For many businesses, the discussion about online advertising platforms begins and ends with Amazon Advertising, Facebook, and Google. But recently Microsoft stated the case for why it belongs in the same conversation. On April 29, Microsoft announced that its Bing Ads product has been rebranded as Microsoft Advertising. The announcement was more than a name change. Rather, Microsoft reminded advertisers that there’s a lot more to Bing than paid search.
Bing: More Than Search
Bing is already a platform for businesses to launch digital advertising in a number of ways. For example, as we blogged last year, Bing has been rolling out a feature that makes it possible for businesses to target Bing advertisements by relying on LinkedIn data. The feature, known as LinkedIn profile targeting, is an example of how Microsoft is monetizing LinkedIn a few years after Microsoft purchased the popular business-to-business platform. In addition, Bing is piloting a number of products, such as these audience marketing products:
- In-Market Audiences: targets curated user lists determined to be in market for a particular purchase category.
- Product Audiences for Search: businesses get remarketing lists for products that allow them to target searchers based on product IDs they interacted with – and promote those same product IDs to them.
- Microsoft Audience Ads: Audience Campaigns: you can manage your audience budget, campaigns, and optimization separately from your Bing Ads search campaigns.
- Similar Audiences: targets audiences that are similar to your remarketing audiences.
Many advertisers aren’t aware of these and many other Microsoft ad products. But they should. As I blogged last year, Bing offers many advantages. For instance:
- At True Interactive, we have seen larger average order values on Bing compared to Google. In other words, the typical consumer on Bing spends more per purchase. That’s because the average Bing searcher probably has a higher income level than the average Google user.
- Bing innovates in more ways than the brand gets credit for, such as its use of visual content. The recently launched Bing visual search extends a strong visual search capability across both Android and iOS devices, whereas visual search on Google remains limited to the Android world.
- Bing is building a stronger network of partners. As noted earlier this year, Bing is the exclusive provider of search advertising across Verizon Media properties such as Yahoo.
Microsoft used the news about Microsoft Advertising to draw attention to the launch of more advertising products. For instance, the new Sponsored Products (available exclusively in the United States) helps manufacturers to boost visibility and drive more traffic for their top products in shopping campaigns. As Microsoft noted,
With this new capability, our clients can achieve better alignment of marketing efforts between manufacturers and retailers. Together, the connections they create with shoppers work harder to drive performance — clicks, conversions, and ROI. Manufacturers gain access to new reporting and optimization capabilities, and retailers get additional product marketing support with a fair cost split.
Microsoft wants the rebrand to do for Microsoft what the launch of Amazon Advertising achieved for Amazon and the rebrand of Google AdWords to Google Ads did for Google: raise awareness for a broader portfolio of products.
Why the Rebrand Is Good
I believe that the expansion of ad products under the Microsoft brand is good for advertisers for these reasons:
- Businesses have more options beyond the Big Three of Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
- Stronger competition will lead to innovation with product development.
- As I noted, Microsoft delivers a valuable audience, more so than many businesses know.
At True Interactive, we work with businesses to develop successful campaigns across all these platforms and more. Contact us to learn how we can help you succeed.