Bing Ads is Microsoft‘s alternative to Google‘s AdWords programme for use with their own search engine, Bing. For many years the use of search engines and also search engine advertising has been rather derided, but recent developments show a change in attitudes: Bing is now increasing its share of the market and, when compared to Google AdWords, offers some interesting advantages.
In the following we would like to explain why this is the right time to advertise with Bing Ads and which factors are of particular interest for the B2B sector.
Google under pressure: Bing and Yahoo! are catching up
There is no doubt that in the Western world Google has been, and still is, the undisputed leader in the search engine landscape, and consequently also dominates search engine advertising (SEA).
However, thanks to the cooperation with Yahoo!, since 2006 Bing has been able to steadily increase its share and meanwhile covers 25% of all search queries in the USA (Source: statista). It is to be expected that this trend will continue and that Bing will supersede Google and become the standard search engine for Firefox – at first only in the USA.
Germany, however, is still firmly in the hands of Google and Google AdWords: 95% of all queries from German users are generated via Google. Together Bing and Yahoo! do not even make up 5% of search queries and are (still) considered to be a niche product. However, this could soon change if we are to believe the challenge thrown down by Microsoft in the USA that, in the long term, they want to supersede Google as the standard search engine and gain an additional share of the global market.
Bing Ads offers unique advantages
Bing is very much aware of its position as a challenger in a highly competitive market. There are, however, five good reasons which should persuade users to at least take one look at Bing Ads:
- It is possible to directly import from AdWords accounts to Bing Ads: this makes the changeover easier and also allows for a direct comparison of performance.
- Focus on the customer: active customer support and regular requests for feedback are just some of the ways by which Bing endeavours to fulfil its clients’ wishes.
- A lower (for the moment) Cost per Click (CPC): in the USA the CPCs are approx. a third lower when compared to AdWords. In Germany the difference is even greater. Based on our own research, we calculated that our customers’ average CPC for Bing was two- thirds cheaper.
- Exclusive Use: Bing is often chosen by users as an alternative to Google, rather than as an additional service. There is new potential to be exploited here.
- Connection to other Microsoft services, such as Skype, Xbox, Windows: this can create synergies (hardly used up to now) which open up interesting possibilities for advertisers.
SEA with Bing in B2B Communications
As effective world specialises in the B2B sector, we of course had to analyse how Bing Ads can be applied to this business sector in particular. Naturally, Bing’s current market share and associated search volume in Germany make it difficult for advertisers to obtain sufficient impressions, clicks and leads. So what factors speak in favour of a trial with Bing Ads?
- Many office PCs come equipped with Microsoft products – Windows operating systems, Internet Explorer, Office package. Practically all office PCs have Bing as their standard search engine. Consequently, Bing’s proportion of B2B customers compared to B2C customers is greater than, for example, that of Google (Source: webneo).
- Bing users are in general innovators, they spend more money, they are better-educated and generally more tech-savvy (Source: Bing Ads).You are therefore more likely to reach your target group with Bing Ads than with Google AdWords.
- If the budget cannot be exhausted with Google Adwords, either because the target group is too small or because increasing the distribution range would be too costly, then using Bing can be a good and economical option.
Now is the time to act
It is now almost too late for advertisers with prospects in the USA to still benefit from the cheaper CPCs. Bing’s growing market share improves their competitive position with the consequence that prices are increasing. Nevertheless, the different user structure and the greater concentration of B2B customers are still good reasons to give Bing a try.
- Up to now there is no evidence of such an upward trend in Germany, since Bing has not yet been aggressively canvassing the European market.
- A growing share of the market, very low CPCs and easy handling make a trial with Bing Ads a calculated undertaking with very low risk.
- The fact that the Bing user interface is modelled on that of Google AdWords makes for a short training period and the import features enable a quick set-up and a direct comparison of results. The account is ready to use in a few hours.
Our advice is to use Bing for your SEA campaigns right now – the timing is opportune.