24/07/2023 • Adam Moody
Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) is a powerful and underrated PPC advertising tool for businesses. Although Google dominates the search market, Microsoft Ads reaches a sizable audience of over 1 billion monthly visitors. It extends its reach to Yahoo! and Bing, with additional third-party websites. The platform offers reduced competition and lower CPC, leading to better ROI. Importantly, Microsoft Ads targets a distinct demographic, including affluent users aged 45 and above, making it ideal for certain businesses. It also integrates with LinkedIn for precise audience targeting based on job function and industry. Additionally, advertisers can target different time zones for their campaigns. While Microsoft Ads may not surpass Google, it presents a valuable opportunity to reach untapped markets with less competition. Both platforms have their own strengths and can be effective depending on the marketer's strategy.
Remember Bing Ads? Well, they go by Microsoft Ads now and they definitely shouldn’t be an afterthought. While Google remains king of search with the vast majority of the market share (it’s become a verb, after all), Microsoft Ads are in second place.
Savvy digital marketers can (and should) learn how to leverage the power of Microsoft Ads and understand exactly how to advertise on Bing. Bing business ads might just help you reach a new audience and tap into a big ol’ pile of cash just waiting for you to reach out and grab it.
In this guide, we’ll look at what makes Bing Ads great, and show you how to set up your first campaign.
Microsoft Advertising is a powerfully underrated pay-per-click (PPC) advertising tool for businesses. Yes, Google owns 84% of the global search market, but Microsoft’s search engine comes in second with 9%. That gap may seem significant, but with more than 1 billion unique visitors each month, trust us, plenty of people are using Bing.
And if you’re targeting PC users in particular, Bing may be perfect for you. According to Microsoft Search Network data, the platforms boast 13.9 billion monthly PC searches and 686 million unique PC users.
Contrary to Google Ads, which displays your advertisements exclusively on Google, Microsoft Ads extends its reach to two distinct search engines, namely Yahoo! and Bing. Notably, while Bing may not enjoy the same level of popularity as other search engines, it has demonstrated consistent growth in its market share over the past few years, albeit on a smaller scale.
Microsoft Ads stands out by offering the ability to choose specific demographic parameters for your target audience. Like many other platforms, it also grants users access to APIs (application programming interfaces), simplifying the process of monitoring campaign performance. Furthermore, Microsoft Advertising supports the importation of Google Ads campaigns, promoting the synergistic use of both platforms.
Are you new to the world of paid advertising? Maybe you're already leveraging Google Ads? Regardless, by incorporating Microsoft Ads into your marketing strategy, you can tap into the expansive Microsoft Search Network. This opens up a fresh, untapped market and significantly boosts the visibility of your ads to a larger audience. Whether your goal is to drive product sales, explore new target demographics, or raise brand awareness, the Microsoft Search Network delivers a substantial influx of new users who will engage with your digital marketing endeavours.
The Microsoft Search Network goes beyond relying solely on the Bing search engine. It encompasses a multitude of search engines simultaneously, granting you access to diverse user bases. The search engines incorporated within the network include:
Furthermore, the Microsoft Search Network comprises a selection of third-party websites, which are both owned and operated by Microsoft and Yahoo's syndicated search partners, also known as the Syndicated Partner Network. You have the ability to monitor the performance of your advertisements on each of these search partners individually, granting you complete control over the placement of your paid ads across the online landscape.
Although the Microsoft Search Network may have a smaller volume compared to the Google Search Network, this can be beneficial for your digital marketing efforts. Due to fewer businesses utilising Microsoft Ads as opposed to Google Ads, there is considerably less competition for advertising space.
This advantage is particularly significant across various industries since Microsoft Ads can cost 40-70% less than Google Ads. Consequently, you can potentially achieve double the number of ad clicks for the same budget, reaching a larger audience.
Considerations should be given to the quality of traffic that can be generated through Microsoft Ads. Although the Microsoft Search Network may have a smaller volume compared to Google, it appeals to a distinct demographic. Noteworthy points regarding the global audience of Microsoft Ads are as follows:
These statistics indicate that a considerable portion of the user base consists of affluent individuals who are older in age, and they tend to conduct online research before making purchases. The Microsoft Search Network is often perceived as a platform favoured by business professionals and decision-makers, making it an ideal starting point for displaying your paid advertisements.
Furthermore, the reduced competition for bidding and generally lower cost per click (CPC) can contribute to significantly higher returns on investment (ROI) for your paid ads when compared to other advertising platforms.
If you're already utilising Google Ads as part of your digital marketing strategy, you have the opportunity to seamlessly import all your Google Ads data into Microsoft Advertising.
The process is effortless and empowers you with complete authority over the elements you wish to import. Whether it's campaigns, individual ad groups, negative keyword lists, or bid adjustments, you have the flexibility to select what suits your requirements. Once the import is complete, you can fine-tune and customise your digital marketing campaigns exclusively for the Microsoft Search Network or activate them immediately.
When discussing online paid advertising, we frequently associate the origin of ads with the platforms on which we encounter them. In many instances, this correlation holds true. For instance, we often come across Google Ads while using Google Search, or Microsoft Ads while conducting searches on Bing.
Nevertheless, various search networks continue to serve paid advertisements, even if they appear in different locations. Microsoft Advertising, for example, has forged partnerships to enhance its search traffic across diverse devices and operating systems. Several examples of such collaborations are:
Next time you're browsing the web, keep an eye out for the "Powered by Bing" tag. You might be surprised by how frequently you come across it while searching for something online!
Bing Ads manager lets you target highly relevant audiences by using profile information from LinkedIn.
That’s right: Microsoft Ads allows you to target an audience and apply bid modifiers based on the information pulled from LinkedIn.
You can target Bing ad campaigns based on:
This feature is a game changer for B2B services. Looking to attract people to your niche, highly-technical white paper writing company? Well, things just got easier. Find your top ten wish-list clients, search for their company, input the right industry, and aim for marketing managers.
Microsoft Ads offers a frequently overlooked feature that enables you to target various local time zones with your campaigns. By default, the time zone is typically set to your own account's time zone, such as GMT (London) time. However, if you customise your ad schedule, your ads will be displayed to your audience at specific times of the day according to the targeted time zone.
But what if you wish to showcase your ads across a broader area or in different countries simultaneously? Let's say you want to target the entire United States mainland with a campaign. You might already know that the optimal time to display your ads is between 8 am and 8 pm. To accomplish this manually, you would require a minimum of three campaigns:
Fortunately, Microsoft Advertising offers a feature that allows ads to be displayed to viewers based on their local time zone, adhering to the schedule you've set. This functionality is particularly advantageous for large countries spanning multiple time zones or when targeting multiple countries with a single campaign.
While Microsoft may never truly rival Google’s dominance in search, it’s important that you don’t forget about it. Businesses should capitalise on this huge opportunity to reach their target audience as they are searching, with less-diluted markets.
Microsoft Ads operates similarly to other paid search ad platforms, but it offers distinct advantages that can greatly benefit businesses. Whether you're new to pay-per-click advertising or not, Microsoft Ads provides an excellent starting point with its unique set of features.
Depending on your marketing strategy, Bing Ads can be lucrative. The smaller circle of competition especially can make it worth it to businesses. Also, the ability to target based on company, industry, and job function can be very useful for niche players.
Remember: neither Google Ads nor Bing Ads are better. They each have their own pros and cons and can both be effective tools in the hands of the right marketer.
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