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How to Understand AI and Machine Learning in Senior Living Paid Advertising on Google

Does your senior living marketing team need to be involved if your paid advertising campaigns are powered by AI and machine learning?

Short answer: Yes.

Search engines are leveraging the rapid evolution in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide more personalized and targeted paid ads. Intense competition drives these efforts, with both Google and Bing constantly improving capabilities and offerings to stay ahead of the curve.

For example, Bing Ads recently rebranded to Microsoft Advertising, aligning its suite of products to emphasize AI, machine learning and data privacy initiatives. Google is currently utilizing AI and machine learning to calculate the Target CPA (e.g., automated bidding) for marketers using paid campaigns.

Like the little bot in the thumbnail above, Google’s AI and machine learning may be algorithmically skilled at recognizing compelling copy. But, writing it conversational human language? Not so much. This is especially true in the senior living industry, which relies on engaging copy to connect with ACIs and prospective residents.

So, how does Google use AI and machine learning to serve paid ads? And what tactics can your team take to supplement AI and machine learning to ensure your community serves its most compelling copy within responsive ads?

That’s what we’ll answer for your team. To advance your community’s understanding and help it incorporate a human element into paid ads to engage prospective residents and ACIs, we’ve compiled helpful context and tips. Continue reading to learn:

  • A definition of responsive search ads
  • How Google uses AI and machine learning to serve responsive ads
  • Three tips to help senior living marketing teams supplement Google’s AI and machine learning technologies with compelling copy in responsive search ads
  • How providers can prioritize and leverage the latest responsive paid platforms to improve census based on community type and the levels of care offered

What Are Responsive Search Ads?

Responsive search ads are a mixture of various headlines, descriptions and CTAs that form an ad. The mixture allows for hundreds of different ad variants to be served to users. Google gathers information based on hundreds of factors. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • History of ad performance
  • User search history

Responsive search ads will serve users an ad combination based on these factors that has the highest likelihood of converting that individual.

How Are Responsive Search Ads Configured?

Below is an example of some of the outputs Google uses that combine AI and machine learning to serve a customized smart display ad:

Outside the green circle, you’ll see variables Google aggregates and appends. User-level data is contained inside the green circle. Google’s AI combines these factors (and hundreds of additional factors) inside and outside the green circle to assess an individual’s probability to convert on a given ad.

If the likelihood is greater, Google’s machine learning model will set the price for the keyword bid (the circle in the center) based on the determined demand for that keyword. AI and machine learning ensure the ad is placed in front of the people who are most likely to convert, accounting for the factors above.

How does Google accomplish this? Smart display campaigns. Across Google’s display network, it uses AI and machine learning to optimize paid advertising campaigns with three distinct technologies:

  • Automated Billing
  • Automated Targeting
  • Automated Ad Creation

Responsive search ads can reach individual users using the factors in the graphic above. But your senior living marketing team is unlikely to convert them with robotic copy.

Responsive Search Ad Tip #1: Identify who Your Specific User is

Your senior living organization may have an ideal resident profile, but that doesn’t mean that profile is up-to-date. It certainly doesn’t indicate that this resident profile is applicable for individual and unique communities within your organization’s portfolio. To ensure that your community targets the correct individual with its responsive search ads, it will need to identify your specific users.

Accomplishing this objective is less arduous than it sounds. First, compile all the questions that ACIs and prospective residents ask during an interview at your community. Second, select the three most commonly asked questions.

From there, your senior living marketing team will have a relatively accurate profile based on this analysis. Have your organization apply that methodology to each location to ensure ad copy speaks to this specific user.

Responsive Search Ad Tip #2: Identify the Intent of Your Specific User

The specific user that your community has identified is actively searching and their intent acts as the catalyst for these search queries. In senior housing, could be multiple people searching with varying degrees of intent depending on where they fall in the buyer’s funnel.

For the effort of simplicity, we’ve identified three primary areas of intent for ACIs and prospective residents:

1.) Price Intent: For these individuals, pricing may be the most important factor before they choose a community. In Google’s responsive search ads, it will know this based on everything it knows about the searcher at the time the search query is conducted. Google will analyze previous search history and will pull headlines and ad descriptions that appeal the most to price-conscious ACIs and residents.

2.) Amenity/Experience Intent: These individuals may not be concerned as much by the price but may have specific requirements of the atmosphere at the community they will eventually call home. For example, an individual in this category may search for pet-friendly communities, or communities that offer apartment style housing. In this case, Google will pull in headlines and copy that highlights the great atmosphere at your community.

3.) Quality of Care Intent: For these individuals, price and amenities are secondary to the quality of care they can expect to receive. Does your skilled nursing staff go above and beyond for residents? Do they regularly plan activities and events that get residents out of their rooms and into the outside world (with attentive supervision)? For those intent on learning about the quality of care, Google will serve headlines and copy that reflects the fantastic quality of care offered at your community.

Responsive Search Ad Tip #3: Structure Ad Copy so it Speaks to the Primary Intent of Your Audience

At this stage, your senior living marketing team has discovered its specific user based on your unique location. That could be the ACI or the prospective resident itself. Then, your community identified the intent of that individual and the main reason why that individual would click on an ad in the first place.

With that groundwork covered, your team can ensure its ad copy speaks directly to primary intent of these individuals. Once it has written copy that sufficiently addresses the primary intent, your team can confidently pass that ad off to Google and let its AI and machine learning do the rest of the work by serving the ad to the right individuals with the right message at the right time.

Download Your Copy of the Senior Living Programmatic Display Marketing Guide

Google is one of many platforms that uses AI and machine learning for responsive paid campaigns. That said, senior living marketing and sales leaders are unlikely to leverage programmatic display, smart display, native content, geofencing and remarketing to improve census if they are unaware of the numerous benefits and opportunities within each channel.

Don’t be intimidated. Download your copy of the newest Senior Living Guide and become liberated.

The Senior Living Programmatic Display Guide contains the following:

  • An index to help providers determine the paid platform to prioritize based on its community type, stage in the resident journey and level of impact
  • A definition of programmatic display, smart display ads, native content advertising, remarketing and geofencing
  • How each of the channels above apply to senior living and help providers accomplish goals
  • Realistic results that can be expected from the channels above when an integrated paid media marketing strategy is executed

The opportunities gained by leveraging AI and machine learning in paid advertising can’t be understated. If your senior living community sees the potential to impact occupancy levels but doesn’t know where to start or has a question, contact us. Our team has experience creating and implementing ad campaigns that utilize AI and machine learning. We can help your organization do the same to surpass your goals.

About the Author

AgencyThoughtLeadership

Agency Thought Leadership

Digital Marketing Solutions

Linkmedia 360 offers a vast array of integrated digital marketing & media services including search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, paid advertising, email/marketing automation, conversion rate optimization, data science and web development.

Contact us to learn more about our digital marketing solutions for multi-locations business and occupancy-driven solutions for senior living communities, self-storage facilities and addiction treatment centers.

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