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Similar Audiences and other key product updates for June

Updated 4 June 2021

Welcome back to another edition of our monthly product roundup! There’s been a lot of exciting news in the world of Microsoft Advertising this past month. Since the announcement of our new integration with Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, we also hosted Microsoft Advertising Activate, shared a myriad of insights, and announced our new multi-channel advertising and social media platform. On the product side, there’s even more goodness to share today.

First off, before we get to product releases, we want to remind everyone that as of 4 June, our changes to phrase match and broad match modifier are now live in the United States and Canada markets. The FAQ blog above has now been updated to reflect this, and you can look there for more information on what evergreen best practices you can take to navigate this change. The other markets are tentatively planned for June, so stay tuned for updates.

Now let’s move on to our exciting releases!

Our top story: Similar Audiences rolling out in the US market this month

You’ve spent the time setting up Remarketing. Now, with Similar Audiences releasing in the US this month, you can make your lists work harder for you and help you reach more of your best customers, simply by looking for searchers with similar interests to those on your Remarketing lists.

Why use Similar Audiences?

  • Reach prospects who are ready to convert. When you expand your reach to these "look-alike" users, you’ll find high-quality prospects you can turn into customers.
  • Drive conversions and increase ROI. Ads shown to Similar Audiences saw up to a 39% greater conversion rate (CVR) than the same ads shown to non-audience targeted users.
  • Save time with automatic updates. Associate your Remarketing list then leave it to us — we create the similar audience and work daily to keep it current.

How do I get started?

To get started, just associate your Remarketing list. You must have at least one Remarketing list with at least 300 users in order to use Similar Audiences. Once there are enough signals to predict similar user behaviour, Microsoft Advertising will generate a Similar Audience. This audience will help you find new search users, putting you on the path to more conversions for less.

Product view of the create association window with the Similar Audiences drop down option.

Click Similar Audiences from the drop-down menu, then select the audiences to be associated.

We’ll keep your list up to date by reevaluating users daily to ensure no overlap with the original Remarketing list. For more information on how to set up Similar Audiences, see our help page Similar audiences: Reach a wider qualified set of customers.

In terms of other enhancements in audience targeting, you’ll also be able to import these similar audiences from Google Ads, as well as shared remarketing lists, a capability just released this past month.

Finally, as we continue to close the gap between our US and international In-market Audiences offering, we’re excited to share that we’ve released new segments in the UK, France, and Germany for both search campaigns and audience campaigns as well as refreshed hundreds of existing segments in these markets this week. Check out the In-market segment list to see what’s new!

Microsoft Audience Network now live in France and Germany

The Microsoft Audience Network, where you can engage meaningfully with a unique audience in brand-safe native environments, is growing internationally as well. As of this month, Audience Ads can now run in France and Germany, expanding our global footprint to seven markets worldwide: US, CA-EN, UK, AU, FR, DE, and NZ.

If you haven’t already, make sure to also check out our recent announcement on how you can better choose inclusive imagery with people filters for your Microsoft Audience Ads or Image Extensions.

New ways to import campaigns into Microsoft Advertising

Besides the import enhancements to audience targeting mentioned above, did you also catch that we officially announced Facebook Import last week? We’re excited to deliver another way for you to sync campaigns across platforms through import. Here’s how you can leverage Facebook Import to get started on the Microsoft Audience Network in three simple steps:

  1. Import your campaigns, ad groups, budget, bids, images, demographic and location targeting to our network on your timeline, using our Facebook Import tool.
  2. Confirm your audience targeting and associate new audience lists to boost your campaign performance. We use similar targeting options as Facebook Ads.
  3. Check how your assets preview in the ad preview, review your campaign parameters and launch your campaign for increased reach and performance!

Here are a couple other ways we’ve helped improve import capabilities for you:

1. A smarter way to import from Google Ads

We’ve made continuous updates to make Google Import valuable for all Microsoft Advertising users, from multi-account managers to API users. Over the coming weeks Microsoft Advertising will be rolling out a simplified, more efficient way to import campaigns from Google Ads. We’ve heard your feedback that configuring imports to ensure your campaigns perform their best across both platforms can be a difficult task. That’s why we’ve cut down the complexities and reduced Google Ads Import to three easy steps: sign in, choose your accounts, then start your import.

After your import is complete, Microsoft Advertising will automatically optimise your import settings to ensure the best performance from your Google Ads campaigns. For power users looking to make their own customisations, the full suite of advanced import options will remain available.

Product view of the Import from Google Ads interface.

The full suite of advanced import options will still be available for you with the Customize import button.

In addition, we’re enhancing your syncing options with a new Automatic frequency. Instead of syncing your campaigns on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, the Automatic frequency will only import when changes made to your Google Ads account are likely to be beneficial to your Microsoft Advertising account. For example, if a new feature is released within Microsoft Advertising that you’re already using within Google Ads, an Automatic sync may trigger an import so that you can take advantage of the new feature right away.

2. Shopping Campaigns import enhancements

With a new closed beta, we’ve also enhanced importing Shopping Campaigns from Google Ads by now allowing you to import your Google Merchant Center (GMC) store along with your Shopping Campaigns. When you import your GMC store, you’ll automatically create a Microsoft Merchant Center store with the same name, domain, and settings.

To import your GMC store, simply sign into your Google Merchant Center account during the shopping campaigns import process. Your feeds will begin importing automatically and your Shopping Campaigns will go live when the feed import is complete. No need to verify your URL or even set up a Microsoft Merchant Center store.

If you don’t have a Microsoft Merchant Center store and are importing shopping campaigns, a draft store will hold the place of a completed store. To participate in this beta, reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account manager or contact Support. For more information, see our help documentation.

Microsoft Advertising app for Shopify

Another update in the world of shopping: next week we’re releasing a new offering in our Shopify app called Microsoft Smart Shopping, which simplifies shopping campaign creation, while helping reach some of your most valuable customers. Through our app, you’re also automatically opted in to show your products for free on the Bing Shopping Tab. Get started today!

Updates to bid terminology and reporting notifications

Finally, you may have noticed a few small updates within Microsoft Advertising online:

  1. In automated bidding, the setting of Maximum CPC has recently been updated to now say Maximum bid limit to provide more clarity. The setting itself remains the same: if you enable it, the bids generated by your automated bidding strategy won’t exceed this limit, and therefore the CPCs won’t exceed it either. While you’re free to leverage this Maximum bid limit setting to keep CPCs in check, note that it can restrict your automated bidding strategy from performing optimally, so we don’t recommend it as a best practice.
  2. In the notification queue, we’ve added new alerts to inform you of when reporting data is processed outside of our guidelines and when it has recently been updated. Microsoft Advertising is committed to keeping your data updated and will now be able to provide you with visibility into when there may be a delay that needs to be resolved.
Product view of the notifications window.

The notifications will provide you with a date and time on when potential issues are detected, and you can click Dismiss when you’re done.

What’s next in Microsoft Advertising?

We know there’s a wealth of information here on what’s new to Microsoft Advertising, but there’s still even more to come. If you read our recap from Microsoft Advertising Elevate, you know about some of the other great products that are coming soon to the platform, such as Multimedia Ads, Video Extensions, and Portfolio Bidding.

We’re still hard at work at delivering all these to you, so please stay tuned for more announcements on all of this and more! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the start to your summer, and we’ll see you after the fourth of July holiday.

Help us improve Microsoft Advertising

Your comments and feedback are integral to our ongoing efforts to shape and improve our products. For any questions or feedback, please reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account manager, or send us an email at advertising-feedback@microsoft.com. You can also interact with us on Twitter or suggest a feature on Microsoft Advertising Feature Suggestions.