Many of us are exposed to artificial intelligence (AI) at work or home every day from highly reputable companies and may not even realize it. For instance, how does Amazon know which items you might be interested in purchasing? How does Spotify serve up songs and artists you may not have heard of, but feel like some of your favorites? How is Apple’s Siri able to respond to questions? The answer to all these questions is AI--machines learning to predict human behavior.
Not to be left out, Google has recently launched “Ads Added by AdWords,” a new test program that utilizes artificial intelligence to modify online advertisers' postings. The new program has some AdWords users concerned, and many simply confused. Enrollment Builders is here to clear up some of that confusion.
What you need to knowGoogle has launched a test program, “Ads Added by AdWords,” where Google AI systems write alternate versions of your AdWords ads and place them into rotation with your existing ads.
Why is Google testing this form of automation?
AdWords can be a complicated and time-consuming system to navigate and optimize. Time spent on ad creation can often lead to less time available for honing and testing copy. Google is trying to help with this new program in two ways. First, Ads Added is designed to eliminate marketers’ time spent on repetitive, manual tasks by automating the process of creating and testing multiple ad versions. Second, the program is intended to help optimize ad performance. Google predicts an increase of 5-15% in ad performance for clients who use the new program.
Who will be eligible to participate in this test?
If you have not yet received an email from Google describing this program, then you have not been included in the test and do not need to do anything at this time.
If you have received an Ads Added email, then your ad groups with ad rotation set to optimize for clicks or conversions will be eligible for ad suggestions. In this case, it’s important to ensure your keywords, ads, and landing pages are current and error-free to ensure Google’s AI-created ads will be accurate too.
How will you know which ads have been added?
The Google-created ads are clearly labeled, “Added by AdWords,” in the alerts and Opportunities tab (which can be sorted by label), and you will receive a corresponding email notification each time new ads are suggested (set your email alert preferences here). When you click on the notification, you will find the date when the ad suggestions are set to apply automatically.
You may only see a few ad suggestions per account, as new ads will only be added to each ad group once and ad suggestions will appear in accounts once every 7 days at most.
Do I have to use the AI-created Ads?
While this is an optional test program, you can’t opt out of the “Ads Added” test prior to release. You can, however, select, “don’t automatically apply ad suggestions,” in your account settings any time after the release.
Even then, you have the option to see and apply ad suggestions if you like.
If you apply the ad suggestions, you can then choose to pause, edit, or remove these ads (individually or as a group) at any time. If you choose to not take any action, the ad suggestions marked as “auto-apply” will automatically begin serving after 14 days.
Where is Google getting the information for ad variations?
Let’s let Google answer that one. “To help improve performance, a combination of human review and machine learning is used to create high-quality ad suggestions. Relevant content from your account used to create ad suggestions includes your existing ads, extensions, and landing page.” They go on to say, “Google also uses additional signals such as keywords and targeting in order to optimize the ad copy.” See more of Google’s explanation here.
What does this mean for Higher Ed?
Careful attention to accounts included in the Ads Added test will be critical to ensure proper accreditation and available degree types are represented in all ad versions. For example, Google is notorious for attempting to swap the word ‘college’ into ad copy in place of the word ‘university’. Another common mistake that’s often made is over valuing high performance words such as, free, easy, or scholarship. These words may encourage users to click on your ad but they often will not properly represent your brand, degree program or offer.
While Google is pulling content from existing ads within the ad group and your landing page(s), there is still a risk of serving messaging to consumers that is off-brand. To avoid this, review each of your accounts with new ad suggestions before the 14-day period concludes. You’ll want to confirm that existing ads, keywords, targeting, and landing page content are all current and accurate. You’ll also want to monitor the number of ads in each ad group.
The concept of including Artificial Intelligence in your marketing strategy may sound scary at first, but we hope it’s less confusing now. You have control over whether the AI-created ads are used in your campaigns. And if you decide to use them, Ads Added is designed to improve your performance (5-15%) while providing free ad optimization.
As a leader in higher education marketing and enrollment management, Enrollment Builders understands the importance of embracing positive changes. Ads Added by AdWords is aligned with the future of marketing automation--right where you want to be.
Catch up with us anytime to learn more about how Enrollment Builders can help with AdWords or any other aspect of improving your enrollment management performance.