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Bing Ads Blog reflections on 2017

Header image of mountains reflected in a lake

Looking back on 2017 the world of search and digital marketing has had quite a few developments and new features. I always like to start off the new year by looking back to see just how far we’ve come. Traditionally I reflect on the changes in the past year, but this year I spent some time revisiting some of the predictions and challenges identified in search over the last decade. For example, in 2010 the Content Marketing Institute revealed that 36% of marketers identified that “engaging” content was their biggest challenge.1 In 2014 31% of surveyed marketers chose “buying more leads” as the most important choice for their content marketing strategy, while only 21% of those surveyed chose “improving the quality of those leads” as vital.2 An Adobe report around the same time noted that 66% of marketers feel digital is critical to their company’s success and yet less than half feel highly proficient in digital marketing.3 Last year, Salesforce reported that 60% of marketing leaders believe AI will have a transformative effect in most areas of marketing from hyper personalization of content to delivering the right message in each channel based on the stage of the consumer decision journey.4 

Moving ahead a few years, it can seem strange and almost humorous to reflect upon the concerns from earlier in the decade.  This fast-paced world of paid promotion and online advertising can change quickly even within a single year. I met up with the Bing Ads blog team to review our most popular posts and extract some 2017 insights to help boost our readers’ strategy as we move into the new year. Here we go:

New features help improve your PPC strategy

In 2017 we saw that new features were some of the top posts, followed by improved and advanced campaign strategy techniques. One of my favorite top posts in 2017 was the post titled “New In-Market and Custom Audiences Targeting features help advertisers target and reach their best customers“ which provided an update to existing in-market audience targeting and annouced Custom Audiences a new innovative partnership between Bing and Adobe. Audiences are one of my favorite topics and in my opinion it’s one of the features that should have its own strategy for how PPC marketers can drive growth and engagement within their existing search campaigns. 
 
Some of the other most popular strategic posts included methods for import and bulk editing: The themes seem to reflect that popular posts offer business professionals additional ways to increase their marketing efficiency.

Basic how-to’s still provide valuable insight

While advanced features and targeting are popular reads, more generalized guides and tutorials remain popular too. The Cheat Sheet for Growth Marketers offered 2017 readers a simple, yet direct guide answering the 7 questions growth marketers should ask about their search investments. The Holiday Planning guide to make it snow provided seasonal insights designed to help optimize small business advertising and capitalize on increased holiday traffic.

Industry events create newsworthy articles

In a small departure from basic knowledge and product features, many readers also enjoyed our industry news, specifically news surrounding the 2017 Bing Agency Awards. This black-tie event was hosted by the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah at the Capitale in New York on September 14, 2017. Readers enjoyed both the announcement of the competition finalists and also reading about the Bing Agency award winners.
 
That’s it for the 2017 wrap-up. We can’t wait for what 2018 will bring but be assured it’ll have lots of interesting and exciting developments in both search and digital marketing.
 

1. Based on a 2010 B2B Trends report conducted by MarketingProfs and Junta42 (now CMI) featured on Content Marketing Institute research in 2014.

2. Based on The State of B2B Lead Generation 2013, a study conducted by Buyer Zone featured on Content Marketing Institute research in 2014.

3. Based on highlights from Advertising Week 2013Digital Distress: What Keeps Marketers Up at Night? Detailed in an Adobe article from 2013.

4. Based on the State of Marketing 2017 report from Salesforce.