Google is not the only game in town: the overlooked gem of Bing ads
Google isn’t the only search platform for advertisers. In fact, says Ben Lievens of digital agency Soap Media, the second-biggest player, Bing, offers access to up to a billion monthly users, with lower cost per click and a raft of other benefits.
Is Bing the unsung hero in search marketing? / Rubaitul Azad via Unsplash
Considering the Google-owned browser Chrome has around 67% of global market share, it’s no wonder that advertisers often prioritize running marketing campaigns through Google Ads. But solely focusing on Google leads to businesses missing out on a huge amount of potential customers who are being served by other search engines.
One of these is Bing, the second-largest search engine in the world.
Bing ads are overlooked gems. To demonstrate why, I’ve highlighted five reasons why advertisers ignore Bing from their search marketing strategy at their peril.
1. Growing market share
As of September 2021, Bing holds almost 9% search market share worldwide (9.6% in the UK). For desktop and laptop users, Bing is the search engine of choice for 10.5% of the global market.
In January 2019, Microsoft announced an expanded partnership with Verizon Media, in which Yahoo! search traffic would be exclusively served by Bing Ads. Yahoo! currently holds 1.5% search market globally (1.4% in the UK). With around five billion internet users across the world, this partnership opens Bing Ads up to a further 70 million internet users.
So, Bing ads now have the potential to reach almost 12% of internet users worldwide.
2. Lower cost per click
Bing offers a significantly lower cost per click (CPC) on many keywords, due to having less competition. This is drastically different from Google Ads where the market is extremely saturated, and CPCs can be sky-high.
Although Google is the market-dominating search engine, Bing still attracts between 850 million and one billion unique users monthly. Businesses that aren’t including Bing ads within their marketing strategy are bypassing masses of potential customers and missing out on higher returns.
Of course, while lower CPC are always desirable, that can’t be your only priority. Experts will focus on user experience and landing page quality to ensure low CPC converts into low cost per acquisition (CPA).
3. Advanced targeting data
When deciding to run pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on Bing, most marketers opt to import their existing Google Ads campaigns. Although a good starting point, it neglects one advantage Bing has over Google: LinkedIn targeting data.
In 2016, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $26.2bn. Soon after, it was announced that paid search marketers would have the option to use LinkedIn audiences within Bing Ads, and target users based on job title or industry.
This not only provides advertisers the chance to reach more potential customers; it’s also more suited to small businesses with lower PPC budgets. LinkedIn ads have a notoriously high minimum CPC, often making it an unaffordable platform for SMEs.
Running Bing Ads with overlaid LinkedIn data is a great way to access the targeting options that LinkedIn provides more affordably.
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Bing has two stand-out demographics: older individuals, and wealthier individuals.
43% of Bing users in the UK are over the age of 45. For brands with a target audience of 45 years and above, this is a huge market of untapped potential. This could include brands specializing in retirement, or those providing fashion and beauty products for older women.
Additionally, 37% of people that use Bing have a household income in the top 25%. Audiences reached through Bing Ads typically spend 38% more when shopping online compared to the average internet user. For affluent and luxury-focused brands, this is the ideal target market.
5. Microsoft Audience Network
The Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN) was launched in May of 2022. It’s an evolution of the original Bing Audience Network that brings together additional elements that weren’t previously available. This includes Bing search-intent signals, Microsoft’s AI capabilities, and the Microsoft Audience Graph.
MSAN encompasses native ad inventory on sites like MSN, Outlook, and Microsoft Edge, as well as other Microsoft partner sites, essentially giving Bing search advertisers the ability to extend the reach of their display marketing campaigns.
Microsoft studies found that users exposed to Microsoft Audience Ads are:
3x more likely to search for the brand running the ad
4x more likely to visit the advertiser’s website
5.5x more likely to make a purchase.
Although Bing advertising may not offer the kind of results strong enough to be at the forefront of a marketing strategy, such as those generated by Google Ads, when used in conjunction with other activities, it can bolster leads and generate high returns.
Every business should harness the power of Bing Ads; the extra opportunities it offers are too good to pass up.
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Soap Media is an award-winning, industry-leading digital marketing agency based in Preston and Manchester. We combine strategic thinking with creativity, always with our partners at the centre. We like to think of ourselves as a customer journey agency, delivering the ultimate user journey across all digital marketing. Our ethos is to become “Your Partner in Digital”, instilled in everything we do. It defines our brand and delivers outstanding results that personify this motto.Find out more