ads to customers within several feet of a brick-and-mortar location. Mobile ads can even be targeted at customers who visit your competitors as a conquesting strategy.
Use these tips to improve your brand's mobile marketing efforts:
- Make sure your site is optimized for mobile. This is not only to create a smooth user experience, but also because having a nonmobile-friendly site will impact your organic and paid search rankings.
- Leverage mobile multipliers intelligently in search. While the engines are pushing marketers to mobile, it's important that you watch over your ads. Track results by device and make adjustments to optimize performance.
- Don’t chase after every shiny new object, but do test new ways to reach your customers on every device.
When Giants Fight, We All Win
Google still battles with Yahoo and Bing over search market share, and Facebook and others over display advertising share. The smaller guys chip away when they can. Yahoo and Bing combined hold on to a quarter of the search market. Facebook has been outpacing Google in display growth and making strides against its sizeable lead. But what does this mean for you? Competition drives innovation and keeps costs competitive. It does however add complexity by forcing advertisers to go to many different outlets when buying ads.
Consider the following when finalizing your ad-buying strategy:
- Marketers and their technologies need to be publisher-agnostic. Don't just buy ads from one engine or publisher as you're missing out on potential customers.
- Look for technology to help simplify your ad buying. Important capabilities to make sure you're spending efficiently across all publishers include portfolio optimization and media mix modeling.
Retailers should be very enthusiastic about the rise of digital and the growth of advertising across devices. These trends show us that advertisers are becoming smarter, more sophisticated and able to target their customer more effectively than ever.
Joseph LaSala is the marketing director for IgnitionOne, a digital marketing company that offers a variety of cloud-based marketing solutions.