What Were the Most Popular Verticals in 2023?
Andy Williams said it best when he said “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” 2024 is now just a few weeks away and we have served over 1.9 billion impressions this year. Let’s take a look at the top 10 verticals for campaigns in 2023:
• Health Care Services
• Family Services/Health Clubs
• Financial-Banks-Credit Unions
• Home Services
It is no surprise that healthcare takes the cake again for the second year in a row as the top category for campaigns. It’s a vertical that is heavy when it comes to branding and awareness, emergency type services, and also recruitment. The most popular products we saw with this vertical this year were Over the Top (OTT), Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and Live Chat. OTT is great for branding and awareness to create that top-of-mind awareness for when people NEED those services offered. When it comes to certain types of medical practices, you aren’t going to search them out until you need them. For example, I’m not going to purposely break my arm just because I saw or heard an ad for an orthopedic. Instead, in the event I do break my arm, where am I going to go? That’s why you want that branding and awareness element. The targeting strategies are really good for this vertical because you can target by recently moved, disease, or even specialty. With the addition of visit tracking with OTT, you can see how many people saw the ad and went to that location within a two-week period. With Social Mirror OTT, users can also use the QR code as a form of engagement. These are the people that are watching their connected TV, but they also have their phone readily available so when they see the ad, they are scanning the QR code which leads them to the website, and that offers more engagement than a regular OTT ad.
For events and concerts, the top product that were used were Facebook and Instagram using both Custom Audience Matching with Lookalike Targeting and Behavioral Targeting. With Custom Audience Matching and Lookalike Targeting, you can target past attendees or people who bought tickets for past events and then create a lookalike of those people that have purchased or attended. With Facebook and Instagram you also have the option to run Event Response Ads which were created specifically to promote these types of events. Also, you can not only show ads in the Facebook Newsfeed, but you can also shows ads across all the different platforms that Facebook has available so you’re reaching that same ideal consumer, but in other places while on Facebook.
Coming up next is education, which graduated (see what I did there?) from 6th place to 3rd place this year. The product that we saw used most frequently for this vertical was YouTube using Behavioral Targeting and Retargeting. With 95% of teens saying they use YouTube, it is a great product to reach that demographic using categories such as colleges and universities, student loans, college financing, and vocational and continuing education. YouTube also allows for more flexibility with video length because you aren’t limited to :15 or :30 videos. These videos can be :12 up to 6:00, so if a school wants to really showcase their campus, certain departments, or highlight certain accolades of their school, YouTube will allow for that.
Automotive is next and it’s no surprise that Mobile Conquesting is the most used product for this category because you can reach the target audience multiple ways with this digital product. First, you can target based on a list or database that the dealership has. For example, maybe they want to reach people that came in for a test drive and never bought a car, or they are coming up at the end of their lease, or they have come in for service work; you can use that list with Address Targeting and Address Retargeting. You can also target people who have shown specific behaviors online or are in a certain demographic, or by where they have been tracked with their phone recently such as a location, business, or specific brand name store. You can also reach people while they are at a competitor’s location, and even serve ads to those people’s neighbors. Lastly, with the addition of Cross Platform Targeting, you can continue to serve ads to those that saw the original Mobile Conquesting ad, but now you can show them different kinds of ads like Social Mirror, Facebook and Instagram, Native, or Video Pre-Roll ads on other devices that they are using.
Social Mirror was one of the most popular products when it came to non-profits and family services agencies. Social Mirror ads are so versatile because they can get very specific through Behavioral Targeting (donated to charity in the last 3 months, donate by mail, donates to environmental causes, local community charities, animal rescue, humanitarian relief causes, charity and philanthropy), Keyword Targeting, and Custom Audience Matching, but it can also reach those that haven’t shown an interest in a charity or haven’t started looking for it yet, but they have a high likelihood of being a prospect with Artificial Intelligence.
Financial services is another very common vertical and another one where there are so many different parts to the business because you can advertise for mortgages, auto loans, checking accounts, savings accounts, CD’s, credit cards, etc.. Because there are so many different avenues to explore, this is a vertical that does a lot with Video Pre-Roll. As a bank or a credit union or a financial planner, I want to get my name out there. I want people, that when they are thinking of switching to someone else, I want them to think of my brand. People will typically stay loyal to their bank and/or credit union, which results in more business for them, and the lifetime value of a member is extremely valuable. For example, the credit union that I decided to use to get my mortgage through, I have since gotten an auto loan, three savings accounts, and a credit card through them.
Tourism is another vertical that tends to take advantage of showcasing all that their cities, towns, villages, and states have to offer. They also take advantage of using Social Miror for this since there is the option to use single image ads, video ads, carousel ads, story ads or OTT ads. There are also several different ways to reach someone with Social Mirror ads since you can target by Behaviors (Domestic and Air Travel & Flights, Travel and Tourism, Travel, Vacation and Travel Products), Keywords (road trips, campgrounds, cabins and cottages, explore, bed and breakfasts), Artificial Intelligence, Custom Audience Matching, and Retargeting.
Coming in at number nine is retail (furniture, home goods, and jewelry). The number one digital product for this type of business was Native because this is a very visual type of product. These ads are not text driven and are more image driven and this vertical tends to have very visual products, so it’s a good fit. These also tend to be high ticket purchases, so people are going to do their research first. They’re going to look around and maybe do some price comparison, and any time you have that type of a buying cycle, keyword targeting is great because you’re reaching people as they are doing their research on pages that contain those keywords. There are also great Behavioral targeting categories like in-market for mattress, in-market for furniture, in-market for renovation, in-market for engagement rings, remodeling, luxury buyer, and clothing. You can also target people that just moved that might be looking to furnish their new place.
Lastly, we have home services/home improvement. This is another category that has a lot of different silos within it because if you’re a plumber or an HVAC technician, you want to be able to passively reach people so that when little repairs are needed you’re the first place they think of, but you also want to be front and center for those that have an emergency and are going to call the first person they can find. For this vertical PPC is the number one product because of its ability to target people that are searching with specific keywords like “near me” and “24-hour service.” PPC ads also have the ability for call only ads that are designed to encourage people to call the business instead of going to the website and appear only on devices that make phone calls. When a potential customer clicks the ad, the ad places a call to your business from their device.
And that’s a wrap on the top ten categories that made up the campaigns from 2023!
…The ads sprang from the exchange, and the website gave a whistle,
And away the ads served like the down of a missile.
The consumer did exclaim, as the ad came into sight,
That’s a great ad, I’m going to buy that tonight!