Microsoft’s Advertising Partner Summit begins today and includes the announcement of multiple new product updates and insights. Here are some of the key announcements:
Video ads in the Microsoft Audience Network. With over $5 billion spent on video ads in 2020, Microsoft is kicking off a pilot for video ads in the US and the UK. Previously you could only bid CPC in the Microsoft Audience Network, but the pilot of video ads will allow both CPC and CPM bidding. Microsoft Advertising has also had variations of video extensions in and out of their Ads Lab program for a while now, but the video extension ads program is launching in several countries for anyone in the pilot. The clickable video image shows with a play button and then opens within the search experience to play.
Facebook import for Microsoft Audience Network. If your audience is active on Facebook and other native channels, this new import feature allows you to pull over campaign structure from Facebook into Microsoft Advertising. You’ll be able to import audience targets where they align with Microsoft sets and bring over creative like images and body copy. This comes after the popularity of Google import to help make campaign setup easy in Microsoft Advertising.
Coupons and price comparisons on Edge browser. A new pilot is launching in the U.S. on desktop of price comparisons and coupons native to the browser. This will present advertisers the opportunity to surface products to buyers looking for specific items online. “If someone is looking for an InstantPot on retailer A and you’re retailer B and you have a better price, you potentially could surface here,” said John Lee, Head of Evangelism at Microsoft Advertising.
Options for small businesses. To help businesses that don’t yet have a website but want to start advertising to Microsoft Bing searchers, the company is launching a pilot in the US called Smart Pages for small businesses. It’s automated WYSIWYG platform to help businesses easily create a site that they can then use to advertise anywhere. Unified Smart for small business also allows one entry point for small business (or anyone) to input basic info and launch omnichannel advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Microsoft Advertising) in a short amount of time.
Private search for Bing API. Since privacy is top of mind for many users and therefore advertisers, Bing is also announcing the launch of Private Search for Bing which allows partners like DuckDuckGo to serve ads and search results to their use without the searcher’s data being transferred. The solution is based on Azure, and ensures that Microsoft won’t receive any PII data in the search exchange.
Other reminders and announcements include the following:
Why we care. While Microsoft may have a smaller market share and audience reach than Google, it’s still working to innovate and keep up in the advertising space. These new product announcements and continued research for product improvement give advertisers and businesses more options to take advantage of the search market that Microsoft Bing does have. Plus as privacy is top of mind for both searchers and advertisers with the news of Google’s FLoC and Apple’s IDFA, it makes sense that Microsoft is ensuring that they’re part of that privacy conversation.