The increased Facebook and Google targeting restrictions continuously impact 55+ and senior living clients. The answer to this issue is adjusting marketing to ensure that the performance and quality of leads are maximized through various approaches. These strategic approaches for targeting restrictions are 3rd party data relationships, creative and messaging assets, and planning for the 2023 removal of third-party cookies by Google.
3rd Party Data Relationships
Within Facebook, advertisers must select a special ad category for their ad to be approved if the placement relates to housing, credit, social issues, and employment. Once the category is selected, targeting options such as zip code, age, and various interests are removed from the interface, causing advertisers to target more broadly than they had previously. For 55+ community clients, our advertising is cited as housing which causes concern with them not being able to target by age.
Third-party data relationships are essential to ensure age and interest targeting via Facebook for 55+ communities. Vendors such as Oracle aid in supporting more targeted Facebook advertising by allowing users to target by age, persona, and interests. Without using some form of 3rd party data, the ad will be served to a large and mostly unqualified audience.
From the usage of 3rd party data, in the time frame of January to September 2021, this 55+ community reached 67,000 individual users with 89% being within the 55-65+ age demographic. This was achieved through using 3rd party data to target ages 50-74, as well as the persona of “seniors.” In the same time frame, this generated 164 inquiries with a 10.35% conversion rate.
Creative and Messaging Assets
Google ads restrictions are similar to Facebook’s, as of 2020 age targeting was disbanded in Google Ads campaigns for housing. While users are still able to target based on radius and household income, the elimination of age targeting presented an issue for advertisers of 55+ clients. The ability for builders or developers to focus on their targeted audience to generate quality leads relies on creative and messaging assets.
When creating ads that target the 55+ age demographic, there are four key components: creatives, copy, keywords, and landing pages. Each one of these needs to accurately represent the audience that you are trying to target.
For creative assets, images should have people who appear to be within the age category that is attempting to be targeted. The messaging that accompanies the creative assets should also mention 55+ community or active 55+ living. For paid search campaigns, focus keywords on active 55+ living and 55+ communities. Landing pages should also match the keywords added to paid search campaigns, and center around the social and active aspects of 55+ living.
In the time span of April to September 2021, these 55+ clients’ paid search ads generated 19.6K impressions. Explicitly mentioning 55+ within the ads themselves, as well as curating a list of keywords focused on 55+ living, resulted in 62% of the audience falling within the 55+ age demographic.
Preparing for Google’s Removal of Third-Party Cookies
Google announced earlier this year that they plan to remove third-party cookies by the end of 2023. Cookies have been important in the advertising industry because they are used to help track data across publishers and websites. The removal of cookies will mostly impact the top of the funnel, lead generation tactics which are essential in brand awareness and supporting the creation of a qualified leads list.
Without the ability to accurately track the right data, advertisers of 55+ living will be increasingly limited in terms of targeting approaches than they are already. It is essential to create a plan for this removal. This could include maximizing first-party data or testing various second-party data sources.
Digital Targeting restrictions do not need to be the end-all-be-all when advertising for 55+ clients. While the restrictions have impacted the industry, there are ways to still achieve success and have a healthy ROI through Facebook and Google marketing efforts. Incorporating the integrated approaches of 3rd party data relationships, creative and messaging assets, and planning for the 2023 removal of third-party cookies by Google will ensure your success.
About the Author
Kristen Oliphant is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Creating Results Strategic Marketing. She is the team’s go-to resource for all things digital including, enhancing clients’ digital performance through digital and senior living best practices, as well as optimizing campaigns to impact clients’ return on investment. You can contact her at Kristen@creatingresults.com.