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New Bing Pilot | Ads by Bing

Bing Ads Pilot
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Bing Ads has launched a pilot program designed to improve campaign performance by automatically creating variations of your existing ads. Sounds great, right? Let’s take a closer look.

Technology and automation play a huge role in online marketing. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the guys at Google and Bing are heavily investing in new tools and features using machine learning.

You may recall that back in January 2017, Google launched a similar pilot and called it ‘Ads Added by AdWords’ – now known as ‘Ad Suggestions’ (a much softer message for all those paid search practitioners who felt Google was taking back control over the ad creation and testing process). Well, now Bing has introduced its rival product ‘Ads by Bing’.

So how does it work?

As with all of Bing’s pilot programs, marketers need to contact Bing directly to request access: From there, Bing promises to ‘create ads based on your existing ads and your landing page using machine learning and help from Bing Ads experts’.

Once the ads have been created, Bing will add the ads to your account, label the new ads with ‘Ads by Bing’, change the rotation settings to ‘rotate ads more evenly’ and drop you an email.

The results?

Being the ‘keen to test any new feature’ marketer I am, I was pretty excited to log into Bing Ads to see what new ads had been created and how different these were from my own carefully crafted ads.

To put this into context, here’s a very typical ad that we use for a client of ours:

Free Baby Samples & Packs – Join Mum & Baby Online Today.
Free goodies & offers for new parents from top baby brands. Sign-up in seconds!

And now for the ‘Ads by Bing’:

Maternity Wear – Mumandbabyonline
Join now and get FREE goodies & offers from top baby brands.

Pampers – Contact Us
Join now and get FREE goodies & offers from top baby brands.

At a glance, the above, although a little small,  doesn’t look too bad. However, take a closer look and you’ll see that there are a number of issues here.

  1. Copy – ‘Maternity Wear’
    This isn’t actually something our client offers, nor is it something that is mentioned anywhere on the site, which is a little misleading to say the least.
  2. Capitalisation – ‘FREE’
    Bing’s Ad style policies state ‘Don’t use random capitalisation, even if you are trying to emphasise part of your ad copy.’
  3. Misleading Message – ‘Pampers – Contact Us’
    This is probably the ad that shocked me the most. Bing claims that it wants to eliminate ‘confusing user experiences’, but this ad would be incredibly misleading if users believe they are about to click through to a completely different brand.

Needless to say, these ads were paused the second they were added to the account to prevent them from appearing in the live results.

I think it’s pretty clear that I haven’t exactly been blown away by the initial results of the pilot. However, ever the underdog supporter, I do have hope that with a little more time and more help from machine learning, Bing will be able to crack the ads. But for now, I would definitely approach them with caution.

My advice

  • Sign up for the pilot – maybe Bing will create some truly awesome ads for your account?
  • Keep your eyes peeled for that crucial email from Bing telling you that the ads are about to be added.
  • As a safety net (because our spam folders can be inconveniently sensitive at times), set up a rule to alert you if there are ads that are labelled ‘Ads by Bing’ that are enabled within the account.
  • Have an open mind – IF the ads aren’t quite what you expected but don’t appear to fall too far outside the ads policies, try them out. You might just find a hidden gem.
Louise Childs
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