4 Mobile PPC Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2016

4 Mobile PPC Trends You Need to Get In On, Now

Last updated on June 20, 2016 by Minta Montalbo in AdWords Advertising, Marketing Trends
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After a frenzied day at work, you hop on the train and settle in for the commute home. You check your Facebook feed when suddenly a calendar reminder pops up telling you tomorrow is you and your girlfriend’s anniversary.

Panic! You open a browser on your phone and search “fast flower delivery.” There at the top of the results list is an AdWords ad for 2-hour flower delivery, featuring a Call button. You click, place the order, and relax.

Crisis averted, thanks to the power of mobile PPC and ad extensions.

This post is about Mobile PPC trends to look for in 2016 and how to apply them to landing pages:

  1. PPC content marketing
  2. PPC ad extensions
  3. Integrated online and on-the-ground shopping
  4. Internet of Things

Why mobile PPC?

People are going mobile on a global scale, conducting business, connecting with friends and family, and (of course) making purchases.

Mobile marketing is not limited to youth-oriented businesses, however. While only 13-18% of Baby Boomers are engaged in mobile searches, their Gen X children are right behind the Millennials with 42% likelihood to search using their mobile device.

If your business relates to seniors, connect to Gen X’ers searching for help with aging parents. Meet them where they are — on their phones — like this Alzheimer’s support agency:

This picture shows why 2016 mobile ppc trends are important for marketers to pay attention to.

Trend #1: Content marketing through PPC

By now, content marketing has moved past the trend stage into an essential marketing strategy. What to watch for in 2016 is the increased use of PPC to promote content, rather than product.

Take a look at this pie chart on mobile ad clicks:

This picture shows the percentage of online PPC ads clicked by consumers that led to sales.

Over half of the consumers clicked on a mobile PPC ad, and over half of those made an immediate purchase.

What’s interesting is the 78% of purchases made at a later time.

Complicated transactions like mortgage products take longer to complete, and not all PPC ad conversion goals are focused on a quick sale.

1. PPC content marketing to build brand trust

PPC enhances brand visibility by guaranteeing premium placement in search results. Even if no one clicks on your ad, users will see your brand and have a higher chance of remembering you.

By adding mobile PPC to your marketing strategy, you elevate brand awareness across channels, boosting consumer trust. Trust counts to Google and Bing because as more people click on your content, search engines are more likely to rank you higher.

By following the 2016 mobile PPC trend and linking ads to quality content, you build on that trust and continue to strengthen your relationship with the consumer.

2. PPC content marketing through social media

Facebook is great for specific audience targeting, with a receptive audience looking for new content. Twitter is another good venue for pay-per-click content marketing, where users are accustomed to following links while LinkedIn is an excellent choice for B2B companies.

Click here for an example of using PPC for content promotion and public relations.

Old Navy’s Facebook holiday ad featuring Portlandia actors is a great example of content marketing — in this case, video — on a social media platform. Clicking the sponsored post doesn’t take you to a product page, relying instead on humor to promote the brand with holiday fashion tips to avoid sitting at the kids table. Watch the video here.

This video shows how Old Navy uses content marketing on Facebook to encourage new sales.

How to apply this trend to your landing page

Like any mobile PPC ad, content marketing PPC needs a place to send viewers. Create a custom landing page to give visitors quick and easy access to the promised content. For mobile PPC ads, avoid putting large PDFS or other downloads that can slow load time. Instead, use a squeeze page to collect a name and email address. Then have visitors click through to another page with web-based content.

Trend #2: AdWords ad extensions

Mobile PPC should be optimized for easy conversions on a portable device such as a smartphone or tablet. Using ad extensions is a great tool for simplifying the process.

Ad extensions are a type of ad format that show extra information (“extending” from your text ads) about your business. Examples of AdWord ad extensions include but are not limited to:

  1. Sitelink: Add up to 6 links to specific web pages or landing pages that will help grab attention, such as hours and location, sales or deals, and traditional product pages
  2. Location: Add addresses for store locations
  3. Call: Add a clickable phone number

Click here for Google’s demonstration of these AdWord ad extensions at work.

In the opening example, you (the panicked boyfriend) used the call extension to quickly reach the flower shop. Here’s how a real call extension looks on mobile for the same situation:

This picture shows how AdWords call extensions can increase online advertisers' sales.

Note the call extension’s phone icon, creating a clear and simple path for conversion. Extensions provide more “real estate” on the search results page, helping increase ad rank and click-through rate.

According to PPC.org, extensions should be the way forward for mobile PPC campaigns. Extensions allow the conversion to occur with one click. The fewer steps it takes to perform a conversion, the higher your conversion rate will be.

How to apply this trend to your landing page

Ad extensions are (and will continue to be) an essential mobile PPC strategy to incorporate into your 2016 online marketing efforts. However, you’ll still need a landing page for the title link in your ad.

Match your landing page to the ad extensions you highlight and match the expectations of the searcher with your landing page. They clicked on your ad for a reason, so give it to them. For example, if you use a sitelink extension on your ad to promote a free demo, have that respective landing page only offer a free demo.

Take a look at the mobile page for the After Hours Flowers ad:

This picture shows how a flower shop uses message match with its online ads to generate landing page traffic and ultimately sales.

The page message matches the “fast flower delivery” search term and gives users a mobile-friendly swiping option to view products quickly.

However, once a selection is made, instead of clicking or swiping through to a shopping cart page, customers are forced to scroll through a long list of upgrade options like more flowers, votives, and chocolates before finally getting to a “buy now” button.

This mobile PPC page would not meet a searcher’s expectation for a speedy transaction, decreasing the odds of a successful conversion.

Trend #3: Integration of brick and mortar retail with online shopping

2016 will see businesses continue to focus on how to sync the shopping experience for consumers as they move between physical stores and online sites. As the chart below shows, the trend toward using mobile devices to assist with on-the-ground shopping continues to rise (nevermind the misspelling of “shopping”):

This picture shows the growing mobile PPC trend of smartphone usage while shopping.

Consumers were receptive to mobile ads in 2015. The most effective ads were those that catered to the immediate needs of the user, such as content relevant to their search or an attractive discount or deal. Use location-based geo-targeting ads to reach consumers located near your store — or better yet, your competitor’s store!

Mobile to Mortar’s innovate platform uses iBeacon technology to connect a user’s online activity to their on-the-ground experience, in real time. Users can link to over 100 brands and apps such as weather and grocery lists.

Here are some examples of Mobile to Mortar in use, as demonstrated in their promo video:

  • When a user enters a participating grocery store, the iBeacon will send a reminder to pick up items from the grocery list app
  • A weather app can link to a website for outdoor gear and send coupons to the user’s phone when they are near the physical store
  • Participating brands offer points to view products or special offers. When a user nears a physical store, they receive a message with their point total for that store, good for discounts.

This video shows how retail stores can generate sales by syncing their store app with smartphones.

How to apply this trend to your landing page

Make it easy for consumers to connect their online and on-the-ground lives by offering immediately accessible CTAs on your landing page. From appointment or reservation buttons to Click-to-Call features, create landing pages that enable quick decisions and actions via mobile devices. 

Trend #4: The Internet of Things

Part of the mobile PPC integration of online and on-the-ground consumer experience in 2016 will involve the evolution of the Internet of Things. Internet of Things (IoT) refers to devices or objects that are connected to the Internet, like smart watches, Fitbit, and even your refrigerator. These devices can collect and transmit data via the Internet.

IoT includes wearable devices. Wearables are defined as technology that “integrates with a human’s own biometric characteristics,” such as activity trackers, smart watches like Samsung Galaxy Gear, and augmented reality devices like Google Glass, which is set to launch again next year.

Some interesting facts about Internet of Things and wearables:

  • The global market for wearable devices grew 223% in 2015, with Fitbit shipping 4.4 million devices and Apple selling 3.6 million Apple Watches
  • By 2020, a quarter of a billion vehicles will be connected to the Internet, giving us entirely new possibilities for in-vehicle services (and advertising) and automated driving
  • Estimates predict that 10.2 million units of smart clothing will ship by 2020, compared to a meager 140K units in 2013
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will grow from 5 billion at the beginning of 2015 to 27 billion by 2024, with China taking a 21% share and the U.S. 20%

The Apple Watch is an example of an IoT device:

This picture shows how the Apple Watch uses the mobile PPC trend "Internet of Things" to generate more sales.

It’s basically a tiny phone you wear on your wrist. Which raises the question: can we advertise on them like a mobile phone? The short answer is yes, and no.

Some wearable technology is already compatible with marketing, such as the partnership between Walgreens and FitBit. Others like Google Glass are a work in progress, with users citing privacy concerns and other issues that don’t lend themselves to advertising.

Traditional products with enhanced capabilities now connected to the Internet are trending, and this isn’t going to stop. According to estimations by the McKinsey Global Institute, the IoT will have a total economic impact of up to $11 trillion by 2025.

Paid ads account for 64.6% of all clicks by searchers today. It isn’t a matter of when we will see PPC advertising through the Internet of Things, but how. The challenge for 2016 will be how to engage with IoT users and how to sell via these new gadgets.

Integrate 2016 mobile PPC trends

Mobile PPC trends, from content marketing to AdWords to integration, require mobile landing pages. Instapage’s landing page templates are mobile responsive, so they automatically resize to fit any screen. (No one wants to pinch-and-zoom to read your content.)

Instapage can integrate your business landing page with other services you likely already use, such as WordPress, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Salesforce.

Learn how to build your custom mobile landing page here and be up and running in a matter of minutes.

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