Digital Marketing News: Paid Search Dominates Digital Ad Spend


We’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of July 26, 2019.

Paid Search is Top Dog in Digital Ad Spend

Paid search makes up 40 percent of digital ad spend, according to a recent survey of 500 digital marketing decision makers. Paid social was the second-highest priority – taking up 19 percent of ad budgets. In addition to paid search taking most of the ad dollars, optimizing paid search was one of the top tactical priorities, according to survey respondents.

The survey also found that brand awareness, enhancing the customer experience, and embracing omni-channel marketing were top strategic priorities for digital marketers.

Challenges by channel that were pinpointed by the survey include:

Paid Search: Meeting volume targets (29 percent), meeting efficiency targets (28 percent), integrating product feeds (27 percent)

Paid Social: Attribution/cross device measurement (28 percent), quality creative (26 percent), brand safety (26 percent)

A few things to have in your toolkit for 2020, according to survey respondents: Responsive search ads, Shopping ads, and video.

How to Expand Your Paid Search Keyword List

Rudimentary paid search strategies often start with too few keywords. But as Location3 Paid Search specialist Shalini Reddy notes, expanding your list doesn’t have to be a complicated process. She gathered a few tips for finding the right combination of keywords to make your campaigns as efficient as possible. Here’s an excerpt from her post:

  • Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think of ways that customers might search for your products or services. How do you search for products that you use?
  • Avoid one-word terms. These tend to be too broad and can attract irrelevant traffic.
  • Expand on one-word terms. Let’s take “coffee shop” as an example. I started typing coffee shop in Google, and the autocomplete feature suggested: coffee shop near me, coffee shops open near me, coffee shops open late… you get the idea.

Read the full post for more insight.

Amazon Set to Compete with Spotify and Pandora with Audio Ads

A recently leaked pitch deck shows Amazon’s plans to test paid audio ads within Alexa’s voice ecosystem. Amazon announced in April its answer to Spotify and Pandora, the two most prominent ad-supported music services.

With more than 100 million Alexa devices sold, Amazon sees an opportunity to allow brands to pay their way on to the popular platform – something that couldn’t be done before the introduction of the music service.

Digital audio ad sales exceeded $2.3 billion in the U.S. in 2018 and is likely to increase by the end of 2019. Amazon believes its interactive ads, which will allow users to add products to their shopping carts, give it an advantage over Spotify and Pandora.

The deck doesn’t address the targeting capabilities of the potential audio ads, and one anonymous agency executive said the test “wasn’t hugely successful”. The audio ads are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2020, so Amazon will need to work out the kinks in the next six months.

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