Think Bing (Microsoft Ads) isn’t as relevant as Google Ads? Think again. Retail, ecommerce, finance, healthcare, and digital marketing brands use Bing to boost their bottom line, and you can, too.
Here you’ll find:
- An overview of Microsoft Ads (Bing)
- Where you can showcase your Microsoft ads
- Who uses Bing Ads (industries and companies)
- Examples and success stories
Almost half of all Americans use Bing as their default search engine—that’s a whopping 50% of searchers!
So, it’s no surprise that Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) has become a powerful tool for brands looking to cast a wider net and maximize their return on investment (ROI).
But who uses Microsoft Ads the most? Is the platform a universal boon, or do some sectors reap greater rewards?
Our experience as a top 3% advertising agency has shown us retail, ecommerce, finance, healthcare, and digital marketing are the industries that use Microsoft Ads the most.
For more insights, we caught up with Abigail Beene, our SEM Manager at HawkSEM, and an expert at optimizing Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and social media campaigns for business growth.
Below, she shares case studies, expert tips, and how brands in these industries get the most out of Microsoft Ads.
Wondering if this platform is a worthy addition to your marketing toolkit? We’ll help you with that, too.
Where do Microsoft Ads show up?
Microsoft Advertising is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform for placing ads on the Bing search engine. It will display ads at the top, bottom, or side of Bing’s search engine results pages, ensuring maximum visibility for your brand.
Now, we all know Google search has the most pull, but Microsoft’s Bing caters to niche audiences that could be worth tapping into. But the reach of Microsoft Ads extends beyond just Microsoft Bing.
You can showcase your ads across a range of Microsoft’s digital advertising real estate, including:
- Microsoft Edge
…as well as other Microsoft-owned platforms, search networks, and partners.
So, why the shift from Bing Ads to Microsoft Ads? It was all part of their April 2019 rebranding. This strategic move aimed to expand the online advertising horizon, infusing more AI-driven ad solutions across the Microsoft ecosystem.
The name might differ, but the game’s the same: connecting brands with a vast audience to boost traffic and conversions.
As for what kind of brands make up the market share…
Who uses Microsoft Ads? 5 industries and their success stories
If you think Microsoft Ads is just for the tech-savvy and industry giants, think again.
This versatile platform caters to many different industries, but brands on a budget or in competitive tech niches may benefit most.
“While Google is where you’ll get the most search volume, a lot of times you can actually get a lower cost per lead and higher ROAS in Bing, where CPCs aren’t as expensive” Beene says. This is pretty common in a lot of B2B industries, especially in the tech space.”
Keep in mind, Microsoft Ads isn’t a perfect fit for every business. Your brand’s target audience may not align with its user demographics. Or, perhaps your specific advertising needs are better met through other channels.
Beene says one of the most common challenges on Bing is search volume.
“More people are actively searching on Google, so if you’re already reaching your full audience on Bing, it makes it very difficult to scale.”
But Beene says this doesn’t make it any less effective. You’ll just need to take a proactive approach to budget allocation and diversify across various channels.
If you’re looking to increase click-through-rates (CTR) or boost revenue with a niche audience? It’s important to assess your business’s unique goals carefully before taking the leap.
For now, let’s look at the top five industries making waves with Microsoft Ads:
1. Retail Businesses
Retailers, large and small, are flourishing with Microsoft Ads, using its many features to enhance their online presence and supercharge sales.
Here’s how they’re doing it:
Microsoft Ads lets retail businesses hone in on their ideal customers through insights from search volume, queries, demographics, and online behavior. This means ads are positioned in front of the right people at the right time.
Retailers can unlock a world of opportunity with Microsoft Ads‘ vast network, spanning Bing, Yahoo, and MSN. This extensive reach provides a rich pool of potential customers waiting to be discovered.
Retail-friendly ad formats
Microsoft Ads doesn’t disappoint when it comes to ad formats specifically designed for retail. From shopping ads to dynamic search ads, these formats showcase products in a way that captures shoppers’ attention and nudges them to make a purchase.
Retailers can cleverly position their products front and center when potential customers are ready to buy. The endgame? An uptick in traffic, conversions, and, ultimately, revenue.
Retail business case study: Crocs
When COVID hit, global footwear brand Crocs shut down retail stores across North America and Europe. In response to the pandemic, they launched a “Free Pair Healthcare” program for donating shoes to healthcare heroes.
With their physical stores closed, Crocs pivoted their focus to digital engagement. This included promoting “Free Pair Healthcare” and zeroing in on their ideal audience with Microsoft Advertising‘s personalized ads and audience targeting.
During this period, they also relied on paid search through Microsoft Ads as one of their highest-performing channels — a savvy move that garnered higher site traffic, conversions, and customer acquisitions.
Who uses Bing Ads besides physical retailers? Digital stores, of course!
2. Ecommerce brands and online stores
It’s no secret that ecommerce is a fiercely competitive landscape. Microsoft Ads can be the edge your online store is missing. It offers precise targeting, a wide network, and creative ad formats to help you stand out.
Other features that can amp up online visibility and sales for ecommerce brands include:
Microsoft Retail Advertising Network
The Microsoft Retail Advertising Network links retailers to consumers across the Microsoft Advertising platform and networks. It’s an all-in-one solution perfect for helping businesses connect with their audiences wherever they are, making shopping a breeze.
Data and insights
Microsoft Ads’ valuable analytics are a goldmine of intel for ecommerce businesses. By getting to know your audience inside and out, you can fine-tune your ad campaigns to hit the mark every time.
Ecommerce case study: BB Wheels
Did you know the automotive industry is among the most competitive in paid search advertising? BB Wheels, a family-owned and operated ecommerce business that sells wheels, tires, and vehicle accessories, knew this and wanted in on the Microsoft Ads advantage.
To snag top shopping ad slots, they decided to harness Microsoft Ads’ targeting options and extensive network. This helped them reach their ideal customer base more effectively, significantly improving their online visibility and sales.
Thanks to Microsoft Ads, they showcased their wide range of custom wheels and tires, reaching potential customers at the optimal time and place. The result? A stunning 13x ROAS, hefty bump in site traffic, and increased average order value (AOV) to $670.
Next, let’s look at the numbers…
3. Finance niches
The finance crowd is mature and sophisticated—just like Bing’s older audiences. Pair that with Microsoft’s suite of tools and features for advertising, and finance brands can thrive with traffic and ROI.
Some ways finance companies use Microsoft Ads to their advantage include:
With spot-on targeting options, finance businesses can connect to their perfect audience on sight. By tapping into Microsoft Ads’ rich data and insights, they can create ads that truly speak to their target demographic, ensuring their message lands with the right folks at the right time.
The world’s your oyster with Microsoft Ads‘ massive network, including Bing, Yahoo, and MSN. This is a game-changer for finance businesses, opening the door to a sea of potential customers and driving serious traffic to their websites.
Finance-friendly ad formats
Finance businesses need industry-specific ad formats to advertise their products and services. These types of ads must clearly showcase their offerings’ unique benefits while complying with financial regulations. And Microsoft Ads? They’ve got these formats down pact.
Finance business case study: Experian
If you have a credit card, you’re probably familiar with the main credit reporting bureaus in the U.S. One of those is Experian, a global leader in consumer and business credit reporting and marketing services.
Like other businesses, Experian saw an opportunity to tap into Microsoft Ads‘ audience targeting and pinpoint their ideal customer base. For instance, Bing’s older demographic is more likely to be invested in their financial health.
But Beene says it’s more essential to focus on who your target audience is.
“If the older demographic is part of your core customer base (even if it isn’t ALL of your customer base), having a presence on Bing could definitely be beneficial.”
But don’t rule out younger Bing users just yet.
“With ChatGPT being owned by Bing, it will be interesting to see if the channel begins to attract a younger audience,” says Beene. “This is something advertisers should be keeping a close eye on and considering when making strategy plans for the coming months/years.”
With Microsoft Ads, Experian used Bing’s extensive network to reach its target audience of financially conscious, higher household income adults on the hunt for savvy financial solutions.
But they didn’t stop there. They also introduced Experian Boost, a free service for helping people boost their credit scores. Microsoft Ads was key in promoting this new service, resulting in higher engagement and a surge in paid subscriptions.
All of this, combined with Microsoft Advertising‘s automated bidding strategies and Experian’s cutting-edge solutions, proved worthy. And the results? They speak for themselves: an impressive 97% hike in conversion rates within their target CPA during initial A/B testing.
4. Healthcare Industry
Microsoft Ads can give healthcare professionals and organizations tools to effectively promote their services, connect with potential patients, and, in turn, improve patient outcomes.
In addition to targeting options and expansive reach, Microsoft Ads supports the healthcare industry through one feature in particular:
Doctor and Clinic Ads
This is specially designed to help healthcare providers broaden their reach and find new patients. Doctor and Clinic Ads help these professionals showcase their services, highlight patient reviews, and provide essential details like location, hours of operation, and contact information.
Sure, less competition and optimal ad placement are great, but seamlessly guiding patients directly to your healthcare services? Now, that’s invaluable.
Healthcare case study: Medicare
Medicare is a federal health insurance company mostly serving people 65 or older. What does a federal company have to do with search engine marketing? Good question.
As Annual Enrollment Periods (AEP) approach, organizations like Medicare need new ways to reach eligible beneficiaries. Hence, the opportunity to harness Microsoft Ads to engage with relevant demographics who may be shopping for plans.
Understanding your audience is crucial. Luckily, Microsoft Advertising has already done the legwork, finding that seniors tend to take their time. Meaning they have longer shopping journeys, frequently engaging with the Microsoft Audience Network (a native ad solution, like Google Ads campaigns or Facebook Ads, offering advanced audience targeting and brand-specific native ad placements).
On the flip side, those “aging in” to Medicare are more likely to explore non-brand or generic Medicare terms. But here’s the kicker: both ad groups are doing their homework, cross-shopping across various brands and plan types.
In addition to connecting with the target audience, Microsoft Ads delivers insights on popular search topics, keyword research, and SEO strategies to optimize reach and engagement.
5.Digital marketing brands
While Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads have traditionally been the go-to platforms for digital marketers, Microsoft Ads are often overlooked. But do you know who uses Microsoft Ads? Savvy digital marketing businesses.
These professionals recognize the untapped potential of Microsoft Advertising as a powerful tool to elevate their business to new heights.
Targeting specific demographics
Microsoft Ads lets digital marketers hit the bullseye, reaching the exact audience they want when they want. Plus, with top-notch analytics, they can see what’s working and tweak their campaigns for even better results as they go. It’s a win-win.
Diverse range of ad formats
From video to display ads, this range of ad formats perfectly fits into a digital marketing business’s campaign goals. With the ability to customize ads and target specific keywords, digital marketers can create highly relevant, engaging ads. The result? Ads that capture attention and reel in conversions.
So, what does Microsoft Ads have that Google Ads doesn’t? Beene weighs in on the two biggest differences: search volume and cost-per-click (CPC).
“The lower search volume on Bing compared to Google can be a negative, especially if you have a lot of budget to use and you’re looking to scale,” says Beene. “However, lower CPCs mean that your budget will go a lot further and you’ll likely have more affordable costs per lead.”
She emphasizes that while each platform is unique, they do share many similarities, and leveraging both has its advantages:
“You can even import campaigns directly into Bing from Google with very little time and effort, so the overall strategies translate well between the two.”
Can’t choose one over the other?
Beene suggests looking at your budget to see how much you have available to spend. Your industry will also dictate how to allocate funds. But, does money go further on one versus the other?
“Because [your] budget can usually stretch a little further on Bing, I would typically recommend more spend allocated to Google and less to Bing, as long as you are seeing success in both platforms.”
Want to take the guesswork out of it? The game-changer for clever marketers and brands looking to make their mark in the digital space? ConversionIQ, HawkSEM’s proprietary tech for blending data-driven insights with strategic expertise to skyrocket your ROI.
Digital marketing case study: Wickfire
Wickfire is a digital marketing company with a focus on search engine marketing. They turned to Microsoft Ads to maximize reach and conversions for their clients.
They wanted to leverage Microsoft Ads‘ features and insights to target specific demographics, optimize their campaigns, and ultimately drive more client traffic and sales. Microsoft Ads provided them with the tools and data to make informed decisions and refine their strategies for better results.
The goal? To automate workflows, tech optimization, platform development, and use Microsoft Ads features like:
- Adopted search syndication
- Sitelink Extensions
- Callout Extensions
- Structured Snippet Extensions
- Enhanced average cost-per-click (CPC)
The results? A 66% increase in traffic and a 40% lower cost in average CPC. Better yet, they gained new and sizable accounts, further fueling their growth and solidifying them as serious players in the digital marketing realm. We see you, Wickfire.
You’ve seen the stats, and you’ve heard the success stories. Now, it’s time to make your move.
Don’t let your competitors steal the spotlight. You may be dominating Google Ads or Amazon but not wielding the full potential of Microsoft Ads.
And we aren’t in the business of leaving revenue on the table—are we?
It’s time to harness the full spectrum of advertising platforms to supercharge your revenue and leave your competitors in the dust.
And pssst… Do you know who uses Microsoft Ads on the regular? HawkSEM’s lineup of seasoned PPC experts. Just ask Beene, who says Bing has been a game-changer for one client targeting the extremely competitive law and medical niches where Google’s CPCs are sky-high.
“The amount of leads we have been able to produce for them have increased pretty substantially since allocating more budget to Bing, and it has become a major part of their advertising strategy.”
Pair this Bing intel with our stellar average ROI of 4.5X across all our clients, and you can bet we’ve got your ad game in the bag. Reach out today and let us craft a strategy that puts you leagues ahead.