When we talk about search engines, Google is the one word we get to hear. Of course, Google has taken over the market with a furor, but that does not mean it is the only search engine that is functioning in the market. Comprehensively speaking, there are three major search engines that people prefer to use. Google, Bing and Yahoo. While Yahoo might have fizzled out a little over the years, no many know that Bing has been running strong enough along with Google. Though Google has a bunch of extra options and tools available in its kitty, Bing still continues to hold a small market in Canada with around 17 percent of the traffic still using Bing. With a bunch of masses still using Bing as a search engine, you need to also focus on using Bing in your online marketing strategy to capture the attention of as many people as possible.
Just like Google, Bing also has services that make it easy for businesses to market themselves. One such notable service is the Bing Ads. Bing also publishes online ads similar to the Google Ads that work on the similar pattern of PPC. Though Google Ads acquire a large chunk of the market, Bing does its fair share as well. What pushes Bing a little further is the fact that Yahoo! allows Bing ads to be published on their website, which widens the market for Bing Ads. In today’s article, I will cover a lot more on how Bing ads are something you should definitely not ignore.
What Bings Are Ads?
Before we completely dig into using Bing Ads, let us understand more about what Bing Ads are. Bing Ads were not always Bing Ads. When Steve Ballmer launched Bing Ads in 2009, it had gone through a long line of different names. It was first a part of MSN Search, then Windows Live Search and then finally Live Search before it became Bing Ads. From being addressed as Microsoft adCenter to being simply Bing Ads, the change was actually a part for a study that took suggestions of a random focus group on what can be an apt name for the search engine.
While the name Bing might have come much later, the association of Yahoo and Bing roots back to the time when PPC ads were pretty new in the online marketing scenario. This is because they have always maintained a relationship of complete give and take. When PPC was introduced, Yahoo helpedBing (then Microsoft) to publish their ads on its ownthe platform as Microsoft did not have one. Once Microsoft got its own PPC advertising platform started, it let Yahoo ads to be published on it. This camaraderie can be still noticed with Bing ads still being published on Yahoo search.
Bing Ads are just like your Google ads. They too get displayed on the search engine with the use of the right keyword. They too work on a pocket-friendly concept of PPC advertising. So why should you spend that extra money to advertise more? Because getting that extra attention from more target audience is not going to be harmful. And how do you get that extra attention? For that, you need to continue reading more about Bing Ads.
Who Views Bing Ads?
Talking more about the extra attention you can get with the help of Bing Ads, Bing search engine is not a commonly used platform, but it does have a stipulated following. There are certain users that have used Bing search for a long time now and still continue to do so. Some of them do it because they are comfortable using it after so many years while others do so because it may be the default search engine of their browser. Internet Explorer, for instance, continues to show loyalty towards Bing by using it as the default search engine. Even people who use Windows laptops or smartphones end up using Bing as a search engine. As a marketer working in the field of online marketing for years and observing user behavior closely, I can say safely that Bing users are people with the following personas.
People who are not coping with the technological advancement and tend to continue in a same
People who are in their mid-thirties and above, who are not really open to change.
Users of Windows products.
Users of Microsoft Edge.
Out of these people, a huge number will actually fall in your target audience. Also, even if 17 percent of Canadians use Bing, it still amounts for a good thousands of people just within your locality.
Why should you use Bing Ads?
1) Maximized Reach
Google has a larger market, and we are not at all denying that, but we cannot deny the fact that Bing too has a decent market of its own. In fact, the audience that does use the Bing network is a different category of users that you may specifically want to target. So if you are using Google Ads to capture the attention of the masses, you may want to even consider using Bing Ads to capture the attention of this different type of target audience. Also, the more you reach out to the people, the higher the chances of getting a lead. So why not use this extra medium of getting more audience to your website?
2) Easy to Start
Bing Ads may not be technically advanced as Google to keep adding new features in their overall network. But they know exactly what they want, and they are using this knowledge to their benefit. The people at Bing are aware of Google’s popularity and that marketers are swarming over Google Ads to get attention. Now with this knowledge handy, Bing decided on giving these marketers an easy bait to start using Bing network as well. That bait is their option of directly importing campaign from Google AdWords. That’s right! You can simply use a campaign right off your Google AdWords on your Bing ads without having to put in any extra efforts of redesigning campaigns or researching keywords. Now isn’t this what every marketer dreams of, an easy way out?
3) Cost Effective
Yes, Google Ads are a bigger network. Yes, Google Ads have a higher number of marketers. You know what this means, the number of competitors bidding for a single ad space are so many. This gives Google the chance to keep the stakes high, which means advertising on Google is a little pricey. Now coming to our humble little Bing Ads, the prices are much lower to advertise on the Bing network as the completion is lesser.In fact,the difference in the pricing of Bing Ads and Google Ads can go up to 70%! With such a staggering difference in the price, Bing turns out to be a very cost effective method of adverting.
4) Advertising Support
Bing Ads are competing with a giant called Google Ads, who have thousands of representatives working for them throughout the day. These representatives are kept ready by Google to provide their customers with end to end support for their Google Ads. Now Bing knows that its competitor is big and hence Bing has been working all these years to ensure that it provides amazing advertising support to its Bing Ad users. This step on Bings part will go a long way for it as keeping your customer happy after the acquisition is as important as making them your customer.
5) Better Video Search
Google has a wide variety of options within its search engine. One such amazing option is the video search in which Google flaunts one of its own vertical, the YouTube. Video searches on Google will display to your different options on YouTube, and it also enables marketers to use YouTube as an advertising channel. However, Bing still manages to take an upper hand here as Bing is known to have a better search result interface for its video searching audience. Unlike Google that gives a list of videos with thumbnails, Bing search gives a large grid of videos on its own interface to directly play without getting redirected. This feature makes Bing popular among the video searching masses, which increases your chances of tapping a good traffic.
6) Less Competition
We already discussed how the majority of the marketers are running behind Google Ads to find their top spot by bidding all the money they can. This rat race of major marketerson Google makes you the king cat on Bing. How? Well, with lesser people on Bing network, you do not have to compete on price much when bidding for keywords. Also, it also becomes possible for you to buy the tops spots on the Bing network by just paying half of what you might have on the Google network for advertising.
7) Different Campaign Options
There are a lot of similarities in the options Google Ads and Bing Ads have,butthere are also some differences that make each them better from the other. Bing Ads, for instance, has the option that allows the advertiser to set different time zones for different campaigns. This option is not available on Google Ads. Such an option makes it easier for an advertiser to schedule the ads without any confusion. This optionis especially helpful for advertisers who have a global audience to cater. Also, if you create an ad on Google, you have to choose your network, schedule, language and location in the campaign level and not the ad groups. Bing, on the other hand, gives the advertiser the freedom to edit these setting at the ad group level. This benefit the advertiser time management as they need not create a completely new campaign to manage these options.
8) Enhanced Targeting
Google ads think comprehensively, and hence they have audience targeting options that covers all types of devices including desktops, tablets and mobiles phones. That’s great! But what if you do not want to target tablet users? Well, Google does not consider this choice of yours. Bing, on the other hand, understands your need for doing such filtering in targeting and hence it has an option using which an advertiser can actually exclude desktop and tablet users from his target audience. What more? If you plan to only create PPC ads for mobile phone users, you can even select the type of operating systems you want to advertise on. For example, if Apple chooses to advertise a new app, it can simply choose to advertise only on iOS user devices.
Additionally, Bing Ads enables advertisers to choose the search partners along with Bing and Yahoo. Also, you can choose to have just search partners in the ad group level. The same is not the case with Google Ads. With Google ads, you can either target only Google Search or other search partners along with Google search. Google does not even allow the advertisers to find out the search partner that is driving the majority traffic. Bing Ads gives you this data in a complete analysis report. Bing Ads also allows you to remove a single partner without any hassles if you think that the partner is not helping you with any traffic.
9) Social Media Push
Online search engine ads have little information here and there that give is a reputation push in the eye of the audience. This push is only successful if it is relevant for the user. Keeping this in mind, Bing started giving the social media push to ads by mentioning the number of Twitter followers the advertiser had as an extra knowledge for the target audience. Google ads, on the other hand, mentions the Google+ followers of the advertiser. Frankly speaking, Google+ doesn’t not hold much relevance for the masses as it is the less popular social media platform with not many people using it. So Bing Ads gets an upper hand here with the choice of right social media push as compared to Google Ads.
10) Demographic Control
Google Ads are good when it comes to demographic targeting. When you create a campaign on Google Ads, it enables you to check your demographic targeting on the Google Display Network. However, it does not allow the same with search network. Bing, on the other hand, has the option that enables the advertiser to control the demographics of the target audience for the search network. It can be done at both ad group level of campaign level. The advertisers can also manage and change their bids according to the demographic factors of gender and age.
Bing ads are definitely underrated given the fact that they have so much to offer. Big guns generally occupy the large bids,and top spots in Google Ads so small and mid-sized business should definitely consider Bing ads as they have a lot to offer in terms of ad campaigns and audience targeting.
Setting You Bing Ad Campaign
Bing Ads are different but not very different. You can easily set up an account and start using Bing Ads. To make the setting up process easier, here is a step by step process to follow.
1) Create an Account
To create a Bing Ad account, you first need to have a Microsoft account. Create a Microsoft account first and then use the same email Id to connect your Microsoft account to your Bing Ads account. After logging in, add your details, choose your business time zone and the option “To manage my own accounts”.Once you have agreed to the terms and conditions, your account will be active.
2) Create a Campaign
The next step is to create a campaign. Select the option “Create a new campaign”. Choosing this option will give you’re a set of more options to select. You now need to name your campaign and choose the language you wish to use. Now choose the exact locations you want to target with your campaign. In Bing Ads, you can also choose to exclude a location. For example, if you are a dry cleaner in Edmonton and you do not want to advertise in Calgary, you can choose Alberta and exclude Calgary from it.
3) Find the Keywords
Most of the magic on search engine happens with the help of keywords. Use the right keywords, and your ad will get the attention you want. You the wrong keywords and there goes your hard earned money for nothing. So to put every penny to the right use, do a proper keyword research before you create an ad. For example, if you own an HVAC shop and you want to put up an ad for repairs, simply using the word ‘HVAC’as a keyword will get your ad in front of hundreds of people. But if you be a little specific and use ‘HVAC repairs as a keyword, the possibilities of getting leads will be much higher. Bing Ads also has a keyword planner to make your keyword research process easier, so use it and identify the most appropriate keyword for your ad before you add it to your campaign. Once you have selected your keyword, you will have to select a match type. There four types of match type in Bing Ads.
Exact Match: Exact match is an option that will display your ad to a user only when he uses the exact matching keyword in the search query. Even a little change in the sequence will not display your ad to a user.
Phrase Match: A phrase match trigger tells Bing ads that you want your ad to be displayed to a user only if the keyword is used in the sequence you have mentioned. For example, if you used the phrase ‘HVAC repairs, your ad will also be displayed to a person using the keyword ‘HVAC repairs in Edmonton’ but not to a person using the keyword ‘Company that repairs HVAC’.
Broad Match: Broad match is the default setting in your Bing Ads platform when you create a campaign. In this, Bing will decide if your ad and keyword matches with a user’s query or is it relevant to their search. Then accordingly it will display your ad to the user. This type oftrigger is a bit of a lottery system.
Broad Match Modified: In a broad match modified trigger, when you add a ‘+’ sign in front of your keyword, your ad will be displayed to a user even when someone looks for a close variation. For example, if a user looks for a large phrase which includes ‘HVAC repairs’,you ad will be displayed to him.
4) Create Your Ad
The next step after deciding your keywords for the ad is to create an ad. You can create a simple text ad by selecting the option of ‘create an ad’. When drafting your ad copy, do keep in mind to use the right keywords, mention your location, ad a catchy caption, keep it simple and precise and add a call to action. Bing ads gives you the limit of 140 characters to write what you have to say, so be mindful.
5) Set a Budget
Now before you finish up, you need to decide the budget of your campaign. The first option Bing gives you is to pick a random budget. You could alternately choose the option for getting performance estimates before picking the budget. This will help you choose better. Once the budget is decided, hit the launch button and you are live.
6) Extra Step: Importing Campaigns from Adwords
Bing is a search engine that understand its capabilities. It knows that advertisers who have already tried their hands on Google Ads are now here to gain some extra attention. Hence the very first option after creating an account on Bing is to import ad campaigns from AdWords. Choosing this option will let you copy for existing ideas on Google. One thing to remember though is that some details can still be missed out in this importing process. Things that generally get missed out included the age and gender target, the extensions, the remarketing lists, the negative keywords and the automated rules.
Google Ads may be the popular cousin in the family, but Bing Ads is also the mediocre cousin who manages to get decent grades in its field. So if Google deserves some love, Bing too should get some attention for what it is able to do. So if you plan to create a strategy using Bing ads, don’t hesitate, just go for it.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.