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Implications of the Duopoly’s Market Grip on your Digital Strategy

The power and influence of Facebook and Google gets stronger every year and will have a major impact on your digital marketing strategy for 2018.

Commentators in the digital marketing space told us last year that the two major online players of Google and Facebook would strengthen their stranglehold on the PPC advertising market in 2017. However, none of them realised just how much. The latest forecasts predict that they will garner an astonishing 63 percent of all online ad revenue for the year.

Here, we take a look at the implications for businesses large and small and the lessons that online advertising managers can take from the past 12 months to make 2018 their most successful year yet.

Google Adwords

For many, PPC is synonymous with AdWords, a fact that is borne out by the fact that Google generated some $35 billion in advertising revenue in the US alone over 2017. This represented an increase of 19 percent over 2016, and there is no sign of the pattern slowing. Conservative estimates predict this will rise above $40 billion next year.

There is no disputing the benefits that effective use of AdWords can bring in terms of better click through and conversion rates, more traffic and an increased bottom line. But the key is in the word effective. Research carried out last year showed that 94 percent of keywords bring no results whatsoever – this equates to billions of wasted dollars, so it is imperative to run your AdWords campaign proactively and knowledgeably to get the best possible return on investment.

Facebook

Facebook’s expansion from social media platform to online advertising outlet is one of the most remarkable changes that we have seen in the online landscape over recent years, and digital revenue is set to skyrocket by more than 40 percent over the course of 2017.

There is constant chatter online that organic search is dying, and social media is the way to engage with Generation Z, but of course nothing is that simple. However, a coherent PPC campaign should certainly look beyond the traditional areas of search, and with a global audience of 2.2 billion, Facebook ads are too good an opportunity to ignore.

Other Platforms

While the above two platforms dominate the landscape, they are not the only avenues that need to be factored in to your PPC strategy for 2018. LinkedIn remains the platform of choice for business users and has a strong, mature and influential community.

At the other end of the scale, do not rule out those platforms that have traditionally stood apart from the business community. Generation Z is a phrase that is being thrown around with increasing regularity and refers to the Twitter and Snapchat generation born around the turn of the millennium.

Over the coming years, these are the people who will be graduating from university and shaping the evolving digital environment. By 2020, they will also encompass 40 percent of the consumer market, so ignore them at your peril.

So, while the PPC landscape is indeed changing rapidly, for the time being at least, put the bulk of your advertising spend into Google AdWords, but pay careful attention to the keywords you use. Test, analyse and modify your campaign constantly to ensure that you are not throwing money away chasing pointless keywords.