Microsoft launches a free Search and Social campaign management platform for SMBs
Digital Marketing Center powers both organic social media and ad campaigns across Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Microsoft’s Digital Marketing Center is heading into a pilot stage that is accepting new participants. The platform is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage digital campaigns across multiple networks from one interface.
Digital Marketing Center enables small businesses to manage organic social media and paid search and social campaigns across Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter’s ad platforms. The product came out of the company’s experimental project lab, Microsoft Garage.
A fully AI-powered approach. Similar to Google Smart campaigns, which aim to simplify campaign set up and management for SMBs, Digital Marketing Center uses Microsoft AI to power ad keyword and audience targeting and bidding. Advertisers set their goals, location targeting and budgets.
Unlike Smart campaigns, in Digital Marketing Center, advertisers can choose to build their own ads, use automated ad copy or modify auto-suggestions.
Budgets are automatically optimized across channels and platforms.
Organic social management. Businesses can also create, schedule and publish posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for up to 10 profiles from the Social dashboard.
From the Social “Inbox” shown below, you can reply, like and direct message your users on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Reports section shows impressions, engagements and audience growth across these channels.
Why we care. This is a very interesting product move by Microsoft in thinking beyond its own turf. It could help solve a major pain point for SMBs. There are platforms like HubSpot already positioned as all-in-one marketing centers for SMBs, and certainly Microsoft’s Digital Marketing Center doesn’t have all the CRM features of a HubSpot but it’s free and its simplicity may be a real draw for overwhelmed, resource-stretched SMBs.
It could also, of course, boost adoption of Microsoft Advertising by SMBs using the product. Microsoft could eventually charge for the product if it catches on (the release states it’s “currently free” to use).
If you’re interested in trialing it, start here. The beta is open to U.S. business only at this point.