Microsoft Advertising (Formerly Bing ads) is resurging in popularity and it’s not simply because of Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing Search engine or Microsoft’s promise of driving more traffic to publishers by slipping ads into Chat GPT-4. Yes – Google Ads is still the Beast of Search with a staggering 85.53% of the market while Bing owns 8.23% of market share. From a revenue perspective, Google is the big winner, (Google Search, YouTube, and Google Network) totaling $224 billion in 2022. Microsoft’s revenue in 2022 sat at $9.2 billion and its news and advertising revenue spiked by 25% to $2.3 billion during this same period. There are many advantages to Microsoft Ads and if you’re already familiar with Google Ads, you’ll find that the platforms are very similar to one another with just a little learning curve.
There are considerable misconceptions about Microsoft Ads’ effectiveness. In a recent poll I conducted on LinkedIn asking “Do You Love or Hate Microsoft Ads” the responses were pretty lukewarm:
What’s more, I was surprised to receive a number of messages on LinkedIn from marketing colleagues saying “I’ve never used Microsoft Bing Ads so I don’t feel able to answer the poll”.
At their core, search ads on Google Ads and Microsoft ads work the same way. Both show ads on search engine result pages, based on keyword targeting. Both measure the same metrics in the same way, such as clicks, cost per click, conversions, etc. Both Google and Microsoft use a pay-per-click model, and both are designed to drive targeted traffic to advertiser websites or apps with the goal of generating leads or sales.
Virtually every change that Google makes to its platform (for better or worse) is mirrored by Microsoft Ads. In fact, these platforms are so similar that advertisers are able to import their existing Google ad campaigns right into their Microsoft Ad account.
The most obvious difference is the placements of where ads are shown. Google Ads appear on Google, as well as sites in its search partners network (such as YouTube, which sometimes drives massive amounts of traffic). Microsoft Ads appear on Bing, Yahoo, and other lesser-known search engines such as DuckDuckGo.
Each platform offers its own unique opportunities and can be used synergistically to maximize reach and marketers need to embrace this. Here are the major advantages that each platform brings to the table:
User Intent: The user intent on Google and Bing can differ slightly. Google is often associated with users who are actively searching for information or products, which can make it a more suitable platform for direct-response advertising. Bing’s user base tends to skew slightly older and may have different search habits and preferences.
Ad Placement: Google Ads offers a range of ad placements, including search ads, display ads, video ads, and app ads. Bing Ads primarily focuses on search ads, although it does offer some display advertising options as well.
Advertisers should definitely test Microsoft Ads. The most common objection to this idea is that “nobody uses Bing”. This is simply not true. Millions of people search through Bing (whether they realize they are doing so or not is irrelevant), and Microsoft Ads often convert at a level that is equal to or better than Google.
Fran Jakubowicz is the CEO of SunHouse Marketing, a full service digital marketing agency with a track record of excellence. A digital lead generation expert, Fran and her team have generated hundreds of thousands of leads and millions of dollars in sales for her clients. Fran invests in training and certifying her team across all digital marketing channels to ensure that her clients are benefiting from the freshest digital marketing strategies, Google best practices and tools available. Working across multiple verticals including health, pharmaceutical, finance, law, education, non-profit and eCommerce, Fran and her team have been helping organizations reach their digital goals since 2009. Fran grew up in communications. Early in her career, she worked in her family’s public relations firm, DCI (Dworkin Communications Inc). Since that time Fran has been involved in an impressive array of projects, assisting companies and non-profit organizations to attain their goals. In the days before the internet Fran practiced traditional marketing and PR. With this background, it was only natural for Fran to evolve her skills, and to become a very successful online marketer. In a rare combination, Fran blends over 20 years of experience with her love and passion for the latest and hottest technologies. This unique worldview allows Fran to assist companies to achieve their goals. Connect with Fran on LinkedIn.