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Upgrading to Enhanced CPC on the Microsoft Audience Network

Two men in an office space talk to each other in front of a laptop.

We recently announced that we would transition all Audience Ads using Manual CPC to Enhanced CPC. These migration efforts will be postponed and a new date for the migration will be announced in the future.

Digital marketing as we know it is going through a rapid period of change, driven mostly by advancements in technologies. Automation has become an essential tool for digital marketers as it helps to streamline processes, find new target audiences, and even generate more conversions.

With all these shifts, one thing is clear—automation works best when combined with a strategic human lens. As a performance marketer, you lead the way, stay in control, and automation helps you achieve your desired outcomes.

To help you leverage the power of automation, on April 24th, manual bidding will no longer be available for new campaigns on the Microsoft Audience Network. Starting on April 24th, all existing image and feed campaigns on a manual cost per click (CPC) bid strategy will upgrade to Enhanced CPC (eCPC). This upgrade will be completed by April 28th.

Enhanced CPC has been proven to elevate your performance

Advertisers using Enhanced CPC on the Microsoft Audience Network achieved
an 18% reduction in cost per acquisition (CPA) and a 7.5% reduction in CPC


Benefits of Enhanced CPC

  • With Enhanced CPC, you set your ad group bids, and Microsoft Advertising automatically adjusts your bids in real time to increase your chances for a conversion. Your bid will go higher on auctions that are more likely to convert and lower on auctions less likely to convert.
  • The base bids you continue to set will always be honored as the primary lever by the bidding strategy. Those bids will be optimized at the time of the auction to maximize performance and drive towards more conversions, allowing you to stay on top of the dynamic marketplace.
  • When using eCPC, your average CPC won’t exceed the base bid that you set.
  • eCPC uses many different auction signals to help drive the best results, including search queries, bid modifiers, location, device, ad copy, and many more. All these combined signals help drive informed decisions for better advertiser performance.
  • eCPC works in combination with any technology providers that you use to manage campaigns. eCPC will always use the bids set by your bid management tool as a starting point before applying any adjustment.

View of key auction signals for automated bidding.

Timeline for upgrading to eCPC

The transition from manual bidding to eCPC starts on April 24th. Any new campaigns created on the Microsoft Audience Network will no longer see the option for manual bidding. On April 24th, we’ll start upgrading all existing campaigns on the Microsoft Audience Network to eCPC. This transition will be completed by April 28th and throughout this week, any campaigns using manual CPC will move to eCPC.

This change only affects image and feed campaigns on manual CPC, it doesn’t impact video campaigns using manual CPC or campaigns using manual cost per view (CPV) or cost per mille (CPM) bid strategies. The migration is for standalone audience campaigns (image and feed ads).

This doesn’t impact search campaigns extended to the Microsoft Audience Network that already leverage eCPC and our full suite of automated bidding solutions.

Getting prepared

There’s no action required from you to prepare for this change. However, there are some areas that you can optimize to ensure you’re set up for success:

  • Conversion tracking: For best results, we strongly recommend using eCPC in conjunction with conversion tracking. Validate that you have your Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag on all pages of the site and that you have set up your conversion goals. Although this isn’t a requirement for eCPC, it can help improve performance by providing more signals.
  • Offline conversions: If you rely on offline conversions, it’s recommended to upload your offline conversion data daily. This can be done easily by using a scheduled recurring import.
  • Attribution model: Consider changing your conversion goal attribution to “last touch”. This will allow you to optimize automated bidding based on both click-based and view-through conversions (conversions as a result of ad impressions). When users see native ads, they don’t always click right away, but viewing this ad plays an important role in influencing their behavior and their path to conversion.

Last touch conversion attribution model settings.

As we strive to empower you with new automation tools, we’re committed to investing more in our automated bidding solutions on the Microsoft Audience Network. In the coming months, we’ll be releasing additional automated bidding strategies, such as Target CPA and Maximize Conversions. Work with your Microsoft Advertising account team or our support team to start testing these bid strategies when they become available.

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