Uncover Secrets of the Microsoft Audience Network

As an ad agency or business focused on digital marketing, are you wrestling with the challenge of how to increase traffic while simultaneously increasing profitability? If so, you may have come across Microsoft Advertising as a potential solution but aren’t sure whether to give it a try. In this article, we take an in-depth look at what the Microsoft Audience Network has to offer digital advertisers.



What is the Microsoft Audience Network? 

The Microsoft Audience Network is a native PPC advertising platform connecting businesses with millions of users worldwide. Organic and IAS-verified brand-safe ad placements appear on Microsoft Edge, Outlook.com, and MSN alongside external partners such as LinkedIn and Fox Business. Advertisers across the Microsoft Audience Network enjoy meaningful engagement with customers and other businesses via detailed targeting and natural ad placements. 

Microsoft Audience Ads has an intuitive and multi-layered user backend, enabling advertisers to create advertisements using pictures, video, or feed-based content. The Microsoft Audience Network provides fertile ground for click conversion and general user reach, especially with unique LinkedIn profile targeting possibilities. Using Microsoft Audience Ads results in cheaper CPC and more efficient campaigns, leveraging Microsoft first-party data to supply optimised customer targeting and ad placement. 


How to run Microsoft Audience Ads

Microsoft Audience Ads offers endless user targeting, budgeting, and ad placement possibilities through two main categories: Audience Campaigns and Search Campaigns. Setting these up is straightforward and hassle-free. You can find an overview of what they offer below:  

  • Audience Campaigns: Audience Campaigns use native MSA software to provide dynamic and responsive image-based or feed-based ads on native platforms and brand-safe syndicate partners across the Microsoft Audience Network. Audience Campaigns have extensive budgeting, targeting, reporting, and tracking options; for example, you can use LinkedIn profile targeting and device targeting. Many businesses prefer running Microsoft Audience Ads due to the added control and access to Microsoft’s powerful first-party data processing AI. 

  • Search Campaigns: Microsoft Audience Ads are also available as an extension of the Microsoft search ad network. This is a more straightforward option, although limited options, control, and insights exist. Ads are created automatically and target users based on search history, page content, and online behaviour. Advertisements blend with their environment — for example, text-based ads in Outlook or slideshow-based ads on MSN. 


Formats of Microsoft Audience Ads 

Microsoft Audience Ads come in three main formats. Software ensures ad placements blend naturally with the hosting platform and appear at the optimal time in users’ browsing habits. Advertisements can be: 

  • Static Image: Advertisers using image-based Microsoft Audience Ads must upload an image or choose a stock one in the ad builder. With full aspect ratio compatibility, you can use content from previous or still-running Google Display Network, Yahoo Gemini, and Facebook advertising campaigns. Image-based ads revolve around the image alongside a long headline, short headline, description, business name, and target URL. 

  • Feed-Based: Feed-based Microsoft ads are an efficient and dynamic remarketing tool resulting in highly personalised user engagement. Advertisers must update their UET tag before adjusting parameters to determine which customers will see feed-based advertisements for products they have searched for, added to their cart or viewed over a chosen length of time. 

  • Video-Based: Microsoft recently introduced video-based advertising possibilities on the Audience Network. Videos generate superior customer awareness and emotional connection to your product or business. With Microsoft Audience Ad’s extensive video campaign metrics — including average CPV, total watch time, and more — advertisers can hone in on exactly what’s working and what isn’t to create the most efficient, cost-effective, and engaging ads possible. 


Target your Audience Network 

Advertising on the Microsoft Audience Network offers a glimpse into the future of online marketing. 

Instead of traditional search engine advertising focusing on keywords and search queries, Microsoft’s robust AI data processing capabilities offer advertisers the ability to holistically target users based on online behaviour, consumer habits, search history, and LinkedIn page content. MSAN campaigns can also use a specific device, gender, age, and location targeting. In Microsoft’s words, it means “you can reach people in the right place at the right moment by showing them your ad wherever they are, on whatever device”. 

Detailed user targeting data is pooled from numerous sources and used to optimise cost-per-click, ad relevance, and conversion metrics. The ability to hit all-new LinkedIn dimensions is arguably Microsoft Audience Ads’ biggest USP, as advertisers can target specific companies, industries, and job titles. Consequently, businesses and service providers enjoy higher quality traffic without needing search-specific or keyword-based ad placements.  


Advantages of the Microsoft Audience Network

Microsoft Audience Network advertisers enjoy several advantages over competitors like Google or Facebook. These include: 

Targeting and Audience 🎯

Businesses can achieve increased conversion rates through exceptionally detailed audience targeting on the Microsoft Audience Network. You can go deep using LinkedIn data or consumer habits, ensuring your advertising content will only reach the targeted users. Not only does this optimise the cost-per-click, but it also guarantees a higher overall purchase rate. Microsoft has recorded a 4.4x increase in brand purchases per user since launching its Audience Network.  

Larger Reach 🌍

Microsoft Audience Ads have a much wider reach due to the countless parameters fed into the powerful data-analysing platform. Users are targeted based on a holistic understanding of their character and behaviour, amplifying the number of potential targets past what businesses can achieve via more conventional methods. Moreover, Microsoft’s native platforms have tremendous amounts of user traffic, further increasing advertisement reach. For example, Xbox has 63 million monthly unique users, while MSN has almost half a billion.    

Good CPC Price 📉

Not only does Microsoft Audience Ads give advertisers complex, detailed, and dynamic online marketing tools, but it does so at a lower price. It is roughly 30-50% cheaper per click than Google, offering far better value for money. Microsoft Audience Ads average a £1.12 CPC, which is generally lower than most Facebook advertising campaigns. 

Business-Specific Metrics ✅

The Microsoft Audience Network also excels with detailed and customisable insights. Companies have access to several business-specific metrics that can help you track data relating to brand awareness, lead generation, conversion, customer loyalty, sales, engagement, and more. As a result, you can optimise advertising to suit your campaign goal by analysing pre-existing advertisements and your target audience’s behaviour. Microsoft Audience Ad’s close integration with LinkedIn also enables advertisers to target specific businesses, job titles, or industries with unprecedented detail.   


Why you should try Microsoft Audience Network

The Microsoft Audience Network offers advertisers a comprehensive set of advertising tools designed to optimise conversion and user targeting by leveraging Microsoft first-party data. Its dynamic approach to organic ad placements on IAS-certified platforms is fuelled by powerful AI that works: at £1.12 CPC on average, Microsoft Audience Ads are more efficient than competitors. 

High-quality ad placements are made possible by tight platform integration and an unbelievably in-depth understanding of user habits, behaviours, interests, and impulses. Businesses can define a narrow Audience Network with ideal users, achieving maximum conversion rates at the lowest possible price. The hidden power of Bing and Microsoft advertising is clear to see. 

Aside from this, Microsoft Audience Ads is also notable for its unique LinkedIn data targeting. Advertisers can dial in on specific industries, companies, and job titles, providing an extraordinarily specific audience. It’s perfect for businesses looking to hit particular niches within B2B contexts.  

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.