About Microsoft Audience Ads

Learn about Microsoft Audience Ads, a way to place custom-designed ads in high-quality web properties.

This feature is currently available in the US, UK, CA, AU, and NZ.

Search ads are now automatically eligible to be transformed into Microsoft Audience Ads.

What are Microsoft Audience Ads?

Microsoft Audience Ads is a native advertising solution optimized for search advertisers. This feature enables advertisers to get additional high-quality traffic from non-search placements. Microsoft Audience Ads experiences, such as ads placed within articles, are engaging for users, integrate naturally into page content, and deliver visually rich ads for advertisers. Microsoft Audience Ads campaigns are easy to set up, maintain, and optimize because they are fully integrated with existing Microsoft Advertising workflows.

Where will my ads appear?

Microsoft Audience Ads appear on the Microsoft Audience Network. These ad placements are cross-device and include premium sites like MSN, Outlook.com, Microsoft Edge, and other partners (with more to come). Clicks on these ads will take users to the landing page you specified when you created your ads.

To take advantage of these placements, your ad will need to have an image. Adding images to your ads can help boost your volume and drive clicks. See below for instructions on how to add images to your campaign.

Who will see my ads?

Microsoft Audience Ads are unique because they’re targeted to users based on our understanding of their interests. We use consumer intent signals, which include search history, browse history, page content, and demographic information. These signals, combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, provide highly relevant content to users and determine which ads to display. Microsoft Audience Ads also conform to your search ads' existing targeting and negative-keyword settings.

How do I create and optimize Microsoft Audience Ads?

Create a new ad with audience ad format preferred expando image
  1. From the Ads tab, click Create ad (or from the main menu on the left, click All campaigns. Then, click Ads & extensions and click create ad).
  2. Select Expanded text ad as the Ad type.
  3. As you set the ad's title, text, and URLs, keep in mind that this will be an audience ad, not a search ad. Audience ads work best with informative text rather than calls to action.
  4. Select the Prefer audience ad format checkbox.
  5. Click Save.
Adjust bids to set your level of participation in Microsoft Audience Ads expando image
  1. From the Campaigns or Ad Groups tab, click on the name of the campaign or ad group you want to adjust (or from the main menu on the left, click All campaigns. Then from the page menu, click Campaigns or Ad groups).
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Under Advanced settings, click Audience ads.
  4. Adjust the bid:
    1. Select Increase by if you want to invest more heavily in Microsoft Audience Ads for this campaign or ad group. You can adjust the bid up to 900% for maximum participation.
    2. Select Decrease by if you want to invest less. To opt out of Microsoft Audience Ads completely, decrease your bid by 100%.
Add Image Extensions expando image

Images play a key role in getting people's attention and driving clicks. You can define the imagery to use in your ads by associating Image Extensions to your campaign or ad group. This is important: If you don't have Image Extensions, our system may automatically use stock images to increase the number of placements for your Microsoft Audience Ad. Stock images are licensed images that are editorially reviewed for quality and relevance and then matched with appropriate ads (to opt out of using stock images, use bid modifiers set to -100% at the campaign or ad group level).

To set up Image Extensions:

  1. From the Campaigns page, click Ad Extensions (or from the main menu on the left, click All campaigns. Then, click Ads & extensions and click create ad).
  2. Select Image Extensions and the campaign or ad group.
  3. Click Create ad extension.
  4. Select an existing image from your saved Image Extension library or upload a new image.

The requirements for adding an image to an extension are:

  • Accepted file types for images: JPEG, PNG, and GIF (without animation)
  • Minimum image dimensions: 760 x 400 pixels
  • Maximum image dimensions: 1900 x 1000 pixels
  • Recommended image dimensions: 1200 x 628 pixels

We recommend that you upload the largest possible image. When you upload the image, it'll automatically be cropped to the four preset aspect ratios for your use. The four aspect ratios and dimensions are:

Aspect ratio Min. dimensions (pixels) Max. dimensions (pixels)
1.2 : 1 300 x 250 1200 x 1000
4 : 3 100 x 75 1333 x 1000
1.5 : 1 300 x 200 1500 x 1000
16 : 9 640 x 360 1778 x 1000

If you don’t like how the smaller images are automatically cropped, you can re-crop them or replace them with other images that are the same size.

For more information on working with Image Extensions, see Image Extensions: Add visual elements

Set up Universal Event Tracking expando image
You can improve Microsoft Advertising's understanding of users' interests by having Universal Event Tracking (UET) tags on your website and setting up remarketing lists. This will allow us to target your ads to people who have previously visited or interacted with your website. For more information on UET tags and remarketing lists, see Remarketing: Target people who have visited your site before
Track Microsoft Audience Ads performance using Reports expando image

You can view performance data for Microsoft Audience Ads in two places:

  • You'll see an Audience ads summary row in the table on the Campaigns, Ad Groups, and Ads tabs.
  • When you run a report, include the Ad distribution column. The possible values under ad distribution are Search, Content, and Native. Native refers to Microsoft Audience Ads. For more information on reports, see Create a report.

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