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Automotive Ads: showcase your offerings on Microsoft Advertising

If you’re an automotive advertiser, you know how important both native and paid search advertising can be for driving quality clicks to your website and increasing vehicle sales. And to capitalize on all this great volume, you want to showcase as much of the inventory or models you have to offer to help turn those clicks into conversions.

To help you achieve these goals, Microsoft Advertising is excited to announce the open beta of a new product unique to Microsoft Advertising: Automotive Ads! This is now available to advertisers in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK).

What are Automotive Ads and what do they look like?

Automotive Ads are feed-based product ads where you can upload all the attributes of your car inventory (make, model, year, trim, image, URLs, etc.) and showcase them on the Microsoft Bing.com SERP right rail/mainline and the Bing image results page, as well as on native placements on the Microsoft Audience Network.

More volume: Reach new car shoppers who are closer to making a purchase and are in the comparison and transaction stages of the consumer decision journey.
Richer experience: Showcase your vehicle photos, prices and more to help increase your click-through-rate (CTR) and qualified leads.
Save time with automation: Use feeds with keyword-less campaigns to generate your ads faster and easily keep those ads accurate as inventory and prices change. No need to tie your feed to Bing Places.

Where Automotive Ads currently show up on Bing

Product view of Automotive ads on the right rail of the search engine results page of Microsoft Bing.
Bing.com SERP right rail (available on PC, mobile to come). Mainline coming soon
!

Product view of Automotive ads on the image results page of Microsoft Bing.
Bing.com image results page (available on PC, mobile to come).

Automotive Ads are triggered for vehicle research and purchase intent queries, but no keywords are required. The offerings from your feed are matched to queries automatically, and they serve alongside existing text ads with a separate auction, so there’s no bidding up on yourself.

What kind of success are advertisers seeing with Automotive Ads?

From third party sites showcasing their used inventory to automotive brands displaying their new models, Automotive Ads are driving great performance for all advertisers so far. Here’s what we’re seeing:

  • Click and conversion lift - Third-party sites and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have seen on average a 6-15% incremental click lift and 3-8% incremental conversion lift when running Automotive Ads. Channel partners have seen an average incremental click lift of 8%+.
  • Lower CPCs - For OEMs, Automotive Ads have had 7-16% lower CPCs than their corresponding non-brand targeted text ads, and third-party sites have seen a whopping 28-40% drop in CPCs for their Automotive Ads.

There’s been great performance and efficient costs for all who have run Automotive Ads so far, and we’re excited to now extend the invitation to you.

Awesome! How do I get started?

To sign up for the open beta for Automotive Ads, you first need to either reach out to your Microsoft Advertising rep or use this link to enroll.

Once you’re in the beta, you’ll need to provide a feed. A comprehensive feed with rich car attributes is critical for your success with Automotive Ads. Here’s what you’ll need and what we recommend:

Must Haves: Vehicle Id, Title, Make, Model, Year, Trim, Final URL, Image URLs, State of Vehicle (New/Used/CPO)
Good to have: Body Style, Engine, Drivetrain, Transmission, Fuel Type, Interior Color, Exterior Color

We also recommend feed scheduling to keep your feed data fresh and to ensure your campaigns remain effective.

To provide the best images possible, make sure they’re high-quality and relevant. Here are some recommendations:

  • Your images must be relevant to the listed vehicle, ad and landing page.
  • Use distinct vehicle images for different trims to ensure variety, maybe vehicles with different exterior colors.
  • Your images should show a zoomed exterior view of the vehicle (either front view, side view, or back view). If there are multiple images in the URL, ensure that the first few images are exterior views (additional images can be interior views).
  • Your images should not have any watermarks or promotional text.
  • If you’ve updated the image, be sure to update the image URL for the new image to be reflected in the ad.

Examples of auto images that are not effective for automotive ads, zoomed too far out on the exterior, and zoomed too close on the interior.
Some examples of images that do or don’t work for Automotive Ads.

For more details on the rest of setup, please see the Automotive Ads help page.

What else is important to know?

Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you start running your Automotive Ads:

Bids and budgets

  • We recommend you start anywhere between $50 - $500 daily budget to ensure consistent results for learning and optimization.
  • We recommend you set bids similar to your text ad campaigns. Monitor performance and average position, and adjust up or down accordingly.

Targeting

  • Set location targeting in campaign settings as “United States” or “United Kingdom,” depending on the region you’re targeting. This will ensure ads are eligible to serve to all users searching from within the region.
  • To start with, don’t apply any bid modifiers based on audiences. We recommend that you measure and monitor baseline performance first, and then fine-tune the return on investment based on audiences.

We’re excited to share this Automotive Ads offering up to all US and UK advertisers! If you’re interested in participating in the beta, reach out to your Microsoft Advertising rep to learn more or use this link to enroll. And check out the Automotive Ads help page for more details!

Help us improve Microsoft Advertising

Your comments and feedback are integral to our ongoing efforts to shape and improve our product. For any questions or feedback, please reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account manager, or send us an email at advertising-feedback@microsoft.com. You can also interact with us on Twitter or suggest a feature on Microsoft Advertising Feature Suggestions.