In July 2021, Microsoft Ads announced the launch of a brand new image-rich ad format called ‘Multimedia Ads’. This Search exclusive ad is an exciting new approach to Search advertising by Microsoft as image-based ads are typically found within areas such as Display advertising, Audience Ads or simple Image Extensions on ads. According to Microsoft, multimedia ads were introduced in response to the growth and value of search, as well as the desire to assist brands in “amplifying product discovery, inspiring action, and building loyalty.”
Microsoft multimedia advertisements are large and dynamic ads, they take up a lot of space on the SERPs (often covering large sections of the Search page) which makes them particularly captivating visually. Being dynamic ads, they will also rotate it’s images, headlines, and descriptions that you have pre-set whilst machine learning optimises performance in the background. Below are some examples of what a Multimedia ad can look like:
Mainline ad examples (4:1 aspect ratio)
Mainline ad with enhanced sitelinks (4:1 aspect ratio)
Right rail ad examples (1.91:1 aspect ratio)
These Bing Search exclusive ads will appear prominently on the right rail (the right side of search results) or on the mainline at the top of the search results pages. To help Multimedia Ads stand out and provide exclusivity, only one
Multimedia Ad will be displayed on a page at a time, for only one advertiser.
It’s also important to note that your Multimedia ad can run alongside your Expanded Text or Responsive Search ads together. So you could actually have 2 ad formats showing at the same time, this can help further maximise your own brand’s Search advertising space which potentially can be very powerful.
Setting up Multimedia Ads closely resembles the current setup for Responsive Search Ads. The key difference is the ability to also add rich visual assets in conjunction with text assets. Microsoft currently recommends advertisers to upload multiple ad variations of high-quality images in all four aspect ratios: 1.91:1, 1:1, 1:2, and 4:1 for optimal performance.
For all Search campaigns, Microsoft applies a default 40% bid adjustment increase for Multimedia Ads. Microsoft explains that this is to “help your Multimedia Ads get more visibility without affecting your performance of other ad types”. This can be adjusted through to a figure you feel is more relevant to your advertising needs, this bid adjustment range can be changed to a figure between 20% and 900%.
You can find the option to create Multimedia Ads through “Ads & Extensions > Create Ad > Ad Type > Multimedia Ad”.
Microsoft Ads seem keen to push this new feature heavily and have already shared a roadmap for the future of this ad format, which leads us to believe this will likely be a staple part of Microsoft Ads. Upcoming features that have been highlighted include:
With plenty of upcoming developments for Multimedia Ads and its very different approach to Search advertising, it will be very exciting to see how much of an impact they will make on PPC advertising as a whole.
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