Microsoft has just announced an industry first, releasing an integrated marketing campaign solution which runs across a range of competitor channels.
Microsoft, yes, you read that correctly.
Microsoft Ads (for Bing – yes, Microsoft still has a search engine) has announced the all-new and improved Smart Campaigns, which includes something that could give them the edge over Google Ads. The rollout will probably happen over the next few months, although some lucky advertisers might be able to get their hands on the update early.
With the new Microsoft Ads Smart Campaign experience, you can now extend your advertising reach and run ads across a mix of these platforms:
- Microsoft Ads
With Microsoft’s updated AI solution automatically optimising for best performance across the selected placements.
What is Microsoft’s new offering?
The new Smart Campaigns have been marketed as a way for small and medium businesses (SMBs) to do more with less.
“Today, Microsoft Advertising is proud to announce that we’ve launched a newly redesigned Smart Campaigns experience with a new Multi-platform feature in the United States to make online advertising for small businesses easier, smarter, and better at helping you reach more customers across leading advertising and social media platforms.”
Microsoft says that Smart Campaigns will save advertisers time and stress by including:
- An updated support experience
- Ads that are easier to set up with an auto-generate option
- An improved AI to optimise your campaigns
- A “streamlined and guided campaign experience to run ads on Microsoft Advertising and optionally on other advertising platforms”
An exciting feature is its all-in-one capabilities, which gives it an advantage over Google Ads
While Performance Max campaigns let advertisers access all of Google’s properties (such as Gmail, YouTube and Discover), Microsoft Ads Smart Campaign will let advertisers reach the whole Google suite, Facebook, Instagram and Microsoft Ads.
Easier, faster access
Microsoft says it has launched the platform to make life easier, smarter and better for advertisers. Although others might say, “if you can’t beat em, join em”, applauding Microsft for its pragmatism.
One platform to rule them all?
There are some significant benefits to the move.
By using Microsoft, you’ll now be able to generate awareness on some of the biggest social networks in the world and Google/Microsoft AT THE SAME TIME. That could be incredibly useful for marketers. As a bonus, you can also use it to schedule social media posts and respond to messages on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Insta.
“Extend your reach at scale by running ads across any mix of Microsoft Advertising, Google, Facebook, and Instagram—all from one interface within the Microsoft Advertising platform.”
It will also let you reach a much bigger audience than would have been possible via Performance Max. Plus, you can now run A/B tests on Google and Microsoft Ads to see which platform gives you the best value.
And maybe the best thing of all – it will save you time.
It’s a pretty unique proposition. As mentioned, Google only lets advertisers work across Google properties, but this has a much larger footprint.
Microsoft has proudly published the results of a few testimonials, which makes for impressive reading.
“Well Life achieved 10 times growth in site traffic within three months compared to the same months the prior year. It’s phenomenal.”
Microsoft Ads Smart Campaigns was initially launched in 2021 for the US, UK, and Australia markets to select advertisers.
The newly redesigned Smart Campaigns experience with its new Multi-platform feature is currently live in the United States. At this point, Microsoft hasn’t provided a timeline for when it can be expected in other markets.
To get going on Microsoft Ads, users only need to provide the following information:
- Your business name and web address
- Your campaign goal
- Where you’d like to see the ads to appear (physical location)
- What you offer as a business (products and services)
Microsoft is rolling out the experience migration over the coming months, however existing advertisers can be considered for early access to the features.