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Microsoft Announces Store Ads & Other Updates

Microsoft published its newest round of advertising product updates today.

Among the top updates is the launch of Microsoft Store Ads on desktop devices.

The updates to Microsoft’s advertising products include:

  • Microsoft Store Ads
  • In-Market Audience Expansion
  • Responsive Search Ads Update

Let’s dive into each update and how to take advantage of each as a marketer.

Expand Reach With Microsoft Store Ads

If you’re in the app or gaming industry, this update is for you.

This new format will showcase your ad in the Microsoft Store app on Windows 10 and 11 desktop devices.

More specifically, the ads will show in the Apps and Gaming tabs in the store.

Here’s an example of what Microsoft Store ads will look like:

Image credit: Microsoft Ads Blog, January 2023

Some of the benefits of the new Microsoft Store ads include the following:

  • Expanded discovery of your app or game on additional devices
  • Easy campaign setup and management within the Microsoft Ads platform
  • Compatibility with the current UET tag to track behavior

To start with Microsoft Store ads, you’ll need to submit your brand and link store products to your Microsoft Advertising account. Once approved, you can start using this format immediately.

In-Market Audiences Expand Internationally

This next Microsoft Advertising update is for international advertisers.

Just announced, the In-Market audience segments expanded to new markets in the Middle East and Africa.

With the expansion, 71 In-Market audiences are now available in these Middle East and African markets:

Middle East Regions

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen
  • Algeria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Moldova
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Tajikistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Kyrgyzstan

Africa Regions

  • Ethiopia
  • Malawi
  • Tanzania
  • Zimbabwe
  • Lesotho
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Namibia
  • Reunion Island
  • Seychelles
  • Gambia
  • Congo
  • Guinea
  • Madagascar
  • Togo
  • Nigeria

Final Call For Expanded Text Ads

While not a new update, Microsoft reminded marketers that January 31 is the last day to create or edit any Expanded Text Ad.

Starting February 1, the only new search ads that can be created are Responsive Search Ads.

If you have existing Expanded Text Ads in your account, they will continue to serve. However, you won’t be able to create or edit ETAs after the January 31 deadline.

This will be no surprise if you’re running your Microsoft Search campaigns in tandem with Google Search campaigns. Google was the first to officially sunset ETAs on June 30, 2022.

What To Expect From Microsoft Ads In 2023

At the end of their January product update, Microsoft teased a few highlights of what’s to come in the following year.

From the official announcement, it seems that Microsoft will continue to differentiate its ad platform from Google by focusing on the following:

  • Local Search ads
  • Marquee ads
  • Additional vertical ads

If you’re unfamiliar with vertical ads from Microsoft Ads, they officially debuted in September 2021. Currently, vertical ads are available for the following products:

  • Automotive
  • Credit card
  • Cruises
  • Health insurance
  • Professional services
  • Tours and activities

It will be interesting to hear what additional verticals Microsoft prioritizes in 2023.

Stay tuned for Microsoft’s next product updates coming February 7.

Featured Image: monticello/Best SMM Panel

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