Yesterday, over 4,500 of your digital marketing peers were signed up for the 2020 PPC Hero Summit, including myself! I had dozens of takeaways and want to share just ten that stood out most to me.

Accessibility and Personalization are the “sleeper trends” we should be paying attention to as digital marketers.

Purna, from Microsoft Ads, said that over 1 billion people have an accessibility disability. These disabilities can be related to sight, hearing, cognitive ability, and physical ability. Here’s a simple example of how one of these disabilities would affect an online experience:

Color blindness affects how someone sees landing pages. If your call-to-action button is blending into the background for someone with colorblindness, that impacts whether or not they convert! So, Purna’s point is that as digital marketers, accessibility disabilities should be top of mind.

Working towards more inclusive and accessible sites is not only the right thing to do – it’s a good business decision. There are hundreds of blogs and resources out there about making websites accessible and many of the first steps are quite simple, so if you haven’t started this process, start researching!

Drew from Google said his “sleeper trend” is personalization.

Personalization has been a hot topic for some time in the marketing world, though I’d say I tend to hear about it more with email and content marketing. Drew mentioned that Search has become deeply personal, as well. For example, searches for “best lipstick for older women” and “best dating site for single moms”, historically would’ve just been “best lipstick” or “best dating site”. The long-tail, more personal searches have increased significantly over the last few years and not many advertisers match that specificity in their ads…UNLESS they’re using automation! Dynamic search ads, for example, are a great way to personalize your ads for those potential customers without spending hundreds of hours writing ad copy variations.

Making content stand out is an uphill battle. Let PPC be your secret weapon.

incredible content posting stats
You must be strategic to make your content stand out amongst the flood of average content.

Basically, your content is DROWNING in a sea of useless content. PPC can be a lifesaver if you:

  • KYC: Know Your Customer.
  • Remember that timing is everything.
  • Spend wisely on placements.

Use PPC to promote the right content, to the right person, at the right time, in the right place(ment). The audience targeting session later in the Summit can help with that.

PPC technicians need to creatively use 1st party data as 3rd party cookies disappear

Blair from Dialogtech pointed out this statistic from Advertiser Perception & MightHive that says,

44% of marketers say they are tapping into 40% or less of their first-party data

Advertiser Perception & MightHive

With the decline of 3rd party cookies in Google Chrome, advertisers NEED to lean into their first-party data. Here are some data types you may have forgotten about:

first party data to use for remarketing

Campaign Budget Optimizer is becoming mandatory

I could write a whole blog post on this, but instead, I’ll let you read this one from Aaron, one of our Sr. Paid Social Account Managers: Facebook’s Mandatory Change Coming Soon: Ad Set Budgets Are Going Away

Targeting two unrelated interests in Facebook can be a low-budget, high engagement strategy

Larry Kim is well known for his “hacks” and addressing PPC challenges with very unique solutions, and he didn’t disappoint for the PPC Hero Summit! The strategy that stood out most to me was his “inverted unicorn Facebook ad targeting method.”

Normally, we target related interests with our Facebook campaigns. For example, we might target people “interested in marketing” who also have Marketing jobs, if we want to advertise the 2020 PPC Hero Summit. Larry’s “inverted unicorn” strategy is essentially starting with two unrelated interests and targeting the small portion of people who fit both interests. Then, tailor the ad copy and media to one of those interests.

In Larry’s example, he was proving a larger point, which you’ll understand if you watch the full presentation. In short, he targeted people in one political party that were ALSO Star Trek fans. The ad copy and image were both Star Trek-related. His ad only cost him $50 and it generated over 1.3k likes and 235 shares! It’s safe to say this strategy is worth testing if you’re looking for low-cost, high-engagement options. (Tip: be cognizant of copyright and trademark law when using pop culture images like this!)

ABM is not a product. ABM is a strategy.

Wise words from Mary Hartman! With the emergence of ABM platforms in the last few years, it’s common for marketers to infer that if they purchase an ABM platform, they should be able to just turn on the platform and VOILA! Your ideal customers want to work with you.

But no! While those platforms are great, you can’t just turn them on and expect your ideal customers to start knocking down your door. So, before you go and buy an ABM solution (technology), create your ABM strategy and get all stakeholders on board (your agencies, Sales, full Marketing team, etc).

Mary presented on ABM strategies at Hero Conf Philly last year. If you’d like to see her deck and ABM checklist, just go here!

Pinterest is where we need to be testing, especially for E-commerce brands.

Kamlyn Spivey pointed out that Pinterest has over 3,400 detailed interest groups. Bet you didn’t know that! I sure didn’t realize it was quite that many. Plus, as an ad platform, Pinterest is relatively inexpensive and user intent to purchase is higher than all other social platforms. Those reasons alone should convince any digital marketer, especially those selling products, to test Pinterest ads.

Now, let’s get creative and combine what we’ve learned in two of these Summit sessions. What if you tested Larry’s inverted unicorn strategy ON PINTEREST, using 2 of Pinterest’s 3,400 interest groups?

Maybe you are selling bright red, sparkly shoes. You could test targeting BOTH people interested in shoes AND people interested in The Wizard of Oz. The pin could show a modern-day Dorothy, wearing her sparkly red shoes and clicking them together (maybe a video or gif format). Your CPC’s would probably be cheap and Wizard of Oz fans would start pinning and sharing, and ideally, BUYING those red sparkly shoes!

Here’s how you should prioritize your PPC automation

The reason I love hearing from Fred Vallaeys is that he always has thoughtful, high-level takeaways mixed with really technical, super useful tools and action items. And he did not disappoint for the 2020 Summit! My biggest takeaway from Fred was his PPC Engine Task Automation Scorecard, which I’ve included below. It’s pretty straightforward, but if you want more of an explanation, you can still register to get the slides and recordings. Also, if you haven’t heard, Fred will be keynoting at Hero Conf Austin!

ppc engine task automation priorities chart
PPC Engine Task Automation Scorecard

Super-segmented search accounts are dying out

If you’re working in mature paid search accounts, listen up!

Automated bid methods require data to work effectively. If you segment your keywords and ad groups too granularly, Google’s algorithms are often ineffective because your data is too segmented.

Jeff’s case in point: An education brand with a multitude of programs was seeing a steady decline in performance for all programs advertised in their Google Ads account.

Here are the hypothesized problems for that particular account:

  1. The account structure is excessively granular.
  2. There’s not enough data in each ad group or campaign for “the machine” to learn and make decisions.
  3. Smart bidding is not working due to this lack of aggregated data.

Once the account was restructured and segmented only by educational “Programs” (the account’s objectives are all program-specific) and no other major layers of segmentation, conversion rates started improving and the early results show that conversion volume and CPA are beginning to recover.

Tie every PPC project back to a department/company-wide objective

What good are all of these new PPC strategies if you can’t effectively explain the results to your boss/CMO/stakeholders later on?

Carrie and Lauren have worked with dozens of marketing department leaders and executives in their careers, so they know what works and what doesn’t when communicating paid media successes.

We NEED to be able to tie all projects to the business objectives they directly support. This might seem obvious, but digital marketers who spend at least 50% of their time in the technical weeds often forget that their language doesn’t always translate to CMO’s.

bucket your ppc action items into themes based on the business objective they affect

And that’s my list of 10 takeaways from the 2020 PPC Hero Summit. Of course, I had more than 10 takeaways from 4 hours of PPC training and you can too! If you didn’t tune in yesterday, you can register here and still get the slides and recordings next week.