Brands Seek Safety In Pay-Per-Click, Social Media Marketing Declines Sharply

Last week’s column explored how brands continue to pursue control in a wildly unpredictable marketing landscape. This week is no different. 

Since late August, brands have shown a sharp increase in intent for “pay-per-click,” or PPC advertising. PPC advertising is an attractive option for advertisers looking for clear measurability and the ability to pay only if and when someone engages with their ads. As we’ve explored in past articles, many of the intent trends we’re seeing point to marketers’ need for transparency and control. 

“Customer insight” had risen for three weeks running, recently, although Bombora tracked a dip in the phrase last week. This data comes as no surprise: 2020 has upended the way customers research, interact with,  and buy from brands. Particularly within the B2B sector, buyers are forced to weigh the impact of purchase decisions against company cost; an already consequential decision-making process is complicated by limited financial resources and room for error. Marketing flexibility and adaptability to customers’ changing behaviors and interests is imperative for today’s brands. 



“Social media marketing” took a steep dive among brands in early August and hasn’t shown an uptick in intent since. As we near a contentious election in the US in addition to the already tumultuous news cycle, brands’ use of social media needs to be finely calibrated to make any impact on buyers whatsoever. At best, pushing a brand’s agenda via social can get drowned out by the urgency of the news, and at worst, brands can sound exploitative and tone deaf if they try to capitalize on the moment. In short, an effective social strategy is a tricky endeavor right now. 

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