Paid Media Trends You Should Be Watching in 2024

Paid Media Trends You Should Be Watching in 2024

Stay ahead with 2024's paid media trends. Learn about Google's data shift, AI's role, and strategies to manage rising CPCs.

Dec 12, 2023

In an ever-evolving digital market, staying informed about the latest paid media trends is crucial for marketers planning their advertising strategies. Being aware of the trends expected to emerge in 2024 gives you an edge, preparing you to face the complexity of the market and providing you with a competitive advantage.

This resource dives deep into the most crucial paid media trends predicted in 2024, highlighting their significance and expected impact on the market. From the phase-out of third-party data usage by Google to the rising influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we’ll explore how these trends are shaping the future of digital marketing. The insights drawn from this post will empower PPC account managers, marketing directors, CMOs, and other digital marketing professionals to steer their advertising strategies effectively in 2024 and beyond.

Looking for a paid media agency in 2024?

As we look to the future, several key paid media trends in 2024 are expected to shape the way businesses approach their advertising strategies.

The phase-out of third-party data by Google

In response to evolving consumer privacy expectations and changes in recent years, third-party cookies, a mainstay of traditional digital advertising, are predicted to be phased out from Google Ads in 2024. This pivotal shift will force marketers to redirect their focus to collecting and utilizing more first-party data, ensuring that their advertising is fueled by high-quality, proprietary customer insights collected directly from their customer base.

In 2024, marketers should lean on GA4, a platform designed with user privacy in mind, to help develop new target audiences, strategies, budgets, etc. GA4 is going to become a pivotal platform in data collection moving forward, so it is crucial you start embracing building out the new platform ASAP.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Automation in PPC Platforms

Fast-surging trends for 2024 point to enhanced use of AI across PPC platforms. The immense potential of AI is slated to revolutionize a variety of traditional practices, ranging from how we write ad copy to how we run and manage our campaigns.

AI can be a huge time saver for marketers in 2024 if used properly. Take Google’s Performance Max campaign type, for example. This campaign uses a variety of signals from landing pages, audiences, ad copy, etc., to help automate ads across the entire funnel. This campaign type is only expected to continue to improve as Google continues to drop additional features for enhancement. Most recently, Google added “Search Themes” to PMax campaigns, giving marketers the ability to tell the algorithm what kind of searches they are confident would be a relevant match for their business.

Performance max

You should also utilize AI in Google Ads through the trifecta of broad-match keywords, responsive search ads, and smart bidding. Combining these three tools lets Google pick the most relevant times to show your ads at the most efficient cost while showing the audience member the most tailored ad copy.

While AI is a gift to marketers, be cautious of relying solely on it. There will always be a need to humanize digital advertising. So, make sure you are staying on top of what is happening in your campaigns and why.

Shift in Focus from Keyword Targeting to Strong Audience Targeting

The anticipated growth of Performance Max and Demand Gen campaigns signals a marked shift from keyword-centric to audience-focused strategies in Google Ads. The days of targeting hundreds to thousands of different keywords in a single search campaign are starting to be a strategy of the past.

As Performance Max continues to evolve, we are going to have to shift our mindset to finding our appropriate audiences. Performance Max campaigns do not even give you the ability to target any keywords in the same nature that you would in a generic search campaign. One of the major signals that their ads rely on is the audience signals that you include in your asset groups.

The new Demand Generation campaign type, an expansion on Discovery campaigns, also relies primarily on audience targeting to show ads across a wide variety of platforms. One of their newest features includes look-alike audiences, an audience that is created based on active users that are similar to provided first-party data. It is predicted that Google will also phase this audience type out to additional campaign types such as P-Max and video campaigns.

Increasing Competition Driving up Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

Unfortunately, 2024 won’t be all sunshine, automation, and rainbows for paid media. We are predicting yet another year of increasing CPC trends. It is reported that 61% of industries saw an increase in CPC in 2023, and things are not expected to slow down in 2024 as competition is expected to be at an all-time high as more advertisers than ever are expected to enter the market in 2024.

While, unfortunately, CPC increases in today’s economy are inevitable, your focus should not be on controlling CPCs. You should be focusing on improving items in your advertising strategy that you can control. This includes developing the best ads you can to improve your ad strength, improving your landing page experience to improve conversion rates, and ensuring you are only showing your ads to the most relevant audiences to avoid wasted ad spend.

CPCs are going to increase, but now is not the time to pull back or you will end up losing your customers to the new competitors in the space.

Google ads benchmarks - YoY changes

As we contemplate the future contours of the “paid media trends 2024,” it’s clear that the impact on PPC account managers, marketing directors, CMOs, and other digital marketers will be significant. Keeping pace with such fast-surging trends will require a shrewd marketing strategy tailored to these shifts.

Negative impacts for those slow to adapt

Without a doubt, PPC managers slow to adapt to these emerging paid media trends may face several setbacks. Industries trends suggest that the phase-out of third-party data by Google and an increased reliance on AI and automation on PPC platforms are inevitable. These shifts will have a profound impact on how PPC account managers conduct their business. With soaring CPCs and growing competition, failing to embrace these transformations may result in unfortunate negative impacts on advertising campaigns, potentially affecting the overall customer acquisition strategy.

Time-savings and strategic advantages from AI engagement

However, not all emerging trends present a challenge. In fact, proper engagement with AI and automation systems will provide account managers with an array of tangible benefits. Optimizing for AI-led strategies like Performance Max campaigns and broader audience targeting will free up time spent on minor account modifications and shift focus to crafting robust strategies. Additionally, the increased reliance on “first-party cookies” will require a stronger focus on creative optimization, giving rise to more tailored, relevant audience segments.

This focus will unlock new avenues for improved audience insights and higher conversion rates, thereby enhancing overall business and marketing goals. With the right embrace of these trends, account managers can not only combat the rising competition but also seize it as an opportunity for growth. The future of PPC and paid media trends indeed heralds an era of innovation that has the potential to redefine the marketing landscape as a whole.

As we navigate this highly dynamic and fast-paced 2024 landscape, let’s discuss how these emerging paid media trends can not only help to hold the fort, but also improve the return on investment (ROI).

Rising above the competition in the increasingly competitive markets

As mentioned above, competition in the PPC landscape is slated to intensify in 2024. While the thought of increased competition and CPC might make some marketers want to pull out of the auction, now is not the time to pull back on your paid media strategies. The moment is ripe for those who consistently optimize their accounts, adapt to the changing trends, and leverage the new Google features like AI-driven campaigns such as PMax, broader match capabilities, and smart bidding.

On the other hand, marketers who fail to adapt, opting for a more conservative approach towards their ad spending, are running the risk of being overtaken by the more assertive competitors who are keeping up with the trends.

Utilizing automation and Google’s improved features to enhance strategy

Embracing automation is no longer a future consideration but an immediate necessity for digital marketers. Marketers who leverage the benefits of AI tend to save significant time on minor account modifications, thus making room for the development of robust strategies that will help push the needle more drastically. Performance Max and Discovery campaigns stand at the forefront of these technological innovations.

These tools automate the heavy lifting in-platform, thereby creating more time for PPC account managers, marketing directors, and CMOs to focus on shaping an insightful, overarching digital strategy. In this new age of PPC, it’s all about leveraging technology to maximize the efficacy and efficiency of advertising strategies.

As we step boldly into 2024, it’s clear that the game plan for success doesn’t just involve adapting to changing trends but also requires a capacity to anticipate, adapt, and excel within this evolving landscape. By smartly embracing these paid media trends, we can ensure that our marketing dollars are well spent and yield the potential ROI we target.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, 2024 will be an exciting year in the world of paid media. The digital marketing landscape in 2024 demands a proactive approach from marketers as key trends reshape advertising strategies as we know them today. The anticipated shift away from third-party data usage by Google underscores the importance of transitioning to first-party data and platforms like GA4. Concurrently, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation introduces efficiency through tools such as Google’s Performance Max campaign, though a careful balance with human oversight remains crucial.

The evolving focus from keyword-centric to audience-focused strategies, exemplified by Performance Max and the emerging Demand Generation campaigns, highlights the significance of precise audience targeting. However, amid these positive developments, the challenges of increasing competition and rising Cost-Per-Click (CPC) necessitate strategic adaptation rather than a direct attempt to control costs. For PPC account managers and digital marketers, embracing AI and automation provides opportunities for time-saving advantages and strategic enhancements, ultimately positioning them for success in the dynamic landscape of 2024.

The future of PPC and paid media trends promises an era of innovation, where those who navigate the complexities emerge as pioneers in the reshaping of the marketing landscape. Don’t be a marketer who sits back and watches this all unfold in front of them. Join the trends and reap their benefits. Start planning for 2024 today.

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