Welcome to this month’s edition of the monthly product roundup! We hope many of you have had the opportunity to get some time off to spend with loved ones (or are planning to soon). The Microsoft Advertising blog page was a bit quieter this past month, but the product updates and expansions are plentiful today! Take a look at our lengthy list below of all the benefits coming to the platform.
This month’s top story: Automotive Ads rolling out to all advertisers globally
Microsoft Advertising has been hard at work at testing new ad types that are specific to the unique advertising needs of different industries or verticals. Currently, we’re piloting vertical ads in areas like Travel and Financial services, and today we're delighted to share that Automotive Ads are now generally available to all advertisers!
Cristiano Ventura, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Advertising
How vertical-based ads work
Vertical ads are different for each category or industry. They focus on information that a specific consumer is looking for and provide it in an engaging, easy-to-read format, pre-click, and with images.
Vertical ad content comes from dynamic data feeds. They use search intent data, and a deep understanding of users’ needs to connect customers to richer ad experiences that break through the clutter. Microsoft artificial intelligence (AI) uses these feeds to source all attributes displayed in the ads, using advertisers’ existing digital catalogues. It also minimises the time and resources required to set up and manage campaigns on our network.
If you’re not already, consider vertical experiences as a vital component for engaging with consumers and maintaining or increasing ad performance. Instead of using a generic ad approach, try vertical ads specific to your industry. Learn more here, and check out our two video walkthroughs on Automotive Ads on our YouTube page.
Microsoft Audience Network updates
The Microsoft Audience Network allows you to engage meaningfully with a unique audience in brand-safe environments across Microsoft properties (such as MSN, Microsoft Edge, Outlook) and publisher partners. This month, we have lots of exciting updates to share around new market expansions, new ad formats, and bidding options.
We’re expanding to more markets
The Microsoft Audience Network is now available in 64 markets globally—with more markets coming later this year.
Whether you're already advertising on the Microsoft Audience Network and want to expand to new markets, or if you are looking to get started—now is the perfect time. Set up your campaigns directly in Microsoft Advertising or import from Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
We’re bringing you engaging and new ad formats
Dynamic Remarketing* is a fantastic way to re-engage users who have previously interacted with your site. We’ve expanded this to other verticals outside Retail, and you can now use Dynamic Remarketing for Travel, Automotive, and Events. Once you have your dynamic data feed, you have two options to get set up with Dynamic Remarketing on the Microsoft Audience Network.
- Standard Universal Event Tracking (UET): Using your existing UET tag, you can target users who have previously interacted with specific product offerings on your site. This doesn’t require you to make any updates to your UET tag, as long as the unique product ID is present in your URL. We'll know a user has visited a product page by inferring the product ID from the URL.
- UET with additional parameters: You can update your UET tag to pass back additional parameters to give you access to more audience lists, which will allow you to make more granular audience optimisations. With these additional parameters you get access to the following audience lists:
- General visitors
- Product searchers
- Product viewers
- Cart abandoners
- Past buyers
We’re offering more bidding solutions
Video ads* are currently in pilot on the Microsoft Audience Network in US, CA, UK, FR, DE, AU, and NZ. Based on your campaign goals, you can now choose between three different bidding options for video.
||Cost per thousand (CPM)
||Bid per 1000 viewable impressions.
Each viewable impression for a video is defined as “2 seconds of continuous play when video is >=50% in user’s view.”
||Cost per view (CPV)
||Bid on a single view.
Video view is defined as at least 15 seconds of video viewed.
||Cost per click (CPC)
||Bid per click.
Click is defined as a user clicking on the video and landing on the website.
Finally, we're currently running a pilot for automated bidding* across the Microsoft Audience Network! Use Enhanced CPC to help you maximise conversions on audience campaigns while keeping CPCs below stated bids. More automated bidding solutions will be coming soon, so watch this space!
*To get started with Video ads, Dynamic Remarketing, or automated bidding, reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account team or contact our support team.
New customer data platform integrations for Customer Match
Customer Match allows you to target high-value customers using your first-party data. With this feature, use the email addresses your customers have shared with you to reengage with them across the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network.
Last month, we shared the great news that we have expanded Customer Match to new markets. This month, we're excited to share that it is now even easier to get started with Customer Match. If you use a customer data platform (CDP), you can now connect this platform to Microsoft Advertising to import your customer lists. We currently have integrations with Amperity and Adobe Ad Cloud for Search, and more integrations coming soon.
For information on how to connect your CDP to Microsoft Advertising, work with your account team or contact our support team.
Expanding audience targeting new markets
- In-market Audiences available in more markets: With In-market Audiences on Microsoft Advertising, you can find curated lists of users who have been determined to be in the market for a particular purchase category. When these lists are associated to ad groups, you can target and modify bids for these audiences across the search and audience networks. In-market Audiences are simple to set up. They can help you improve targeting and increase conversions.
We have now expanded In-market Audiences in the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions in the following markets:
Latin America: Aruba, Bahamas, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Montserrat, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
Asia Pacific: Bangladesh, Brunei, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka.
Start testing In-market Audiences in these new markets today to find users who have a higher propensity to convert.
- Similar Audiences available in more markets: Similar Audiences on Microsoft Advertising automatically finds you new customers by looking for users similar to those in your remarketing lists. To get started, just associate your remarketing lists to your ad groups. Once there are enough signals to predict similar user behaviour, Microsoft Advertising will generate a similar audience for you. We keep the lists up to date by reevaluating users daily to ensure there's no overlap with the original remarketing list. Similar Audiences help you to reach new prospects who are ready to convert, drive conversions, increase return on investment and of course, save time!
We have expanded Similar Audiences in an open beta to 11 new markets. Those include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Smart Campaigns expanding to new markets
We’ve also continued our expansion of Smart Campaigns in Microsoft Advertising to empower small businesses with their advertising. In addition to building enhancements like custom events, we’re now piloting in new markets of France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Singapore.
For more information about getting started with Smart Campaigns, reach out to our support team and see our help page All about Smart Campaigns.
Reporting experience updates
Great reporting is the heart and soul of great business and marketing decisions. So, we’re delighted to share that we’re improving the Microsoft Advertising online reporting experience for advertisers across the board, with better report access, default and custom report landing pages, and report preview.
First, the updated drop-down menu will help you quickly access all the reports you care about, allowing you to expand to your default and custom reports as well.
Your saved custom reports can be seen in this updated landing page and grid, and you can also quickly filter the grid to quickly access the reports you care about. Finally, you’ll be able to view your data and change its scope as soon as you click on a reporting with the new report preview.
Final reminder: Last month to migrate to Responsive Search Ads!
With the migration from Expanded Text Ads to Responsive Search Ads (RSA) happening this month, we recommend focusing these new few weeks on making sure you have at least one RSA in all of your ad groups. When using similar assets, we see advertisers who switched from Expanded Text Ads to RSA see an average of 7% conversion rate (CVR) improvement at a similar cost per click (CPC).
Starting 29 August 2022, RSA will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns. Existing Expanded Text Ads will still serve, but you won’t be able to edit or add them.
Also, great news to share that ad customizers are now generally available for RSA. You can now insert dynamic custom attributes such as text, number, price, and percent to maximise performance of your RSAs. We recommend taking advantage of this release since you'll no longer be able to create new or edit existing ad customizers and business data for Expanded Text Ads. Your scheduled feeds and existing Expanded Text Ads that use these ad customizers will continue to serve with performance reporting after this date.
Read our recent blog post for this full announcement, API documentation, and updated help page.
That’s all for August—We’ll see you back here on 6 September with another recap. We hope you all enjoy your summer—take care, everyone!
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