Four Fab Predictions for Digital Advertising in 2019
By Adam Bullock
The digital advertising world experienced quite a bit of change in 2018. GDPR was instituted. Google AdWords became Google Ads (complete with its new experience interface). And the world of privacy and data was dissected and investigated as never before.
What does that mean for 2019?
I have FOUR predictions that line up nicely with songs by The Beatles, which makes me happy. So tune in and read on!
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Let me let you in on the context of the title of this song; Google wants to hold your hand.
The sheer amount of automation popping up in Google’s tool with:
- New ‘responsive’ Google search ads
- Auto-creating ads on your behalf
- Straight-up managing your account
This can be appealing at first blush. However, I’ve found responsive ads still are not making a major impact in terms of impression share. Also, auto-created ads lack the precision needed to capture someone’s attention with really well-written calls to action.
And don’t get me started on the account management automation…
Don’t trust the company who makes the money on advertising to manage that advertising.
If 2018 was the year of automation popping up everywhere, 2019 is going to be the year ensuring we keep these things OFF.
And please say to me, You’ll let me hold your hand.
Let It Be
Machine learning may be a 2017 buzzword, but the always buzzy “algorithms” and “system learnings” are still around and thriving.
And they seem to be getting better!
The best version of this I’ve found is Facebook Ads. Using Facebook’s pixel data to count conversions, Facebook actively finds users related to those converting. And it WORKS! It actually works. CPAs get better over time and the system actively learns.
For this account tweak, it’s a good reminder to sometimes just let it be. And platforms are getting better at using converting folks (whether due to a pixel or a similar audience) to find similar people. Even more reason to let it be!
We’ll see this trend continue in 2019. I predict they’ll call it something new and interesting. And it’ll be a feature.
Whisper words of wisdom, Let it be
In My Life
While the user intent behind searching for something will always be king (a la Google Paid Search), platforms are gaining more and more intel about their users; who they are and how they live their lives.
You can use Facebook/Instagram targeting to get a very refined audience. People who have a wedding anniversary coming up. Folks in the top 10% household income bracket. The targeting possibilities are nearly endless.
This is going to spread beyond paid social.
The ability to target someone via company, industry, or job function in Bing Ads is here-ish. And Google has ‘custom intent’ audiences that can actually use your website data to match people up to.
Mark my words; this is going to expand in 2019. Targeting will become better, even a little more ‘creepy’ as some people call it.
I know I’ll often stop and think about them, In my life, I love you more.
Please Please Me
People are getting smarter on the Web.
They can see through the “Free This!” and “Free That!” type of messaging. And a bland white paper or a stale call to action will fail to capture somebody’s attention.
Some folks use ad blockers and literally block advertising from reaching them.
So how do we, as digital marketers, fight through the noise or around these tools?
Ads are natively being integrated into our lives whether it be sponsored ‘stories’ in Facebook and Instagram, to native advertising stories in a list of articles.
There are certain parts of the page that people have trained their eyes to just not look at.
Digital advertising platforms are going to find more ways to natively add advertisements to their platforms. And with this, it’s important to PLEASE people more than ever before. It is going to take much more than stale headline. Ads will, more than ever before, need to be a benefit to somebody. A Chief Technical Officer needs a guide to increase efficiency in her data centers. Or a Web Developer needs to know why a particular tool will help them code in half the time.
Come on, come on, come on, come on, Please, please me, woah yeah, like I please you.
There’s Nothing You Can Do That Can’t Be Done
As online marketers, there will be tactics in 2019 that we will never have been able to do before.
And that’s super exciting!
From targeting certain individuals, to how we target those individuals; we will continue to see the landscape evolve.
But with data privacy at the forefront, along with more regulation like GDPR being put into place, it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out come 2020.