Written by Sam Yadegar on Mar 16 , 2021

Still neglecting the Microsoft Advertising platform and Bing? Here’s why you may want to rethink that.

Here you’ll find:

  • Unique benefits of Bing display ads on the Bing search engine
  • Benefits of Microsoft Advertising campaigns  
  • Display ad campaign creation steps 
  • Best practices for helping your ads succeed on this platform

It may not be as heated a debate as Android vs. iPhone, but plenty of people are shocked to discover that Bing users exist.

Similarly, most businesses don’t take Microsoft Advertising (formally Bing Ads) seriously because Google dominates the market. However, leveraging Microsoft ads could be far more beneficial than they might think. 

Despite some sources reporting their market share as low as 6%, once you add up their network’s combined reach, it becomes clear that Microsoft Advertising is woefully underrated. People are often unaware that Microsoft extends their reach dramatically by leveraging its wide range of products. They also work with a massive network of prominent partners, including Amazon, Skype, Verizon, and more. 

Bing & Microsoft Advertising facts and statistics

Without fully understanding what Microsoft Advertising is and how it works, people are quick to dismiss it. If only they knew that:

The value of display ad campaigns

Microsoft ads can be surprisingly powerful. That’s one thing Microsoft Advertising and display ads have in common. Since display ads have a lower conversion rate, people often assume they’re worthless. But immediate conversion isn’t the only metric of success.  

Display ads vs. search ads

Google or Bing ads on the search network convert better because they’re shown to people actively shopping or seeking information. Conversely, display ads are often shown to more passive consumers. 

However, that doesn’t mean they’re less useful — they just serve a different purpose.

Use search ads when:

  • Your goal is immediate conversion
  • Your business is location-specific (storefront)
  • You provide an emergency service (plumber, dentist, handyman)

Use display ads when:

  • Your goal is brand awareness or lead generation
  • Your offer isn’t geographically constrained (digital products, e-commerce, accessible worldwide)
  • Your offer has an extended sales cycle (automotive, software)

When used correctly, they can work together quite well. Bing display ads familiarize people with your brand, which will likely increase search ad conversion and can lead to more organic traffic later.  

bing display ads

When picking an audience, pay attention to the estimated reach displayed so you don’t make your audience too small. (Image via Unsplash)

How to create display ads for Microsoft Advertising

Once you sign up for a Microsoft Advertising account, creating ads is pretty straightforward. There are two ways to get started: you can import ads from Google or create ads from scratch.

How to import your ads from Google Ads to Microsoft Advertising

  1. Click on the “Import Campaigns” menu option. Then click “Import from Google Ads.”
  2. Sign in to Google Ads and select the campaigns you want to import. Then specify which settings you want to bring over in the “Choose Import Options” section. ​​Below that, Microsoft Advertising lets you schedule automatic imports, so you don’t have to redo it every time you create new ads and campaigns or make changes. 
  3. Click import. Your imported Google Ads will be set to the closest Microsoft equivalent settings. 

Pro Tip: Always check thoroughly to make sure there were no problems with your campaigns and everything imported properly, as some settings don’t have a direct match.

How to create a Microsoft Advertising display campaign

  1. ​​Go to the “Campaigns” tab, click create campaign, and set the campaign goal.
  2. There will be a window that says “What kind of ads do you want to run for this campaign?” You’ll want to select Audience Ads, as Microsoft’s Audience Network is their Google Display Network equivalent. Then, fill in your basic settings options and set a daily budget.
  3. Create an ad group, choose your audience settings, and add text, links, images, and details. The ads will be responsive, so the preview won’t be what the audience always sees exactly, but more or less the same.
  4. Set your budget and add a payment method under “Accounts and Billing” in your settings. Click “Done” to activate!

Microsoft Advertising best practices

When picking an audience, pay attention to the estimated reach displayed so you don’t make your audience too small. Try to stay above 10,000.

Microsoft’s AI will be observing and adapting to the data generated by your campaign to optimize it, but this takes time. That’s why it’s wise to let your campaign run for at least a week or two before making any changes.

Lastly, you want to track everything, analyze often, and adjust as needed. Use the data from your Google Ads to help your Microsoft ads by importing it and adapt to what it says. Tinker with it until you find the sweet spot.

The takeaway

The name change from Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising represents the brand’s shift from search ads to so much more. 

Between the often lower cost per click (CPC) and the purchasing power of this demographic, the Bing display audience is an opportunity that’s worth exploring for nearly all businesses. 

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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