Earlier this year, Microsoft announced their launch of an open beta of Automotive Ads in Bing Search. This exciting beta will allow dealership advertisers to expand their advertising reach while also boosting conversions from Image Extensions. The new feature could be the spearhead of a larger initiative to include other key verticals like Real Estate, Healthcare, travel, and more ultimately aimed at helping both advertisers and consumers alike.
In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about the new Automotive Ads and their beta in both the US and UK.
Let’s dive in.
While dealership advertisers are very excited about the Microsoft automotive advertising beta, many have questions about how, exactly, the ads will work. Here’s what Microsoft says in their announcement surrounding the ads:
“Automotive Ads are feed-based product ads where automotive marketers can upload all the attributes of their car inventory (make, model, year, trim, image, URLs, etc.) and showcase them on the Microsoft Bing.com SERP right rail, the Bing image results page, and native placements on the Microsoft Audience Network.”
As it stands now, Microsoft’s Automotive Ads are triggered in both Bing image search and plain search for vehicle research and purchase intent searches. During the initial pilot program, the ads will display in the right column of searches on Bing, or directly above the images in image searches with vehicle-research intent.
Advertisers who are already using Google will find it easy to do the same on Bing’s Search Network. This simplicity is essential to time-strapped advertisers looking for a more efficient way to do things.
Plus, Bing’s niche audience means that your CPC budget is spent more efficiently (30-33% cost effective than Google – Bing Info Article). Meanwhile, CPA is lower by 40%, and CTR is 45% higher.
A requirement of the beta is to have image extensions on your ads, but before you balk at it, having image extensions has shown increases of about 10% in conversions and nearly a 50% in click through rate on ads according to these tests.
Bing’s beta also means that different audiences would be more likely to buy (e.g., 52% buying power vs average searcher). This is a big lure for anyone looking to reach new audiences or expand their market share via the Microsoft Audience Network.
Some verticals that traditionally suffer from longer buyer research time — including automotive, healthcare, real estate, and travel — will enjoy exciting new opportunities as Bing continues to roll out new segments with their ad search function.
Here are a few of the benefits of the new ads for dealership advertisers:
All these elements combine to make Bing’s beta an attractive option for advertisers.
If you’re interested in signing up for the open beta for Automotive Ads, you’ll need to reach out to a Microsoft Advertising rep directly, or visit this link. Once you’re enrolled in the beta, you’ll need to provide a feed to work with.
This feed should include rich car attributes that will help enhance your success with Automotive Ads. On the ads themselves, here’s the information Microsoft recommends including:
Images are an essential component of Automotive Ads. Here are some tips to make your images as impactful as possible:
Here are a few other things to consider as you get started with Automotive Ads and Microsoft Advertising:
Bids and budgets
For more details on the rest of setup, visit Microsoft’s Automotive Ads help page.
For Dealership Advertisers, Microsoft’s Automotive Advertisement beta represents a positive shift. Until very recently, automotive advertisers simply couldn’t use the Microsoft SERP the way they leveraged other platforms such as Cars.com.
As a result, many auto-focused advertising agencies focused on developing workarounds designed to allow them to leverage existing feeds to showcase ads in Bing search and to display those same ads to Microsoft’s audience network.
Fortunately, times have changed. This beta opens up using automotive feeds for auto advertisers using Microsoft Advertising paving the way for exciting opportunities ahead for many other verticals.