Recently, Microsoft announced the introduction of multimedia ads, a new responsive ad format offered on Bing search pages. Microsoft explained that multimedia ads were introduced in response to the growth and value of search and the desire to help brands “amplify product discovery, inspire action and build loyalty.” The new ad feature is currently available across major global markets, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K., with other markets to follow soon.
What Are Microsoft Multimedia Ads?
According to Microsoft, “Multimedia ads are designed to combine [advertiser] assets like images, headlines and descriptions with the power of machine-learning technology, to deliver the best attention grabbing large visual ads.”
Where Will Microsoft Multimedia Ads Be Displayed?
The ads will appear either on the right-side rail, alongside Bing search results, or in the “mainline” above the search engine results page (SERP).
How Can Advertisers Get Started With Microsoft’s Multimedia Ads?
The setup for multimedia ads is similar to Microsoft’s existing responsive ads, but now advertisers can add “rich visual assets in combination with text assets.” Additionally, Microsoft is also offering automated ad recommendations built with advertisers’ existing photo and text assets, and, coming soon, stock imagery. Once posted in their account, advertisers will have seven days to accept or reject the ad, before it is “auto-applied” to their account. Advertisers can also opt out of auto-apply if they prefer.
Microsoft will also be rolling out additional features for the multimedia ads in the “not-so-distant” future, including video for mainline ads, new CPM-based auto bidding, additional import opportunities of rich media assets and the ability to combine multimedia ads with retail product feeds.
How Do Advertisers Benefit From Microsoft’s Multimedia Ads?
The new Microsoft multimedia ads offer exclusivity to advertisers, with only one multimedia ad displayed on the SERP at a time. Because only one ad can appear at a time, Microsoft is applying a 40% bid modifier as the default setting, with Microsoft explaining, “The ability to use positive bid adjustment settings will help [advertisers’] multimedia ads get more visibility without affecting... performance of other ad types.” (According to Google, “Bid modifiers allow you to adjust bids for a specific criterion without changing the targeting of your campaign or ad group.”)
The visually stimulating ads offered with Microsoft multimedia ads, particularly with the addition of enhanced links, allows advertisers to stand out, amplify messaging and leverage the power of search, where many consumers start their purchase journeys.
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