Microsoft Ads, formerly called Bing Ads, is growing. In 2022, it doubled its advertising network, adding 29 European and African countries to its reach. The move adds about 41 million new potential customers for businesses that advertise via Microsoft.
Bing has a European market share of just under 4%. Yes, that’s small compared to Google. But it’s not insignificant — billions of searches each month.
Some users look at Google’s massive market share and assume that Bing isn’t worth using. However, Bing gives you access to users you can’t always reach through Google for various reasons. Additionally, it has excellent audience targeting, and quite often, the cost-per-click is less expensive than Google Ads.
What is Microsoft Ads?
Microsoft Ads was formerly known as Bing Ads. In 2019, Microsoft rebranded to Microsoft Ads.
Microsoft Ads is a network for search advertising campaigns. It operates on:
- And more.
How do Bing ads work?
If you’ve used Google Ads before, Bing Ads will feel familiar. Both marketing tools have lots of similarities.
Bing Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) platform. Microsoft designed Bing Ads to help marketing teams:
- target specific users
- increase web traffic
- drive revenue through sales
Bing ads also have a similar auction process. In effect, users bid for space for particular keywords and hope to get their ads in front of the right users.
What marketing services does Microsoft Ads offer?
You can break Microsoft Ads marketing services down into three categories:
Bing paid search
Bing search ads are paid ads that appear at the top of Bing’s search engine results page (SERP).
You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) to rank highly on organic search results.
Bing local business
Bing local advertising helps businesses with a physical location connect with high-intent users.
These services are fairly similar to Google’s marketing offerings.
Why people use Bing more than they think
Google is so dominant that many people think Bing is barely used. However, there are several ways that people use Bing without even noticing it.
Here are just a few of the different ways that consumers use Bing for search:
1. Amazon Alexa uses Bing. Yes, that’s right, the popular home assistant device uses Bing to retrieve answers to queries.
2. Bing is the default search engine of Microsoft Explorer and Edge. This browser comes standard with Windows. Internet Explorer and Edge are a small part of the Euro market — a combined 5.5% —but that’s still a lot of real users.
3. Microsoft Office is used by hundreds of thousands of European users and companies. If you search within Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, your search will be with Bing.
Other big Microsoft properties like Skype and Teams also have Bing integrated.
4. Microsoft also helps power other non-Google search engines, like AOL, Yahoo, MSM, DuckDuckGo, and many more. If you advertise on Microsoft Ads, your ads will reach a vast network of people.
5. The Xbox isn’t as popular in Europe as in the US. However, the console is still used by millions of gamers. These devices are connected to the internet, and many users browse. Bing is their default browser.
6. Microsoft Ad’s also offer businesses a way to target users based on their LinkedIn profiles. There is no other platform to do this outside of LinkedIn (which Microsoft owns).
The above points are just a few ways people use Bing without realizing it.
Bing users have very interesting demographics for marketers
For marketing teams, Google is attractive because of the large volume of users. However, the audience is so diverse that targeting the right user can be difficult.
On the other hand, the typical Bing demographic is slightly different from the average Google user. There are a few reasons for this, such as people are more likely to access Bing via a desktop, which will skew the users.
Microsoft doesn’t readily release data on its users. However, we can pull a few stats from different places to get an idea of the typical European users.
Bing users in UK, Germany, and France are:
- 66% under the age of 45
- 50/50 men and women, except in Germany where the number is 57-43% for men.
- Largely educated, Germany (35%), France (41%), UK (49%).
- At least 33% of users are in the top 25% of income
In general, the users that you can access via Microsoft ads are slightly older, wealthier, more educated, and more likely to be married.
Depending on your product or service, this demographic can be very attractive. At the very least, when combined with Google and Facebook ads, it can help you reach certain corners of the internet that are out of reach without Bing.
Reasons to use Bing as part of your marketing plan
While the audience figures for Bing don’t look promising at first glance, as you can see, there are many ways that the search engine is used outside of internet browsers.
Here are a few great reasons for using Bing.
1. Lower cost-per-click
Bing has a lower volume of users than Google and Facebook. As a result, many companies just concentrate on these two large advertising giants.
The consequence is more keyword competition, which drives the cost-per-click (CPC).
Customer acquisition costs (CAC) have been rising across the board due to enhanced user privacy, inflation, and the decline of traditional marketing channels.
If you’re in a competitive niche, it’s worth exploring Microsoft Ads. You can send your message to new users at a lower price.
Some analysis suggests the comparative CPC is $1.54 vs. $2.69. However, other sources suggest Google’s average CPC is between $1-2, with Bings sitting around $1.50.
Either way, getting CAC down is becoming more and more important.
2. Better click-through rates
Another reason why Bing is underrated is that it has better click-through rates than Google. Some research suggests that Bing has a CTR of 2.87%, with Google’s CTR considerably lower at 1.91%.
3. The “techlash” is getting worse
The public attitude towards technology and social media has become worse in recent years. Many users see Facebook and Google as serious problems. Some have started to boycott these services.
Rightly or wrongly, Microsoft isn’t seen in the same way. As more European users seek alternative search platforms, Microsoft’s market share could grow significantly. And if users leave Facebook and Google products, Bing might be the only way your business can reach them.
Amanda AI now offers Bing
Amanda AI is now compatible with Bing. Microsoft Ads already offer a lower CPC and higher CTR. With Amanda AI, our machine can help you improve these numbers even further, which will help you outmaneuver your competitors.