Microsoft Woos Agencies At Ad Summit, Details Options For Targeting

Microsoft Advertising held its Activate 2022 Asia-Pacific conference online late Wednesday -- an event for the search industry that, like Google's advertising summits, has taken on a similar flair to the television industry's Upfronts and NewFronts. Just not as spectacular.

John Lee, head of evangelism at Microsoft, led a presentation late Wednesday during Microsoft Advertising Activate 2022 Asia-Pacific. The focus turned to creating engaging ads, campaigns with audience targeting, and expanding reach with the Microsoft Audience Network.

Responsive Search Ads (RSAs), which allow marketers to add up to 15 headlines and four descriptions to create more than 40,000 variations of the ad using the Microsoft Advertising AI, helping to achieve higher click-through rates.

Lee suggested launching RSAs alongside expanded text ads. As of August, marketers will no longer have the ability to create expanded text ads and the RSAs will become the default.

Maximize the opportunity for improved performance by taking advantage of all the headlines and descriptions. Implement keyword insertions, countdowns, location insertions, and add customizers, which are in beta.

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) unit is another option. Rather than using keywords, DSAs rely on customized ad experiences based on the content of the website. They match the ads to user queries.

Marketers can use DSAs headlines and descriptions, consider multiple layers for the DSA targets. If there are pages on the website marketers do not want to match to queries, create negative dynamic ad targets to block irrelevant ones.

Lee stepped through some best practices. He said to set initial bids higher than, or equal to those on related broad and phrase match keywords. Review and adjust bids at the dynamic ad target level, and take high converting search queries from DSA campaigns and add them as keywords in regular search campaigns. Look for nonperforming queries and landing pages, and add them as negative exclusions in DSA campaigns and ad groups.

Marketers also can include more information about businesses in ad extensions such as sitelinks, call extensions, location extensions, structured snippet extensions, and more.

Visuals have become just as important to text ads -- with images and multi-image extensions, multi-vertical ads for travel, automotive, credit cards; and shopping ads, he said.

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