As a younger platform than Google, with less time to work out all its kinks, Microsoft ads is often criticized for its less appealing and harder to use interface. It’s also no secret that Microsoft Ads seems to spend most of its time just catching up with Google Ads, there is even an “Import Campaign” option in Microsoft Ads that allows you to easily import your Google campaigns.
In the past, advertisers with limited budgets and time constraints could be forgiven for defaulting to Google Ads as the easier to use and superior platform. This perception has often held Microsoft Ads back and made them less appealing to smaller advertisers or business owners. In 2019, an effort to surmount this obstacle, Microsoft Ads has been devoted in its efforts to fill advertising niches and set itself apart from other competitors. Most noticeably, the Ads platform was rebranded from Bing Ads to Microsoft Ads.
Microsoft Ads has been a leading presence in the world of SEM, “Search-Engine-Marketing” for years now as part of the “Big Three”, with their search engine Microsoft Search (previously known as Bing) as well as their partnerships, and represents a significant slice of the search pie.
Google undoubtedly leads the way in terms of monthly searches globally. However, the market share of each does vary from place to place. For example, in the USA Bing makes up over 30%, a potentially profitable proportion of searches that no business big or small can pass up on and widen their net too.
There are distinct differences between the two platforms that can benefit advertisers, other than just expanding on the searches they are hoping to target.
The competition on Bing, as you would expect on a smaller platform, is much lower. As a result, the amount you have to pay (CPC) in order to position yourself at the top of the search engine results page is often lower. According to Instapage for some industries the CPC on Bing can be as much as 70% cheaper than for the same keywords on Google.
A lower CPC in turn usually results in a lower cost per conversion or CPA too.
For some reason, almost three-quarters of Bing users are aged 35+. This means, coincidently due to the nature of that demographic, that Bing users tend to be more affluent and with more disposable income as well as being more likely to be parents. This is often attributed as the reason why the conversion rate on Microsoft is higher than on Google for many industries.
3. Voice search
While Google leads the way in understanding intent and taking advantage of searches like “near me”. Bing is miles ahead when it comes to voice search, an increasingly popular method of searching, especially among young people.
As 2019 drew to a close, Microsoft wasn't slowing down in their pursuit of new and innovative tools. One of their most exciting and relevant additions to the marketing platform will be “Smart Campaigns”. An intuitive, data-driven yet simple tool designed to make advertising with Microsoft as uncomplicated and accessible as possible, by utilizing Microsoft's AI technology.
Rather than setting up whole campaigns, choosing keywords, setting bids and strategies, adding extensions and then making ongoing adjustments to optimise campaigns. Smart Campaigns only require you to provide Microsoft with some preliminary information about your business, Microsoft handles the rest. User need only provide:
This format of advertising campaign creates a gateway for advertisers of all sizes and backgrounds to get involved in marketing, which in this day and age is crucial for all businesses wishing to keep up with the competition.
Like Google’s Smart Campaign the advertising solution provides a wide scope of benefits to businesses who may have less experience on the platform then other more experienced advertisers. Other benefits include:
If you feel confident in your abilities to set-up your very first Smart Campaign with Microsoft Ads, then you can do this by setting up your own advertising account here. You’ll then be able to navigate within your account to set-up your very first smart campaign, check out how to do this with these instructions from Microsoft themselves.
Fun fact: Did you know that CampaignHero was the first SaaS platform to be able to offer Microsoft Ads Smart Campaigns to UK advertisers?
This has allowed our expert team of marketeers to set-up your campaigns in a way that takes advantage of Microsoft's AI technology to give your business the best results possible. You can also keep up to date on the campaign's progress via the CampaignHero app.
Can’t get enough of smart campaigns? Head over to our recent blog exploring the difference between normal Google Ads campaigns and their version of smart campaigns.