Today’s digital marketers know the power of remarketing. Facebook Ads, Google’s Display Network, and third-party advertisers like Criteo are top of mind. Marketers should add Microsoft Advertising to their list of networks. Microsoft Advertising offers first-party cookie retargeting on unique ad inventory: the Microsoft Audience Network. For those not familiar, this network can reach hundreds of thousands of potential new customers browsing on sites such as MSN, Microsoft Bing, Microsoft Edge, and other partners. In addition to premium placements, advertisers can leverage multiple Audience targeting methods including customer intent, profile data and location/device targeting to craft unique campaigns that reach the right customers. Take time to learn more about the Microsoft Audience Network — marketers who aren’t running on the Microsoft Audience Network are missing out on a significant portion of their remarketing inventory!
Marketers who aren’t running on the Microsoft Audience Network are missing out on a significant portion of their remarketing inventory!
— Matt Bowen, Logical Position
Set up is simple. The Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag must be installed, and audiences must be built. Conveniently, Microsoft has made a Google Import tool available, allowing users to easily and quickly import their audience parameters from a Google Ads account. From there, it’s easy to create the campaign.
While In-market Audiences and LinkedIn Profile Targeting are available along with other targeting options, remarketing audiences are a great way to get started. These users have already expressed interest in the products and/or services being advertised, since the targeted users have already been to the site. If the remarketing campaigns prove effective, expanding to In-market and LinkedIn Profile Targeting are good next steps.
Once the campaign is built and the remarketing audience is identified, targeted ads must be created. Advertisers can make use of their own content or browse Microsoft’s extensive and free stock image library, powered by Shutterstock, to build Microsoft Audience Network ads. These ads will dynamically optimize to fit multiple ad formats and placements.
Once the ads are done, a budget and bid strategy must be set. Microsoft Audience Network campaigns can be paired with manual bidding, and additional bidding options are coming soon. When using manual bidding, a minimum bid of at least $1.00 is often required to begin receiving meaningful volume.
Once built, enabled, and approved, the Microsoft Audience Network remarketing campaign will retarget users of the site with relevant images across Microsoft’s properties. In addition to brand-safe placements such as MSN, Outlook, and Microsoft Bing, advertisers will harness the power of Microsoft artificial intelligence (AI). This machine learning tool helps you target ads to the right audience at the right time without lifting a finger. Utilizing smart and robust data sets, search activity, LinkedIn professional data, and demographics, Microsoft AI works tirelessly behind the scenes, placing your ads in front of relevant customers.
Microsoft Audience Ads in action
One Logical Position client, Daily Sale, began running Microsoft Audience Network campaigns in August 2020. Since launching, the audience campaigns have generated over 700k impressions — increasing the retailer’s total brand visibility by 20%.
Additionally, in 2020 the campaigns generated incremental revenue on this unique ad inventory at a ROAS of 2.6x.
Across Logical Position’s Microsoft Audience Network implementations, we’ve found that the inventory over-indexes on desktop when compared with Google’s Display targeting.
If you aren’t already trying Microsoft Audience Network campaigns and leveraging smart customer intent signals like remarketing, I would recommend it. These campaigns access unique inventory on your most valuable audiences. As a result, they generate meaningful incremental brand visibility and revenue. If you’re not running Microsoft Audience Network remarketing, speak with your account manager to get started.