Microsoft is upgrading native campaigns to enhanced CPC


The Microsoft Advertising Platform is upgrading all existing image and feed campaigns on a manual cost-per-click (CPC) bid strategy to enhanced CPC from May 13. This upgrade process is expected to take a few days but should be finalized by May 17, 2024.

Additionally, all manual CPC bidding for newly created native campaigns will be phased out from April 30.

What is enhanced CPC? Enhanced cost per click is a bid strategy where you set your ad group and keyword bids, and Microsoft Advertising automatically adjusts your bids in real time to increase your chances for a conversion.

What is manual CPC? With the Manual CPC bid strategy, Microsoft Advertising uses the bids you have manually set every single time.

Enhanced CPC benefits. Microsoft asserts that enhanced CPC offers several advantages compared to manual CPC, such as:

  • Automatically adjusting your bids in real time based on conversion likelihood; increasing bids for high-converting auctions and decreasing them for low-converting ones.
  • Always respecting the base bid you set as the primary lever by the bidding strategy. These bids are optimized at auction time to enhance performance and drive more conversions, helping you remain competitive in the dynamic marketplace.
  • Ensuring the base bid you set is never exceeded.
  • Leveraging combined signals like search queries and bid modifiers for informed decisions to enhance advertiser performance.
  • Always starting with the bids set by your bid management tool before making any adjustments.

Why we care. To maximize the success of your campaign after it’s migrated to enhanced CPC, there are several steps you can take to optimize it. However, if enhanced CPC doesn’t align with your goals, there are alternative options available.

Who’s affected? This change only affects native image and feed campaigns using manual CPC bidding. It doesn’t impact other campaign types like manual CPM, Connected TV ads or search campaigns extended to audience placements, which already use automated bidding solutions.

Enhanced CPC alternatives. If enhanced CPC doesn’t fit your goals, you can opt to switch your native campaigns to maximize conversions. With this bid strategy, you can set your target CPA, allowing you to increase conversions while still controlling the CPA goal you aim to achieve.

Next steps. No action is needed from you to prepare for this change. However, you can optimize certain areas to ensure you’re set up for success.

  • Conversion Tracking: For optimal results, Microsoft strongly recommends using enhanced CPC alongside conversion tracking. Ensure your UET tag is placed on all pages of your site and set up your conversion goals. While not mandatory for enhanced CPC, this setup can enhance performance by providing additional signals.
  • Offline conversions: If you depend on offline conversions, it’s advisable to upload your offline conversion data daily. You can easily do this by setting up a scheduled recurring import.
  • Attribution model: Consider changing your conversion goal attribution to “last touch.” This allows you to optimize automated bidding for both click-based and view-through conversions, which are conversions resulting from ad impressions.
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What Microsoft is saying. Microsoft said in a statement:

  • “By following these steps, you can make sure that your campaigns are ready to succeed, deliver the best results and meet your marketing objectives. If you want to stay ahead of the game, you don’t need to wait for your campaigns to switch to enhanced CPC—begin using automated bidding strategies today to help you reach your goals and improve your campaign performance.”

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Deep dive. Read Microsoft’s announcement in full for more information.

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