Multimedia Ads vs Responsive Ads: Our Microsoft Ads Test Results
Updated: May 16
Microsoft Advertising is a powerful platform that allows businesses to reach millions of potential customers on Bing, Yahoo and other partner sites. One way to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns is by using Multimedia Ads, a versatile ad format that allows you to incorporate images, videos, and other multimedia elements into your ads.
At Conversion Counts, we ran an extensive test of Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads in a Microsoft Ads account that included 50+ campaigns, 300+ ad groups and 2500+ keywords. In this test, we compared the performance of Multimedia Ads against Microsoft Ads Responsive Search Ads and concluded that while Microsoft Ads Responsive Search Ads had a higher click-through rate (CTR), Multimedia Ads had a lower cost per acquisition (CPA) and a lower cost per click (CPC). The client in question is the leader in its vertical with an extensive product range resulting in over 800,000 ad impressions in Microsoft Advertising in a 30 days period making our finding significant.
Specifically, we found that Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads had a CTR of 1.39% compared to 4.83% for Microsoft Ads Responsive Search Ads. However, Multimedia Ads had a CPA of £17.03 versus £29.01 for Responsive Search Ads and a CPC of £0.95 versus £1.36 for Responsive Search Ads. It's worth noting that due to the nature of Multimedia Ads, they received fewer clicks than Responsive Search Ads, which suggests that they may not be as effective at driving large volume clicks.
While Multimedia Ads may not be as effective at driving clicks as Responsive Search Ads, they offer several benefits that can help businesses achieve their advertising goals. For example, Multimedia Ads can be more engaging and visually appealing than text-based ads, which can help businesses stand out from their competitors and capture the attention of their target audience. By incorporating images or videos into their ads, businesses can showcase their products or services in a more dynamic and compelling way.
In addition to being visually appealing, Multimedia Ads can also be more effective at driving brand awareness and consideration. By using multimedia elements to tell a story or highlight the unique features of their products or services, businesses can create ads that resonate with their target audience using Microsoft Ads and help build brand loyalty over time.
Another advantage of Multimedia Ads is that they allow businesses to reach customers at different stages of the customer journey. While Responsive Search Ads are typically used to target customers who are actively searching for a particular product or service, Multimedia Ads can be used to target customers who may not be actively searching but are still interested in a particular topic or product category. By using Multimedia Ads to target these customers, businesses can increase their reach and drive more traffic to their website.
Based on these findings, we recommend that businesses use Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads alongside Responsive Search Ads to gain more visibility on the search results page. By combining these two ad formats, businesses can leverage the strengths of each to achieve their advertising goals. For example, they can use Responsive Search Ads to target customers who are actively searching for their products or services, while using Multimedia Ads to build brand awareness and consideration among a wider audience.
It's also important to note that during our test, both ad types had complete ad assets in terms of headlines, descriptions and images to ensure an accurate comparison. This ensures that both ad formats have an equal opportunity to perform well and provide businesses with valuable insights into the effectiveness of their Microsoft Advertising campaigns.
When creating Multimedia Ads, businesses should keep in mind some best practices to ensure that their ads are as effective as possible. For example, they should use high-quality images or videos that are relevant to their target audience and that showcase their products or services in the best possible light. They should also include clear and concise messaging that highlights the unique benefits of their products or services.
In conclusion, Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads provide a powerful opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves from the competition and engage with potential customers in a more visual and immersive way. While Conversion Counts’ testing showed that they do not perform as well as Microsoft Ads Responsive Search Ads in terms of CTR and clicks, they do offer a lower CPA and CPC, making them a cost-effective addition to any digital marketing campaign.
It is important to note that Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads should not be used as the sole ad type in any campaign. Instead, they should run alongside Microsoft Ads Responsive Search Ads to gain more visibility on the search results page. This allows brands to leverage the strengths of both ad types to create a comprehensive and effective digital marketing strategy.
Furthermore, to maximise the effectiveness of Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads, it is important to use high-quality images and videos that capture the attention of potential customers. The images and videos should be relevant to the ad’s messaging and should convey the brand’s unique value proposition in a compelling and visually appealing way.
Finally, it is important to continually monitor and analyse the performance of Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads in order to optimise their effectiveness over time. By tracking metrics such as CTR, CPA and CPC, brands can identify areas of opportunity and make strategic adjustments to their campaigns to drive better results. Note that Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads seem to have a far lengthier approval processes, we often observed Multimedia Ads taken up to 5 days to get approved vs. the 1 day or so for the Responsive Search Ads therefore, Multimedia Ads editing should be done when absolutely necessary to avoid long downtime.
In summary, Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads offer brands a powerful opportunity to engage with potential customers in a more visual and immersive way. While they may not perform as well as Microsoft Ads Responsive Search Ads in terms of clicks and CTR, they offer a lower CPA and CPC, making them a cost-effective addition to any digital marketing campaign. By using Microsoft Ads Multimedia Ads alongside Microsoft Ads Responsive Search Ads and optimising their ad assets over time, brands can create a comprehensive and effective digital marketing strategy that delivers strong results.