When it comes to digital marketing and paid advertising, you will likely default to Google Ads. Why wouldn’t you?
Google is an undisputed juggernaut in the search engine market, and no other platform comes even remotely close. With 91.94% of the market share, it is no wonder that businesses look to Google Ads when they are trying to grow their customer base.
An Introduction to Microsoft Advertising
Microsoft Advertising is a recent rebranding of Bing Ads, with the name change occurring in the spring of 2019. Many articles still use the name, which can lead to some confusion when searching for information.
Microsoft Advertising encompasses the users of three search engines: Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and other partner sites.
Here are some key statistics regarding the Microsoft Search Network:
- You will soon be able to advertise on Netflix exclusively using Microsoft Ads!
- 117 million unique desktop searchers on the Microsoft Search Network
- 44 million desktop searchers not reached on Google
- 7.2 billion monthly desktop searches on the Microsoft Search Network
- 20.2% share of the UK desktop search market
- 20 million unique UK desktop users
As you can see, while it may not be Google’s billion-strong audience, Microsoft Advertising still has a significant reach, allowing you to connect with customers you may have otherwise ignored.
8 Reasons Why You Should Use Microsoft Advertising
If the 20.2% share of the UK desktop users hasn’t convinced you of the merits of promoting your business using Microsoft Advertising, then maybe the following will:
1. Lower Pay Per Click Costs
The importance of high-quality, impactful marketing is a truth universally acknowledged by any company. This is why marketing budgets can reach well over thousands, even millions, of pounds. When you run a pay-per-click ad campaign, your keyword bids will factor heavily into the success of your paid ads, and so those with a smaller budget may struggle with managing their bids. With Microsoft Advertising, you have a bit more legroom, as the cost is generally lower than its Google Ads counterpart — about 33% to 60% less.
2. Less Competition Even in Highly Competitive Industries
A smaller user base has its perks — even in competitive industries like Law, Real Estate, Manufacturing, and Career and Employment, you will face approximately 36% less competition on Microsoft Advertising than Google Ads.
The average click-through rate (CTR) is also much higher, at around 2.83% CTR across all industries. This is around 50% higher than the CTR on Google. If you offer Career and Employment services or business-to-business (B2B) services and products, Microsoft Advertising has significantly high CTRs for those industries compared to elsewhere. Career and Employment services get a CTR of 3.53%, while B2B advertisers get a CTR of 3.01%
In addition, Microsoft Advertising also has a significantly lower threshold for “low volume” keywords. This allows you to utilise keywords that would have otherwise been blocked by Google for having a low search volume.
3. Reach Searchers Who Aren’t on Google
The Microsoft Search Network has a 20.2% share of the U.K. desktop search market, which means that roughly one in five people are using Bing, Yahoo, or AOL over Google. Worldwide, that accounts for 44 million desktop searchers that you would not have reached if you neglected Microsoft Advertising.
4. Leverage LinkedIn Data
After acquiring LinkedIn in 2016, Microsoft has been working on how best to use the data to help advertisers reach their audience without being too intrusive. Right now the answer is to use the audience data on their search and audience platform. As a result businesses can target users through Microsoft Advertising using:
- The industry a user is employed in
- Their job role
- The actual company they work for (yes you can target people that work for Google for example!)
With this kind of targeting, Microsoft has an edge on B2B marketing. B2B is generally very successful due to users being at their desks rather than on mobiles anyway but with this additional over-laying feature it’s even more powerful.
5. An Audience With Substantial Buying Power
An important thing to take note of, especially for businesses that deal in luxury goods, is that Bing’s audience is generally older, more educated, and has a higher disposable income.
Age-wise, around 44% of its users are over the age of 45, and 46% have graduated from university. Income-wise, 32% of its users have a household income in the top 25% — over £43,000 per year. This paints the picture of an audience with substantial buying power, which is an attractive prospect for any business.
6. Higher Conversion Rates
Along with their substantial buying power, Bing users also display a higher interest in eCommerce and a willingness to spend money online — 100% of its users are reported to have purchased a product or service online in the last week, and ads on the platform have a 56% higher conversion rate than Google Ads.
Businesses in the finance & insurance, apparel and accessories, or retail sectors will experience particularly good success with paid ads with Microsoft Advertising, as MSN and Yahoo have popular financial reports that stimulate interest in eCommerce.
7. Compatibility With Google Ads
If you already have extensive experience and an assortment of successful campaigns on Google Ads, you may be hesitant about using a different platform. However, Microsoft Advertising allows you to do so with ease. It lets you import existing Google Ads campaigns directly, significantly reducing the time and hassle involved in the transition.
8. Access to exciting new ad inventory such as Netflix
You may have recently read that Microsoft has just won the EXCLUSIVE rights to running ads on Netflix. Netflix is set to launch a new type of subscription with a lower monthly fee with ads.
This is a massive win from Microsoft with Google believed to have been favourites from the offset. Whilst we’re waiting for more detail about how this will work, it’s exciting news to know we can soon leverage an extremely engaged audience on such a popular platform!
In the meantime, however, advertisers on Microsoft have access to their exclusive MSAN (Microsoft Audience Network) which has great sites like MSN, Outlook & more to serve rich visual ads. We’ve seen good performance using this network and the ads look far more native to the website than most display platforms giving the user a much smoother experience. Plus you can use LinkedIn data to be far more targeted which is especially good for B2B!
Some examples of Push customers/verticals that Bing outperforms Google
- Business Energy – 30% cheaper CPA and generates 20% of all leads
- Health Insurance – Same CPA as Google but 20% sales conversion rate
- Card Payment Terminals – 15% cheaper CPA
- Health & Beauty Ranges – On average 20% better ROAS
- Mortgages – Up to 40% cheaper CPA
Conclusion: Business Growth With Microsoft Advertising
Even if Google dominates the paid advertising market, you should not miss out on the growth opportunities Microsoft Advertising can give you. Even if Bing might not be your go-to search engine, it is more than capable of holding the attention of the millions of customers that use it.
With its lower costs, higher conversion rates, and popularity among certain demographics, Microsoft Advertising may just be the next irreplaceable digital marketing tool in your arsenal.
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