- The PPC world is ever-changing. Today’s trends may not be in the picture tomorrow
- People will start focusing more on the buyer’s journey and use it to its full potential
- Automation and AI will be a key trend in 2021
Many things have turned topsy-turvy after witnessing a year full of unprecedented situations and multiple coronavirus-induced lockdowns. Companies are shifting to a remote-first culture, people prefer shopping online than going to a retail store, and in-person conversations have turned to video conversations. A lot has changed in the last year, even on the advertising and marketing turf. Marketers have started using automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to create data-backed ads. They’ve started understanding the buyer’s journey and making the most of it. Here are three PPC trends that can potentially rock the boat in 2021.
1. Google’s ad data hub will be a gold mine
Earlier in 2020, Google announced that they’d stop allowing third-party pixel tracking because of security concerns . The reliance on third-party pixels to check YouTube metrics led Google to invest in Ads Data Hub .   
It is a custom analysis that aligns data with your specific objectives while maintaining privacy and security. It offers marketers a comprehensive analysis to measure the effectiveness of the ads across different screens.
Ads data hub will prove to be a gold mine for the marketers as it gives specific insights about the customer behavior and how they’re interacting with your ads.
2. Understanding the buyer’s journey
A key aspect of a successful PPC campaign is to know how your customers behave to your ad in each step of your customer’s journey. Understanding each stage of the buyer’s journey can help in creating a more effective PPC  campaign.
Here are the five stages of the customer’s buyer’s journey and how can make the most of it by creating PPC campaigns for each stage.
Stage #1: Awareness
In this stage, customers learn about your business and offerings. People are looking for an answer to their question—there are looking for someone to solve their problem. So, their needs may or may not be well defined.
How can you help?
Help them figure out their needs and align your offers according to them. Use branded paid ads to garner their attention. Use keywords they’re using to search in their search queries. When they see your ad, it stirs curiosity in them, and it compels them to know more about your brand.
Stage #2: Exploration
In this stage, the customer learns more about the answers to their problems. They are sure of their needs and know different ways to cater to them. They also deem you as one of the solution providers and are gauging whether you can solve their problems. They’re checking your company’s USP, reviews, social proof, and previous partnerships.
How can you help?
At this stage, you can engage with your customers and build a long-lasting relationship. You can also use Facebook lead ads for addressing your customer’s problems. You can also write a conversational copy having social proof, case study, and previous work. This will inculcate a sense of trust in them, and they’ll love to explore your offerings.
Stage #3: Comparison
In this stage, the customer compares different offerings and finds the best fit. He now understands the pricing points, their reviews, and ratings. Hence, PPC remarketing ads can prove out to be a great bet here. You can evoke the customer to click on your ad and embed your “cookie.” This keeps your brand in front of your customer.
Stage #4: Conversion
The customers have realized their needs. They have narrowed down their options and are ready to buy. This is where you can put a strong call to action in your ads to encourage them to purchase from you. A solid CTA will compel your customer to purchase from you. Besides, you can also use remarketing to ensure that the prospects buy only from you.
Stage #5: Re-engagement
Finally, the prospect has become a customer. So, make efforts in retaining them. But how will you do that? Segment these customers into a new audience list and use remarketing ads to attract their attention for other products and services.
Understanding each stage of the buyer’s journey will help you create a rock-solid PPC campaign. The more you know your customers, the better you can tailor your campaigns. 
3. Automation will play a crucial role
According to Statista, the market size of automation globally will increase from 71.5% to 83.2% by 2021. 
Hence, automation is expected to be a game-changing trend in 2021. With AI and machine learning (ML), advertisers can automate labor-intensive tasks of finding the right place to display the ads. Automation will also play a crucial role in testing ads. It’ll be used to optimize ads that include:
- Finding the best bidding strategy
- Creating bids to get maximum conversions
- Enhance cost per click by looking for ad auctions
- Monitor the ad performance and stop low-performing ads
- Prioritize the ads that are generating top results
- Generate ads dynamically using user behavior and website content
- Generate ad performance reports dynamically
- Generate ad data and create ad copies to generate maximum clicks
As AI learns more  about your audience’s behavior and how they interact with the ads, it can accurately create ads to improve your PPC campaign’s performance.
As an advertiser, you must incorporate these PPC trends in your marketing strategy to get the most out of your campaigns. In 2021, AI and automation will take the front seat. People will focus on each stage of the buyer’s journey and use voice search to look for answers to their queries. There will be a surge in VR-enabled video ads. Marketers will also look for alternate PPC campaign platforms such as Quora, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other such platforms to generate better ROI in 2021. Hence, it’s true to say that 2021 has a bunch of whole new things in its bag for you. All the best for taking up your digital marketing strategy a notch up!
Aayush Gupta is Sr. Manager, Brand & Marketing at Uplers  .
- ^ Google announced (blog.google)
- ^ security concerns (www.singlegrain.com)
- ^ Ads Data Hub (developers.google.com)
- ^ effective PPC (www.searchenginewatch.com)
- ^ PPC (www.searchenginewatch.com)
- ^ 71.5% to 83.2% by 2021. (www.singlegrain.com)
- ^ AI learns more (www.searchenginewatch.com)
- ^ Uplers (www.uplers.com)
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