Microsoft Ads Similar Audiences Rolling Out This Month

June 2, 2021
Posted in Paid Search
June 2, 2021 Jen Lopez

Microsoft Ads Similar Audiences Rolling Out This Month

While it might seem like a no-brainer to many, the idea of serving ads to lookalike audiences or bid adjusting specific campaigns toward them, is often a strategy that doesn’t get as much airtime in paid search as it does for other channels.


Our team has been strategically and successfully using Similar Audience lists for Search and Shopping on Google Ads since they were first launched in 2017, and in Display long before. So, it excites us like you cannot believe that Microsoft Advertising just announced that they will also be launching Similar Audiences in the U.S. later this month, June 2021.

What are Similar Audiences?

If you have a remarketing list created in Microsoft Ads that has at least 300 users, and provides Microsoft Ads with enough valuable signals, they can use that list to look for people with similar interests and behaviors as those on your remarketing list, thereby creating a “Similar Audience” list, or lookalike list.

Additionally, another new feature for audience targeting in Microsoft Ads, is that later this month you’ll also be able to import your existing Similar Audience lists already created in your Google Ads account into your Microsoft Ads account too!

How Should I Use Similar Audiences?

Keep an eye on your Microsoft Ads account throughout June, and reference your campaign targeting options often to see if you have any Similar Audiences available – (as of now, no official launch date was given, except “later this month”).

Once you do have Similar Audiences shown in your account, there are a ton of great ways to use these audience lists.

And, while we’re excited to list off all the ways you could possibly use these lists, we do recommend starting small, assessing and observing your Similar Audiences first – before building out against tons of new ideas.

  • Prospecting Campaigns
    • Similar audiences are great for prospecting campaigns, so if you have a display campaign you may consider targeting your similar audience lists if there are enough users on the list.
    • The idea is that these campaigns should do slightly better than your more awareness-driving campaigns, but not as well as your straight Remarketing campaigns.
    • A prospecting campaign typically sits in the middle of those, performance-wise.
  • Honing in Non-Brand Search
    • If you have a non-brand search strategy at play, consider how Similar Audiences can help you get to your goal.
    • If the goal is to drive revenue, but you’re hardly hitting a profitable ROAS on those non-brand terms, by targeting ONLY the Similar Audience list for that Non-Brand campaign, you may have effectively “trimmed the fat” and created yourself a more focused and honed-in non-brand campaign since it now only serves to users similar to your current site visitors/converters.
  • Observing as an Overlay for Adjustments
    • Another great way to use Similar Audiences is to overlay them on top of your existing campaigns as an “observation” (not a target).
    • As an observation, you can see how this audience interacts with your campaigns and see if they truly do perform better than the average searcher/site visitor.
    • If they do, but you don’t want to target only them, consider adjusting bids on this audience across campaigns so that you rank higher when someone on this list executes a search that matches to a keyword in that campaign.
  • Creating Tailored Ad Copy
    • If you’re monitored the observation and it is showing that people on your Similar Audiences lists really do have a propensity to interact more with your ads or website and you find there is a large volume of these people accessible to make a difference – how can you push them over the edge to convert?
    • Maybe create a separate campaign just for these users with specific ads focused on conversion – using urgency, a special promo code, or more.
    • The options are endless!

As you may be able to tell, we are pretty passionate about audience targeting and all the latest advancements.

This update is no different and we’re excited to integrate many of the strategies above into our current accounts.

How will you be using Similar Audiences? Comment below to let us know!