Microsoft announces Automotive Ads, Audience Network expansion, and 7 other updates

The new updates were announced today on Microsoft's blog and will be rolled out over the coming weeks across the USA and other markets.

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Microsoft has just announced nine (9!) new updates on their blog. The updates include new Automotive Ads, vertical-based ads, and more. Let’s dive in. 

Automotive Ads

The new Automotive Ads are specific ad formats that are unique to the auto industry. The new ad format will display a photo of the vehicle for sale, the year, make, and model, condition, dealer website, price, and a short description. After a North American and Europe test, the ads will be rolled out to advertisers in the Asia Pacific and Latin American markets in the coming weeks.

Learn more about Automotive Ads and how to set them up here


Vertical-based ads

Vertical ads are created from dynamic feeds and appear in different formats depending on what the user is searching for. The ads use intent data and the user needs to create the ad. Microsoft AI uses the data feed to source the necessary information to display in the ad. Microsoft claims that the new ad format will minimize the time and resources required to set up and manage campaigns. 

Learn more about Automotive Ads and how to set them up here


Audience network updates

Market expansions 

The Microsoft Audience Network connects advertisers to MSN, Outlook, Microsoft Edge, and other publisher partners. Now Microsoft is expanding to 64 markets, with more coming later this year.  


New ad formats

Dynamic Remarketing will be expanded to verticals outside of just retail. You can now use Dynamic remarketing for travel, auto, and event ads. When the dynamic feed is set up, advertisers will have two options to set up Dynamic remarketing. 

  1. Standard Universal Event Tracking (UET). Using the UET tag, you can send ads to users who have been on your website. The tag will not need to be updated if the product ID is presented. Microsoft will know if a visitor has been to the website if the product ID shows in the URL
  2. UET with additional parameters. Updating your UET tag to pass back additional parameters will give advertisers access to more audiences. With those parameters, you can access:
  • ​General visitors
  • Product searchers
  • Product viewers
  • Cart abandoners
  • Past buyers

Additional bidding solutions

For video ads, there are now three different bidding options. 

Screen Shot 2022 08 02 At 10.07.13 AM

Additionally, a pilot for automated bidding has just been launched. You can use Enhanced CPC to help maximize conversions on audience campaigns. Microsoft says that more automated bidding solutions will be released soon. 

Customer data platform integrations for Customer Match

Last month Microsoft announced that they were expanding Customer Match to new markets. Today they announced that if you use a Customer Data Platform you can connect it to Microsoft Advertising to import your customer lists. Current integrations include Ampertiy and Adobe Ad Cloud for Search. More integrations will be available soon. 

Expanding audience targeting new markets

In-market Audiences are now available in:

Latin America: Aruba, Bahamas, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Montserrat, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

Asia Pacific: Bangladesh, Brunei, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka.

Similar Audiences are now available in more markets

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey.

Smart Campaigns are expanding to new markets

Microsoft is now piloting new markets in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Reporting experience updates

There is a new drop-down menu that will help advertisers access all reports. Those reports can be found on the updated landing page grid. You can also filter the grid to quickly access the reports you need. 


RSA reminder!

Microsoft also added a reminder that August is the last month to migrate your Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) to Responsive Search Ads. Starting on August 29, RSAs will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns. Existing Expanded Text Ads will still serve, but you won’t be able to edit or add them.

You can read the entire announcement from Microsoft, with all of the updates here

Why we care. Microsoft continues to release numerous updates and products, which is giving Google a run for its money. Microsoft and their partner networks reach about 724 million users each month and these new features could be good news for advertisers looking for Google alternatives, or to expand their impression share.

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About the author

Nicole Farley
Nicole Farley is the founder of Web Sprout, an inbound marketing agency. She formerly was PPC Editor for Search Engine Land (from 2022-2023), covering paid search, paid social, Google Analytics and more. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.

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