MICROSOFT DIGITAL MARKETING CENTER

Following the announcement, the company’s Digital Marketing Center was back in October. Microsoft is currently opening the platform to greater SMBs, to assist them in managing their campaigns.

Microsoft’s Digital Marketing Center is transforming into a beta stage and is currently accepting applications for SMBs to get take part in the experiment. Formerly revealed in previous fall, Digital Marketing Center represents a platform designed to assist small and medium-sized enterprises that oversee organic social media, paid search and social campaigns within Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter.

This platform is derived from the Microsoft’s experimental project lab, Microsoft Garage, and it simplifies campaign setup and management using AI. All advertisers need to do is set their objectives, location targeting, budgets, and run their campaigns. They may also choose to create their own ads, make use of automated ad copy, and edit automatically generated suggestions.

Moreover, budgets are also automatically optimized across all the channels as well as platforms that are being used in a campaign.

But that’s not all. Digital Marketing Center may also be used for organic social management, in which users can create, schedule, and publish posts on the platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. From inside the Social dashboard, users will be able to enter up to 10 profiles which will be used, and then from the Social “Inbox” they will be able to reply, like posts, and direct message people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

SMBs can also obtain data from the reporting section containing impressions, engagements, and audience growth across all channels.

Microsoft’s Digital Marketing Center is available for free to use (currently).

The Digital Marketing Center offers users with numerous key features. First, they will have the ability to create campaigns quickly and easily by using goal setting, defining location targets, and determining budgets on daily basis. Users will be able to also draft and automate ad content. The Digital Marketing Center will even optimize your content or create new ads based on customer input. The AI also has the capability to automatically distribute budgets across platforms to assist users in optimizing their ROI. Likewise, users will be able to analyze the report and review key metrics in a centralized location.

The new platform also provides users with several social media tools for managing and features. Draft and schedule the content you want to publish on linked accounts and interact with customers. Like and reply to comments on Facebook and Instagram posts without requiring you to swap between the different tabs. The Digital Marketing Center also offers to provide reports and key metrics based on social media data.

Paid campaigns powered by the Digital Marketing Center will rely heavily on automation.

Advertisers can set their goals, location targeting, and budgets and Microsoft AI will power the keyword targeting, audience targeting, and bidding.

For organic social media, marketers can manage up to ten profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and use the social inbox to reply, like, and send direct messages.

FOCUS ON EFFICIENT BUSINESS GROWTH

One management tool across many channels

Digital Marketing Center provides a central platform to efficiently manage your online presence and marketing across paid search advertising, paid social advertising, and organic social media management.

Powered by AI

Set your advertising goals, targeting, and budget, create a few ads, and let AI help with the rest. No keywords or bid management needed.

Unified analytics

Unified dashboard to view performance of search and social campaign across multiple platforms.

No associated costs

Digital Marketing Center is free to use. Pay only for search and social ads and manage your social presence for free.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Create campaigns quickly

Set advertising goals, define targeting, create ads, and establish a daily budget and easily run your campaigns across multiple channels.

Draft and automate ad content

Write a few ads to start, then watch as Digital Marketing Center creates additional one for you to optimize your campaign performance.

Optimize your returns with AI

Sit back as the AI behind the tool automatically distributes your budget across platforms to help you get the best return on ad performance, no need to monitor yourself.

Analyze reports

Review key metrics like impressions, clicks, and engagements, across multiple ad platforms, all in one place.

Create and publish content

Draft and schedule content to publish on linked Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram business accounts.

Interact with your customers

Like and reply to comments on posts to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram business accounts.

GETTING STARTED ON DIGITAL MARKETING CENTER

To get started on Digital Marketing Center, you will need to sign in with your Microsoft account. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can create one. One thing to note — if you are using a Microsoft account for Microsoft Advertising, you will not be able to use the same one for Digital Marketing Center.

After you sign in with your Microsoft account-

  1. Select if you want to advertise in search (Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads) and social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) or if you just want to manage your social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
  2. Enter your business information. This is important: Your time zone will be based on your business location and cannot be changed once it is set. In addition, only your phone number can be changed after setup.
  3. Select the social networks you want to connect. You can connect to 10 accounts or pages or skip this step for now. Next, select the Facebook Ads account you want to connect to (optional). Note: You can only associate one Facebook Ads account, which will be used for all the ad campaigns created in Digital Marketing Center.
  4. Next is setting up your ad management.

What is your advertising goal? Setting your goal at the very start gives us the content to craft effective ads for you.

  • Visits to my website. Choose this goal if you want to drive more traffic to your website. Add your business website and select up to 10 categories from a set list of categories. If you want to create social ads, select the Facebook page you want to use for this campaign.
  • Phone calls to my business. Choose this goal if you want more calls to your business. Add your business phone number, along with your business website, and select up to 10 categories from a set list of categories. If you want to create social ads, select the Facebook page you want to use for this campaign.
  • Visits to my business location. Choose this goal if you want to get more people to visit your business location. Add your business website and select up to 10 categories from a set list of categories. If you want to create social ads, select the Facebook page you want to use for this campaign.

Note: Only one goal is allowed per campaign, but you can always create more campaigns later.

5. Set your advertising targets. Targets help you focus on the audience that matters most to you. You can target by country, state, city, or zip code. Note: Only locations in the United States are supported.
Other targets, like age, gender, and device, will be optimized for your campaign based on Microsoft artificial intelligence.

6. Now that your advertising goal and targets are set, it is time to create text ads that will be shown in Bing and Google. You can create up to 50 text, image, and video ads per campaign.

Text ads. Enter your ad titles, destination URL, and descriptions. As you enter the details, you can see how your ad may appear.

Note: Digital Marketing Center will automatically generate ads for you as well, based on your website, Facebook page, and existing ads.

Image ads. Enter your ad title, text, and destination URL. Upload a .jpeg or .png image to be shown in both Facebook and Instagram with the following requirements:

  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Minimum image dimensions: 720×720 pixels
  • Maximum image dimensions: None
  • File size: 20MB

Video ads (optional). Enter your ad title, text, and destination URL. Upload a video to be shown in both Facebook and Instagram with the following requirements:

  • Video ratio: 9:16 to 16:9
  • File size: Up to 4GB
  • Length minimum: 1 second
  • Length maximum: 240 minutes
  • Captions: Optional but recommended
  • Sound: Optional but recommended
  • Resolution: Highest resolution video available that meets the file size and ratio limits

7. Set your budget. Your budget tells us the limit you want to spend per day on your ad campaign. Based on the information you have provided; we will recommend a monthly budget by default, but you can also select your own.

This is important: This amount includes ad spend across Microsoft Advertising, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads. However, the spend on Facebook will be directly billed to you by Facebook.

8. Review your campaign details, preview your ads, and confirm your budget and targeted locations.

9. Set up your payment method. Digital Marketing Center is free to use and you will only be charged for ad spend on ad platforms. Only credit or debit cards are accepted. Note: Prepaid cards are not accepted.

WHAT IS THE BILLING THRESHOLD AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

It charges your primary payment method when you reach your billing threshold or your monthly billing date, whichever comes first. For example, in your first 30-day period, your charges are well below your billing threshold of $25, so it charges your primary payment method on your monthly billing date. In the next 30-day period, you hit your billing threshold a few days before your monthly billing date, so it charges your primary payment method at that time.

Monthly billing date

Your monthly billing date is the date that you signed up for Digital Marketing Center. Your primary payment method will be charged on your monthly billing date with one exception:

  • If you have made a successful payment within the past 10 days, either by reaching your billing threshold or by paying your account balance.

Billing threshold

Billing thresholds start out low and will automatically increase when you make successful payments. The amount of increase depends on your currency and other factors. Alternatively, Digital Marketing Center automatically decreases your billing threshold if you run into problems paying your charges.

HOW BUDGETS WORK

The budget you set for your Digital Marketing Center ad campaigns tells us how much you want to spend per day on your ad campaign. Once you reach your budget, Digital Marketing Center will stop displaying your ads until the next day. This way, you only spend as much as you are comfortable with. Do not forget that this amount includes ad spend across Microsoft Advertising, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads. However, the spend on Facebook will be directly billed to you by Facebook.

So, how do you know what amount is right for you?

Choosing an ad campaign budget

You only pay when someone clicks on one of your ads, so a good way to think about your campaign budget is in terms of clicks and cost per click (CPC).

So, how many clicks do you hope to get each day and how much is each click worth to you?

For example, if you want the ads in your campaign to get 50 clicks a day and you decide that each click is work a maximum CPC of $0.40. Multiply $0.40 by 50 to get a budget of $20 per day.

After your ads begin to appear in the Microsoft Search Network, Google, and Facebook, you will be able to see the number of impressions and clicks your ads receive

  • An impression is when your ad is shown to a potential customer. It is a good way to measure how visible your ads are, given your budget and location targeting.
  • A click is when one of those potential customers clicks on your ad. It is a good way to measure how appealing your ads are to people who see them. Most importantly, clicks are what you pay for. You will pay Digital Marketing Center when someone clicks your ad for Microsoft Advertising and Google ads. You will be billed directly by Facebook for any spend.

Keep an eye on this data, which can be found by clicking on the campaign from the Ads page. The impressions and clicks will change, based on your budget and targeted locations, giving you an idea of how to tweak your campaign to maximize your return on spend.

Changing your budget amount

Your budget is set when you initially create your ad campaign, but you can subsequently change your budget at any time.

  1. From the Ads page, click the campaign whose budget you want to change.
  2. Click the pencil icon next to your daily budget.
  3. Update your daily budget. You can use the slider to see what the estimated monthly budget would be, based on what you input for the daily budget.
  4. Click Save.

This is important: Your actual spend per day might be than the target budget you have set. But each month, you will not spend more than the budget entered multiplied by 30.1.

What you need to know about budgets

There are a few important things you need to know about budgets:

  • Your daily limit is a target, which means that your actual spend might be higher or lower. This is because a monthly budget is calculated, and then actual budget limit is calculated for an entire month.
  • Any changes, including budget changes, made outside of Digital Marketing Center to ad campaigns created by Digital Marketing Center will be automatically overridden. Use Digital Marketing Center to make any changes to the ad campaigns created by Digital Marketing Center.
  • The budget covers ads on Microsoft Advertising, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads. However, any spend on Facebook will be directly billed to you by Facebook.
  • To have your Facebook Ads serve, you must have your payment method set up for your Facebook Ads account.

IMAGE AND VIDEO REQUIREMENTS

Adding images or videos is a great way to add visual elements to your posts, helping to get people’s attention and drive clicks. Note that you can only include one type of media (images, videos, or a preview of your link) in a post. Below are the image and video requirements.

Image specifications

Facebook

  • Maximum file size: 5MB
  • Supported file formats: .jpg, .png, .gif (without animation)
  • Aspect ratio: N/A
  • Image resolution: N/A
  • Maximum number of images: 10

Note: Various aspect ratios of the image required for ads will be automatically cropped by Digital Marketing Center

  • Maximum file size: 5MB; animated GIFs can be up to 5MB on mobile, and up to 15MB on web
  • Supported file formats: .jpg, .png, .gif

Note: Your photo will be automatically scaled for display in your expanded Tweet and in your gallery.

Video specifications

Facebook

  • Maximum file size: 1GB
  • Supported file formats: .mp4, .mov, .avi
  • Aspect ratio: Between 9×16 and 16×9
  • Duration: Maximum 20 minutes

Twitter

  • Maximum file size: 512MB for Tweet Video, but you can upload a video longer than 2 minutes and 20 seconds, and trim it before including the video in a Tweet
  • Supported file formats: .mp4 and .mov on mobile apps; .mp4 with H264 format with AAC audio on the web
  • Minimum resolution: 32 x 32
  • Maximum resolution: 1920 x 1200 (and 1200 x 1900)
  • Maximum frame rate: 40 fps
  • Maximum bitrate: 25 Mbps
  • Aspect ratio: 1:2.39–2.39:1 range (inclusive)

INBOX MANAGEMENT

After you connect your social profiles, you will begin to receive new interactions from your customers right in your Inbox. From your Inbox, you can:

  • Reply to public comments and posts on your public Facebook pages.
  • Reply to your private Facebook page messages.
  • Comment and reply on your Instagram Business posts.
  • Reply to your direct Twitter account messages.
  • Reply, like, or retweet Tweets you are mentioned in.

Your inbox will contain all inbound comments, wall posts, and private messages across your social profiles in chronological order, for up to 90 days. New posts will appear in the to review tab and once you mark a post as Complete, you can view all posts in the All tab.

View posts

From your Inbox, you can view all posts from all social profiles, or you can select specific social profile’s posts to view. From the Social page, click Inbox from the main menu on the left. By default, all social profiles’ posts are displayed but to view specific profiles’ posts, you can select the social profiles from the main menu on the left.

Clicking on each post from the list will open it on the right. From here, you can Like, reply to, or Delete the post.

Reply to posts

To reply to posts, click Reply and enter your response. Once you have responded to a post, it will automatically be marked as Complete. You can also click Complete on posts you do not want to respond to.

Filter posts

You can customize what posts you want to see by applying filters, making your inbox management faster and easier. Just above the posts, you will find the filtering options that allow you to filter by days and activity types. You can view posts from the last 90, 30, 7 days or 24 hours. You can also filter by Activity Types and select to view wall posts, comments, reviews, or private messages.

SOCIAL REPORTS

Now that you have connected your social profiles, you are probably wondering how your audience is responding. From the Social page, click Reports from the left menu.

Selecting all or a specific social profile from the left menu will show tiles with the following details, within the time you select from the date picker:

TIME ZONE AND CURRENCY

The time zone and currency for both your Digital Marketing Center and Facebook Ads accounts must be the same.

  1. Sign into your Facebook Ads account.
  2. Click the gear icon at the top right of the page.
  3. Select the ad account from the dropdown list at the top of the page.
  4. In the Ad Account Setup section, check the Time zone and Currency.

What you need to know:

  • If you change the time zone in your Facebook Ads account, the existing ad account will be deactivated, and a new ad account will be created with the updated time zone.

CREATE AN AD CAMPAIGN

Creating an ad campaign in Digital Marketing Center is a simple and easy way for you to advertise across different search and social ad platforms. It will use Microsoft AI to create ads and manage your advertising campaign for you. Read the following to:

  • Verify prerequisites for running social advertising campaigns
  • Create an ad campaign
  • Monitor your campaigns

Verify prerequisites for running social advertising campaigns

To advertise on Facebook and Instagram through Digital Marketing Center, you need the following:

  • A published Facebook pages
  • A Facebook Ads account
  • Currency and time zone settings in your Facebook Ads account that match the currency and time zone you want to use in Digital Marketing Center
  • A payment method set up in Facebook
    Note: While using Digital Marketing Center is free, you will need to enter credit card information in Facebook to pay for advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Your Instagram Business account associated with your Facebook page

Create an ad campaign

From the Ads page, click Create new campaign from the left menu and simply follow the step-by-step instructions. The steps are:

  1. Tell about your business

What is your campaign goal? Setting your goal gives AI the context to help you create the most effective campaigns.

  • Get more visits to my website
  • Get more phone calls to my business
  • Get more visits to my business’ physical location

Where do you want to advertise? Select if you want to advertise on social and search (Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft Advertising, and Google Ads) or if you want to advertise on search only (Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads).

  • Business details. Here, you will enter your business information.

Where do you want to target? Select where you want to target your ad campaigns. This will determine where your ads will display.

2. Create ads.

  • Text ads. To get your campaign up and running, you need to create text ads that will appear in Bing and Google. As you enter the details for your text ad, you will be able to see a preview of how it could appear.
  • Image ads. Create an image ad to be shown in Facebook or Instagram.
  • Video ads (optional). You can also create a video ad, but if you are pressed for time, skip this step, and come back later.

3. Set your budget.

Set how much you want to spend per day on your ad campaign.

4. This is important:

  • Any changes, including budget changes, made outside of Digital Marketing Center to ad campaigns created by Digital Marketing Center will be automatically overridden. Use Digital Marketing Center to make any changes to the ad campaigns created by Digital Marketing Center.
  • The budget covers ads on Microsoft Advertising, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads. However, any spend on Facebook will be directly billed to you by Facebook.
  • To have your Facebook Ads serve, you must have your payment method set up for your Facebook Ads account.
  • Your daily limit is a target, which means that your actual spend might be higher or lower. This is because a monthly budget is calculated, and then actual budget limit is calculated for an entire month.
  • You can change your budget at any time.

5. Last step!

Review your campaign details and make any adjustments in this last step. Once you have verified that everything looks good, submit your campaign!

After you create a campaign, Digital Marketing Center will perform a quick review of your ad content against our policies (most reviews take less than a day). After that, your ads will start running.

Monitor your campaigns

On the All campaigns page, you can keep an eye on how your campaigns are performing. You will see tiles containing:

  • Search and social metrics, including Impressions, Clicks, Get Directions, Calls, Spend, and Engagement.
  • A performance graph showing metrics by platform.
  • Campaign drafts.

CREATE, PUBLISH, AND EDIT POSTS

Create and publish your social media posts in one place. From the Social page, click Publisher in the left menu. You will see your calendar that contains all posts across your social profiles. From here, you can:

  • Create a new post.
  • Schedule a post to publish later.
  • Publish a post.
  • Edit an unpublished post.
  • View your scheduled, published, and draft posts.

Create and publish a new post

  1. Click New post from any page.
  2. Select the social profile you want to post to.
    Note: Posting on Instagram through Digital Marketing Center is currently not available. To post on Instagram, please use the Instagram app.
  3. Enter the message and select the photos or video you want to include. As you are entering details for your post, you can see a preview of what it may look like.
  4. Do one of the following:
  • Click Post to publish your post immediately.
  • Click Save draft to save your post so you can come back to it later.
  • Click Schedule post to select the date and time to publish your post.
  • Or click Cancel.

Edit posts

  1. From the Social page, click Publisher in the left menu.
  2. Click the Scheduled or Drafts tab and find the post you want to edit.
  3. Click Edit and edit your post.
  4. Do one of the following:
  • Click Post to publish your post immediately.
  • Click Save draft to save your post so you can come back to it later.
  • Click Schedule post to select the date and time to publish your post.
  • Or click Cancel.

View posts

Scheduled posts

  1. From the Social page, click Publisher in the left menu.
  2. Click the Scheduled tab to see the posts you have scheduled to publish.

Published posts

  1. From the Social page, click Publisher in the left menu.
  2. Click the Published tab to see the posts you have published.

Draft posts

  1. From the Social page, click Publisher in the left menu.
  2. Click the Drafts tab to see the posts you have drafted.

What you need to know

Limitations for posting on Instagram and Twitter

  • Posting on Instagram through Digital Marketing Center is currently not available. To post on Instagram, please use the Instagram app.
  • Twitter does not allow you to post identical content to more than 1 profile at a time.

Verify prerequisites for running social advertising campaigns

To advertise on Facebook and Instagram through Digital Marketing Center, you need the following:

  • A published Facebook pages
  • A Facebook Ads account
  • Currency and time zone settings in your Facebook Ads account that match the currency and time zone you want to use in Digital Marketing Center
  • A payment method set up in Facebook
    Note: While using Digital Marketing Center is free, you will need to enter credit card information in Facebook to pay for advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

Your Instagram Business account associated with your Facebook page

CONNECTING SOCIAL PROFILES

Rather than managing all your social profiles separately, you can manage the following social profiles in one place, right here through Digital Marketing Center:

  • Facebook page
  • Instagram Business account
  • Twitter account

Connect a Facebook Ads account

Before you can connect a Facebook page to Digital Marketing Center, you must first connect to your Facebook Ads account. We will use this account to create all Facebook ad campaigns from Digital Marketing Center. Note: You can only use one Facebook Ads account.

  1. From the Social page, click Link new profile in the left menu.
  2. In the Facebook Ads account section of the page, click Connect to Facebook Ads account.
  3. Select the Facebook Ads account you want to use and click Send access request.
  4. To continue, sign in to Facebook to verify and allow Microsoft Advertising access to your Facebook Ads account.

Connect your social profiles

  1. From the Social page, click Link new profile in the left menu.
  2. Select the social profile you want to connect.
  3. Enter your log in details and follow the steps to authorize the profile.

Things to remember:

  • Do not forget to accept all permissions, to allow Digital Marketing Center access to connect to a social profile.
  • To access your Instagram Business account through Digital Marketing Center, be sure to link your Facebook page and Instagram Business account.
  • You must be an admin for a Facebook page or Instagram Business account to be able to connect to Digital Marketing Center.

Disconnect a social profile

  1. From the Social page, click Link new profile in the left menu.
  2. Under Connected profiles, look for the profile you want to remove and click Disconnect.

What you need to know:
If you disconnect a Facebook page from Digital Marketing Center, all your ads for that Facebook page across all Digital Marketing Center campaigns will be permanently removed. In addition, you will not be able to add another Facebook page to specific campaigns.

HAPPY DIGITAL MARKETING 🙂