PPC as always is a reliable lead generation engine that can be justified with a ROI for the spend. Considering the other options like emails, organic search and content marketing, PPC is indisputably the best when it comes to delivering leads consistently. That is also the reason why agencies opt for PPC when setting up a predictable sales machine for their clients. This works short time and way easier to bring in leads when given only with a short span of time to deliver results. Having been doing PPC based paid campaigns for more than a decade, here is my review of PPC trends in 2017.

Evolution of social media as a marketing and sales channel

The year 2017 was a year of social media with more people opting for social media based PPC campaigns against PPC campaigns in search and content networks. Facebook reserved their space in the PPC ad business by showing their success with look-alike audience based ad targeting. Even Google is trying hard to catch-up with Facebook on this, their model is nowhere near Facebook’s. Thanks to Facebook’s social graphs and interest based cookies.

Giants embracing Artificial Intelligence

Both Google and Facebook have been using Machine Learning to categorize their audience based on the different facets of the campaigns. But 2017 was when they shifted their focus to a deeper level by using artificial intelligence at a semantic level. These features helped Google to rerank their ads by understanding the context of the search queries and by predicting user behaviour more accurately than before.

Has Google cracked online-to-offline conversion tracking problem?

In 2017, Google’s struggle to fix its attribution model continues, but with a development to that is their announcement on in-store conversion measurements. Retailers can now upload their loyalty cards and customer email lists which will help Google to map in-store conversions. Google can also track store visits from Youtube campaigns.

Big moves in audience targeting

While Google successfully rolled out in-market audience and similar audience targeting to its search and shopping ad campaigns, Bing started testing the same this year. Bing announced that it will be able to target more than 70 in-market audiences based on the user data they possess.

Google added customer addresses and phone numbers as a step to expand customer matches for their retargeting lists. Earlier it was only the email addresses that helped Google to match retargeting cookies with custom list audiences.

Mobile first and local ads

Local searches are growing faster than mobile searches. While location based targeting is not new to the digital advertising world, using mobiles to deliver and map in-store purchases and using them to track conversions is something that was tested successfully this year. Google is expected to expand its Local ad services to more cities by end of this year, which I think is going to be a giant leap in the way Google was serving SMBs.

What do you think about our review of 2017? Please add your view of 2017 in the below comment section.