The Value of Bing: Getting Granular

Welcome to Getting Granular

The podcast where digital marketing experts from the agency Granular talk about the latest trends, tried and true best practices, and share their unfiltered thoughts about the digital marketing industry.

The Value of Bing: Getting Granular

EPISODE SUMMARY

In this episode, Jordon Meyer (founder) and Steve Kroll (VP) of Granular® talk about the value of Bing and how it impacts businesses looking to grow with PPC ads. They debunk misconceptions, highlight powerful features, and lay out sound reasoning to add Bing Ads to your marketing mix.

SHOW NOTES

What you’ll learn in this episode of Getting Granular:
• How Bing Ads can drive incremental revenue for your business
• Where Bing fits into the marketing funnel
• Interesting Bing facts (66 Million users exclusively on Bing!) 3:38
• How Google Ads and Bing Ads are Similar and Different
• Why it’s so easy to transition into Bing from Google 4:55
• ROI reasoning behind running Bing Ads 9:19
• Target LinkedIn users in Bing 11:05
• 3 Reasons to use Bing if Google is already working well for you 17:06
• Widen the marketing funnel, don’t go up it too fast 22:07
• How to get free money (coupons) for Bing Ads

EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION

Welcome to Getting Granular, the podcast where digital marketing experts from the agency Granular talk about the latest trends, tried and true best practices, and share their unfiltered thoughts about the industry, whether you’re here to learn how to grow your business, improve your digital skills, or just want to hear some Midwest PPC experts rant about digital media, you’ve come to the right place.

Steve:   Welcome to the Getting Granular Podcast. I’m your host Steve Kroll. I’m the vice president at the agency Granular. Today, we’re going to talk to our president and founder, Jordon Meyer. We’re going to dive right into the topic of the case for Bing Ads. Welcome to the podcast, Jordon.

Jordon: Hey, thanks. Good to be here, as always.

Steve:   We’ve discussed internally having a podcast where we talk about Bing Ads, it’s something that’s kind of taken for granted in the digital marketing world, but something we’ve seen a lot of success with for our clients. Today, we want to talk about, what sparked the idea for talking about Bing?

Jordon: Yeah. I think time and time again we run into prospects when we’re talking to potential companies that we’re going to help run their advertising and grow their business through paid search, and paid digital. We see kind of time and time again that they’re not necessarily using Bing, or they tried it once, and they totally forgot about it for years. It’s been around for a really long time, and there’s a lot of great kind of stats that go into it, and lots of performance that comes out of it.

Jordon: It’s kind of the same kind of functionality as Google, so I think it’s good to talk about it, because people do forget about it, and they laugh about it, and they’re like, “How many people are on Bing,” because a lot of times they’re not, so they just assume that the rest of the country, or the rest of the world isn’t, and that’s wrong.

Steve:   Yeah. I guess what I would add to that is since I’ve been here at Granular I’ve heard you mention, or we’ll have conversations with organizations that have had success with Google, and then the next platform they look at is outside of Bing, and you stop them and say, “Hey, why aren’t we looking at Bing Ads, why are we jumping right into the Facebook Ads?”

Jordon: Yeah. I think it’s the perceived difficulty of it, so lots of people jump right into Facebook, or they’ll even start with Facebook, and then they’re even scared of Google, so they’re definitely not going into Bing, but the truth of it is that Facebook, and Bing, and Google are all at kind of different levels of that conversion funnel, so when you’re thinking of hitting your target audience, and your potential customers you really want to be, you know, we kind of start at the bottom of the funnel, which means someone that’s really close to converting into a customer, be it that, you know, making a sale on an eCommerce site, or generating a lead, or selling your service to a potential customer.

Jordon: Where Facebook falls in is typically a little higher in the funnel, and Google and Bing are right up at the bottom, because user intent is so high that they go to a search engine to kind of fulfill their need, so that’s why we think Bing and Google are at the same level of importance, even more so than like a Facebook or an Instagram, because paid social is typically a little higher in the funnel. That’s not always the case, but it’s often the case. That’s why it’s so important to focus on search, typically first.

Steve:   Great. We’ve queued up some really interesting facts and numbers around Bing and going to want to get your thoughts here. We pulled out three reasons for making the case for Bing Ads as a platform if you’re having success with Google. Just quick, before I get into that, some interesting numbers from Bing. Bing powers one and three searches on the internet, if you’re on a PC. There’s six billion monthly searches in the United States that occur in the Bing network.

Steve:   I think this is an interesting stat, 66 million searchers that are on Bing you cannot reach on Google, which at a high level that makes a lot of sense if you’re looking to expand into additional areas of pay per click, and you’re having success in Google, we’re talking 66 million searchers you can not reach on the Google Ads platform, and we’ll get into that, and to that point wanted to transition into what the case is for using Bing Ads, if you’re a digital marketer. The first one that seems pretty straightforward is if you’re already running Google Ads, setting up campaigns in Bing is easy, so why wouldn’t you do it?

Jordon: Right. It’s just becoming easier and easier over the years, because Bing is really aware of their position in the market when it comes to search and search marketing. They know that they’re second, and that they get forgotten about, so they’ve seriously made a tool just within their interface that it’s basically a few clicks to import your whole campaign from Google, so you can fire up a new Bing account and under an hour you can typically import everything, make some fine adjustments to match some differences in Bing versus Google, but it’s super easy.

Jordon: You import your campaigns. It used to be just search, now you can do that with shopping, as well. Shopping Ads. It’s so fast and easy to transition that over, that it’s kind of a no brainer to do that. That’s on the function standpoint, but then from kind of the result’s standpoint I would say it’s still a no brainer, because again looking at that marketing funnel.

Jordon: If you’re running good campaigns on Google, and it’s converting, and it’s within kind of your target KPI’s there’s a good chance that you’re going to have similar success on Bing. There’s definitely variance up and down in that performance, but nonetheless it’s worth a test, and given that you don’t have to invest a ton of time or energy to build out a Bing account, it’s always kind of worth a test if you’re having success in Google already.

Steve:   To rewind on what you said, there, I heard you say that Bing makes it very easy to import from Google, Bing knows where the rat in the pecking order, and that the actual process for taking the existing Google Ads campaign that’s running, and moving it into Bing, that’s an efficient, easy process. Specifically, how would that work?

Jordon: Yeah. It’s really just a few clicks, so you go into the interface, you set up a new Bing account, and you click import campaigns from Google, it then asks you for your Google login, you login, it authorizes it, and you can select which campaigns you want to bring in. Typically, when we do this we don’t actually bring in every campaign right away, or at least we don’t activate every campaign, because typically if you’re running Google it’s built out, it’s got some history, so you’re really kind of running an expansive account, so just to test Bing, we’ll typically suggest that you bring over some of the top performing Google campaigns, and that’s typically a smaller subset of what you’re running in Google.

Jordon: You select those campaigns, click import, set your daily budgets, and your bids, but those are also brought over from Google. Everything’s brought over, all your settings, all your bids and budgets. It’s super easy. You click import, it’s done. You typically pause campaigns, and then you go back to your interface and you see all your new campaigns in Bing, you select which ones you want to run, and you’re seriously off to the races. I said under an hour, but for us it probably takes 10, 15 minutes.

Steve:   Wow. Hearing you explain that just makes it even more of a no brainer, and the fact that you have the controls to activate certain campaigns, so instead of saying, “Hey, we have to turn on everything we have running in Google,” what I hear you saying is, if there are particular campaigns where you know you can have acceptable CPA goals, or ROAS goals that are performing well in Google, start there with Bing, because why wouldn’t you, especially if these are campaigns that have limited volume in Google and you’re already kind of maxing out your budgets.

Jordon: Yeah. Exactly.

Steve:   I guess before we move on to the next reason why digital marketers should be investing in Bing Ads, what would you say for the people who make the argument that by investing in Bing Ads you’re taking money away from Google Ads campaigns?

Jordon: Yeah. I think people should have the same mentality of kind of budget breakdown as if they were just bidding and running ads in Google. If you’re having a lot of success in Google and your ROI is big, let’s say it’s a 10 to one for every $1.00 that you invest in Google you’re getting 10 back, not many people cut off at an arbitrary budget number if they’re seeing that kind of return, because why wouldn’t you invest more continuously? That’s how we see a lot of clients operate.

Jordon: Now, some people have very strict budgets, they have annual budgets that they have to adhere to, which totally makes sense, but in the case of a business that understands that ROI and the return really drives business growth we see time and time again that people are willing to invest extra dollars, because they’re almost immediately getting those back. The same reasoning should go into Bing.

Jordon: You shouldn’t necessarily steal from Google, or steal from Facebook to fund Bing, you should really find some incremental dollars, because it’s going to end up driving incremental sales, and that’s how you grow a business. You don’t just do a little recycling program where you’re always spending the same little budget, you have to spend more to make more, and a lot of instances, and this is a perfect example of that.

Steve:   That’s a good perspective to share, because if you have an existing budget like you mentioned that isn’t going up every year, and you’re just having to take money from one pool and another, you should really start considering what is being done if it’s internally or with an agency that’s put us in a position where we’re not trying to increase budgets because we’re having success if you’re just having to stay with the same budget, so that’s a really good perspective.

Steve:   The next area with Bing Ads that I want to touch on, and this is very exciting, is the LinkedIn targeting capability you have within their network. I think a lot of people aren’t aware of this. I think even though a number of people do know that Microsoft bought LinkedIn a few years ago, I don’t think they realize the extent to which that relationship has given digital marketers tools to reach their target audience with that rich LinkedIn data. Can you maybe explain that more?

Jordon: Yeah. This is a huge development that’s coming out of beta right now. We’ve had access to this for I think half a year, or a little more, at the Granular team, so we’ve had good success already with this for clients, basically, think of LinkedIn and all the information that people just kind of raise their hand and give about their job, about their position, about their experience, about individual traits, and imagine that you can bid and select all those individual traits into a campaign. You could always kind of do that in LinkedIn, but now Bing has brought that into Bing Ads, which is just amazing.

Jordon: You can target CEO’s at companies from a 1,000 to 5,000 people in Milwaukee and basically pick some broad keywords, or exact keywords, if you want, and basically how that functions is those people that fit your selection, your audience, those are the only people who are going to see those ads in Bing, so when these CEOs in Milwaukee search for a digital marketing agency I’m making sure that I’m bidding a lot on those folks, because they’re exactly in my target demographic.

Jordon: I’m cutting out very small companies, or I’m cutting out huge companies, and cutting out people that work at other agencies, cutting out a lot of other folks because I’m really just going after let’s say like CEO’s of manufacturing companies. It’s really cool. We’ve found a ton of use cases where this makes a ton of sense for our clients in the higher Ed space, for example, if we’re looking for people to get MBA’s we can target people who have undergrad degrees, who are in a business setting, who we know they work in a place where we know their company gives tuition reimbursement, those are prime candidates for something like an MBA.

Jordon: We can do the same thing for any type of business. Typically, if you talk to a business owner they’re going to have a pretty good idea of who their target market is, and the beauty of the LinkedIn plus Bing Ads targeting is that you can dial that right in, and spend more money on more targeted marketing versus kind of that more broad approach hoping that everyone searching for this keyword is in your target, which isn’t always the case.

Steve:   Speaking of the targeting, on a practical level, if someone wants to take advantage of the LinkedIn targeting capabilities within Bing, to confirm, they only have to work within the Bing Ads interface? Maybe can you explain more on a practical level, if they have a campaign how they would go about triggering the LinkedIn targeting?

Jordon: Right. Yeah. They don’t have to be part of LinkedIn or anything like that, the ads are run purely in Bing, they’re totally separate platforms. Bing just brought in LinkedIn targeting basically at an audience level. How it functions is you can either create a new campaign, which we would typically suggest, because the targeting is more detailed, more granular. We typically do that when you have different targeting.

Jordon: But, just to prove it out, you can even add an audience, you can go to one campaign, let’s say it’s your best performing campaign, you can go to the audiences and actually create a non kind of bid modified targeting pool, so you can select your companies, or select your job titles, and basically just add them as kind of this faux targeting level, or layer, and you can keep running your campaign day in and day out like you normally do, but then once you go in, and view that audience you can actually see maybe who some of these people are, or maybe if some of those people are clicking on your ads, or searching you can get data on it without actually making a bid adjustment on it, which is pretty cool, because that’s kind of a beta test of your own without spending any money on it.

Jordon: But, to talk more about the functionality of it, the way it works is you put a bid modifier on that audience, so if I’m targeting CEO’s I’m going to say that those people searching, those CEOs searching at Bing are worth 20% to 50% more to me than just a normal person searching for that same term, so what I’ll do is I’ll put plus 20% or plus 50% bid modifier on it, which would increase my bid, increase my aggressiveness on that search term, and enable me to show it more often maybe in a higher position.

Steve:   Awesome. Thanks for going into detail on how that works. I thought I was important to focus on that. What I want to do in the next part of this conversation is focus on who is a good candidate for Bing Ads? I feel we’ve done a good job of talking about how it’s simple to get into Bing Ads, how it makes sense, because its incremental volume you wouldn’t get within Google, and the power of LinkedIn targeting within Bing, and so let’s focus on putting ourselves in the shoes of our listeners, they’re in a position where all right we’ve made a strong case for it, but what’s a kind of mental checklist that they can run through of why they should consider Bing? You’re probably a good candidate for Bing Ads, if?

Jordon: Sure. You’re probably a good candidate for Bing Ads if you feel like your current search campaigns are kind of maxed out in Google. We can kind of go back and get in a little bit more detail, but that’s kind of number one. If you feel like you kind of hit a plateau in Google, it’s time to move over to Bing, and try that.

Jordon: Another reason would be that you want to profitably expand your paid search, but maybe you’ve had difficulty developing creative for non search campaigns, maybe you’ve spent more money on display or on Facebook, and it hasn’t seen kind of the same ROI, you’ve tried to expand the overall digital marketing plan in the past, but you’ve maybe accidentally, or intentionally ignored Bing, that’s a good reason to move over, because it’s kind of a forgotten ROI driver.

Jordon: Kind of the last one, the last no brainer would be if you’re an eCommerce company having good success with Google shopping Ads, Bing within the last year or so has made it super easy, just as easy, to bring over shopping campaigns as it is to bring over search campaigns, so again, just go to that import feature, select it, bring it over, and they make it super simple to get up and running on shopping ads, and we’ve seen good performance in Bing similar to that of Google.

Steve:   Awesome. That’s a great checklist. If you don’t mind, I want to go back and dive into more detail with each of those. Let’s start with the point you made about feeling like your search campaigns have maxed out on Google Ads. What would be some indicators internally that would tell you that, that’s starting to happen?

Jordon: Right. I think the easiest one would be, I guess there’s a few, like if you can’t come up with any more keywords, or if you can’t, if you’re literally spending as much daily budget as possible, we’ve seen that, and really niche companies before, because look they can only bid on very targeted keywords that make sense to their business, and at some point you kind of reach a 100% impression share, you’re showing your ad to everyone that’s searching for those keywords, and you’re there.

Jordon: That’s kind of a rare case, because there’s plenty of niche companies, but there’s typically some keyword research, and expansion that you can do, but I think more importantly is giving a little more scientific about this, and looking at the yield curve, and what that is, is typically like a bell curve, if you can envision that, you’re spending a little, you’re getting a little back, you spend more, you get more back, but at some point the efficiency of that yield curve starts to drop off, so as you spend more and more, maybe your cost per sale starts to increase, and that’s where you have to make a decision to cut off budget, because at some point you’re going to start wasting more money than you’re getting back.

Jordon: What’s the ROI of the last $1.00 spent? That’s what a lot of smart business owners will ask. If that’s less ROI driving then your first $1.00 spent, then it’s time to look into expanding into other channels, or dialing in that targeting a little bit. That’s typically when we’ll say, “All right, you’ve got a very efficient campaign in Google, as we expand it’s getting less efficient, let’s stop expanding there for now, and move those high performing campaigns over to Bing,” and basically just drive similar values through that.

Steve:   That’s a great explanation, Jordon. Getting to the second point that you’d made about marketers who want to profitably expand their pay per click campaigns that they have maybe going in Google, but they’re internal team or the agency they retained have difficulty developing creative, maybe they’ve tried to get campaigns working, display campaigns, Facebook Ad campaigns, they haven’t worked, but they know they need to drive additional growth, but it seems like they can only get that from their Google search campaigns, you make the case that Bing Ads search is a no brainer.

Jordon: Yeah. It goes back to the marketing funnel. Typically, when you kind of think that you max out your bottom kind of level of that funnel, the highest intent, the highest converting, people think they need to go up the funnel, but in Bing’s case you can actually widen that funnel, and that’s as simple as I can explain it, and I think just think about it like that. There’re more channels at the bottom of the funnel than you know of, or than you’ve tried, then you should definitely try to widen it versus up it.

Steve:   Awesome. Simple enough. The third reason that you called out was if you’re an eCommerce company that is currently leveraging Google shopping campaigns otherwise referred to as product listing ads within Google, and they’re performing well, Bing has a powerful and easy to use platform themselves for shopping campaigns.

Jordon: Yeah. In Bing, they operate extremely similar to how Google functions, and that’s because they basically copy them, which is great. Search marketers have no problem with that, because it makes it easy to understand, and I think Bing does it, and they have no issue with admitting that they copy a lot of function from Google, because guess what, it’s easier to adopt if you know exactly how it’s going to operate.

Jordon: They’re trying to get more advertisers from Google over to Bing, but the shopping ads in particular, I mean, we’ve seen a ton of traffic just shifting year over year towards shopping ads versus text ads in Google, and the same is true in Bing. They’re highly clicked on. People want to see the price, they want to see the product, and they click on those shopping ads at a higher rate, typically, than a search ad, and if it’s very product specific and if it’s even a commodity item that a lot of stores are selling, a lot of retailers are selling, Bing and Google will show those shopping ads above text ads, and just dominate the click share, so it’s very important to be in there.

Steve:   Those are great reasons by themselves why you should really consider Bing. If you’ve found yourself saying yes or no in your head to any of those scenarios that have been outlined, definitely explore Bing Ads as a platform, if you’re interested in getting Granular’s take on that, obviously, you can get in touch with us. Before we sign off Jordon, was there anything else that you wanted to make sure that we touched on, on the topic of Bing Ads?

Jordon: Just kind of a funny one. We have Bing Ad coupons for advertisers that are moving over to that platform for the first time. It’s really funny, because we see, you know, we take on a lot of clients that have been advertising for a while, because we exist, because we drive incremental value through paid search, and it’s funny to see, you know, they’ll have an account history that’s huge with Google, they’re running for five or 10 years, and they’re brand new to Bing, and they still get this coupon for a 100, or a couple 100 bucks based on their spend level, but yeah, in short, we can get you those coupons, if you sing up with Bing, and it’s so easy to get over there, it’s just a no brainer for expanding profitability in paid search.

Steve:   I think that’s a great place to sign off. Who doesn’t like free money? Thanks for listening to the Getting Granular Podcast. Be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss out on any PPC tips, tricks, or news in the digital marketing world. Also, be sure to visit our website for more content at granularmarketing.com. This is your host, Steve Kroll, thanks for Getting Granular with us today …