Budgets slashed, machines taking over, and the cookie apocalypse upon us. While it might sound like the plot of a horror movie, these are all things that have been said about the world of online advertising in 2023.
While there is some truth to these claims, things are not as dire as they seem at first glance if we look at them from a different perspective and recognize the opportunities that come with the territory.
And since being prepared is half the battle, let’s see how we can tackle the three main PPC challenges that this year will bring.
1. The Creative Takes Center Stage
Increased automation and limited targeting bring the creative into the main focus of the advertiser yet again, coming full circle since the days of early advertising. So prepare to say goodbye to spending hours on refining audiences for narrow targeting and welcome broad targeting. But for broad targeting to work, it needs an outstanding ad to capture the people’s attention and hearts. Before you could get away with having a boring ad if it reached the right audience, now you need to draw in the right audience through the power of your creative.
That means taking into consideration various aspects such as how to make your ad stand out through its design and which standard banner size would perform better for your campaign. Data gathering and analysis are particularly useful in this sense. For example, we know that in 2022, 64% of display ad designs were animated, whereas 35% were static, which provides a useful hint as to what type of ads are more likely to capture the audience’s attention.
Advertisers will have to rise to the challenge and collaborate with designers to generate more ads that are also creative, high-quality, and personalized. Here is where automation comes to the rescue, through various ad creation and delivery tools that help you stay ahead of the curve in this ever-evolving world of advertising, which brings me to my next point.
2. Increased Automation
After gaining serious ground in the past years, in 2023 marketing automation will be at its peak. What does this mean for online advertising? As more campaign elements are being automated and more control is taken away, the role of the advertiser becomes less executional, and more of a strategic one.
To illustrate this shift, think of what you were doing five years ago in PPC. I bet a lot of manual tasks come to mind—a lot of mundane, repetitive tasks that needed to be done to ensure your campaigns ran smoothly. But now, most of them have been taken over by machines, and all the better for it, since it frees up precious time for strategic thinking, the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of what you are doing.
Before being a stellar performer was enough to excel as a PPC specialist, now you are also required to be a great strategist, and automation helps you with that. So don’t get bogged down in manual tasks, embrace the possibilities of automation and direct your energy towards creativity, A/B testing, optimization, and data analysis. And worry not, you are in good company. According to eMarketer data, paid advertising is one of the main areas in which marketers have tested or used AI together with their marketing automation in 2022, and this trend is bound to continue this year.
3. Rising Costs on Platforms
‘How much will that cost me?’ Prepare to answer this age-old question a bit differently this year. Yes, I’m talking about what’s on everyone’s mind: money and budgets. It may come as no surprise that since the recent recession costs on advertising platforms have gone up, affecting campaign budgets and results.
Now more than ever, it is imperative to manage the expectations of your clients, managers, and other stakeholders in this respect. Let them know beforehand that they should not expect the same results they had last year for the same amount of money invested in a campaign so that they are not taken aback when reporting time rolls around.
What’s more, be smart about using your budget to hit your campaign goals and make use of automated bidding strategies to set a daily and monthly budget for your campaigns. Before cutting back on costs, see if you can’t optimize your creative or landing page for better results. And if you still need to scale down your budget, proceed with caution and do it gradually by trimming a maximum of 10% at a time, so as not to greatly affect campaign performance.
To wrap things up, I leave you with the following food for thought. As with everything else, the only constant in PPC changes, and it is up to you if it becomes an obstacle in your way or a challenge to redefine your role and improve your performance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diana-Alina Aldea, PPC Team Leader at Creatopy
Diana-Alina Aldea is a PPC Team Leader at Creatopy, the ad design automation platform. She has six years of experience in the field and a lot of conducted experiments in her back pocket. She loves testing new things on Google Ads, as well as on paid social. Her motto is: ‘A test a day keeps bad performance away’. Also, a smile on the PPC battlefield didn’t hurt anyone, so she makes sure to proudly wear it every day.