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What Microsoft’s New Shutterstock Partnership Means For Advertisers

What Microsoft’s New Shutterstock Partnership Means For Advertisers

Microsoft Advertising has just announced a new partnership with stock imagery company Shutterstock to help advertisers create more engaging and impactful adverts. 

This partnership will give Microsoft Advertising users access to over 330 million images to use in their display campaigns on the Microsoft Audience Network. All free of charge. 

Haily De La Cruz, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft Advertising, adds that the partnership gives Microsoft “customers additional resources during this unpredictable time. By providing access to commercially licensed images for use within Microsoft Advertising campaigns, we are enabling advertisers to easily and effectively deliver top-performing ads that resonate with their target audiences”. 

Who is this available for? 

Right now, this feature is available for UK and US users for their Microsoft Audience Network campaigns. For those unfamiliar with the Microsoft Audience Network, this is a pool of Microsoft owned programmes, such as Skype, Outlook and LinkedIn, as well as thousands of partner sites that can display your advert.

The Shutterstock API is expected to roll out to other countries, including Canada and Australia, later this year. 

How does this benefit me?

With the Shutterstock API, advertisers will be able to create eye-catching content for their audience, increasing the likelihood of clicks and conversions. 

The biggest benefit to advertisers is the time saved creating these campaigns. 

Advertisers can set up these creatives without having to leave the Microsoft platform. There’s no need to spend time or money having image assets created, or having to spend hours browsing limited picture collections on image sites like Pexels or Unsplash to find an image that’s free to use. 

Every asset for a successful display campaign can be created inside Microsoft. That gives you more time to focus on your wider strategy and optimise your campaigns. 

Shutterstock CEO Stan Pavlovsky states: 

“Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing environment, businesses of all sizes are strapped for time and budget and looking for ways to remain top-of-mind with their audience. Microsoft’s suite of advertising offerings empowers businesses to increase ad relevance and deliver targeted visual messages that achieve their marketing goals.”

How to apply Shutterstock images to your campaigns

Adding the Shutterstock images to your campaigns is a simple and easy process. When you’re in the ad creator for your Microsoft Audience Network campaign, click the ‘Add images’ button. 

This will open a dialogue box with the option to upload your own images or select stock images, and you will be able to search for themes or specific images you want among Shutterstock’s database. Once you’ve found the one you want to use, just select it and it will be applied to your creatives. 

Don’t worry if a watermark comes up on the preview of your ad. This will be removed during the ad’s placement. 

Although you will have access to millions of images, you need to ensure that the ones you select still comply with Microsoft’s image policy. That means no adult or offensive content.

What’s next for the Microsoft and Shutterstock partnership? 

The first priority for Microsoft will be to roll out the feature to all of its users in different countries as it’s only currently available to those in the UK and US.

Currently, users can only use Shutterstock images in their original, unedited form. It will be interesting to see if they integrate this partnership with an image editing tool, allowing users to make changes to Shutterstock images before they go live. 

It may also be a matter of time before this library is available for use on search campaigns as well. Microsoft is the only advertising platform to offer image extensions and it would strengthen this unique offer even further. 

Will Haswell, Head of Paid Media at Adzooma states:

“This is an excellent partnership especially for SME’s that may not have the resource to provide quality images for their campaigns. There are some great benefits of applying images to your campaigns such as increased real estate in the SERPS, engagement and conversions. I would encourage all businesses to sign up to this open beta.”

Looking for something to manage your Microsoft Advertising? Adzooma is the best management solution you’ll ever try – and it’s completely free. See how we can help save time optimising your campaigns by signing up today.

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