2020: A Great Year in Performance Marketing

We all know shops have been hit hard in 2020, and performance marketers have been working tirelessly to adapt to increased online demand. If you sell online, then you’ll know there has been an increase in demand with many clicking away to buy online, whether furloughed or bored at home. Online sales have been everything this year, with thousands of high-street brands forced to ‘go digital or bust’, so with all the uncertainty, should we still be excited to shop online and worry about product information, competition and discounts?

Yes, because online shopping is hardly anything new. Everyone shops online, right? So now is the time to sell online and get your CSS strategy sorted if you haven't already.

Firstly, if you're not sure what CSS is and how it can help, check out this blog post.

I mean, we get it. Stuff like online shops, home-working and performance marketing should have been the norm for ages, but people fear change, and now, as the future looks like a hybrid approach there’s no benefit to hiding your brand from Google or other Search Engines.

So, here are our Performance Marketing Awards, and what we have seen as methods to success with performance based advertising in 2020:

BRONZE MEDAL - No-click Searches:

More commonly known as featured snippets, these sections on Google give a sample of the article that Google sees as the ultimate information source for a given subject, so customers see this information when asking a question on a Search Engine. Performance marketing focuses on these results as if you manage to feature in this top spot, then you know you're going to feature prominently at the start of Google Search Page which pretty much guarantees traffic and long term success. We expect a fight between companies to secure these in 2021 and beyond, so make sure you allocate enough of your digital marketing budget to quality content that stands out from the crowd, and practice good SEO techniques to improve your ranking.

SILVER MEDAL – Voice Search Optimisation:

Second Place...
So close to the top spot, but a lot of people don’t even think about this one! Yet, if you ask any parent, they’ll tell you their teenagers ‘’don’t Google it any more’’, they ‘’talk to their phones’’ (using voice search technology to you and me).

Yes, once again, younger digital natives are ahead of the rest of us when it comes to utilising this exciting new technology. Despite the thorough checks and regulations around voice commands, many older shoppers are still sceptical.

Data-security will be a topic for debate from now until the next century as a minimum, but this technology is very exciting and if it still doesn’t interest you…remember that Google’s algorithm takes voice optimisation into account (so don’t miss out!).

Voice commands are really helpful for disabled or visually impaired users, not to mention quick and easy to use for absolutely everyone. This year has seen huge advances in how well voice commands work, with far more people owning digital assistants, or getting acquainted with Cortana at the very least, so there is no better time for your business to start including them as part of your annual plan.

As NYE 2020 becomes 2021, getting back to work should mean planning for voice activation through simple text and adequate testing, so start planning now and get ahead of the competition!

GOLD MEDAL – Coming in at number one…CSS Shopping Ads:


We love the power of Shopping Ads and you should too! What makes them great, is that they’ve become such a big part of everything else, and this year they’ve helped loads of great businesses survive and even more to thrive.

If you want to make the most of comparison shopping services then picking specific products to promote through ads is a must. Even with the best product offers, marketing strategies have to be right, so speak to your CSS performance partner about how to make the most of snippets.

Why? Because Featured Snippets are the second thing you see on the search results screen. But what’s first?.. That’s right, the CSS ads at the top of the page.

What happens when you use a voice command to get the best price on laptops? Your digital assistant finds those same ads and tells you the best price.

So with the enormous pool of search results each term returns, it’s crucial that your products are the headline, not just footnotes.

As DBS data shows, with 27% of the world’s population using voice search on mobile as of this year, nobody is going to be scrolling to page five just to see if you are there – you need your products in their face screaming ‘’look how beautiful I am! Don’t you want to buy me right now?!’’

Until search results really can scream, the best method of persuasion is to have a great photo and a great price, in the most obvious position.

That’s why Shopping Ads are the real winner for you and your customers this year…and they’ll be defending that title for years to come.

So…what now?

These three winners show how different tools can be used in performance marketing, but what’s really important is that performance marketing keeps growing…and it’s going to be huge!

Even with the chaos, 2020 was really exciting, and more technological advancement will arrive next year, so who knows what our shopping habits will look like in five years?

Make sure you get prepared by surveying your shoppers, finding methods to add value for customers and either investing in the best technology or employing someone to do that for you as a performance partner, because collaboration is everything in performance marketing.

2021 promises to be the most exciting and most interesting year for performance marketing as businesses who have recently moved online try to compete with established brands. It’s been a year where records have been smashed for online sales and companies have seen an incredible return on investment through CSS sales which doesn’t seem to be slowing down for a second.

Get involved with our big three performance marketing winners, to make sure your marketing performs its best next year. And the year after that, and the… you get the idea!

To make sure 2021 is even more successful for your business, get in touch: support@redbrain.com

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