It’s finally here: the end result of months of preparation. For some of us, that means today is the day to frantically scramble to tie up all those loose ends to ensure that everything is executed flawlessly tomorrow. For others, it’s a day to sit back, have a beer or glass of wine, and laugh at the rest of the poor saps who failed to plan. (In our defense, we were probably super busy monitoring and optimizing our PPC campaigns).

In the context of PPC, here’s what this means: Time to finalize PPC campaigns for year-end blowout sales and post-holiday clearance sales, fine-tune our plans to execute the best-yet advertising campaigns in 2016, and then of course prepare for the next big deal (Valentine’s Day, of course).

Not surprisingly, PPC news feeds are a bit slow this week as people have been taking time away from the grind to spend some quality time with friends and family. Here’s a look at what has happened this week.

 

Quick check-in with Google…

No breaking news to share from the AdWords Blog, DoubleClick Advertiser Blog, or the AdWords Agency Blog this week, but Google and Your Business offers some tips for small businesses to warm up to video this holiday season with YouTube. “Small businesses like Cosatto, Ole Smoky Moonshine, and Homer Simpson’s Mr. Plow are using YouTube to connect with potential customers and make the most of the busy holiday season,” according to Claire Mudd, Head of Americas SMB Marketing. Mudd shares these tips for advertisers just getting started with YouTube:

  1. YouTube helps small businesses reach the increasing mobile audience. In fact, more than 50% of YouTube’s video views occur on smartphones and tablets, and YouTube videos on mobile alone reach more U.S. viewers ages 18 to 34 – a highly desirable demographic for many advertisers – than any cable network. Small businesses find that they can readily connect with their target audiences on mobile through relevant video ads.
  2. Video proves a helpful tool for establishing your brand. How-to searches on YouTube have grown 70% year over year, providing unique opportunities for advertisers to establish brand awareness through relevant video ads in the right context. For instance, a YouTube viewer watching a video on how to mix a cocktail sees an ad for a company that sells cocktail shakers and similar items, or a viewer watching a video on how to knit a scarf sees an ad for a company that sells yarn and other supplies. It’s a perfect opportunity for contextually relevant advertising.
  3. YouTube analytics allow advertisers to measure the metrics that matter most. YouTube advertisers have access to valuable insights such as how long people watch, how many viewers visit your site, and how many people engage with your ads. And with YouTube’s TrueView video ads, you only pay when someone actually chooses to view your ad, meaning every view can be measured for meaningful insights.

Get more details on the value of YouTube advertising for small businesses in this post.

Online video ads aren’t solely a small business opportunity, of course. Think with Google reveals some new insights that show that online video ads drive consideration, favorability, purchase intent, and sales. Doesn’t get much better than that. Check out this post for all the facts and figures.

More than 100 billion searches are conducted on Google each month, and that makes Google’s “Year in Search” ever-more intriguing as it reveals the key moments that matter and topics that define the year. A few of 2015’s biggest topics (many of which likely won’t surprise you) include:

  • Star Wars (December)
  • Paris under attack (November)
  • Water on Mars (October)
  • The Pope comes to America (September)
  • Election 2016
  • Cecil the Lion (July)
  • Caitlyn Jenner (June)
  • Princess Charlotte is Born (May)
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Same-sex marriage – love wins (April)
  • The Dress (February – remember the white and gold vs. black and blue dress debate? You got it.)

In this post, Think with Google analyzes what this data reveals and how marketers can use it to their advantage by capitalizing on the overlap between context, intent, and immediacy, otherwise known as micro-moments.

 

What’s up with Bing this week? 

#AskBingAds Episode 2 is here, and the second installment focuses on image extensions, the Bing Ads Editor for Mac, and automated rules. Check out the video for insights on these topics as well as one of Stein Broeder’s favorite topics, earthquake safety, in this post.

 

For more PPC news from around the web…

Bing’s ActionLink Ad Extensions can help you take action. These ad extensions feature a call-to-action button to capture user attention, providing an opportunity to make your ads stand out from the competition. It’s not a feature that’s been rolled out to all advertisers yet, but you can get whitelisted for it, and PPC Hero outlines how to take advantage of these new ad extensions in this post.

Treating your PPC bid management like your daily fantasy players can pay off handsomely. Check out this post from PPC Hero to find out how to make this strategy work for you.

Social marketing continues to evolve, but what are social advertising experts hoping to see in 2016? 3Q Digital shares a social marketing wishlist from top social advertising experts in this post.

The customer’s path to purchase might be long and complicated, but it’s entirely possible these days to measure in-store purchases tied to online advertising. Find out how in this post from Merkle|RKG.

A new way to predict future search trends: Twitter Trending Topics? It might just be more insightful than you think. Find out more from WordStream here.

Is humanizing your brand among your goals for 2016? It is for many brands as consumers increasingly connect with brands that engage them on a personal, humanistic level, a hard feat to accomplish if, you know, you’re not a person. Except brands are comprised of people, so giving your brand a voice and a humanistic vibe isn’t actually as difficult as it seems. Check out this post from WordStream for seven tips to humanize your brand.

 

Another week in the books, and another holiday season winding down. Whatever you’re celebrating this season, make it joyous and merry!