In recent years, limitations on data tracking have impacted how digital advertisers manage and optimize programs. Whether it’s governmental regulations on consumer data privacy, private company changes (such as Apple’s iOS14 mobile tracking limits), or even just data deprecation such as consumers blocking ads and clearing cookies, marketers have begun changing their practices to keep their campaigns successful.
One of the tactics that search engine marketers have deeply embraced is the automated bidding options offered to them by search publishers.
Automated bidding strategies “use machine learning and analysis of a broad range of signals at the auction level to select the bid that is most likely to achieve your desired volume of conversions or conversion value.” The publishers have tons of data on their users that can be leveraged via automated bidding for better targeting and more efficient advertising.
So far, search marketers seem to be adopting automated bidding at a high rate—which indicates that it’s working. Because of that, search publishers—such as Microsoft Search Advertising—are innovating to enhance these tools to offer even more options for advertisers.
Stay Visible with Microsoft Advertising’s Target Impression Share
While in many cases, search marketers are highly concerned about bidding to a conversion metric (i.e., sales, orders, revenue, leads, etc.), there are instances where the goal of a search campaign might simply be visibility.
For example, if a company is launching a new product, simply dominating the SERP (search engine results page) for a brief period can help drive initial awareness of the item. Another use case might be a movie studio that just wants to make sure they get as many eyeballs on its new movie coming out that week.
For these types of goals, there’s no direct conversion metric to optimize towards. Awareness is the key. But, how can a system be set up to optimize for awareness when there’s no natural metric.
That’s where Target Impression Share comes in.
In a recent blog post, Kevin Salat, a Microsoft Advertising Product Marketing Manager, announced the addition of Target Impression Share as a new automated bidding strategy that can be a compelling way to drive attention. This strategy leverages Microsoft Advertising’s artificial intelligence to automatically set bids at auction time to show your ad on absolute top of the page, top of the page, or anywhere on the page.
“A new addition to our suite of automated bidding strategies is the exciting new Target Impression Share strategy, now available in Microsoft Advertising online and Editor,” explains Salat. “With this strategy, you set your budget, where you want your ads to appear, and your Target Impression Share and Microsoft Advertising automatically sets your bids.”
He shared a few images from the system, including this selector for where you want the Target Impression Share automated bidding to focus its efforts.
Salat further offers these examples of the kinds of campaigns that would benefit from the Target Impression Share automated bidding option:
- “Visibility and awareness — Help your brand get premium visibility both during sustained periods and/or promotion periods.
- Competitive advantage — Stay on top of the competition by maximizing your impression share.
- More volume — By optimizing your ad placement, you increase your likelihood for more click and conversion volume.”
Skai supports the new Microsoft Advertising Target Impression Share. Now you can manage campaigns that use this bidding strategy in Skai to create, edit, analyze your efforts all in one place. This saves you time and gives you a more holistic view of all your advertising activities to better understand what’s going so you can take the right steps to improve.
Portfolio Bidding for Even More Bidding Efficiency
While it’s certainly possible that a search marketer could put all of their keywords into a single campaign, it’s just not the best practice. Many search accounts can have hundreds or even thousands of search campaigns. This can be a bit overwhelming to manage, which is why automated bidding is becoming more adopted, as it helps to ease the complexity of managing a large account.
But, sometimes, it makes sense to group campaigns that are driving the same objective into a single “master campaign” to make the management process even easier—and that’s where portfolios come into play. At the end of the day, the goal of search marketing isn’t to optimize each campaign but rather to maximize the return on the entire search investment. Why have a bunch of campaigns in your account that are individually optimized, when they might be better managed as a single entity to allow the very best keywords and ads to appear?
While portfolios have been a feature in Skai’s search platform for years, Microsoft Advertising now offers an automated bidding option that uses the myriad signals it has to improve auction-time bidding.
Portfolio bid strategy manages bidding across multiple campaigns working toward the same goal. Microsoft Portfolios allow you to define a goal for a group of campaigns, rather than having to manage them one by one.
According to Microsoft Advertising, “We automatically adjust your bids to balance under- and over-performing campaigns that share the same strategy, whether to maximize conversions, clicks, target impression share, or other performance goals. Portfolio bid strategies could be a great option for advertisers who want to make sure their entire budgets are spent efficiently.”
Having Microsoft Portfolios in Skai gives you two key benefits on top of what you get natively:
- Skai allows you to set an additional budget goal on top of your KPI goal (which could be tROAS or tCPA), giving you more control
- Skai gives you the ability to manage multiple campaigns at once, and you’re able to manage a goal that’s cross-portfolio
Microsoft Advertising + Skai for maximum performance
For the last 15 years, Skai Search has been a platform leader offering best-in-class automation, workflow efficiencies, and bid optimization. In the next era of search engine marketing, we believe that the competitive edge search marketers need will be centered on intelligence to fuel insight-driven decision-making for performance gains.
Contact us today to schedule a brief demo to learn more about how Skai Search can enhance your Microsoft Automated Bidding performance using Budget Navigator.