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Powering Paid Media Through Machine Learning

If you’ve been keeping up with digital marketing trends, you may have heard about machine learning. Although the concept of machine learning dates back to the 1950s, Google has recently released new ways of utilizing deep learning systems to enhance the way ads are served.

What is machine learning?

So what is machine learning exactly?

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.

It sounds complicated (and it is!), but thanks to Google, advertisers can now utilize machine learning to run campaigns that optimize based on what it has learned from collected data. For example, machine learning uses predictive data to understand when a user is more likely to click on an ad and even when a user is more likely to convert on your site.

Basically, machine learning is collecting, analyzing, and forming predictive analysis throughout the entire user journey. This collected information is extremely powerful to advertisers because it allows you to run campaigns that reach your most valuable customers.

Paid Media and Machine Learning

One example of machine learning that we’ve recently seen success with is the “maximize conversions” bid strategy within Google AdWords paid search campaigns. Maximize conversion bidding automatically finds an optimal CPC bid for your ad each time it’s eligible to appear. This takes the guesswork out of manually setting bids for each keyword, and instead gives AdWords the power to tap into historical campaign data to set bids focused on driving the most conversions for your campaign while staying within your set budget.

Before turning it on, make sure your AdWords account is linked to your Google Analytics account and that your conversion goals have been imported into AdWords. Once you have changed your bid strategy, your campaign will go into a “learning” period where it gathers the performance data it needs to optimize your bids. Your campaign will still run throughout the learning period, and you can expect to see the conversion increases once the learning period has ended (usually only lasts for 7 days at most).

But does it really make a difference? Yes! At Hanson, we’ve implemented this across several of our paid search clients and have seen the magic firsthand. After the first full month of switching to this bid strategy, it was pretty clear that machine learning had a huge impact on performance for our clients, with one account in particular driving 50% more conversions than the previous month without the bid strategy in place.

Machine learning is a powerful asset to advertisers, providing you with an efficient way to connect with the audiences most likely to convert. The option to tap into historical data is within all ad platforms, whether search, display, or social. Digital advertising as we know it is changing rapidly, giving us opportunities to better reach our target audiences and making ads more relevant for everyone.

Stay tuned for more ways you can utilize machine learning to improve your brand’s advertising efforts.