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Mythbusters: If You Use Google Ads, You Don’t Need Microsoft Advertising

December 2, 2019
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written by Danielle Strouther
Copywriter

Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising shouldn’t be competing for your time. Here’s how both platforms can boost your results.

TL;DR

  • Using Microsoft Advertising won’t take away your Google Ads success. It will add to it.
  • Microsoft Advertising isn’t just Bing. It has a range of search networks, features and partner platforms under one roof.
  • Microsoft Advertising is made up of older, more affluent demographics ready to spend.
  • It also has a cheaper CPC than using Google Ads – and is easy to learn if you’re already set up on Google.
  • Make your strategy the best it can be by using both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.

THE MYTH: 

Google Ads has a world of benefits for business. In fact, if done right, it can earn you $2 in revenue back for every $1 spent.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and this is the attitude towards the inclusion of Microsoft Advertising into your PPC strategy.

If you’ve already got a working strategy set up with Google Ads, why would you waste budget advertising on a different platform with less of the market share? If you’re on Google, you don’t need Microsoft.

THE TRUTH: 

The idea that it’s bad to advertise on multiple platforms is a complete myth. Using additional advertising platforms isn’t taking away from your Google Ads success. You’re not competing with yourself, you’re just expanding your reach.

Think of it like traditional advertising. Let’s say you’ve run a successful magazine advert campaign and you’re now investing in a set of TV adverts.

Putting out a TV advert doesn’t suddenly mean that your magazine ads are going to fail, or that you’re spending more money for the same results.

Sure, you might get the same people seeing both adverts. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it reinforces your brand in their mind. But generally, you’re targeting different people by another medium.

The more platforms used, the bigger your potential reach.

There is a caveat to this advice of course. Expanding the platforms you use only works if there’s a valid reason to be using them. You need to research and make sure it’s worth it before you invest.

With that said, here’s the lowdown on Microsoft Advertising.

Microsoft isn’t just Bing 

Before we get started, we need to clear up some misconceptions about Microsoft Advertising.

It’s not Bing. The platform formerly known as Bing Ads was replaced by Microsoft Advertising in April 2019.

But it’s not just a simple name change. The Microsoft Advertising platform includes a host of features and networks, including:

  • Search engines like Bing, Yahoo! and AOL
  • Microsoft Audience Network
  • Sponsored products

The Microsoft Audience Network is similar to Google’s Display Network. It allows you to reach more people than standard search ads. And of course Microsoft’s network includes popular business services such as Skype, MSN, Outlook, Microsoft Edge and LinkedIn.

In fact, because of LinkedIn data, audience targeting on Microsoft is incredibly accurate. You can target people by industry, company, and even job function, making it a great tool for B2B marketers.

Microsoft advertising logo
*Arnold Schwarzenegger voice* It’s not a Bing ad! It’s not Bing ad.

As we’ve pointed out in our Microsoft Ads manager checklist, Sponsored Products is a US beta programme build to increase conversions by driving traffic to specific product pages. This is done by adding more visibility to shopping campaigns and features such as viewable impressions and a tool for image management.

Once it’s out of beta, more information will be available.

But the key lesson you should take away: Microsoft is much bigger than you think, with plenty of cards up its sleeve. 

Why Microsoft Advertising is worth it

If you are new to Microsoft Advertising, there are 3 major draws to the platform.

1. Microsoft’s demographics

Before you can decide to advertise on Microsoft, you need to understand who uses it. After all, your audience is the most important thing.

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Microsoft-powered search engines don’t have the market share that Google does. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t used. In fact, the Microsoft Search Network connects more than 200 million Windows 10 users alone.

Every month, more than 379 million searches are made in the UK alone. That accounts for 22% of the UK desktop search market.

That’s a huge share. So it’s not surprising that Microsoft reaches 63 million search users worldwide that Google doesn’t.

Microsoft pitch deck data also shows that the Microsoft Audience Network accounts for 22.7 million unique visitors across MSN and Outlook alone. What’s more, it also reaches:

  • 11.1 million people not reached on Facebook 
  • 18.5 million people not reached on Twitter
  • 16.8 million people not reached on Gemini

The pitch deck data also reveals:

  • Nearly three-quarters of users are over the age of 35.
  • 44% have graduated from college.  
  • A third have a household income of over $100,000. 12% are in the top-earning bracket. 
  • They’re also likely to spend 52% more online.

If these are the people you want to target, then you need to be using Microsoft Ads.

2. It has a cheaper CPC

Here’s a big one.

Advertising on Microsoft is traditionally a lot cheaper than Google Ads.

Marketing Donut records between a 30-50% lower cost for the same adverts. Search Engine Land puts it at between a 32.5% and 59.2% cheaper CPC. Either way, that’s money saved.

But it’s not just a cheaper CPC. According to Microsoft’s own data, the platform offers:

  • A 29% lower cost per sale compared to Google Ads.
  • A $0.49 average mobile CPC, lower than the industry average of $0.58. 
  • A 35% higher conversation rate using the same CPC as Google Ads. 

That’s worth the investment.

3. Microsoft Ads is easier to understand 

One of the best things about Microsoft Ads is the gentle learning curve. If you’re already on Google Ads, using Microsoft Ads is a breeze. It’s set up and run in pretty much the same way.

But there are significant differences between both platforms. For example, Microsoft Advertising runs a few unique ad extensions such as action and multi-image extensions.

If you want to run the same campaigns on Microsoft, you can literally import them from Google Ads and they’re ready to go.

Person using a laptop
No need for a computing degree – Microsoft Advertising is easy to use

Expand your impact with Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising

Online advertising platforms may compete with each other but you don’t need to join them.

You could be missing out on potential customers – and loyal ones too. Integrating Google Ads and Microsoft Ads into your PPC strategy expands your reach and targeting high-paying customers wherever they are.

But as I said before, make sure your customers are there. Don’t use both platforms for the sake of it because if your audience isn’t on a specific platform, then there’s very little point in advertising there.

Warning aside, using two advertising platforms will help expand your reach and improve your success, not hinder it.

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Author
Danielle Strouther

As Adzooma’s Technical and Product Copywriter, I’m used to writing all the nitty-gritty details about PPC and marketing. You might have seen my work on Search Engine Journal, PPC Hero, Technopedia & more. Away from a screen, you’ll find me drawing all manner of strange monsters and dancing around a pole.
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