There’s been a lot of talk recently about artificial intelligence – or AI. AI is ubiquitous these days – from asking Alexa to do something at home for you to creating an instant avatar of your pet.
The business world is no exception. AI is making inroads everywhere. What Google Ads is doing with this technology is a great example.
Google continues to be the top search engine for marketers. We’ve written about Google Ads before in both their search and display formats. For digital advertising purposes, let’s dig deeper into what we know at this point about how AI is working to reach your customers in the most efficient manner.
Display Ads are Broken – Into Pieces
As a reminder, Google display ads are graphics that show up on websites in its network. They will appear while you’re on your bank’s website, for instance, to increase awareness of a financial product that Google believes you’ll be interested in.
In the business-to-business world, here’s an example of what a display ad can look like (in a billboard style):
When creating an ad like the one above for your science-based business, you’ll be inputting multiple versions of each element to create the ad. For example, for the headline “What are the 7 most frequent HR mistakes” above, you would input several other variations, including:
- Most Common HR Mistakes
- What HR Mistakes are Made All the Time?
- Top Mistakes Made by HR Professionals
- Seven Common HR Mishaps
- Seven Areas Where HR Falters
Then, the “Insperity” logo you see above needs to be submitted in two or three different variations and the image of the cover of the e-book is supplied in several different designs. Google also asks you for your top color preferences related to your band’s look and feel.
Why all of that work?
The reason you’re asked to supply all of the digital ad information in this many ways is because when your ads start running, Google’s AI machine gets to work. It starts mixing and matching your headlines with all of the different graphical elements. Over time – from weeks to months – its machine starts “learning” which combinations of elements are creating the ads with the most interactions (impressions and clicks), and hence the best return-on-investment.
In essence, it’s weeding through what doesn’t work and determining which ad combinations do work and should be run more often. All automatically.
Search Ads are Alive with Activity
In the search ads department, the machine’s algorithms are hard at work. The AI machine is constantly gathering information on searchers, including:
- User behavior
- Search history
And, as with the display ads, AI is constantly taking the “pieces” of the ads you’ve submitted – like the text for the headlines, descriptions, and landing page – and shuffling them around to help determine which ads are more likely to be clicked.
What’s more, before the ad is even finalized, the machine automatically analyzes the copy for your ads and the copy on your accompanying landing page to try to answer the question, “how well does the copy in the ads match the copy on the landing page?” For instance, if the landing page is offering a download of an asset that the ads are indeed promoting and the ads and the landing page are using similar language, then the correlation is strong and the machine gives a thumbs-up. If the content doesn’t match well, the ad is considered less reliable and could even be flagged for fraud.
So, a strong content marketing strategy remains paramount across all of your marketing efforts.
Your Voice Matters
We’re also learning that Google is experimenting with an AI-powered voice search feature, called Bard, with a select few of its partners. In short, Google claims:
“Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going deeper on a related topic, like steps to get started as a beginner. These new AI features will begin rolling out on Google Search soon.”
Here’s an example of what that might look like:
What will be particularly interesting is to watch how Google search ads respond to keywords that people are voicing into the commands. If you searched for the “piano” or “guitar” practice terms above, for instance, will you then see the top paid ads for piano and guitar lessons appearing further down the page?
Try Your Own Conversation with a Machine
You may have heard of ChatGPT and its AI-powered chat bot. As of the time of publication for this blog post, you can still create a free account. Try typing in your question for it to answer on its own as a machine and watch how it responds. How accurate do you believe it is for what you typed in?
I asked it to “Create a headline for an article about how AI is impacting Google Ads” and it answered with “Revolutionizing Advertising: How AI is transforming Google Ads and Boosting ROI.”
Pretty good. However, this example continues to show that AI is a supporter and not a driver of assistance technologies. For instance, the headline is not one I would actually use verbatim because:
- It lacks context specifically for business-to-business marketing. Campaigns will only be “Boosting ROI” if they are optimized for business-to-business language and for targeting honed business-to-business audiences. These areas must be adjusted and tweaked by humans regularly.
- While the topic was relevant, the use of a lowercase “t” on “transforming” in the headline is inconsistent with capitalization present on all the other words. So, technically, the grammar is not correct.
Regardless, we can perhaps observe through this exercise that AI-powered tools like these could help in generating additional ideas to move us forward. (More on ChatGPT and AI for content creation coming soon in a future blog post!)
A Brave New World of Content
All of these developments are supporting the goal of enhancing ad performance in ways that were never possible up until now. They also require marketers to be privy to detail and to support their ad campaigns with strong copy that speaks directly to the personas being targeted. That’s your starting point, because in this new world copy that isn’t relevant has more consequences – like being screened-out by a machine.
Artificial Intelligence is Here to Stay
Ready to try Google Ads? Let us know how we can help.
Author – Scott Fuhr
Scott is a marketer with concentrations on lead generation campaigns, marketing automation programs (Marketo, SharpSpring), Google search and display ads (PPC), social media strategies, and business writing.
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.