Microsoft Launches Video Ads, Video Extensions, Facebook Adds Topic Targeting

Advertisers now have the opportunity to run video ad campaigns on the Microsoft Audience Network, reaching an audience of 300 million active users.

The announcement was made at the Microsoft Advertising Partner Summit on Wednesday.

Facebook followed on Thursday, announcing the ability to target video ads based on topics across Facebook and Instagram.

The company also shared that there are now 2 billion people each month who watch videos who are eligible for in-stream ads. 

About 70% of "in-stream ads are watched to completion on Facebook and Instagram, with the company’s data showing that by adding a Facebook In-Stream campaign to ad purchases that already include News Feed and Stories, advertisers saw a median 1.5x increase in ad recall," according to one report.

Marketers in the U.S. are expected to spend $11.24 billion in 2021 on digital video ads, reaching $12.66 billion in 2024, according to Statista



Microsoft's Video Ads can run between 6 seconds and 120 seconds, and are based on either a CPM or a cost-per-click (CPC) model. Advertisers can upload them to the Microsoft Advertising platform to run on desktop and mobile.

Microsoft Advertising will accept all standard video formats including MP4, MOV and MPEG2, among others.

The video ad beta initially will launch in the United States and the United Kingdom, with other regions to come.

Advertisers can add new metrics such as views, CPV and video completion rate to reports to measure performance.

Microsoft also introduced Video Extensions in beta to help advertisers stand out on the search results page.

With Video Extensions, brands can create an interactive way to demonstrate products, services, and messages. They can showcase special deals, emotions, ambiance, culture, and action.

On desktop, according to Microsoft, when a user clicks on the thumbnail image, the video plays in a full-screen overlay above the Display text and Action text.

Viewers can watch the video, and then click on the call-to-action button or the text in the ad.

On mobile, the video plays in the frame with the Display text, providing an opportunity to engage viewers and generate views.



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