What Are Audience Ads/Audience Network and What is Microsoft Changing?

Current Audience Ads Tactic: Allows advertiser ads to appear across partnering sites as well as on premium sites like MSN, Outlook.com etc. This has been Microsoft’s version of the Google Display Network.

There is a setting to input a manual bid modifier to increase or decrease max bids for this traffic vs traditional Search. Also, can opt out of serving on these placements with a -100%. Campaigns do not use multi-channel automated optimizing.

Future of Audience Ads Tactic: Starting on February 21, 2023, the manual lever will no longer be available to advertisers and all campaigns will serve some portion on the Audience Network.

To replace the manual lever, now advertisers will choose an automated bidding strategy in which the algorithm will optimize across channels as a holistic campaign.

The option to use eCPC will remain available, however, your ads will serve across the Audience Network as well.

Microsoft Leans into Multi-channel Automation for All Campaigns

  • On February 21st, when all accounts are moved to multi-channel, a portion of Search budgets will serve on the Audience Network.
  • Over the last year, they piloted real-time auction signal optimizing across channels with strong beta results.
  • Results show accounts using multi-channel management have seen 14% higher conversion rates at 21% lower cost per acquisition.
  • tCPAand tROAS are the strategies that they’ve seen the best success utilizing.
  • Adding image extensions has also proven to improve performance.

Acronym Recommendations:

Microsoft has invested greatly and has a lofty goal of doubling its ad revenue. We have seen good results using their automated bidding while most have opted out of Audience Network. We believe they’ve likely made strides in their algorithms and user targeting to warrant an adopt and learn approach.

Test and Learn

If you’re still manually bidding in Microsoft Ads, develop a limited testing plan for shifting to bidding strategies. We recommend utilizing tROAS or tCPAtied to your business objectives. Based on performance in your test, roll-out in phases throughout your account.

Monitor and Analyze

If you set your Audience Network to -100% and will now have a portion of your traffic on the Audience Network, monitor and analyze performance before and after the change. You may need to perform different optimizations or shift budgets accordingly to still drive most efficient performance.

Utilize Exclusions

If you’ve run on the Search Partner traffic, you’re aware you can pull reporting on performance by publisher sites and can exclude any poor performers. The same is true on Audience Network traffic, we recommend using this valuable way to optimize traffic.

Add Image Extensions

We recommend taking advantage of their Image Extensions which will help optimize your traffic and performance.

If you need assistance preparing for this transition, or with any of your digital marketing programs, please contact us today. We’re here to help.

The hero image is not attention-grabbing enough. The color and imagery is a bit dull. Could we have something more dynamic? Either something that reads “digital marketing” or a workplace image with people in a creative meeting?