Microsoft advertising or Bing ads as it was formerly known is rapidly gaining traction in the marketing space. Microsoft ads is a massive advertising platform based on the Microsoft search network. Its ads are displayed on a variety of Microsoft products like Windows, Bing, and Yahoo. There are a whole lot of new integrations coming along as well. It is generally considered to be an affordable and easy-to-use advertising platform.
Currently, MS Ads are mostly used by affiliates that want to diversify their approach and find new and profitable ways to increase their reach and target more users worldwide. Some say that it has the chance to become the next Google Ads. But what is it, how does it differ from other traffic sources, and should you even bother with it in 2022? Today we will answer these and many other questions about Microsoft ads that you might have!
What is Microsoft Ads?
Microsoft Ads is not a newcomer to the advertising industry. It has been present for years but it has recently changed its name from Bing ads, which you might have heard of before. The change of name is supposed to symbolize a new beginning and greater support and reach provided by its parent company Microsoft. The ad network uses the Microsoft Search Network to reach and connect with an audience of millions across the world. Some numbers show up to 6 billion users reached each month. Those numbers are nothing to scoff at, and as you might suppose, with the new switch of focus and improved ad system, this number is likely to grow even further!
Why Should You Try Advertising With Microsoft?
Affiliate marketing focuses on finding new and unique ways of advertising that lead to achieving a big ROI. Some affiliates focus on one platform and try to optimize for it as much as possible while others diversify further and test out as much as they can until they find the right thing for them. The logic is simple: instead of spending all of your money on a single SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaign, diversify across multiple search engine advertising platforms and see what works best for which offers.
Other platforms like Google Ads may have a massive advantage in audience size, but you can also expect much higher competition and probably higher accompanying costs. At the moment Bing is the second biggest search engine. It holds a 2.71% share percentage of the worldwide search engine market. Google has a massive lead at 91.95% and all other search engines fill the remaining few percent. This leaves Bing with around 1 billion unique monthly visitors. This number is slowly increasing, and the number of people that can see Microsoft ads is growing day by day. Recently, Microsoft released its new OS, Windows 11 which has more ad spots than ever before.
Microsoft Ads uses slightly different algorithms and has a slightly different audience. In most cases, this means that some of your marketing efforts might be much more effective on it than on competitor platforms, but that can also go the other way around. On average MS ads offer a lower CPC (Cost-per-click). The price of which can be as much as 50% lower than on competing services. This is nothing to scoff at as you can do much more testing and advertising if you have 50% more budget.
Biggest Differences Compared To Google Ads
Google Ads is still the platform most affiliates are most familiar with. It is reliable, widely known, and has a massive audience that you can advertise to. Google Ads is great, but it's far from perfect. Most affiliates have more than a few gripes with the platform and Microsoft Ads attempts to fix some of them.
The two competitors are similar in most aspects but there are a couple of key differences that can sway affiliates in one way or another. So let's cover the most important differences right now!
Google has a diverse audience that covers all sorts of income brackets, locations, occupations, and interests. Microsoft ads mainly focus on a specific segment of people. Over 70% of Bing and Yahoo users are over the age of 35 and almost half of them earn over $75,000 or more annually. This means that the majority of the audience is wealthy and potential targets for luxury items that can have high commissions associated with them. Bing users also reportedly spend over 20% more on their purchases than users of other search engines. If you have any products that would appeal to such an audience Microsoft Ads seems like the only logical choice!
MS Ads has a much lower user base and thus fewer marketers choose it for their marketing campaigns. This makes Microsoft Ads the ideal place to run your campaigns without strong competition. You can run successful Google Ads offers that are proven to work on it with close to no real competition stifling your success. If you play your cards right you can guarantee successful marketing campaigns at a fraction of the cost you would experience on other platforms.
Microsoft allows advertisers to specify which exact devices they want to target. This option gives marketers the possibility to precisely exactly who they want to target based on device, OS, and device type.
Compatibility With Google Ads
If you decide you want to try out your Google ad on MS Ads you can easily export your campaigns to the platform. All you need to do is find the option inside of the menus and with just a few clicks you can copy your Google campaign and run it on Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. This saves time and enables you to better test and optimize for differences in platforms.
Of course not everything is better on Microsoft Ads. Google implemented a smart shopping feature that combines its Shopping ads with display remarketing and automates the whole ad placement and bidding process. This saves a bunch of time and usually provides much better results.
Probably the biggest issue with Microsoft Ads is one that will probably never be solved, and that is market share. No matter how much you want to scale, at some point you will simply run out of people to target. Google managed to create an effective monopoly that targets billions of users and no other platform including MS Ads can compete with that. Of course, this doesn't mean that your campaigns can’t be profitable, quite the opposite. It just means that your campaigns won't have as many people to advertise to, especially if you go very specific with your targeting.
The Key Takeaways
Most affiliates just focus on Google ads and never even try to run SEM on other platforms. Getting started with it is simple and you shouldn't find a huge difference in how you run things compared to Google ads. You can even import your existing tested and successful campaigns and run them without issue on Microsoft’s platform.
You can expect lower CPCs, less competition, higher positioning, and a slightly lower reach. The audience is also mostly different as it consists of older people that have a much higher income than the average person. Most of those people are much more likely to convert as multiple studies so far have shown. The only issue you might face is the lack of reach for highly specific targeted campaigns.
Using both can give you the best of both worlds. You will quickly be able to tell what fits your offers the best and see if you can increase your ROI with MS or not. If your budget allows for it, run ads on both platforms simultaneously and test everything out. With the ex-Bing Ads, you can expect a much lower CPC so you don't have to split your budget evenly. This allows for even more testing and optimizations, which can prove to be the key difference when comparing success.
Have you ever, or do you run Microsoft Ads? WHat are the biggest differences you noticed when comparing it to other platforms? Share your experience with us in the comments below!