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Smart shopping campaigns and November product updates

November 02, 2021

Welcome back to another monthly product roundup. There have been a number of exciting product announcements recently, including Smart Pages, Microsoft Clarity insights, as well as enhancements to our partnership with Shopify. Now we’re sharing more updates for October.

This month’s top story: Smart shopping campaigns and inline appeals in wide release.

With market uncertainties and increased competition, creating engaging online shopping experiences that can be scaled and optimized is crucial, especially for small business owners. To help, we’re releasing smart shopping campaigns to all markets where shopping campaigns are available on Monday.

What are smart shopping campaigns? They’re a combination of traditional shopping campaigns, automated bidding, Universal Event Tracking (UET), and remarketing. Enabling these automation tools for smart shopping helps serve ads to the right user at the right time – boosting conversion rates and reducing costs.

Side-by-side comparison of smart shopping and standard shopping page layouts.

Learn how to set up your first smart shopping campaign and other tips for success:

  • Start with a broad ROAS target. Setting a narrow ROAS target will reduce the volume available for a Smart Shopping campaign. With a broader range, there will be more data the algorithm can learn from to increase performance.
  • Ensure enough budget for learning. Campaigns that run continuously and aren’t paused by budget caps perform best. Leave space in your budget to allow the algorithm and machine learning to work to its potential, so you don’t miss opportunities to increase revenue.
  • Upload a detailed product feed. The more information you provide in your product feed, the more relevant matches will be. Go beyond required columns and include optional information to help our system better understand your products.
  • Combine products into as few campaigns as possible. Combining products into one campaign avoids fragmentation and aids with faster learning.

Get help understanding editorial rejections with access to inline appeals in the Microsoft Merchant Center interface. Receive an overview, plus request a manual review of respective policy rejections with a single click. Once an appeal is submitted, we’ll email an acknowledgement with most reviews completed in 1-3 business days.

Sample of a product violation policy page.

Get a quick summary of the top five policies leading to the maximum rejection for your store, along with links to review polices and see samples of rejected offers.

New ways to increase your brand reach with the Microsoft Audience Network

This is a crucial time to expand your brand reach. Here are some of the easiest areas for improvement:

  • Expanded targeting: The Microsoft Audience Network is expanding its footprint to 18 new markets, available to all customers in mid-November. Tap into our audience-powered native network with a standalone campaign or extend your existing search campaigns.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Mille (CPM) pricing: Choose the right pricing model for each campaign. Test a new campaign with CPM pricing as a strategy to increase your brand awareness. CPM pricing is currently in pilot – contact our support team or your account representative to get started.
  • Video ad and import capabilities: We are continuing to improve our import features on the Microsoft Audience Network.
Sample of the pause audience ad groups feature.
  • All advertisers will now see a selection in the Google Import workflow to pause audience ad groups that don’t come over with supported audience targeting.
  • Facebook Import is now able to bring over your video ads. Contact our support team or your account representative to join the video ads pilot.

Automated Universal Event Tracking (UET) setup with Google Tag Manager

Future-proof your campaigns with the power of UET across your website with our new automated integration with Google Tag Manager. Sign into Google, select the Google Tag Manager account and container via Microsoft Advertising online. Then enable the permissions to update your setup accordingly (similar our Google Import feature). We’ll be able to set up the UET tag with additional parameters by copying the setup used by your existing Google tags (e.g., including Product ID and Page Type for Dynamic Remarketing in your Universal Analytics tag).

Sign up to join the pilot starting this month or reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account team.

Sample of Connect your Google Tag Manager account page.

Seasonality adjustments for automated bidding

If you have a particular seasonal event, promotion, or other variation for your business, you can join the pilot to help inform our algorithms with more signals of expected performance changes. This pilot is globally available for search, shopping, and Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) campaign types (not Microsoft Audience Ads) and supports Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) bid strategies. To get started, contact our support team or your account representative.

Dynamic Search Ads expand to Latin America and Asia-Pacific this month

Dynamic Search Ads will be available in Latin America and Asia-Pacific markets later this month. Ninety percent of DSA impressions are from queries that were only found by DSA. Tap into the opportunity to increase your query coverage with ads that match the unique ways your users search. With static headlines available specifically for Microsoft Advertising, you can retain full creative control while reaching more users.

Sample DSA page feed.

DSA page feeds include a column of URLs within your domain, grouped by custom labels (optional), and ad title for individual URLs to leverage static headlines.

In-market Audiences updates

In-market Audiences are fully available in the European Union and Southeast Asia, with Latin America in open beta. As the holiday season approaches, explore special seasonal in-market audience segments for Black Friday and Christmas. For details and a list of segments check out In-market Audiences: Reach people who are ready to buy.

That’s all for this month. Have a good week – and for those observing Daylight Savings Time, remember to turn your clocks back this weekend.

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  • Kevin Salat


    Kevin Salat

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