Consider this — if you only run a Google Ads campaign, your ads won’t reach any of the 60 million people who use the Microsoft search network and its related search sites.
Not limited to just Bing users, Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) are delivered across major websites including AOL.com, Yahoo.com, MSNBC, and partner sites on the Microsoft Audience Network.
Another thing you probably didn’t know about Microsoft Ads’ targeting capabilities—you can advertise on LinkedIn. Yes, that’s right, besides LinkedIn Ads, Microsoft Ads is the only ad platform with these targeting capabilities.
Compared to Google Ads, Microsoft Ads are also significantly cheaper and have less competition, meaning you can get more bang for your buck running a Bing Ads campaign.
In this article, we’ll discuss Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads), their advantages over Google Ads, and go into setting up targeting options to reach your target audiences online.
Microsoft Ads vs. Google Ads: Is it worth advertising on Bing?
Many smaller companies overlook Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) and focus solely on Google Ads, which has the majority of the search engine market share at 92%.
However, did you know that Microsoft Ads show on more sites than just Bing?
Advertising on Microsoft can reach approximately 724 million monthly users, which include millions of Windows users, Office365 users, LinkedIn users, and syndicated search partners on the Microsoft Audience Network.
Comparable to the Google Display Network, the Microsoft Audience Network is a series of syndicated search partners who display Bing Ads across their websites, including video ads, display ads, and banner ads.
It’s surprising that Microsoft Ads can be delivered on LinkedIn since LinkedIn has its own ad platform, but as of 2020, Microsoft Ads can now show text ads to target LinkedIn users—something Google Ads cannot do.
How to create your first campaign with Microsoft Ads
If you haven’t done so already, follow these steps to create a Microsoft Ads campaign and try creating your first ad campaign to get familiar with the Microsoft Ads dashboard.
Create your Microsoft Advertising account
Microsoft Ads accounts are free to set up. Go to the Microsoft Advertising sign-up page and enter your email address.
Select a campaign goal from the list
When you create a new campaign on Microsoft Ads, you have the option to select different campaign goals, including:
- Increase ad engagement for more website visits
- More phone calls
- Drive foot traffic
- Sell products online
- Increase online conversions for lead generation
Choose keywords or import keywords from Google Ads
Like Google, Microsoft has its own Keyword Planner Tool to help you find keywords based on their popularity and search volume.
If you’re already running a Google Ads campaign, you can import your keyword list directly from Google Ads into your Microsoft Ads account.
Select your campaign type
Microsoft Ads allows up to 1,000 campaigns to be set. But to get started, you’ll just create one campaign for now.
Your options for campaign types include:
Search ad campaigns: Shown as text-based ads in search results.
Dynamic search ad campaigns: Auto-generated ads made by Microsoft that show up across Microsoft networks based on demographics, user behaviors, and interests.
Audience campaigns: Native-style ads that show across websites in the Microsoft Audience Network.
Microsoft Shopping Campaigns: Show picture-based ads for products on Bing. Requires a Microsoft Shopping Merchant account, similar to the Google Merchant Center.
Choose an ad type and begin creating Microsoft Ads
Microsoft currently has up to 9 different ad types, including:
- App install ads
- Expanded text ads
- Dynamic search ads
- Microsoft Advertising in Bing Smart Search
- Microsoft Audience ads
- Multimedia ads
- Product ads
- Responsive search ads
- Vertical ads
Select your ad type, and then get started writing your ads, make sure to include images, a headline, ad text, and a URL link to direct visitors to for conversions.
Set your daily budget and campaign budget
This is a very important step—setting your daily campaign budget.
You have two options: daily or shared.
A daily budget will try to evenly spend your cost-per-click (CPC) budget evenly throughout the day.
The shared budget can be used if you’re running multiple ad campaigns and want them to share the same daily budget, splitting the money between the two campaign types.
Enter your business’s payment information — credit or debit cards
Just like Google Ads, Microsoft Ads gives you the option to either pre-pay for your month’s ads or wait until the end of the month to receive a bill.
The billing threshold starts off at $50, charging you once you’ve spent $50. Over time with enough successful payments, your billing threshold will gradually increase.
To add your billing information, go to Billing & Payments and enter your credit or debit card.
Launch your first campaign
After you’re done writing your Microsoft advertisement, press “Save” to begin launching and delivering your ads across Bing and the Microsoft Audience Network.
How to set the targeting options for your Microsoft Ads
Compared to Google Ads, Microsoft Ads gives you more targeting options on the ad group level, known as granular targeting.
Granular targeting is a much more specific and accurate way of targeting people.
For instance, in Microsoft Ads you set specific ad targeting basics, such as:
- Geographical locations: include and exclude certain areas and zip codes
- Day of the week your ads are shown
- Which time of day your ads are shown
- Which type of device (mobile, desktop, or tablet)
Targeting LinkedIn users with Bing Ads
One of the competitive advantages Microsoft Ads has over Google is its partnership with LinkedIn.
With over 800 million users, LinkedIn is a prime source for B2B ad campaigns, especially if you need to reach key decision-makers, gatekeepers, and other highly specific job titles.
When setting up your campaign, you can select the following LinkedIn targeting options to show ads to specific:
- Job functions, and job titles
For example, if your campaign is targeting marketing and sales team members at Johnson & Johnson, you’d be able to just show ads to those people.
Microsoft Ads targeting exceptions
You can only use one language per campaign or ad group. If you want to run bi-lingual campaigns, you’ll need to set up different campaigns.
Be mindful of your target audience’s timezone, not your own timezone, so you can accurately deliver ads to their local time zones.
Make sure to add exclusion areas so you’re only displaying ads in your preferred geographical locations.
For example, make sure to only show ads in America and Canada, and not the entire world
Select the type of devices you want to reach. For example, if you want more phone calls, then only target mobile users.
Hire Denver PPC—get the benefits of hiring a Microsoft Ads agency
Interested in setting up a Microsoft Ads campaign for your company but not sure where to start? Hire Denver PPC to manage all of your PPC needs with guaranteed results.
Denver PPC is an experienced team of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing professionals with experience setting up campaigns in the most competitive PPC environments online.
We’ll help you set up, plan, and manage your PPC ad campaigns across various ad platforms including Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads), Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads.
Already have an existing Microsoft Ads, Google Ads, or Facebook Ads account that you need help with?
Contact us today for your free 10-point inspection—we’ll take a look at your account and give you our expert opinion on how you can reach your target audience online and meet your campaign’s objectives.
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist