The most important aspects of digital marketing for PPC advertisers over the past year have been conversion rate optimization (CRO) and mobile, with agencies favoring the former and brands the latter, according to the latest annual State of PPC report [download page] from Hanapin Marketing.
Social advertising has been the third-most important aspect of the digital marketing industry for both advertisers and brands, the report finds.
Marketers of all stripes have been paying more attention to conversion rate optimization in recent years, per research from Econsultancy, with A/B testing and customer journey analysis among the more popular methods.
Interestingly enough, although mobile and social are becoming increasingly critical for PPC advertisers, they’re yet to break into the most effective PPC channels.
For the time being, that honor continues to belong to text ads, which 87% of PPC advertisers consider effective. Remarketing holds the next stop, cited by roughly two-thirds of survey respondents. These were also rated the top-2 most effective PPC channels in last year’s survey.
Nevertheless, a majority of advertisers are finding that both mobile (60%) and social (53%) are effective, and those figures represent increases from last year.
Social Ads Getting the Spending Love
Perhaps as a result of the perceived rise in effectiveness – along with a clear view of their importance – a broad swathe of advertisers have increased their spending on social ads.
In fact, 72% report spending more or significantly more on social ads this year, while 60% are spending more on mobile. Advertisers are also spreading their budgets to the most effective channels, with most upping their spending on text ads (63%) and remarketing (53%).
Somewhat surprisingly, only 40% view shopping ads as being effective, and only around 4 in 10 are spending more on this channel. That may be a function of the industry distribution of the survey sample; for retailers the story might be different. For the first time in 2016, retailers spent a greater portion of their Google AdWords budgets on shopping ads (53%) than on text ads (47%), per a report from Sidecar. A separate study from Merkle indicated that as of Q1, US retailers are now getting a majority of their search ad clicks from Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
All told, 84% of PPC advertisers are feeling good about the market this year, and almost 8 in 10 are not only spending more this year than last but also expect to have an even bigger budget next year.
Google Adwords (75%) and Facebook (71%) are the leading channels for planned budget increases next year. Google and Facebook together accounted for one-fifth of global ad spending last year – so expect their prominent influence in the advertising market to continue to climb…
About the Data: The report is based on a survey of hundreds of search marketers, 57% of whom work for agencies and 43% for brands.