Why you should consider using Microsoft Advertising
3rd September 2021
Using Microsoft Advertising alongside your current digital marketing efforts can give you access to new audiences who may have never heard of your online business before.
When it comes to paid search ads online, Google is not the only option available to digital marketers. While it is the largest, the Google Search Network is only one of many available. Microsoft Advertising, formerly known as Bing Ads, displays your paid ads on the Microsoft Search Network (also formerly known as the Bing Network). This encompasses multiple search engines and is entirely separate from Google.
The Microsoft Search Network might not be quite as large as Google though it is still a huge audience. At the time of writing, across the world:
- There are 15,800,000,000 monthly PC searches (15.8 billion).
- A total of 719,000,000 unique PC users (719 million).
- The Microsoft Search Network has 14.9% of the PC Market Share.
In the UK alone, the Microsoft Search Network has a 20.5% share of the PC Market and 478 million monthly searches. If you’re not using Microsoft Ads already, you may be missing out on a large audience with your digital marketing online.
When it comes to search networks, there are many factors to consider beyond just volume of users.
If you have never used anything other than Google Ads for your paid ad campaigns, you should consider giving Microsoft Advertising a try. There are some distinct advantages to using the Microsoft Search Network and you may be surprised at the results!
So why should you use Microsoft Advertising?
While Microsoft Ads function in a very similar fashion to other paid search ad platforms, there are some key features that are beneficial to many businesses. Even if you have never used any kind of pay-per-click advertising before, Microsoft Ads is a great place to get started.
Increase the reach of your digital marketing
Never used paid advertising before? Are you perhaps already using Google Ads? In either case, using Microsoft Ads will give you access to the Microsoft Search Network. Bringing your products, services and brand to a new, untapped market will dramatically increase the volume of people who see your ads. Whether you’re looking to sell products, test new audiences or run brand awareness campaigns, the Microsoft Search Network will add a substantial number of new users who will view your digital marketing efforts.
Multiple search engines
The Microsoft Search Network doesn’t just make use of the Bing search engine. It encompasses multiple search engines at once, giving you access to a variety of different users. These search engines are:
- Bing (Including other search engines owned by Bing, such as MSN)
The Microsoft Search Network also contains a collection of other third-party websites, which are operated and owned by both Microsoft and Yahoo’s syndicated search partners (also known as the Syndicated Partner Network). You can also see the performance of your ads on each of these search partners individually, giving you full control over where you decide to display your paid ads online.
Reduced competition for bidding
While the Microsoft Search Network is smaller than the Google Search Network in terms of volume, this can actually work to the advantage of your digital marketing. With fewer businesses using Microsoft Ads compared to Google Ads there’s significantly less competition for ad space.
This usually results in a lower cost-per-click (CPC) for clicks on your ads when advertising on the Microsoft Ads network.
The benefit is substantial across many industries, with Microsoft Ads costing up to 40-70% cheaper than Google. This means you can get up to twice as many people clicking on your ads for the same cost.
Better return on investment
Another factor to consider is the quality of traffic you can receive through Microsoft Ads. While the Microsoft Search Network is smaller than Google in volume, it is used by a different demographic audience. Some key aspects to note about the Microsoft Ads global audience:
- 27% of users are over the age of 45.
- 36% of users have a household income in the top 25%.
- 55% of users use search engines for product research.
From this we can see that a large proportion of users are considered to be older and affluent, and the majority research products online before purchasing. Many people consider the Microsoft Search Network to be used more by business professionals and decision-makers, making it an ideal place to begin showing your paid advertising.
Coupled with reduced competition for bidding and lower CPC on average, the return on investment (ROI) of your paid ads may be significantly higher than other advertising platforms.
User friendly campaign management
Microsoft Ads can be managed through the Microsoft Advertising interface. It may look familiar if you have used Google Ads before, as it has many of the same features and functions in terms of usability and layout.
If you are brand new to the world of digital marketing, there are options to create smart campaigns. These are a simple and easy way to get some ads running based on the content of your website, using Microsoft AI to write and manage your campaigns. This does have a lack of control, so we do recommend activating Expert Mode to unlock all of the features of Microsoft Advertising. Setting up your digital marketing campaigns manually and properly will give you full control of your ads, bidding and targeting.
You can import your campaigns from Google Ads
If you already use Google Ads for your digital marketing, there is also the option to import all of your Google Ads directly into Microsoft Advertising.
This is a painless process and gives you full control over what you want to import, from campaigns and individual ad groups to negative keyword lists and bid adjustments. Once imported you can tweak and tailor your digital marketing campaigns specifically for the Microsoft Search Network first, or switch them on right away.
The Microsoft Search Network reaches more places than you think
When it comes to paid advertising online, we often associate the source of ads with the location that we find them. In a lot of cases this is true, such as seeing Google Ads in Google Search results, or Microsoft Ads when searching on Bing.
However, many paid ads still come from these search networks, even if they appear in different places. Microsoft Advertising currently makes use of various partnerships to grow the volume of it’s search traffic, across different devices and operating systems. Some examples of these are:
- Amazon: Everyone who has a Kindle Fire device also has Bing installed as the default search engine.
- Apple: Ever asked Siri for an image of something? Bing provides the image search results.
- Yahoo: Part of the Microsoft Advertising Network, Bing powers the paid & organic search results across the entire Yahoo network.
Keep watch for a little “Powered by Bing” when looking for something online, you might come across it more often than you realise!
Target different time zones with your ads
One of the often overlooked features of Microsoft Ads is the ability to target different local time zones with your campaigns. By default this is normally set to your own account time zone, such as GMT (London) time. If you customise your ad schedule, then your ads will display to your audience at specific times of the day for that time zone. But what if you want to display ads over a much larger area, or in different countries all at once?
For example, if you wanted to target all of the United States mainland with a campaign. You may already know that between 8am and 8pm is the best time to show your ads. To implement this manually, you would need at least 3 campaigns:
- One campaign to target 8am – 8pm in Pacific Standard Time (PST)
- One campaign to target 8am – 8pm in Central Standard Time (CST)
- One campaign to target 8am – 8pm in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Microsoft Advertising has the option to display ads (as you have scheduled them) in the ad viewer’s local time across the globe.
With this setting active, your ads will be displayed according to your schedule in the local time zone. This is ideal for large countries that span multiple time zones or targeting multiple countries with a single campaign.
Get started today
Many people consider Google to be the primary focus of digital marketing online. This is a fair assumption given that it holds the highest market share and user volume. As a result when considering Microsoft Ads, they’re often drawn into comparing both the pros and cons of each paid advertising platform.
In reality, both are different advertising platforms that target different audiences. They may have similar features and designs, but this is only a benefit to your digital marketing by making them easy to use. There’s no reason not to use both and gain the benefits of each by doing so. Adding Microsoft Ads to your digital marketing strategy can be a cost effective improvement that you may not have considered before, so get started today!
If you are thinking about expanding your paid ads to the Microsoft Search Network and aren’t sure where to begin, get in touch with us today.