Looking to change up your digital strategy? From paid search to paid social, automation, targeting and more, the ever-evolving realm of paid advertising can significantly boost your business results, especially if you keep up to date. Luis, Talk’s PPC analyst spills the beans on the hottest PPC trends for 2022.

#1 First-party and zero-party data

The most common terms you have probably heard already are first-party and third-party data, right?

Basically, third-party data is any data that is gathered and aggregated by specialized companies and then sold to other businesses, usually to help them improve their advertising campaigns.

This data contains information from many different sources and it’s usually aggregated and clustered based on common behaviours and characteristics of each group.

Many companies (such as Facebook and Google) have been tracking people and collecting thousands of small pieces of information based on your online (and sometimes even offline) behaviour to build their third-party data, hence helping advertisers to maximize their marketing campaigns’ results.

On the other hand, first-party data is any data that you own and collect directly from your customers, with their consent. It can be collected from website and app tracking, social media channels, email campaigns, customer surveys, customer service, loyalty programs, for example.

And what about zero-party data? This is new, isn’t it? Not really.

With the e-privacy laws in place, third-party, second-party and also first-party data are slowly being deprecated and that’s where zero-party comes in.

According to Forrester, zero-party data is “data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand, which can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context, and how the individual wants the brand to recognize her.”

PPC Trends 2022 - Zero-party Data Yelp Example
Source: WIRED

In the example above, Yelp app asks for users’ information in order to provide them with a better experience in the app based on their own tastes and preferences,

They can also use this type of user information to improve their email and advertising campaigns, for example, without relying on cookie tracking and third-party data.

Disclaimer: make sure you get customers’ consent and respect all the privacy laws based on your country/region.

Recommended reading: How to unlock the power of first-party data

 

#2 Automation

Ad platforms have been adding more automation year over year.

It won’t probably replace PPC jobs (who knows) for now, but it actually is one extra tool for analysts to save their time and achieve better results.

It’s humanly impossible to gather information from many different sources and run an analysis of millions of data points in real-time as Google and Facebook do in their ad auctions, for example.

That’s why you can count on their automated and smart bid strategies and add them to your ad strategy.

Additionally, you can rely on creative automation to run multiple versions of your ads without needing to create them all. Features such as dynamic creatives on Facebook and Responsive Ads on Google allow you to simply add a lot of different assets and let the automation do the heavy work for you, finding the high-performance ads while you focus on your business or on your strategy.

This advertiser below has achieved 3x better results after using dynamic creatives on Facebook.

 

Growww Digital - Bónusz Brigád creatives
Image: ROI HUNTER

More recently, Google has launched the Performance Max campaign type, which allows advertisers to run campaigns on many channels such as Display, Search, Shopping and Discovery all at once with only a few configuration steps.

For those of you who are afraid of losing control of your campaigns, don’t panic (yet!) because there are still some settings we are still allowed to tweak.

 

#3 New channels and overlooked channels

Sometimes advertisers and even us professionals rely too much on Google and Facebook ads, naturally, since they are the bigger platforms available.

However, we might find the pot of gold at the end of the PPC rainbow if we look carefully at other channels, being them new channels or alternative channels that we didn’t know we could advertise on.

Tiktok is very popular these days but many advertisers still haven’t tried it yet. Of course, sometimes it just doesn’t fit your audience, but sometimes it’s just a matter of trying it out and starting running your first ads to see the results.

Other platforms such as Amazon and similar marketplaces that offer paid traffic solutions could be a great partner to generate sales and awareness for your business.

Not to mention other alternatives such as Reddit ads, Quora Ads, Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads), Yahoo Ads, Native Ads (Taboola, for example), niche directory websites, coupon websites and so on.

Think outside the box and start to dig around the internet to find partners where you can advertise your business!

 

#4 Visual and Voice Search

There are no specific settings for visual or voice search on PPC platforms yet.

Worrying too much about how you will fit your PPC strategy into users’ increasing voice search use is probably not the right thing to do right now.

However, it’s just a matter of time for it to become a thing.

What you can do now is to keep an eye on your campaigns’ search terms, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and that you use a conversational tone in your website and your ads.

People often use long-tail keywords when asking questions to voice assistants, so keep it in mind when you are writing your ad copy.

A few years ago, Google started doing some tests with its voice assistant and it could include some ads as results of the voice search.

Besides, keep your social profiles and Google My Business profile always updated and make use of all features they have available, to increase your chances to get more visibility and be helpful to the users, hence you will be rewarded with good rankings on search results.

Take a look at this amazon interactive audio ad below. Although it’s not a “voice search ad” it’s interesting to see its interactiveness.

 

 

#5 Audience Targeting

With all the recent privacy updates that have been changing the way PPC is done, it’s becoming more challenging to target people based on behaviours, interests and even keywords (as Google don’t show all the search terms in your PPC campaigns anymore).

Facebook also removed many options of detailed targeting from its platform recently, based on privacy concerns.

Said that, it’s mandatory for PPC professionals to know their audiences to be able to target them using broader groups of interests and behaviours, as well as make use of the aforementioned first and zero party date to provide data to ad platforms and use similar audiences to reach new customers, for example.

Gradually, all the topics mentioned here are becoming kind of a single thing, where automation takes place to reach people without needing to manually select them based on interests and keywords, relying on your own customer data to search for similar people and automatically show your dynamic ads to them.

See how everything is linked?

 

# Bonus (not a trend, though)

If you keep your users at the core of your actions and campaigns, there will be no problem for your business because the ad platforms are made to provide the best experience to their users (search engine, social media, websites) and if you as an advertiser can aggregate value to the platform and the user, then you will achieve good results.

So keep investing in good creatives, be relevant to your users, entertain them, sell when you have to sell, provide great customer service, wow them and your return is certain!