In 2010 Microsoft took over the operation of Yahoo! Search and started selling advertising as the Microsoft Search Alliance, which eventually became Bing Ads, and more recently rebranded to Microsoft Ads. Microsoft Advertising is a niche marketing tool in my opinion. While Bing is the second most popular search engine, it only gets about 9% of the search engine market share compared to Google’s 84%. It is also the default search engine on all new PC Computers with Windows OS, which can be used to positive effect.
Microsoft is also planning to incorporate the game-changing AI tool, Chat GPT, into its search engine capabilities. What that means for advertisers remains to be seen, but with the popularity of Chat GPT, Microsoft Advertising may soon see a resurgence that you’re going to want to take advantage of. We’ll be keeping an eye on this, but first — here’s what we know about the pros and cons of using Microsoft Advertising.
PROs of Using Microsoft Advertising
- Less Competition. Bing can be your secret weapon.
- Familiar interface. The structure of the admin platform mimics Google Ads, making cross-platform advertising easier to manage and compare.
- Unique targeting has similar audiences as LinkedIn, making it useful for B2B ads.
CONs of Using Microsoft Advertising
- Smaller Audience. Not ideal for wide-ranging awareness campaigns, but it can be ideal for niche markets.
- No built-in click fraud prevention. Most display campaigns need additional protection to prevent bots from spending your budget.
- No Call-Only campaigns.
How Microsoft Advertising Stands Up to Our Four Questions:
When deciding whether a digital advertising platform is right for your business, there are four questions you should ask yourself.
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL? – Microsoft Advertising is primarily regarded as a search engine digital advertising platform but does allow for display and location-based ads. It also allows for import from Google Ads, so it works great as a supplemental digital ad platform.
WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE? – I mentioned earlier how all new Windows computers come with Bing as their default search engine. Bing tends to remain the default in most office environments where home computers may use other search engines that end users have added. Microsoft Advertising seems aware of this and allows for some B2B type targeting that Google doesn’t.
An older demographic will often use what comes on the machine instead of adding another browser that might default to a different search engine. These niche audiences are prequalified by using Bing, and we can use that to our advantage.
WHAT ASSETS DO YOU HAVE? – We need a URL to point that search or display ad at. As for display ads, Microsoft can create dynamic ads with the content assets provided.
The most significant advantage of Microsoft Ads is the ability to import Google Ads content directly into the system. With the correct settings, most Google updates will automatically transfer to Microsoft.
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET? – This can be tricky. In my experience, Microsoft Ads tend to spend budget faster than Google Ads, particularly display ads. While I use them primarily to supplement other platforms, Microsoft Ads can be a budget hog, but one that should be fed if it’s producing results.
A Final Note About Microsoft (Bing) Advertising
Microsoft Advertising isn’t for every business but can unlock potential revenue streams. If your business is seeing success on other platforms, has a hard-to-target niche audience, or wants to be the first to take advantage of advancements in AI, Microsoft Ads might be right for you. Reach out to the marketing experts at Mediaura to find out for sure.