Generative AI tools are taking the world of digital marketing by storm, and Bing has one you should check out. As the first browser-based AI-powered image creator, Bing Image Creator offers a seamless way to generate AI images from within the Bing and Microsoft Edge experiences.
Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president and consumer chief marketing officer, announced the launch in March on the official Microsoft blog. But what exactly is Bing Image Creator, and how can digital marketers integrate it into their content creation toolkit?
In this post, we examine the features of Bing Image Creator, how it works, what makes Bing’s AI image generator unique, and how you can use it in your digital marketing strategy.
What is Bing Image Creator?
Bing Image Creator is a free generative AI tool that uses Open AI’s DALL∙E model to enable users to create visual content using text prompts. Image Creator is available worldwide at bing.com/create in English only. The tool’s FAQs mention that it will support other languages in the future.
Like other generative AI image creators, Image Creator is a helpful tool for digital marketers who are not graphic designers.
An AI-generated image created in Bing Image Creator with the prompt “A photorealistic image of two women enjoying coffee on a patio.”
Why AI image generators are becoming increasingly popular
If it seems like you suddenly have dozens of image generator options, it’s not your imagination. Jasper Art, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, Craiyon, and Starry AI are just a few of the AI image generators that have recently hit the market.
As Microsoft stated in its announcement introducing Image Creator, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, making visuals an integral part of how we learn and retain information.
In local marketing, images are an integral part of the local experience at every point from search to in-store experience to customer service, which can:
Help local searchers understand which business location best suits their needs
High-quality, original local photos help your listings stand out and grab attention in competitor search results. You can submit important information about each site’s unique facilities, accessibility measures, staff, etc.
Simplify complex information and convey concepts faster and more effectively than text alone
For example, an infographic can summarize complex information in an easy-to-understand and visually appealing way.
Improve branding by creating a consistent and recognizable brand identity
By using consistent imagery across all marketing channels, you can amplify your brand message and create a strong visual identity that people associate with your brand.
Visual content is more likely to be shared on social media platforms, which can increase engagement with your brand. When people share your images, they help spread your message to a wider audience, increasing brand awareness and customer engagement.
Create an emotional bond with the customer that can lead to a booking, purchase or in-store visit. For example, product or service images can help potential customers visualize themselves and guide them in their purchasing decision.
Optimize design effort
AI image generators make it easy for marketers without graphic design skills to create images for blog headers, email marketing, social media, and more by simply sharing text instructions (prompts) with the platform.
The importance of permission-based controls
As with all marketing content, it’s important to have an editorial process in place to ensure images are free of potentially problematic subject matter or copyrighted material.
This is one of the reasons we built publishing permissions and branding controls into Local Manager.
The best and most compelling local content comes from the local people who work and serve customers in each local shop or office. However, managing any amount of content across hundreds or thousands of locations quickly becomes time-consuming and complex.
To protect your brand’s reputation, content must go through a verification process before it appears online in front of customers and searchers.
Rio SEO’s Local Manager builds permissions-based content creation, assigning access tiers, and ensuring enterprise compliance into your local marketing workflow, so local creators can share the best possible content without sacrificing brand controls.
Features and functions of Bing Image Creator
So what exactly can Bing Image Creator do? Here are some of the features you need to know about.
It will be fully integrated into the Bing chat experience
Only Bing and Edge preview users could access Image Creator within the chat experience at launch. However, Bing plans to make this universal so anyone using the Bing chat experience can use the “Draw image” or “Create image” prompts and a description of the image they want to get the generator working.
If you ask the Bing search engine to draw you a picture, you’ll be prompted to install Microsoft Edge and use chat mode to generate a picture.
“Boosts” speed up image generation
Bing Image Creator has a credit system called Boosts that prioritizes images so they create faster. Each user gets 25 boosts upon signup, and each generated image uses one boost.
Edge is the first AI-powered browser with an integrated image generator
Microsoft’s Edge browser now has a Bing Image Creator icon in the sidebar that you can click to create an image using a command prompt or your conversation on Bing Chat.
Photo credit: Official Microsoft Blog
Microsoft has integrated additional security features and controls
Image Creator continues to run and is subject to the same safeguards and protections as OpenAI’s DALL∙E. Microsoft shared some additional controls it has put in place:
“For example, we have controls in place aimed at limiting the generation of harmful or unsafe images. When our system detects that a potentially malicious image could be generated by a command prompt, it blocks the prompt and warns the user. We also make it clear that Image Creator’s images are generated by AI, and we include a modified Bing icon in the bottom left corner of each image to indicate that the image was created with Image Creator.”
Bing Image Creator tips for local marketers
If you decide to use Image Creator as part of your content creation strategy, these tips can help you get the most out of it.
Only use AI-generated content where it makes sense
That is, where local customers don’t expect high-quality photos of real people, products, and buildings.
For example, it probably doesn’t make sense to use AI for your local listings. However, AI images could be used to illustrate a point or share information on social media, email marketing, or blog posts.
Use prompts that reflect the needs of your audience
Think about what kind of images they are most likely to react to? What emotions do you want to evoke? By understanding your audience, you can create images that resonate with them and increase engagement.
Edit AI images to further personalize them for your audience
Consider adding specific elements like text or logos that are relevant to the viewer. Personalizing images in this way can increase engagement and help create a stronger connection with your audience.
Don’t get carried away
While AI-generated images can help create new visuals quickly and easily, they still need to fit your brand. Make sure your images are consistent with your brand message, colors, and overall aesthetic.
Test and refine
As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to test and refine your approach. Use enterprise-level local marketing analytics to track the performance of your AI-generated imagery alongside other campaign and promotional materials, and use the insights gained to refine your approach over time.
Share your brand’s approach to AI content with local managers and franchisees
Create a guideline guiding how AI-generated images and text can be used locally and share it with franchisees, local store managers, and others involved in local marketing. If there are tools you prefer, share them; if some are banned, share those too.
Be transparent and proactive when communicating your brand’s expectations for how local stakeholders can (or can’t) use generative AI.
Would you like to find out more? Check out these other helpful resources: