Blinded, deafened and bombarded by ads, viewers are in desperate need for a better browsing environment – where the ads do not come in the way of a meaningful consumption. On the other hand advertisers are spending top dollars in exploiting every available pixel for their ‘in-your-face marketing messages’. Amidst this advertising noise, the ROI is nothing to cheer about.
Native ADs, a more cerebral cousin of the contextual ads, has been gaining more board-room time in the recent past. Advertisers have started listening and the investments in the native ad campaigns have gathered momentum of late. A survey by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found nearly 60 percent of advertisers polled increased native ad budgets by 55 percent in 2014 over the previous year. For 2014, eMarketer pegged native ad spend at $3.2 billion and forecasts that will increase 34.4 percent in 2015 to $4.3 billion.
Steve Sirich, head of product marketing for Bing Ads has announced that they are planning to beta test Bing Ads-fueled native advertising on MSN.com. Driving the idea of Bing Ads as an intent network, the ad targeting will pull intent from Bing Ads and extend that into relative programming on MSN, said Sirich. “It will add more, relevant volume and be great connection for advertisers.”
Bing Native Ads combines these strong intent signals with native experiences which are relevant and natural.
- Users purchase intent / interest as expressed by their prior search queries
- Intent signals from the content of the experience in which the users are at any given point
- Users buying-cycle related actions which point towards a strong intent / interest for purchase
The Bing Native Ads beta is launching in the US across the MSN portal, which had an estimated 1.6 billion visits globally in June, according to SimilarWeb. Over a quarter of that traffic (26.7 percent) came from the US. The company says it plans to expand to other markets later this year. This movement is very much in line with Yahoo’s native stream ads, which are served through its Gemini platform.
- The test aims to connect search intent signals with native ad experiences on MSN.com.
- It certainly puts Bing into a space where Google is not already there – a rarity indeed. It needs to be seen when Google forays into the native ad space.
- The challenge for Bing is to provide a smooth transition for advertisers to test the native ads within its existing interface – coupled with the intent signals and targeting of the native ads
- According to Bing, reporting and conversion tracking are available for native ads through the Bing Ads interface as well.
- The Bing Ads extension to native advertising comes a month after Microsoft closed a deal with AOL to outsource display ad sales and take over search advertising delivery on AOL from Google beginning January 1, 2016.
- Integrated with Bing Ads, Bing Native Ads offers the same targeting and bid-boosting properties, such as location, device, time, day and site remarketing. Beyond intent signals, the product leverages algorithms and comes with bid modifiers for advertisers.
- At the moment, the only site these ads will be displayed on is MSN. In the future, Bing plans to expand, but only to high quality publishers
- Reporting – Reporting will be integrated into the regular Bing reports, but with an option to segment search ads vs. native ads to provide “complete transparency” – According to Bing.
So how will Bing align these ads with user intent?
Their algorithms will consider past search history, contextual signals and past actions previously taken on websites. “The program facilitates the same level of targeting that is available for search ads: location, device type, time of day, day of week and site remarketing,” says Marketing Land reporter Ginny Marvin.