Microsoft Advertising… formerly Bing Ads, who knew?
This week we are talking about Bing Ads… err Microsoft Advertising (yep, it was renamed last year, who knew). The often overlooked and lesser known major search ad network is finally getting a little love from us. Why? Because we’ve had customers ask for it and we are happy to deliver (and because we are working on MS Teams support, so, you know…)
“Everyone always laughs at me when I bring up Bing. People don’t realize that it has 36.2% of the overall U.S. desktop search market, and they’ve probably used Bing recently and didn’t even know. Hey, Alexa – can you tell me how to get cheap CPAs?” – Jessica Dupee, Marketing Manager | FortyFour
Microsoft is having a bit of a moment lately. Seems like their products and services are getting a lot better. Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft has come a long way since they launched Bing over 10 years ago.
At that time I remember thinking Bing was a joke compared to Google. After all, it was an amalgamation of MSN Search and Windows Live Search. But like a lot of Microsoft products lately, slowly but surely, it ended up being not too bad.
While it’s competitors stumble, Microsoft is making quality products (Surface and Teams) and hitting acquisition home runs (LinkedIn and GitHub) and that brings us back to Bing.
#2 to Google is still really big ?
Newsflash: Google search is the #1 global search engine… by far. Bing is technically #3 globally and sits just below Baidu, but in the US, Bing (plus Yahoo and AOL which are mostly powered by Bing) represents around 5% market share.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story, did you know, Bing has:
- 36% of the desktop search engine market
- Accounts for 5.4 billion monthly searches
- 136 million unique searchers
And Bing pops up in a lot of different places. While Google has a stranglehold on the search market, all of the minor players are either powered directly by Bing or partner with Microsoft Advertising. For example:
- Yahoo! (11.7% of the US Market Share)
- AOL (~1% US Market Share)
- DuckDuckGo (~1% US Market Share)
Believe it or not, Bing reaches 63 million searchers that aren’t reached with Google Ads and, as a result, Microsoft Ads represents a significant 33% share of the search advertising marketing in the US. Wonder why? Me too, check it out ?
Bing, it’s in more places than you’d think ?️
Let’s start with the obvious, today there are more than 1.5 Billion devices powered by Windows. The Bing logo might not be as visible as Google, but the search bar in the bottom corner of your PC and the Cortana assistant is, well you guessed it, Bing.
Bing is also the default search engine in Internet Explorer (Edge) which still accounts for a respectable 15% of the browser marketing in the US.
And even though you may be on a Mac, chances are, like me, that you are using Microsoft Office daily, so you might be using Bing without noticing it. If you’ve ever typed into the search bar on the ribbon or right clicked onto a keyword to search within an email or a document, that’s Bing too. Outside of Office, other Microsoft apps like Skype and Teams also integrate with Bing for their search results.
Got an Xbox? Yep, that’s a Microsoft product as well! That’s another 65 million gamers that all interact with Bing daily and probably have no idea.
Ok, so maybe you don’t use a PC and you don’t use MS Office and you don’t play Xbox, but I’d wager you have asked Alexa to search something for you.
Yep, that’s right. When you search via Alexa it’s Bing. Who knew?!
What to know about Microsoft Advertising ?
For many digital marketing agencies Microsoft Advertising is almost always the 2nd preference to Google Ads because, most circumstances, it makes very little sense to run a 2nd search ads campaign. Why?
Well, when you introduce an additional channel you also introduce an additional set of campaigns and ads that have to be created, managed and monitored. That means more labor and more stress. If your team is already spread thin there are really only 2 reasons to add a second channel or to use Microsoft Ads exclusively:
- You’ve tapped out Google
- Your ideal audience is better suited for Microsoft Advertising.
Google Can Be Expensive ?
Because of its popularity, Google Ads are the default and go-to channel for all search engine marketers. As a result, Google is pretty good at driving up ad costs and maximizing bids to capitalize on the success for Google search. For some industries and product categories this means ad costs can become cost prohibitive for many advertisers. This makes the 2nd option not only viable, but valuable. Microsoft Advertising costs are hard to beat:
- 29% lower cost per sale with Microsoft Advertising than with Google Ads
- 35% higher conversion rate at the same cost per click as Google Ads
- 40% conversion rate with Microsoft Advertising, compared to 10% conversion rates for third-party networks
If you are a small to mid-sized advertiser they are plenty of eyeballs and clicks available via Microsoft and, if you can get them at a discount, maybe you should consider it.
Your Audience Might Be On Bing ?
Ads displayed through Microsoft Advertising networks tend to attract an older audience. This really shouldn’t be surprising, right? Older audiences favor PC’s over Mac’s, and even if they don’t love their PC, they may not have an option because it’s a work laptop. What’s more, older audiences don’t download Chrome or change the default browser, hence they are going to use Bing.
If your campaign is designed for an older audience, specifically the 35-to 54-year-old demographic, then you’re in luck because that age group accounts for nearly 75% of Bing users. And 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.
This is ideal for B2B and industries that skew older and wealthier, like:
- Legal services
It’s Live! ?
Today we released support for Bing in our digital marketing assistant. We now support the same threshold monitoring, anomaly detection, and smart notifications as Google, Facebook and Instagram.
You can give it a try by typing “@eletype add a new connection”, like this:
Bing might be #2, but it’s an important #2 and we are here to make sure you get the most of your Microsoft ads. And don’t be shy! If you want to learn more about our Bing integration reach out via email or social. We are always happy to chat.
Until next time,