Shopping Campaigns are a simple way for you to organize, manage, bid and report on Product Ads. To understand shopping campaigns, first make sure you understand how Product Ads are created from the content of your Microsoft Merchant Center (MMC) catalogs, and include custom images, promotional text, pricing, and seller details.
After reading this Study guide, you will know how to:
- Create a shopping campaign from scratch.
- Claim your store domain using Universal Event Tracking (UET).
- How to use the Google Merchant Center (GMC) Import tool.
- Import your shopping campaign from Google Ads.
- Run your new shopping campaign in parallel with your existing Microsoft Shopping Campaign (MSC).
- Manage MSC in Microsoft Advertising Editor.
Create product ads in a shopping campaign
If you are new to Microsoft Advertising Product Ads or Google shopping campaigns, you'll need to create Microsoft Shopping Campaign (MSC) from scratch. Product Ads, which are created using shopping campaigns, are a great way to give your products more space on the search results page and make your ads more compelling to potential customers. Using Product Ads, you can enhance your ads with real-time, specific product information from your MMC store catalog.
Complete each of the following steps to start using Product Ads.
First, go to the Bing Webmaster Tools URL: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster and verify that you own your URL on the Bing Webmaster Tools website.
Sign in using the same Microsoft account that you use to sign in to Microsoft Advertising. Click Profile and then fill out the About Me, Contact Preference, and Alert Preference sections.
Under My Sites, enter your URL and click Add. Enter your URL info. Complete one of the three options listed and then click Verify. You will see the Dashboard page if your URL is verified.
To create a store, click Tools in the upper right corner. Click Microsoft Merchant Center. Click Create a store. Enter your store information.
Upload catalog/product feed file
To upload your catalog, click Tools in the upper right corner. Click Microsoft Merchant Center. Click the store that you want to update. Click the Catalog Management tab.
If you are creating your first catalog, enter your Catalog name. If you are creating additional catalogs, click Create Catalog and then enter your Catalog name. Submit your feed file.
Your feed file is a text delimited file that has a different product item on each line. You create the text delimited file and then submit it to Microsoft Merchant Center. After you have created and (optionally) tested a corresponding feed file, it can be submitted to the associated catalog. There are three different ways to submit: manually; via FTP; or, automatically download from URL.
Microsoft Merchant Center (MMC) Store Creation via Universal Event Tracking (UET)
If you have Universal Event Tracking (UET) enabled, you can use it to verify and create your store in Microsoft Merchant Center (MMC). If you have UET tags enabled, for Domain validation select Validate domain using UET tag. Once you select validate domain using UET tag, any matched domains will appear in the Destination URL field. Select the domain for your MMC store and continue the store creation process as usual.
Note: Destination URL needs to match root URL for landing product pages in the feed.
It is important to remember that you must have UET tags enabled on your site to use this method of store creation for MMC. To create a MMC store via a UET tag, you must have at least 50 UET events/tags fired within the last 30 days.
For recently added UET tags with at least 50 events fired from the website, it can take up to 48 hours for the domain to appear in MMC. Microsoft Advertising will look up and verify the UET tags are associated with the customer registered. Only if there is a match will the domain(s) appear in MMC.
Microsoft Advertising allows you to switch to the Content API for management of your feeds or to FTP easily. For example, you can use the Content API to get information and status updates on your products and then use that to build product groups. Microsoft Advertising API allows you to update pricing and inventory throughout the day, and the FTP allows you to upload the entire data feed once a day. You can update frequently changing attributes like price and availability within one hour.
You can upload a feed file if the feed file is smaller than 4MB. Get started by clicking the store name and then the Catalog settings tab. Click Create catalog. Enter the Catalog info. Enter the Catalog name, select the Location, and select the Catalog feed file type. You can select from three different feed types: Local product inventory, local product inventory update, and local product feed.
Enter the Feed details. You can opt to automatically download file from URL, upload file using FTP, or manually upload file. Click Save.
Note: Pre-order and out-of-stock offers are accepted in feeds. You can bid on these offers and provide the most updated information about product availability
How do I submit local product feeds?
Once you create your local products feed, you must submit your product information through Microsoft Merchant Center. Click the store name and then the Feed management tab. Click Create feed.
Enter the Feed information. Enter the Feed name, select the Location, and select the Feed type. You can select from three different feed types: Local product inventory, local product inventory update, and local product feed.
Enter the Feed details. You can opt to automatically download file from URL, upload file using FTP, or manually upload file. Click Save.
Learn more about the required and optional attributes of a product feed.
Update the feed file
Your catalog expires after 30 days, which causes the products to stop publishing, so you need to update your feed file regularly. To keep your product information fresh, it is a good practice to upload your catalog daily.
In Microsoft Advertising, click Tools. Click Microsoft Merchant Center. Click the store that you want to update. Click Catalog Management tab. Click the catalog that you want to update.
Click on the Catalog settings tab. Use one of the three methods to submit your feed file. Click Finish.
Bing Shopping supports the use of Google data feeds for Catalog feed files. This way merchants won’t have to redo the work already done for Google’s Product Listing Ads.
Microsoft Merchant Center will auto-detect the encoding format of Google-formatted feed files. The supported encoding types are:
- UTF-16 (little endian and big endian)
- UTF-32 (little endian and big endian)
Microsoft Merchant Center will process Google-formatted files with the following file extensions:
All Google-specified attributes are accepted by Bing. Bing’s requirements for these fields accommodate Google’s requirements (such as min/max lengths) for parity across both merchant centers. However not all Google’s fields are used by Bing. MMC ignores those that are of no use at this time.
Read more about acceptable Google feed file attributes.
Create a Shopping Campaign
From the Campaign page, click Create Campaign, then click Shopping campaign. You will be prompted to add your product extensions and campaign targeting parameters.
Determine how you want to structure your Bing Shopping campaigns based on your product catalogue – remember, you have ONE store.
Use product FILTERS to choose what the campaign will target. (These product targets will apply a bid to those specific filters.)
You can apply typical bid, targeting, advanced settings. For example, you may wish your Summer Sale campaign to only be applied geographically to southern regions having better weather. Or, you may still wish to adjust ad scheduling to show at particular times of day.
In Campaign Settings, you can adjust the Time zone and Location, to specify when and where you want your ads to show or not to show.
Note: Once you set the time zone, you cannot change it, but you can create a new campaign with a different time zone, and then import your current ads and keywords into the new campaign.
Google Merchant Center (GMC) Import
If you already have Product Ads running in Google AdWords, you can save time and effort with the Google Merchant Center (GMC) Import tool and get your ads in front of more customers through Microsoft Advertising.
The GMC Import tool allows you to spend less time maintaining two separate feed files for Google AdWords and Microsoft Advertising, as well as maintain up-to-date product offers by scheduling a regular sync from GMC to MMC.
It’s important to remember that you must create your MMC store prior to using the GMC Import tool. The GMC Import tool will only import approved offers. Pending and disapproved offers in GMC will be skipped, and processing times for new offers take up to 3 days to process and up to 16 hours for existing offers. GMC Import can support 10M offers per market per GMC store.
Google account with a single GMC store
To get started, find the GMC Import tool within Microsoft Advertising under Tools > Microsoft Merchant Center > Your Bing Merchant Store. Click the new Import tab. Sign in to your Google account.
A second window will open, and you must choose the Google account associated with the GMC account you’d like to sign in to.
Select Allow to grant Microsoft Advertising access to manage your product listings and accounts for Google Shopping.
If the user’s Google Merchant Center account has only one store, this store will be selected automatically, and the user will jump to the import options section. To import from GMC, you must first Create new catalog within your MMC account.
To create a new catalog, enter the catalog name and the target country and language.
Select the Microsoft Advertising catalog(s) you would like to import into from GMC.
With GMC, you can Schedule import to import product offers daily, weekly, monthly, or now. You can also select the day of the week, time of day and time zone for the import.
Notification settings allow you to select notifications for none, only on failures or all imports, and Schedule name allows you to name the scheduled import.
Select the Find and replace URL box to include the string to update your Bing product offer tracking URLs.
Confirm the import destination and import source, then click Import to initiate the import process.
The Import summary provides an update on the GMC import progress.
Under the Catalog management tab, you can see all of your product catalogs and the method used to submit them. This view includes all GMC import catalogs, both completed and in progress. This also displays the date the catalog was added and its expiration date.
Here you will see all of your product catalogs within your MMC (no matter how the feed was imported). You'll also see the date the catalog was added and the date it will expire if no feed is uploaded before then.
By selecting a catalog, we'll be able to see its feed summary.
Click into a GMC import catalog file to see the Feed summary. The feed summary will show a summary view of the import - what's been published versus rejected. The feed summary will also show the import schedule as well as any feed file details.
- Catalog information with the number of published, rejected and pending offers.
- Import schedules display the import status of any scheduled catalog imports
- Feed file details including the date uploaded or imported and any rejected offers or warnings.
Learn more about now to import a GMC store from a Google account with has multiple stores.
View scheduled imports & Import now option
Scheduled Imports page displays your import schedules. You can edit the import settings and delete, pause and activate these scheduled imports.
Once a schedule has been set, you can do a one-off import immediately. In the Import tab, go to the Scheduled Imports page, select the catalog(s) to be imported, and click the Import selected catalogs now button.
You can create find and replace URL strings for your scheduled imports on the Import Tab > Schedule Imports. Once the Find and replace URL box is checked, the find and replace URL fields will become visible.
Importing your Google Shopping Campaigns
It is easy to import your existing Google Shopping Campaign. To begin, set up a new Shopping Campaign in your Microsoft Advertising account. If you prefer to use an API to send your feed, access our Content API documentation here.
Use the same feed as you’re using for Google Shopping Campaigns.
Importing your Google Shopping Campaigns into Microsoft Advertising only imports your campaign structure – not your product feed itself, which you upload to the MMC.
Click Import Campaigns, and then click Import from Google AdWords. If you have imported from Google AdWords in the past 90 days, you will see a table that shows you the Date/Time and Google Ads account that was imported.
Click Sign in to Google. Enter your Google AdWords sign-in information, click Sign in.
Select the Google Ads campaigns you want to import, then click Continue. Under Choose Import Options, do the following:
- Choose the appropriate options for What to import, Bids and budgets, Landing page URLs, Tracking templates, Ad extensions, and Microsoft Merchant Center.
- Choose if you want to delete ad groups and campaigns from Microsoft Advertising that you have already deleted from Google Ads under Cleanup. Once you remove these campaigns or ad groups from Microsoft Advertising, any associated ads or keywords will also be deleted. Note: Not everyone has this feature yet. If you don’t, don’t worry. It’s coming soon.
Optional: Under Schedule Imports, click When and then set the schedule you want, which can be Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.
- Click Import or if you want to set a schedule, click Schedule.
- Review the Import summary to see what entities were newly added or updated, or couldn't be imported (skipped).
- If you want to review the details of the campaigns and make changes, click View imported campaigns.
- If you want to sync multiple Google Ads accounts into the same Microsoft Advertising, treat each Ad Words account as a separate import. It is recommended that you wait at least a 2-hour time difference between each import to insure their completion.
about the key items to check after import.
MSC best practices
You can create product groups based on brand, condition, or custom labels. Each ad group within a shopping campaign will be associated with a single product group. This allows you to create highly relevant ads for the items within that ad group. When you define the promotional text for an ad group, all ads within that group will use the same text.
Product groups are used to specify which products from your MMC catalog should be included in a particular ad group.
Learn more about how to use product groups.
Custom labels are fields associated with each product that you can use in any way you want. For example, custom labels can be used to identify each product as a bestseller, seasonal item, special offer or high-margin item. Custom labels can be particularly useful when creating product groups described below.
Campaign priority handles cases where the same Product Ad could be displayed from multiple campaigns, such as from your existing Microsoft Shopping Campaign and your new shopping campaign. The ad from the campaign with the highest priority will take precedence over the same ads from other campaigns, regardless of bids. Generally, you want to ensure your shopping campaign has a higher priority than your Product Ads campaign.
Campaign priority can also be useful if you want to create campaigns around specific events, like sales or promotions, without changing bids across the campaigns.
- Store ID: As you set up your shopping campaign, you will be asked to link your campaign to an existing store. Make sure to link your campaign to the correct store because you will not be able to change the store once you save your campaign. After that, the only way to link to a new store is to delete the campaign and start over.
- Product filters: By default, all products in your Merchant Center Store will be included in the campaign. Use product filters if you want to include only a subset of your products in the campaign.
You can use multiple attributes to narrow your group even further. For example, you can create a product group based on brand and condition.
Learn more about best practices for MSC and Product Ads.
Shopping Campaigns is designed to help you create, import, align, manage, and edit your Product Ads. It’s also meant to showcase retailers’ new, used or refurbished products with an image, price and company name.
One of the most important things to remember when using shopping campaigns and product ads is to use the same strategies you're already familiar with for your other ads. Techniques such as setting appropriate targeting, using negative keywords and regular monitoring are still important. So as you set up your shopping campaigns, don't forget all those best practices you already know.
Thanks for reading this Study guide on Microsoft Shopping Campaigns and product ads. Continue studying or take the Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional exam to become certified.