If you’re a PPC marketer, or you work with one for your business’s marketing, you know who the big players are: Google Ads – over 30% of all digital ad revenue in 2019 – Meta (Facebook & Instagram, and another 20% of total ad revenue), Amazon (if you’re e-commerce), and perhaps another social channel or programmatic platform such as AdRoll.
Microsoft Advertising, or Bing Ads, fly under the radar by comparison with just 4% of the market share (5.8% in the US, but around 2.5% globally). However, Bing can offer you amazing results.
Here’s what we’ve seen from Bing, which we’re calling the secret superstar of PPC marketing channels:
WHAT WE SAW ON BING ADS
Sprint Digital have been active on Microsoft Ads since 2019, and at this stage it’s one of our most-recommended platforms for our clients, right alongside Google Ads and Meta. Why? With small investments, we often see large returns on this platform.
By our numbers, for the same campaigns run on both Google and Microsoft for the same clients (with adjustments to suit each platform, including bids, budgets and in some cases keywords), here’s what we saw in 2021:
- On average, Bing ads converted at a rate 61% higher than our Google ads, which did perform strongly over the year
- Bing’s Return on Ad Spend was 56% higher than Google’s ROAS, which again was consistently above market average
We have over 60 clients in 5 different geographic markets, across 14 industries, so while we don’t have insights into every vertical, those are impressive numbers that Bing is putting up on the board.
WHY NOT ALL BING, ALL THE TIME?
Why not simply shift more budget over to Bing, then? The answer is simple: most people aren’t on Bing. Microsoft Edge’s (the browser where Bing is the default search engine, and therefore the source of most of its traffic) market share is small, especially outside of the US. There is only so much budget you can give your Bing search campaigns before they stop spending and you’ve tapped out your ideal audience – not the usual problem!
Also, while the results we see with Microsoft Ads are excellent at a big picture level, just like any marketing platform, it doesn’t work for every client. There is always some trial and error, and it’s vital to pay careful attention at the launch of a campaign to see if Bing Ads are worthwhile for you or your client.
GETTING STARTED WITH BING
Those are the reasons to give Bing a try, and why Bing might not end up being a fit for you. So how do you get started?
Microsoft Ads integrate very well with Google Ads, as a matter of fact, and intentionally so. Because they reach a smaller market, and use such similar ad and campaign structures, most marketers treat Bing Ads as an extension of their Google Strategy. Microsoft have made it easy for us by simply allowing users to import their Google Ads campaigns to Bing.
Take advantage of this! Because Google has so much of the market, it simply doesn’t make sense to be on Bing if you’re not on Google in most cases. While Bing does of course let you build campaigns directly in the platform, because there’s no direct import from Bing to Google, it makes sense to do the work on the other platform first.
You don’t want all the hard work you’ve put into tailoring your ad copy, researching the right keywords, adjusting bids, and adding negative search terms to go to waste. Import directly from Google Ads (or Facebook!) and save yourself some time.
Of course, before you can import your beautifully fine-tuned campaigns from Google Ads, you need those campaigns to be set up and run. If you’re not comfortable with this, we highly recommend working with an agency or hiring someone experienced to do this internally for you.
While Google does offer a variety of ‘smart’ campaigns (and getting ‘smarter’!), these often come with limited reporting, a lack of confidence in exactly when and where your ads are showing, and poorer results. When it comes to your PPC campaigns, whatever the platform, it’s worth talking to an expert.