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How Microsoft Audience Ads Work

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How Microsoft Audience Ads Work

The new Microsoft Audience Network, introduced yesterday by Bing, expands ad targeting capabilities from only search results to web and apps to capture the whole consumer journey.

Here’s everything you need to know about how the new Microsoft Audience Ads work.

Powered by the Microsoft Graph

The Microsoft Audience Network is a way to reach customers based on interests and preferences through Bing Ads using AI technology and machine learning to serve native content placements on MSN, Outlook.com, the Edge browser, and select quality partner sites.

More than 200 million people use these Microsoft-owned services daily.

Powered by the Microsoft Graph, the Microsoft Audience Network uses rich customer data sets with machine learning across Microsoft properties taking cues from tens of billions of intent signals such as search activity, web activity, Microsoft demographics, Skype, and LinkedIn professional information.

These activity signals, new data, and machine learning algorithms are all combined to create audiences.

Creating Your Microsoft Audience Ads

The new native ad format is called Microsoft Audience Ads. It was formerly known as Bing Intent Ads.

In the Bing Ads account, this native format can be added to a current search campaign or by creating a Microsoft Audience Ads specific campaign. Adding to a current campaign is available now in the U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia.

As the easiest option, extending a search campaign with Microsoft Audience Ads combines the search and native networks into one campaign.

When targeting both in one campaign, advertisers can manage and optimize with bid modifiers ranging from -100% to +900% at both the ad group and campaign.

The Microsoft Audience Ads can also be launched via specific campaigns, although currently in pilot in the U.S., are being tested by advertisers such as Lending Tree and Home Advisors.

Both types of campaigns use a cost-per-click model.

Targeting Your Microsoft Audience Ads

Bing Ads audience targeting capabilities have been available in search, such as remarketing, custom audiences, and in-market audience segments.

Microsoft Audience Ads targeting is composed of several audience dimensions of which advertisers can choose any or all of the following:

  • Remarketing
  • In-marketing (450 in-market segments)
  • Product audiences
  • Locations
  • Device
  • Demographics
  • Professional profile targeting

As the targets are added or removed, an expected monthly reach tool automatically updates and reflects reach numbers.

Previously unavailable, professional profile targeting is one of the more exciting options leveraging LinkedIn data. LinkedIn has more than 550 millions users with the most popular data segments available for Microsoft Audience Ads:

  1. Industry (predefined)
  2. Company (100,000 companies)
  3. Job function (predefined)

Optimizing Your Microsoft Audience Ads

Microsoft Audience Ads uses the existing ad creative to create a responsive native ad.

Ad copy, images, URLs to create a truly native experience when ad serving.

Advertisers can enter in several variations of headlines and images for Bing Ads to dynamically create and optimize ads. Bing will test all the versions of the ad and determine which is the best performing (the one with the highest click-through rate).

The ranking mechanism for performance is based on user segment performance, except for product audiences, which is more individually product focused.

Bing Ad’s Universal Event Tracking (UET) tracking tags should be in place and enabled on all pages of the website.

More information on the Microsoft Audience Network and Microsoft Audience Ads can be found on the Bing Ads website.

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Lisa Raehsler

SEM Strategy Consultant at Big Click Co.

Lisa Raehsler is a search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) strategist, nationally recognized speaker, and columnist for industry leading publications. ... [Read full bio]

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