The top 3 PPC marketing search engines of 2018
by Debra Wang and Vladimir Bradic, 26 Jan 2018
In a world of digital giants, it seems impossible that anyone could topple behemoths like Google and Microsoft. But in the words of Jurassic Park, “Life expands to new territories…life (always) finds a way.” Lately, it seems some new players are taking that to heart and jockeying for a seat at the top.
Here are three advertising search engines that are doing just that. While they may not be on your PPC marketing plan, you may want to consider them, because they’re not going extinct anytime soon.
1. Amazon: eCommerce Powerhouse and PPC Goldmine
It’s no secret that Amazon has terrorized the retail and literary world for years with its mere existence. Its ability to tackle and disrupt any industry was back on display last year, as it sent shockwaves through Wall Street and sent grocery stores scrambling when it picked up Whole Foods for a cool $13.7 billion.
At its core, the fuel to Amazon’s success is its Prime membership option. Prime members are not only growing in numbers, but cementing purchase behavior that starts and ends without ever leaving the Amazon ecosystem.
There are 182 million self-reported Active Prime Users in the U.S. who made a confirmed purchase in the past 12 months, with an additional 4 million subscribers signing up just this past holiday season.
92% of users who start their journey on Amazon will end up purchasing on Amazon; studies have also shown Prime members spend more with every subsequent year and are less likely to shop anywhere else vs. non-Prime users.
To state it clearly, ignoring Amazon would be ignoring a large swath of customers and revenue.
Due to Amazon’s unique nature and structure, advertisers that want to link up with it will quickly find several notable differences. The two biggest differences are that, first, Amazon requires all paid media advertisers to be Amazon vendors (with a 2-4 week waitlist to become a vendor). Second, and perhaps most important, Amazon is an ecosystem that lives and dies off of good reviews...a LOT of good reviews. These criteria can be time-consuming to achieve.
Here are some other differences to contend with after you’re in with Amazon versus other search engine marketing platforms:
- Currently, there are only three different ad units, two for search and one for display, with character limits up to 50.
- Targeting, campaign management and reporting options are still rudimentary. We expect Amazon to quickly adapt and evolve their offerings, but for now, targeting is limited to keyword, interest, category or product. Once created, campaign settings, like budget management, cannot be changed — a new campaign would need to be created. And reporting is based on Amazon click trackers only.
- Double-listing: Amazon allows advertisers to submit their listings into auction for each placement within one user search. This means that with the right keyword, product and search bid combination, one could own all three sponsored placements at the top of the page. Given the relatively low number of advertisers, the ability to own the page is high, and will only decrease as more advertisers jump on board.
As Amazon continues to refine its advertising capabilities, advertisers need to follow wherever consumers are shopping, which ultimately could drive a larger hole in Google and Bing’s wallet.
2. Pinterest: Strong Visuals Lead to Big Purchases
Where Amazon is formidable, Pinterest is visually beautiful and impactful. Never before has one channel been the inspiration (and motivation) to move, act and, ultimately, purchase.
Industry critics were skeptical about Pinterest’s ability to monetize their user base, but since its paid search launch in late 2017, it’s proven to have true advertising, and staying, power. An eMarketer study supports Pinterest’s claim that visuals are key, saying 75% of U.S. internet searchers look for visuals before making a purchase.
Pinners are a fanatical and engaged lot, contributing to over 2 billion monthly searchers. 93% of Pinners use it to plan for things they want to buy and start shopping on Pinterest for up to two months before using other platforms.
Pinterest is the perfect ecosystem for advertisers to find consumers that are still open to suggestions and highlight which non-brand keywords have the highest potential to carry over into their other keyword-driven media channels. 87% of Pinners purchase because of Pinterest; 97% of searches are non-brand; and only 69% of brands purchased were a part of the initial consideration set.
These are consumers who are willing to invest the time to research and root out the obscure but perfect solution to their searches, long ahead of the intended purchase date.
Advertising options on Pinterest are more robust than Amazon’s, as they have looked to find seamless ways to integrate paid advertising and sponsorships without disrupting the current user experience; however, both a product SKU minimum and a monthly spend minimum are required to advertise.
Ad formats on Pinterest are more varied, too, with Promoted Pins, Google Shopping feed integrations and even promoted videos targeted through a wide range of audience segmentation, such as Location, Demographics, Device, Keyword, Interests, Look-A-Likes, Customer List and Remarketing.
Performances from these early Pinterest adopters are music to digital marketers’ ears. Studies are not only showing that these sponsored ad placements are driving positive ROAS, but also as much as a 30% lift in incremental sales versus the next best performing channel. They also show users exposed to Pins had a larger shopping cart purchase versus purchases not exposed to Pins and that 70% of incremental sales were generated from new customers.
As Pinners are used to investing the time to find the “Pinterest perfect” item, advertisers should take a hard look and see if Pinterest would be perfect for their PPC media plans, too.
3. YouTube: How Video Ads and Personal Branding Make Meaningful Impressions
According to Alexa, YouTube is the second most visited site not only in the U.S., but worldwide, and is the second largest search engine on the web. With more than 1 billion users, YouTube is available in 70+ countries and 60+ languages. Given its geographical reach and pure volume, it’s surprising that YouTube is sometimes an afterthought in a PPC marketing campaign instead of an active part of every consideration set.While one of the most obvious barriers to YouTube is the need for video content, YouTube is and has been evolving to offer marketers better capabilities to match the right message to the desired action. These various implementations can be seen in its key features for targeting, video ad formats and measurement options:
- Targeting - In addition to standard demographic, interest and behavioral targeting, YouTube is also segmenting visitor engagement based on their purchase intent through Custom Affinity Audience tools – this allows you to create your own audience by adding interest groups and URLs that match the relevant group of potential clients. Moreover, brands will have an option for a personalized approach to audience targeting by bringing their own data to be included or excluded from a specific campaign, as well as layer on Similar Audiences to find new, qualified consumers who resemble your current highest value customers. In this sense, audience segmentation rivals that of any display plan, uncommon for most PPC partners.
- Video Ad Formats - YouTube offers three types of formats—:06, :15 and :30+ videos, each designed to target specific audiences based on device. Each format plays to different strengths and weakness and, as anything in media, should require constant and ongoing testing. In one study, Google showed that even with its longest ad format, as long as the viewer watched at least 30 seconds of the video, he/she was 23x more likely to visit or subscribe to the brand channel. In order to enhance users’ engagement with video ads, YouTube offers a variety of interactive features specifically designed with your brand’s goal in mind. From an increase in visits to your website, to making the shopping experience more efficient, YouTube’s Interactive elements help ensure customers are just one click away from making a purchase on your site.
- Measurement - View counts alone are not enough to measure the full success of any campaign. Backed by Google, YouTube has robust partnerships with various other reporting tools that can drive a deeper understanding of the customer journey, like Brand Lift, Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics. KPIs can be segmented into three different buckets: awareness, consideration and action to align with whatever brand goals are needed.
Want to learn more?Contact us!
Get updates; just enter your email below. Simple as that.
Content Tells. Direct Sells.
by Rosann Bartle, 21 Feb 2019
Behind the Click: Five Cognitive Biases That Drive Action
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, 12 Feb 2019
The Real Game: Google vs. Microsoft
by Jana Ferguson, 05 Feb 2019
Did the Super Bowl Ads Live Up to the Hype?
by Steve Steger, 05 Feb 2019
Super Bowl Quick Takes
by Lesley Goldberg, 05 Feb 2019
Ten Emails I’m Glad I Didn't Have to Read Last Month
by Stephen Steger, 28 Jan 2019
The Top Three Tips to Make You King of the SERP This Black Friday and Cyber Monday
by Margaret Davis, 20 Nov 2018
Voice applications and natural language are bigger than the kitchen.
by Bryan Knouse, 29 Oct 2018
Are you ready for Amazon advertising?
by Debra Wang, 25 Oct 2018
Even Mighty Amazon Can’t Deliver on Grocery Delivery
by David Randolph, 15 Aug 2018
Google’s ready for Its face-lift
by DRUM Media, 25 Jul 2018
Why it’s important to invest in non-branded paid search
by Kelsey Chadwick, 27 Jun 2018
Why paid search should be your go-to media
by Katherine Jianas, 18 Jun 2018
Why Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal makes me thrilled for the future of content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 21 May 2018
YouTube for Nonprofits
by Virginia Doty, 15 May 2018
Takeaways from MarTech 2018
by Michael Cruz, Chief Content Officer, 15 May 2018
Which do your consumers prefer? Inbox or Mailbox? (Infographic)
by DRUM, 14 May 2018
Get smart with Google smart bidding
by Hailee Sosnowski, 27 Apr 2018
The amazing power of personalization
by DRUM, 19 Apr 2018
Beyond once upon a time: dialogue and the art of storytelling 2.0
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, VP/Creative Director, 17 Apr 2018
SEM 101 for Nonprofits
by Jay Reyes & Chase Bender, 12 Apr 2018
How to inspire workplace creativity
by Stephen Steger, 03 Apr 2018
Local SEO for brands and franchises: Top 3 tips from 15 SEO experts
by Greg Lee, 02 Apr 2018
Next steps for advertisers after the Cambridge Analytica Facebook breach
by Traci Hendrix, 26 Mar 2018
Are you ready for the GDPR? A guide for advertising agencies
by Jerelle Gainey and Debra Wang, 15 Mar 2018
Q&A: Experts dish on the future of paid search
by Chelsea Huston, 06 Mar 2018
Why content moments are the key to understanding content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 28 Feb 2018
Why bad advertising is a form of bad manners: lessons from a Ugandan storefront
by Scott Johnson, 20 Feb 2018
Retailers and the lower funnel trap
by David Randolph, 06 Feb 2018
What’s the body language of your content really saying?
by Zoë Courtman-Smith, 31 Jan 2018
10 things to look for in enterprise SEO software: 2018 tool review
by Greg Lee, 30 Jan 2018
How new changes to Google Grant will affect your nonprofit
by Shelby Huckeba, 19 Jan 2018
Latest Giving Tuesday campaign ideas from marketing-minded nonprofits
by Adam Binkley, Jay Reyes and Ruby Wustrak, 18 Jan 2018
State of Social in 2018
by Ashley Reed, 17 Jan 2018
Top 7 posts of 2017
by Jamie Wigington, 17 Jan 2018
How should SEM experts prepare for voice search? [INFOGRAPHIC]
by DRUM, 17 Jan 2018
7 Digital trends that will change how you market in 2018
by DRUM Media, 17 Jan 2018
What advertisers need to know about Apple's intelligent tracking prevention
by Jerelle Gainey, 06 Oct 2017
Using direct mail to reactivate online customers
by Rosann Bartle, 22 Sep 2017
Bing shop ‘til you drop
by Hailee Sosnowski, 14 Aug 2017
Finding a web design process that works
by Todd Chambers, 02 Aug 2017
3 Commandments for creating incredibly engaging content
by Ben Heiser, 02 Aug 2017
Twitter ads and targeting techniques that work
by Annie Green, 27 Jul 2017
5 benefits of paid social advertising
by Karina Khemani, 14 Jul 2017
Oh snap! Snapchat just upped their ad game
by Traci Hendrix, 12 Jul 2017
Dying is easy, comedy is hard
by Scott Johnson, 10 Jul 2017
Marketing and the meteor test
by Scott Johnson, 05 Jul 2017
The value of local SEO (Even when your customers aren't)
by Gregory Lee, 23 Jun 2017
The best Facebook ad types and targeting options for driving sales
by Annie Green, 15 Jun 2017
Linking online marketing to offline consumer behavior
by Heather Roach, 08 Jun 2017
To push a nonprofit's mission, you have to push with passion
by Nicole Bendel, 05 Jun 2017
7 ways B2B marketers can find success in social media
by Traci Hendrix, 31 May 2017
Google’s data-driven attribution: what you need to know
by Kimberly Honore, 23 May 2017
The skinny on Yahoo's native search retargeting feature
by Shelby Huckeba, 15 May 2017
Why you should always include brand search in your digital strategy
by Katherine Jianas, 04 May 2017
How to use content marketing to finally unify marketing strategies
by Gregory Lee, 16 Apr 2017
5 things we learned at Google’s “Search in 2017 & Beyond” event
by Kimberly Honore, 05 Apr 2017
To sell to the ego, you gotta talk to the id.
by Zoe Courtman-Smith, 04 Apr 2017
Social listening inspires smarter business strategies
by Alicia Trahan, 03 Apr 2017
Brand safety: how programmatic partners protect our clients' brands
by Brittany Altman, 31 Mar 2017
How inactive subscribers can affect deliverability
by Billy McNair, 27 Mar 2017
5 reasons to insist on 1st party data for CRM targeting
by Samantha Halpin, 22 Mar 2017
Conversation, not content, is king
by Scott Johnson, 15 Mar 2017