Microsoft Advertising Drives Performance Through Video Ads

Microsoft has advanced its advertising platform -- announcing Tuesday that its Audience Network now supports Video Ads for all in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Video Ads can be used to complement an existing image and text ad strategy to reach more potential customers as they move across the online landscape.

Video Ads on the Microsoft Audience Network aims to complement existing search and image ad strategies.

The ads are fueled and supported by intent data like searches, web activity, browser behavior, and more. The goal is to pull the audience into an immersive format while moving potential customers closer to the purchase.

Microsoft Advertising also released internal data touting that one in three users stay on MSN and Microsoft Edge to get the content they need. About 72 minutes is the average time spent by a visitor on Microsoft Edge per month, according to Comscore data (January 2021).



It turns out, per Comscore data from 2018, 39% of users watch videos on MSN, but not on YouTube, and 57% of users watch videos on MSN but not on Facebook. (I think that has changed.)

Best practices include a focus on attention:

  • Catch the audience’s attention in ten seconds or less. Although ads can run longer—between 6 seconds and 120 seconds, the first 10 seconds are critical to landing the message.
  • Feature the product or brand message early on to ensure people remember it.
  • Design for sound off. The Video Ads auto-play with the sound off, so use text and graphics whenever possible.
  • Adapt the message to the customer journey. To drive action with customers, use Video Ads to provide more information about a product or service and drive them to sign up or purchase pages.
  • Be creative. See what works. Try different video lengths, intro text copy, headlines, or landing pages to see what resonates best with your audience.
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