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Microsoft Advertising launches Multimedia Ads beta starting today

Multimedia Ads are image-rich visual ads that will be featured on the right rail or in the mainline at the top of the search results pages. “To help your Multimedia Ad stand out even more and provide exclusivity, there will only be one Multimedia Ad on a page, for only one advertiser at a time,” Microsoft Advertising said in its announcement on Wednesday. The beta program is now rolling out globally.

The ad format allows you to combine your own images, headlines and ad copy with machine learning to display the best-fit ad for the searcher and query.

How to set up Multimedia Ads. Multimedia Ad setup is similar to that of RSAs in Microsoft Advertising with the addition of visual assets along with text. “For best performance, we strongly recommend that you upload multiple ad variations of high-quality images in all 4 aspect ratios: 1.91:1, 1:1, 1:2 and 4:1,” suggested Microsoft Advertising. The mainline ads can also include sitelinks.

Mainline ad example in 4:1 aspect ratio. Image: Microsoft Advertising.
Mainline ad example with enhanced sitelinks in 4:1 aspect ratio. Image: Microsoft Advertising.
Microsoft Multimedia Ads Right Rail
Right rail ad example in 1.91:1 aspect ratio. Image: Microsoft Advertising.

The beta includes auto-recommendations for building your ads. Because you may not have all your assets prepared for this beta, Microsoft Advertising is offering the ability to auto-create ads with your existing image and text assets. The recommendations will use AI to speed up the launch of Multimedia Ads for your brand. If you’re not interested, you’ll have seven days to apply or dismiss recommendations. If you don’t choose either, they’ll be automatically applied. “You can also opt out of the auto-apply functionality at the account level,” according to the announcement blog.

Why we care. Multimedia Ads give search marketers the opportunity to be an exclusive ad type in a SERP and the added visual element may draw more eyes to your ad. The auto-recommendations mean advertisers will have to be on the lookout to make sure any tests or ads they’re launching don’t end up going in a direction they don’t want. Make sure to opt out at the campaign level if you don’t want those recommendations applied or you want to have more control over the Multimedia Ads you run.


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