If you’re looking for a B2B marketing alternative to Google Ads, you’re certainly not alone. The platform has long been the online place to advertise thanks to its massive reach, but it has also attracted its share of critics.
Between the potentially high cost of targeting in-demand keywords and recent bad press over its data practices, Google Ads has lost some of its sheen among advertisers. That can make it tempting to consider other online networks for your ads.
But where else can you take your marketing dollars and still get a respectable return on your ad spend? We recommend you give Microsoft Advertising (formerly known as Bing Ads) a try.
Why Bing for B2B marketing?
While many web surfers might discount the idea of using Microsoft's Bing search engine, savvy marketers know the tech giant’s ad network offers millions of users Google doesn’t reach, often for a better price.
Consider the following audience statistics:
- Bing’s total share of the search market hovers around 13 percent in the U.S., which sounds small compared to Google’s leading 70 percent share—but that’s still roughly 1 million Bing searches per minute, according to Internet Live Stats and some napkin math.
- When broadened to the entire Microsoft Search Network, which includes sites owned and operated by Bing, AOL and Yahoo, as well as other syndicated search partners, those numbers climb to 7.3 billion PC searches monthly and 40 percent of the PC search market.
- Audiences in the Microsoft Search Network spend 32 percent more time online when shopping from their desktop, compared to average internet searchers.
Microsoft also has some built-in advantages when it comes to reaching business customers. PCs remain king at work, with six in 10 computers in the U.S. running Windows and Bing set as the default for Microsoft's Edge browser. Add in Bing’s growing search integration with Microsoft’s 365 Office suite, and it's clear your audience is more likely than ever to be searching outside the Google ecosystem.
With a narrower audience and lower competition, Bing Ads are generally less expensive than Google’s. An analysis by digital search firm SpyFu found Bing’s average cost-per-click (CPC) was roughly 42 percent less than Google, improving your return on ad spend.
The LinkedIn Connection
Another way that Microsoft Advertising punches above its weight in the B2B marketing world is through its ability to target potential customers based on their LinkedIn profiles. This feature is not available through Google Ads.
When creating a campaign through Microsoft Advertising, marketers can now target ads based on a user’s:
- Company, such as PepsiCo, U.S. Bank or Informatics
- Industry, such as finance, publishing or utilities
- Job function, such as accounting, purchasing or operations
This capability is especially useful if you are selling a purchasing solution and want to develop targeted advertising to purchasing department decision makers, for example. Microsoft’s platform can also show how your ads performed by your LinkedIn targets, allowing you to reach and refine the specific group you’re aiming for.
If you're interested in experimenting with Bing Ads, Microsoft's platform can automatically import your Google Ad campaigns and keep them in sync. And if you need help getting started or have more questions about your digital ad campaign, reach out to the digital experts at Informatics!
Want to learn more about paid search trends? Watch the short explainer video below, starring Informatics' leading dog, and check out more videos as part of our new Pip's Tips explainer series.