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Adding Bing Ads to your advertising mix

adding-bing-ads-to-your-advertising-mix

Adding Bing Ads to your advertising mix

Google, Google, Google.

Talk to any SEO or PPC expert and the likelihood is that they will be immensely proud of knowing the ins and outs of ‘what Google wants’. This shouldn’t be suprising when you take into account the fact that a massive 66% of online searches are undertaken on the platform. Why wouldn’t SEO and PPC professionals want to focus on what is most likely to bring themselves and their customers the most value?

However, smart marketers do not simply follow the crowd, instead they look for opportunities that may not initially seem huge but have huge potential. This can certainly be said of adding Bing ads to your advertising mix. In fact, statistics have shown than Bing makes up 26% of the market share in the UK. Not only is Bing a big player, but it brings a number of flexibility and functionality benefits over its competitors. In this article we explore why adding Bing ads to your advertising mix is a great idea and we offer some advice on getting started.

Why bother? 

Less competitions = lower CPC + higher CTR 

As we have already discussed, Bing widely takes a back seat to Google when it comes to most digital marketing. But this is precisely why you should be excited by the platform as a potential way to get much better value for your money on your PCP campaigns.

The Bing Ads platform uses a similar approach to costing as AdWords, with auctions being held to determine which results will show for which keyword. So, just like AdWords, marketers benefit when there is lower competition for a particular search term. Practically, this lack of competition means that ads typically gain a lower Cost Per Click (CPC) as well as gaining a better position, leading to a significant rise in Click Through Rate (CTR).

Taking this into mind, using Bing Ads is a no-brainer for the budget savvy marketer. Once somebody has clicked your ad there is arguably little difference between whether that click came from Google or Bing, so why not take advantage of a lower CPC? 

More control, less fuss 

Flexibility in marketing allows you to tailor your approach better and ultimately gear your activities better for greater results. For example, the addition in flexibility that social media ad targeting provides allows you to tailor your approach significantly better to those that will benefit your business. Equally flexibility in PPC allows for much greater opportunity to hit your target audience at the right time, at the location and in the right language.

This type of filtering on the AdWords platform is only available for application at the campaign level, meaning that ad groups are then restricted by their campaign settings. However, on the Bing Ads platform they provide the flexibility to achieve this within each specific ad group, saving you a lot of time and effort of creating new campaigns.

From an international standpoint, you are also able to assign different time zones to different campaigns in Bing, something you cannot currently do in AdWords. This makes targeting specific international markets a lot easier. 

Benefit from mobile first 

If you keep your ear to the ground in the digital marketing world you will be well aware that mobile is being hailed as the go-to platform for targeting. In fact, Google have recently been rolling out their promise to make Google searches favour mobile-first websites. Practically, this will mean that websites that perform better on mobile devices will get preferable position in their search results.

Interestingly however, Google are not currently backing this commitment with their AdWords platform. Much to the frustration of many marketers, AdWords users can adjust their bids for some mobile devices but cannot opt-out of targeting desktop searches.

Bing on the other hand do allow for this type of targeting at the moment. For example, if your product or service is mobile focused or if you simply believe that you will get better value through mobile searches you can choose to exclude desktop and tablet searches from your campaigns. 

Only use what works 

One of the biggest issues that marketers identify within the Google AdWords platform is the lack of control and transparency over advertising through Google Search Partners. These partners are made up of other websites such as AOL.com, Ask.com, Dogpile.com and Lycos.com, which are included in your campaigns if selected. However, the issue lies in the fact that they do not allow you to select which partners you use or give you any data on which ones are sending the most traffic to your website.

Bing on the other hand allows you to use just Bing & Yahoo, just its search partners or both in unison. They also provide the option to run reports that provide data on which partners are providing your business with the best results. This data isn’t just interesting to see, but the platform also allows you to act on that information and exclude any partners that are not beneficial. 

Better social proof 

To many, social extensions might seem like a small addition to the benefits of using Bing ads. However, the fact that their adverts can show the total number of Twitter followers that an advertiser currently has provides a huge amount of social proof and verification that they are a well-established business.

Google do offer a similar function for businesses that use a Google+ plus account. However, as Google+ is not a widely accepted platform this brings little benefit for the majority of businesses.  

Be specific…or not 

Close variants is a sometimes useful tool that matches your keyword options with plurals and misspellings. For example, if you selected the ‘lawnmower’ keyword, using the tool may also allow you to appear in searches for ‘lornmower’ or similar. In theory this is a great way to benefit from traffic that may have previously been untapped. However, in some cases the plurals and misspellings may return traffic that is not of any benefit to the business.

Unlike the Google AdWords platform where you are forced to use the close variants tool, on Bing they allow greater flexibility by giving you the option to use the tool or not. 

The power of demographics 

One of the major reasons that marketers love social media advertising is due to the personalisation they can add through demographic targeting. Although this is available through the Google Display Network, you cannot yet target your Google search ads to certain demographics.

This is another major benefit of using Bing Ads. The platform allows you to adjust your bids based on MSN users’ gender and age profiles. This effectively means that you can value demographics that you do not wish to target very low and those you do high, making it much more likely that you will reach them. 

How do I add Bing Ads to my advertising mix? 

Using Bing is clearly a clever move for savvy businesses. Here is a simple guide to getting started.

  1. Create an account 

To create Bing Ads you will need to set up a Microsoft account (if you don’t already have one) using an email that is not yet associated to Bing in some way.

  1. Import 

If you are already using Google AdWords there is a really useful tool that allows you to import your campaigns straight to Bing ready for use. However, if you don’t have AdWords information to import you can start a fresh campaign.

  1. Create a campaign 

This stage is very similar to creating a campaign in AdWords. Start by researching which keywords are going to be the best to target. This can be done by using the keyword tab on the platform or using an external tool such as Moz.

You can then go on to select your campaign goal which ranges from website visits to conversions and phone calls. You will then write your ad copy, which should focus on attracting the selected audience and including the keywords you are targeting.

Selecting your daily budget, you will also need to connect your credit card information in order to hit the go button on the ad. Finally, you will want to monitor your results as the campaign plays out, tweaking and adjusting it to ensure you are generating the best possible ROI.

We have walked through exactly why adding Bing Ads to your marketing strategy is such a good idea. Clearly there are all sorts of benefits to using the platform which are included in the functionality and flexibility of the platform. However, the biggest benefit is certainly the lack of competition, leading to lower CPC and a higher CTR for your website. There has been a major focus on the benefits of Bing over Google. It is worth noting that Google is still a behemoth with a vast reach and should still be a major force in your marketing plan. Our suggestion is using a combination approach, which can be achieved easily with the Bing Ads import feature, allowing you to benefit from both platforms.

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Peter Johnson
Peter is a Google AdWords specialist, with associated skills in Bing Ads, Twitter Ads and Facebook Advertising.