What About Bing? A Guide to Understanding Microsoft Ads
Diversification is vital when it comes to long-term marketing success. Businesses that rely solely on one marketing channel are extremely vulnerable to competitors, shifts in customer preferences, and shifts in new technology.
If all your eggs are in the Google Ads basket, then now is the time to consider Microsoft Ads.
What Is Microsoft Advertising?
Microsoft Advertising, formerly Bing Ads, is the Bing search engine platform for PPC ad placement. Target audiences can see your ads in three different search engines — AOL, Bing, and Yahoo. Advertisers can have their campaigns viewed across those outlets, any sites owned by them, as well as partner sites.
Incorporating Microsoft Advertising into your PPC strategy expands your reach. The platform accounted for 25% of searches done using a desktop computer during June 2019. The number represents an additional 11 million searches outside of Google.
Understanding the Microsoft Advertising Platform
Microsoft Advertising has vastly expanded the array of tools offered since rebranding its former Bing Ads service. Here is an overview of those features and how they can be used to enhance your current marketing campaigns.
Ads on the Bing network can be geared toward specific audiences, thanks to the following targeting features of the Microsoft Ads platform.
- Keywords — You can place bids on specific keywords and make changes based on conversion rates.
- Scheduling — Microsoft Advertising allows you to time the display of your ads each day in 15-minute increments. Advertisers can also schedule ads to show up during business hours for their brick-and-mortar stores.
- Demographics — You can design ads targeted at specific age groups and age ranges.
- Location — You can target specific locations where your ads will be displayed and/or block locations from seeing your ads.
Microsoft Shopping Campaigns allow you to manage your product catalogs housed in the Microsoft Merchant center store. Product Ads include information about the product itself, an associated image, and any promotional text you may want to add. You can build them from scratch or import any Google campaigns you may have already built.
You can enhance the catalog feeds in your Microsoft Shopping Campaigns using the following attributes:
- Product Category (max of five per offer)
- Brand Name
- Product Type
- Condition of Product
- Merchant Product Identifier (or Item ID)
- Customized label (up to five per offer)
Microsoft Search Network
The Microsoft Search Network includes sites like MSN.com, Yahoo.com, and all other syndicated Microsoft and Yahoo partners. All search and audience ads are distributed across the network, aimed at your specific audiences.
Advertisers can narrow or expand the focus of their ads based on their current needs. You can choose to have campaigns seen everywhere or target a single channel. Microsoft Advertising also allows you to exclude your ads from being seen on partner websites.
AI Capabilities With Microsoft Audience Network
Microsoft tracks audience behavior patterns and uses that information to come up with new enhancements for advertisements while giving you a brand-safe environment. The Microsoft Graph visualization tool allows advertisers to view datasets and other information for better insight into the performance of various campaigns.
Advantages of Microsoft Advertising
Ads displayed on the Microsoft Search Network tend to attract an older audience, with 40% of those responding in the 35- to 54-year-old demographic. It’s an essential factor, because that age group accounts for nearly 75% of Bing users. Almost half the audience in that network makes at least $75,000 or more per year, making Microsoft Advertising an attractive prospect for those targeting high-wage earners.
Microsoft Ads campaigns tend to spend only a third of the amount that they would on a Google Ads campaign.
Microsoft Advertising allows you to diversify your PPC campaigns. Like Google Ads, it gives you control over your target audience and ad placements. Plus, Microsoft Advertising tends to cost less than Google Ads and will get your ads in front of an older, higher-earning audience.
Want more tips to improve your ad campaigns? Click here to grab a copy of our "Ultimate Google Ads Checklist."
Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.