Though Bowmen start with low damage and accuracy, when upgraded, they should be a staple in every army. Ranged support can turn entire battles, eliminating lightly-armored, but high-damage units before they can get into melee.(e.g. cavalry, longaxes)
Research in the campaign replaces/upgrades Bowmen with Longbowmen, and later Master Longbowmen. Longbowmen research is a prerequisite to researching the recruitment of Crossbowmen, while Master Longbowmen research is a prerequisite to researching the recruitment of Deepwood Archers.
Masterwork Armor is useful to give some small survivability, as they have no defense, and a measly 5% resistance by default. Swift arrows can be used to increase damage output at important times. Swift Arrows can be used to increase damage output at key moments in a battle; e.g. multiple archers can actually break an impending cavalry charge when all using swift arrows.
Aimed Shots should only be taken if you suspect you'll be using them against heavier units. Against light infantry or other bowmen, it is actually a hindrance if left toggled on.