Semetis is in the first agency in Belgium to launch Product Ads (shopping campaigns) on Microsoft Ads.
From a performance point of view, launching Products Ads in Belgium is an important step for Bing. As you might know, Shopping ads on Google tend to perform well in terms of return on investment.
Why Microsoft Advertising?
Obviously, Google is the biggest Search engine in the world. The american giant is far ahead of its competitors when it comes to search engine market share. Nevertheless, being present on Microsoft Advertising, previously known as Bing Ads, could be very interesting for your company.
According to Microsoft, its search engine market share more than doubled during the past five years in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. Overall in Europe, the market share of Microsoft’s search engine should lie somewhere around 10% even if it seems to be lower in Belgium (around 6% in 2020).
Let’s keep in mind that Microsoft's advertising network is composed of different search engines such as: Bing, Yahoo, Ecosia, DuckDuckGo, Qwant, etc.
The platform claims that 57% of its users are under 45, 39% hold a university degree and 26% of its users are in the top earning bracket. Some argue that most people using Bing could be white-collar workers having the search engine by default on their company’s laptop. Reaching these users with a high purchasing power could be interesting.
As mentioned, Google is far ahead Bing when it comes to advertising. New features first appear on Google and are then “copied” by Microsoft. This is also the case for Shopping Ads. The platform looks very similar so there is no knowledge barrier for you to try Microsoft Ads if you were already present on Google.
Google Shopping was launched in Belgium in 2013 and has rapidly grown since then. It’s often the most cost effective way to generate transactions online. It took some time for Microsoft to launch the product in Belgium but it eventually happened in July 2020.
The Shopping ads look exactly the same as the Google product. As for Google, we know that performances in terms of cost per transaction are better than classic text ads. Indeed, you will only pay when a user clicks on the ad. Before clicking, the user will have a better view on where he will lend and on what product the ad is referring to. Therefore, a user that clicks on a Shopping ad is further in his purchasing journey as he already knows what the product looks like, its price, the brand, etc.
The process to create Shopping campaigns is very similar to the one of Google.
- The first step is claiming your domain by using the Bing Webmaster tool.
- Then, you will need to create a store in Bing Merchant Center.
- After uploading a feed, you are ready to launch your first shopping campaign.
If you are already running Shopping campaigns on Google Ads, there is an easier way to upload your feed.
- Indeed, you can link your Google Merchant Center Account with your Bing Merchant Center Account. This will allow you to push the feed you are using in Google to Microsoft Advertising.
- Bing recognizes the fields you are using in your Google feed, therefore, no additional reformatting is needed.
- Of course, this feed will be updated regularly to be sure that data is still up to date.
- One other convenient feature from Bing is the auto-tagging. Thanks to this, you don’t need to add UTM’s in your feed, this will be done automatically by Bing.
Once your feed is uploaded, you need to create your first campaign. In order to do so:
- Choose the following campaign goal on the platform: “Sell products from your catalog”.
- Use the same filters as what you are using in Google Ads (custom label, brand, ID, etc) to select the products you want to promote.
Microsoft Advertising Product ads is a new format. This leads to different limitations.
- At the moment (July 2020) Bing Shopping is only available in French in Belgium. This is an important barrier as the Flemish market is larger. To make it clear, for now, you can only upload a feed in French. The generated ads will therefore be in French.
- Another limitation is the fact that Shopping Ads are for now only running on Bing Search Engine. Meaning that it is not yet available on Ecosia, Yahoo and the other search engines of the Microsoft Advertising network.
- Note that on Bing Advertising, only Standard Shopping Ads are available. Our guess is that Smart Shopping ads will follow in the near future.
- Lastly, the bidding strategies available for this product are limited. Manual CPC’s, Enhanced CPC and Maximize clicks are the only strategies available for now.
Microsoft Advertising launched Product Ads and the process to create a campaign may seem familiar to you. The platform did its best to make the creation of those ads easy and similar to the Google set-up. Users might have a higher purchasing power than the Google average user.
As with everything, the recommendation is to test and learn in your specific context.