Last month at Microsoft Advertising Elevate, Microsoft teased a soon-to-be-released hub that would enable advertisers to set up multi-channel campaigns, including the ability to launch and manage paid social campaigns. The hub would also allow advertisers to manage organic social.
Today, Microsoft Ads has announced the pilot launch of this functionality, which they are calling Unified Campaigns.
How Will Unified Campaigns Work?
Advertisers plug in their website URL and Microsoft Advertising will help set up the campaign by identifying targeting options and relevant ad content.
Keyword suggestions will be provided and advertisers can edit keyword themes for search. Microsoft will identify targeting for social, based on topics and targets relevant to the site. Advertisers will also have the opportunity to update their geotargeting and budgets.
Based on the inputs, Microsoft will share estimated performance metrics.
Last but not least, Microsoft will automatically propose ads and advertisers will have the opportunity to review and edit the ads or create their own.
How Does Budgeting Work?
It’s important to know that all channels will be considered to be part of the same campaign, so there will be one budget for the campaign and Microsoft will manage the budget across channels.
Where Can Advertisers Run Ads?
Advertisers will now be able to launch campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google.
Wait, You Can Run Google Ads from Microsoft?
Yes, with Unified Campaigns, advertisers will have the option to opt into Google search ads. Advertisers *must* opt into Microsoft Ads Search Network and cannot run ads on Google alone.
What Reporting is Available?
Advertisers can report on performance in order to continue to make informed decisions. Reporting breakdowns appear to be limited compared to a typical search campaign and appears to be more akin to what advertisers using smart campaigns might be used to.
Advertisers will be able to see how many people saw the ads, clicked on them, made a purchase or made a phone call.
With action tracking, advertisers also get access to metrics like the amount of time your customers spend on site, and the number of pages they visit after they click on ads.
Advertisers can also see the top keyword phrases for Bing and Google as well as the top ad units.
How Much Control Do Advertisers Have?
Microsoft notes that their artificial intelligence (AI) technology will manage “keywords, bid management, text ads automation, and budget management across platforms to maximize your ad performance.”
Advertisers will have the ability to pause keyword phrases and ads but the majority of the campaigns will be automated.
Organic Social Media Management
Unified campaigns also include organic social media management. Users can manage their organic social posts through on platform. Posts can be published, saved as drafts, or scheduled across individual platforms or multiple platforms at once. Incoming messages from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all in one place.
The reports page is intended to provide a view of analytics across multiple social media platforms in one single dashboard.
What is the Platform Cost?
Advertisers will only pay for their ad spend, there is no fee or commission to use the platform.
How to Set Up a Multi-Channel Campaign
Step one: Plug in your website URL.
Step Two: Review the business information, suggested keyword themes, your suggested daily budget, and your geotargets.
Step Three: Relevant text ads will be created and advertisers have the opportunity to edit them as needed. By default, text ads will be shown in Microsoft Search Network (Bing, Yahoo, and AOL) but advertisers also have the option to opt into Google Ads with a toggle on the text ads creation screen.
Step Four: Microsoft Advertising will suggest relevant image ads to run on social and advertisers also have the opportunity to upload their own images or videos.
Step Five: Review reports and optimize accordingly.
If you’re interested in participating in this pilot, you can fill out this short, online questionnaire to request early access.