The end of 2019 is quickly approaching, and even though everything feels a little chaotic right now, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about the year ahead.

This is the time to refresh and make sure that your knowledge is current and you’re ready to go full-steam ahead!

We’re here to help you stay up to date, especially if you got busy throughout the year and missed a post or two!

So take some time to check out these 11 must-read AdEspresso posts so you can be sure that you’re at the top of your game before 2020 even rolls around.

It’s that time of year again. We’re all getting ready to wind down while pushing through the last surge before the holidays, knowing full well that we’ll have to start everything back up again with a new and improved strategy for 2020.

A lot has changed in the marketing landscape in 2019, requiring that marketers and business owners adapt to keep up. We’ve got new features on multiple platforms, changes in algorithms, and shifts in consumer behavior. The online marketplace requires agility and some innovative strategies as the new year approaches.

These are the top 11 posts selected as “must-read ” by a panel of expert digital advertisers and social media marketers. You should read them too to get ready for 2020.

Many of our readers are familiar with Facebook Ads, but Google Ads may still be a bit of a mystery to some. Google Ads can be wildly profitable, but it can also be a tough market.

Knowing the right strategies to fully optimize your campaigns for success is crucial, and our post on creating Google Ads campaigns to beat the competition is one to read.

must-read AdEspresso posts

This post digs deep into figuring out who your competition really is (because it’s not always who you think!), what tools and research to conduct for your own campaigns, and strategies that can help you outshine your competition in every way. If you are planning on running Google Ad campaigns in 2020, don’t miss this post.

Managing your ad spend is no easy business, but it’s a crucial part of staying on budget and keeping your ad campaigns on track.

It’s a lot easier to manage your budget, however, when you know approximately what you can expect your campaigns to cost.

must-read AdEspresso posts This post will break down what impacts different costs of your ad campaigns, and there’s even a free calculator included!

So what are you waiting for, head over and start plugging away your calculations so you can go in with a basic idea of what you should be budgeting for in 2020.

The year 2019 was all about Facebook Groups, and that’s only going to continue in 2020.

Facebook Groups is the most effective and impactful way to reach your audience continually on Facebook, allowing you to create a community centered around your business. People are excited to join Groups that are relevant to them, and since Group content performs insanely well in the algorithms, they’ll give you incredible visibility on top of those relationship-building perks.

Facebook Groups have evolved a great deal in the past few years, with in-depth analytic features, group moderation and automation tools, and even options to add mentor or learning programs. Make sure you know all the latest and greatest so you can help your Group stand out (or start off strong!) next year.

It’s easy to focus all your attention –and your ad spend– on the fast-acting, short-term ad strategies that pay off.

You run campaigns, you get conversions, and BOOM that ROAS hits your account fast. We get the appeal, but it’s important not to neglect long-term ad strategies, too.

Long-term ad strategies are sustainable, so they won’t stop bringing in sales the second the campaigns stop, and they can typically yield more high-value leads and customers overall.

This post focuses on insight from Paul Fairbrother, our head of education, about the 4 long-term ad strategies you need to be using for your business.

Success with your ad campaigns can boil down to one thing: Are you showing the right ad to the right user at the right time?

Google Ads’ negative keywords is a crucial factor in helping you get the “right ad” and “right user” parts of the equation lined up here.

Negative keywords will help you ensure that you’re only having ads show up in relevant searches, significantly increasing the likelihood of success.

Our post on negative keyword list breaks down everything you need to know about identifying and implementing negative keyword lists to ensure that you get it right.

While you never want to truly leave your campaigns unsupervised entirely, you can use Facebook’s automated rules to streamline the ad management process and set them on a semi-auto pilot mode.

This is particularly valuable for large accounts managing a massive number of ad campaigns that can be difficult to keep up with the day-to-day.

When you’re using Facebook’s automated rules, however, you want to get them right; if you get them wrong, it could go more damage than good. T

his post from our own Paul Fairbrother breaks down everything you need to know so your account stays in top shape.

There are a bunch of different image sizes and best practices you need to know for every platform out there, including different social and Google Ads platforms.

This is exhausting, unless you have a cheat sheet on hand to make the process a little easier.

Our social media and Google Ads image sizes guide should be one that you have bookmarked throughout the year so you can reference it every time you need to start working on new content for your campaigns.

Remember that visuals increase engagement significantly across all platforms, so this is knowledge you’ll want to have accessible.

Facebook’s Pixel is one of the most valuable tools that marketers have.

They allow you to track conversions and other actions taken on your site accurately so you can gauge the success of your ads, and make it possible to track off-platform actions like views on certain webpages to create powerful, hyper-targeted custom audiences.

must-read AdEspresso posts

The pixel has changed a lot over the past few years, so make sure you brush up on your knowledge (and that you have all the right tracking events set up on the pixel and your site!) by reading our Ultimate Guide on the Facebook pixel, which has updated information to help you rock your campaigns in 2020.

Google Ads has multiple keyword match types: exact match, phrase match, and broad match, which each dictate how precise you want to be in terms of how your ads are placed in searches.

There’s been a lot of debate over the years as to which match type is most beneficial for Google Ad campaigns, with most marketers looking for a balance between “getting enough searches to have real visibility” and  “getting relevant enough searches to drive conversions.” In one of our recent $1000 experiments, we put the question to the test, and the answer may surprise you!

This post doesn’t need a ton of explaining as to why it’s valuable: The title says it all. 20 Free Facebook Ad templates for every type of campaign?

All you need to do is check out the post and get some inspiration for your next round of ads, with templates designed from experts who know the system well.

must-read AdEspresso posts

And there is also an eBook you can download for free, We’ve also put together all the Facebook Ads Templates in a free eBook. With all the specs, best practices, and real-life examples, it will help you create better Facebook ads that are optimized for the platform and consistent with your brand.

We know: You hear the word “audit” and we all naturally cringe at least a little. No one likes any kind of audits (especially with tax season looming ever closer), but this is one type of audit you really need to have.

Auditing your Google Ad account at the end of one year can help you assess what you need to do moving forward into the next. This is a great time to assess your strategies, but you can’t do that without an accurate understanding of what’s already going on.

Check out this 7-step checklist for a relatively painless Google Ads audit that will set you up for success next year.

Final Thoughts

With the new year right around the corner, it’s essential to take stock of your successes and your struggles in 2019 so that you can pivot and be ready for an even better 2020.

Consider where you may need to make some changes, and start there, using the resources listed here to guide you.

And don’t forget that if you have any other questions about PPC marketing, don’t forget to search the blog overall, there are plenty more great ones, too.

What do you think? Have you read any of our must-read AdEspresso posts for 2020? Which was your favorite? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!