Chantelle Evelyn is a certified AdWords Specialist and Search Engine Marketer at Vovia. She was born in Barbados but moved to Calgary to experience all 4 seasons in one day. She enjoys running with her dog, getting out to the mountains, and her own jokes.

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Top 6 Online Advertising Trends for 2014

What’s New in 2014?

RoboRubiksAs expected, we had another great year in 2013! Countless changes and new  offerings were introduced in online advertising, some of which are further improvements on existing ad units. The list of online advertising tactics for 2013 (that you should be already be doing) will only continue to grow in 2014 as Google and Bing add more features to help you improve results from your online advertising efforts.  You probably already have a plan for 2014, but with the landscape constantly changing I’d recommend performing a quick strategy reassessment every 6 monthsIf you need a quick refresh of the top trends from 2013, find our blog post here.

Here are some of the tactics that you should add to your “must-do” list:

  • Google Display (Similar Audiences) – This new feature allows you to target people that are similar to other visitors to your website. Google uses behavioural data to determine similarities between users (all without compromising personally identifiable information).
  • Facebook Retargeting – Since it’s debut, Facebook retargeting has grown dramatically. It has been implemented by many Fortune 100 advertisers and is yielding positive results for many. There are still limitations on targeting, namely, you cannot retarget based on demographics and psychographics (like you can on Facebook), but it allows you to reach existing and potential new customers on the platform where 14 million Canadians check their Newsfeed each day.

There are also some things that have been around for quite some time, but have recently made their way to the top of our priority list. These new opportunities are  designed to enhance/improve the user experience by ensuring that users get what they are looking for in the most convenient and efficient way. Here are some more must-dos for 2014:

  1. Mobile – We all know that mobile usage has been on the rise and 2014 is the year that mobile traffic will surpass desktop. This has resulted in an increased emphasis on mobile advertising options, making it more and more important for your website to be responsive or mobile optimized.
  2. Ad Extensions  AdWords now has call extensions, location extensions, and review extensions. Each of these increases the footprint of your ad in the Google search results, which increases the likelihood that users will see (and engage with) your ad. Extensions also allow users to get the information that they need in fewer clicks. This is key because 70% of mobile searchers click-to-call a business directly from Google’s search results. The online experience is becoming more and more seamless and users expect highly relevant results.
  3. Search Remarketing Google introduced remarketing for text ads in search results, therefore allowing you to reach existing/potential customers on all Google networks.
  4. Google Shopping (using Google Merchant Centre) Continuing with the theme of improved user experience, this campaign type allows you to easily display product ads (with image, price, and short product description) in search results. Google Shopping eliminates the need for users to go to your website, and potentially get lost or distracted.
  5. Local Ads – The importance of a local presence cannot be stressed enough! It is becoming more and more important to have a presence at that “moment of truth” where the user is looking for your business. Users have extremely high expectations when it comes to their online experience and expect to receive the most accurate results. There are a few ways that this can be achieved, using targeting methods (such as ZIP code targeting) and campaign settings.
  6. Impact of Social Media – More and more social media networks are offering advertisers the option of paying to increase post visibility which is affecting the landscape of paid online marketing. This new pay-to-play model in social will command increasing ad spend in the coming year.

In addition to the above enhancements, the use of next generation bid management solutions is becoming more and more prominent among larger companies.  These solutions, such as Marin Software, provide significant efficiencies for everything from bid optimization to campaign management.  Vovia is proud to be the only Marin Certified Agency Partner in Canada!

What are your plans for online advertising in 2014?  Do you have any thoughts on how the industry will evolve in the coming year?  Let us know in the comments!