Microsoft has just introduced Multimedia Ads

Microsoft just announced new ad formats to be shown at the top of search results in Bing Search, Windows 11, and Microsoft Start. The new video and image formats are “infographic-inspired,” meant to “innovate and disrupt web search.”

What they look like. The new ad formats are collages of videos and images shown at the top of search results. On the right side, the search result is expanded and opens to a bigger window so the user never needs to click off the page.

Interactive search results

Infographic-inspired experiences

News and topics of interest

Early adopters of Multimedia Ads. Microsoft tested Multimedia Ads on a few brands before their official release. With these tests, brands were able to see

  • Looka. A logo design and branding company saw a 200% higher ROI than the return with text and search ads
  • ADT. The security company saw 9.5x higher ROAS, a decrease in CPC, and improved results in both paid search and Multimedia Ads for their search terms
  • VodafoneZiggo. The telecom company saw 45% more delivered impressions, a 9% drop in CPC, and an 85% increase in conversions

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Best practices for advertisers. Microsoft suggests some best practices and general guidelines for those thinking about taking advantage of the new formats.

  • The responsive ad format uses Microsoft machine learning to combine images, headlines, and descriptions to create relevant visual ads
  • To ensure your ad stands out, there will only be one Multimedia Ad per page. (This could also mean much higher costs.)
  • The ads leverage Creator tools which are available in the Ads platform. The tools allow you to extract images from your website, edit the images, crop, and add colors and filters
  • Use the Bulk API and Editor tool to create or modify Multimedia Ads in bulk
  • The new ad formats are available immediately where Bing Search is available. Soon, Microsoft will expand to new surfaces and experiences such as DSA and retail

Read the announcement. You can read the full announcement from Microsoft as well as review their case studies here.

Why we care. Whether you’re currently advertising on Microsoft or not, Multimedia Ads are worth a try. Brands can stand out by creating more engaging and appealing experiences on a platform that’s rather underutilized. Those looking for new ways to expand their reach or opt for a cheaper strategy may find success with Microsoft.

The new ad formats do look a lot like Pinterest, but brands could see increased click and engagement rates from the new formats. However, competition for the new formats will be expensive.

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About The Author

Nicole Farley is an editor for Search Engine Land covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.

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