Yes, things have changed. But they always do.
Last month’s meeting was a soft science soirée. For February, DFWSEM went back to crunching some hard numbers courtesy of Susan Waldes of North Carolina’s Five Mill. It was a night of hardcore PPC intel, from micro moments to mobile, that had data junkies on the edge of their seats.
As per usual, the crowd was full of folks looking to hire (If you are searching for a digital marketing job in DFW and not attending these meetings, you’re missing out on a delicious chocolate bonbon of potential – #justsaying). Board Member Chris Silver Smith gave a quick bio of next month’s speaker, Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea. President Scott Vann shouted out the attractive and intelligent DFWSEM sponsors, and then it was off to the PPC races.
Susan’s been investigating the intricacies of online advertising since TLC was tired of scrubs and the world was bracing for Y2K. So when she says things have changed, she knows whereof she speaks. As it turns out, there have been a few changes more recent than 1999.
800 pound search gorilla Google has weighed in on these changes. Micro-moments, part of their Zero Moment of Truth concept, is a reflection of the biggest recent change of all – the rise of mobile search. Between smart phones, tablets, and home computers, the customer journey has become more complex, creating some real attribution challenges. The solution? Susan thinks it’s fourfold, and to goes like this.
Embrace the high CPCS
There are no more tricks, it seems. No more long tails. PPC pros simply have to come to terms with bidding more when a click is worth more. The challenge is how to determine which clicks provide the best value. Which clicks get that ad in front of the right person at the right place and the right time. Fortunately, AdWords has more tools than ever to help you track them down.
— WrightIMC (@wrightimc) February 11, 2016
First party data
Well, second party data, too. And third. It’s hard to bid intelligently without information. So there are a few concrete steps to take. For example, to create an RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Ads) of CEOs, the strategy is 1) Pixel everything. No, really. Ev er ee thing. 2) Create content of interest to CEOs – for an audience like that that’s pressed for time, think listicles and infographics. 3) Promote that content through all available channels. 4) Behold! A shiny new RLSA.
Break out of the keyword/text ad box
Time to take a look around and see if there are other places to be putting your messaging. Do you have some killer content on your site? Might be time to invest in some dynamic search ads. Have a great, underloved app? Some app install ads could drive folks that way – and then they’re in your world, where you can reach them with great messaging while being entertaining or useful. And how about Gmail ads? With a two-step process, the essentially pre-qualify your leads.
Also, don’t discount the power of the call-only ad. After all, 100% of mobile users are holding a device that makes phone calls.
Break out of the PPC silo
Here’s the bad news. And I’ll try to break it to you gently, because I know it’s rough.
You’re going to have to talk to your coworkers. Like, with your mouth. Using words and everything.
What are the upcoming content initiatives? What are the email marketers up to? Where is the app in development or refining? The answers to these questions – and more! – can give a PPC marketing pro valuable information on what bids might bear the best fruit.
Reports of the demise of any sort of online marketing are often exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. People who say that, for example, email is over or CPCs prices are falling and therefore useless are alarmist. If you want to succeed in a micro moment world, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to reinvest where you’re putting your resources.
Tune in next month for more State of Search announcements and more actionable SEO information.
Stephanie Studer is a writer, editor, cook, and massive nerd who calls Dallas home. A social and content marketer, she’s deeply in love with all that language can do. She blogs at storytellingforsuccess.wordpress.com, tweets at @Editrix_Steph, and posts entirely too many pictures of dishes she’s made on Instagram. Don’t ask her about ukuleles or comic books unless you have nothing to do for the next several hours.