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Microsoft Advertising updates include Smart Shopping campaigns rollout and GTM integration

Each month Microsoft Advertising releases its products updates and new releases to help search marketers take advantage of the Microsoft Advertising Network. This month’s new updates include Smart Shopping rollouts for everyone who has access to shopping, new Video Ad options, and insights into why ads are rejected.

Smart Shopping campaign rollout. “In this time of market uncertainties and competition, creating engaging online shopping experiences that can be effectively scaled and optimized is of utmost importance, especially for small business owners,” said Kevin Salat in an announcement today. Smart Shopping campaigns allow advertisers to use Microsoft’s automation tools to optimize their shopping campaigns to target customers who are more likely to convert at higher revenue values. These campaigns are “a combination of traditional shopping campaigns, automated bidding, Universal Event Tracking (UET) and remarketing. With these powerful automation tools enabled for Smart Shopping, you can help serve the right ad to the right user at the right time to boost conversion rates and reduce your costs,” said Salat.

Automated Universal Event Tracking (UET) setup with Google Tag Manager. This month’s announcement includes an automated integration with Google Tag Manager. To take advantage of this feature, users will need to sign into Google and select the Tag Manager account and container via Microsoft Online. This updates your permissions and Microsoft Advertising can “set up the UET tag with additional parameters by copying the setup used by your existing Google tags (for example, if you already include Product ID and Page Type for Dynamic Remarketing in your Universal Analytics tag).”

Inline Appeals give visibility into Merchant Center rejections. “With the Inline Appeal offering in the Microsoft Merchant Center interface, you’ll get visibility into any editorial rejections of offers for the respective policy violations in the Store, providing you with a very organized summary overview of key policy violations driving major rejections,” Salat said in the announcement. This new feature also means you can appeal or request a review for any rejections directly from the Merchant Center interface. Advertisers no longer have to email Ad Support directly and wait for email responses.

Source: Microsoft Advertising

Other big additions:

  • Expanded targeting. The Microsoft Audience Network is expanding its footprint to 18 new markets, available to all customers in mid-November.
  • CPC and CPM pricing. On the Microsoft Audience Network, you can now choose between CPC or CPM Pricing, so you can select the right pricing model for each campaign.
  • New Pilot: Seasonality adjustments for automated bidding. “If you have a particular seasonal event, promotion, or other variation for your business, you can help inform our algorithms with more signals of expected performance changes (conversion rate variance, e.g.) and help you maximize performance around critical times for your business,” wrote Salat.
  • Dynamic Search Ads expanding to Latin America and Asia-Pacific. These ad types will be available in Latin America and Asia-Pacific markets in late November.

Why we care. Many of these changes are coming right in time for the holiday shopping season. Microsoft Advertising has said they focus on automating the repetitive tasks of search advertising so that marketers can focus on the creative and strategic endeavors and these features and updates enforce that concept. The idea is to help marketers and especially small businesses save time and money when it comes to advertising. The automation in both setup and execution of campaigns can do that, but, as always, marketers should keep a keen eye on anything automated to ensure it aligns with their campaign goals and metrics.

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