Bing Ads? What do they offer?

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Lately, I’ve been including a wider net of advertising along with SEO or organic efforts for clients whom are not already employing or have the correct budget for it. I know SEO has changed from a sole channel of revenue to one that needs to be integrated with social, paid and other mediums. It’s clear that to be successful you need to have multiple silos bringing in various streams of users online. With that said I’ve started isolating my clients and niches by what is more effective for their audience. Google is obviously the major player and most clients & businesses online have utilized the wide network of paid search Google has to offer. However, often I take on a client that is targeting an older demographic. For example, I had a finance client whom was targeting an older audience and sought more of a branding play than rankings alone. They essentially wanted to be the ultimate source for investing for a particular industry and were going through major efforts to build out their content and branded university section. After looking into their analytics I found that a high number or converting users and users for that matter were coming in via Bing. Hmm..well clearly with a sufficient budget in place and already a good channel converting it was clear that it made sense to employ some ppc on the Bing Network. I’ve always tried to keep up with Bing SEO but now I wanted to test the waters with paid. The campaign went great and due to confidentiality I can’t disclose too much but I wanted to write about the advertising network and some statistics to compare.

Understanding The Bing/Yahoo Audience

Bing Ads appear on both Bing and Yahoo because the two companies share the same network. You’ll often see it referred to as the Yahoo Bing Network. This network accounts for 29% of online searches. While not as large as Google, it’s still the second largest search market share.

If nearly 30% doesn’t sound like much, consider that 51 million searchers in the US use the Yahoo Bing Network exclusively. Over 100 million searchers on the network use Google in addition. If you’re not using Bing Ads at all, you could be missing out on an audience of 51 million.

The type of searchers on Bing are also different than Google. This is the ticket, apply this network to niches that fit the audience. The following demographics alone make Bing Ads more valuable than Google’s just to reach a different target audience:

  • Over college age with most being 35 or older
  • More women, though it’s not an extreme difference
  • Higher income households, often $75,000 or more
  • Families with one or more children

Another interesting statistic is Bing searchers typically spend 20% more than Google searchers. For advertisers with higher value products, this could be a better option to target higher spenders.

Microsoft’s 2015 Audience Overview

Microsoft released demographic data in March 2015 to further detail the wide reach of Bing and Bing Ad.

The most impressive results of the study were:

  • 168 million searchers strong with retail being the strongest industry
  • 6.2 billion monthly searches
  • 35-64 year olds preferred Bing
  • 51% of users were married
  • A third of users earned $100,000 or more yearly

As you can tell, the Yahoo Bing Network isn’t a small one. It also boasts better access to a different age group who earns more.

The Key Differences Between Google & Bing

Bing Ads do have some major differences that help set the platform apart from pay per click networks. Obviously, one of the biggest differences is Bing Ads only appear on Bing, Yahoo and related partner sites while Google AdWords for example focuses on Google and Google partners.

Some of the major differences to consider are:

  • Better control over partner network placement – Bing shows detailed stats on all partner networks and allows you to block specific networks. With Google you have to either allow or disallow all partner networks.
  • Less competition – Google AdWords has over a million advertisers. Bing Ads has far fewer, which means less competition.
  • Pay via PayPal – Google AdWords doesn’t accept PayPal at the moment.
  • Costs less – Cost per click (CPC) ranges from 10%-70% less than AdWords. Impressions cost up to 90% less as well.
  • Set daily and monthly budgets – Google AdWords only allows daily budgets.
  • Set exact negative keywords – Google AdWords uses a broad match while Bing Ads uses a true negative keywords match.

Should You Switch?

Honestly, I don’t think it’s not a matter of switching. The best option is to use both platforms. Set aside a small portion of your marketing budget for Bing Ads and see how they perform.  Once you’ve examined the differences and stats, it’s may be obvious that you shouldn’t discount Bing Ads. Or you may have a client seeking a different audience and Google is the clear choice.

Photo Credit: Bing

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