What is the most underrated Microsoft product

The underestimated potential of Microsoft Advertising

Classic search engine advertising (SEA) is an essential part of online marketing. Top dog Google benefits from its dominant position in this segment. Hardly any marketing campaign can do without the use of the Google Ads advertising program. But in the shadow of the search engine with the greatest reach, Microsoft Advertising has established itself as a competitor whose potential is still underestimated.

Microsoft Advertising: Advertising with Bing and Co.

When the first paid ads appeared in search engines after the turn of the millennium, neither the operators nor the advertisers suspected that search engine advertising would be an important pillar of any online marketing campaign in 2020. Microsoft Advertising does not play an insignificant role in this context. According to the company, 402 million search queries are made via the Microsoft Search Network every month (as of March 2020). This is a potential that advertising companies can benefit from, which should not be underestimated. The most important building block in the Microsoft universe is the in-house search engine Bing. Bing's search algorithm is also used by partner companies such as AOL, Yahoo !, Ecosia and X-Box-Live.

This is how advertising works with Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising is similar to the Google Ads advertising program in many details, which makes it easier for advertisers to start or switch. As with the competition, billing is based on the pay-per-click principle. This means that costs are only incurred once a user has clicked on the ad. The prices vary and are based, among other things, on the quality of the keywords, the ad itself and depend on the competition. An account, which Microsoft provides free of charge, is required to create advertisements. Each ad can be tailored optimally to the respective target group.

As with Google Ads, advertisers can choose from different types of ads. In addition to classic text ads, ads can be placed as product ads or in the Microsoft Audience Network. The broad diversification speaks in favor of using Microsoft Advertising, as every advertisement is displayed by the network partners Yahoo !, Ecosia, AOL and X-Box-Live. For planning, you can use the free Microsoft Advertising Intelligence tool, whose user-friendly interface is reminiscent of Microsoft Office.

Differences: Google Ads vs. Microsoft Advertising

With a market share of over 90 percent, Google is the undisputed number 1 among search engines on the German-speaking market. This results in a significantly lower reach with competitor Microsoft Advertising, but the costs are lower and the competition is manageable. On average, campaigns with the Microsoft advertising program cost 36 percent less than with the top dog Google. Another advantage over Google Ads is the use of the X-Box Live gaming platform for advertising purposes. The counterpart of the market leader (Google Stadia) is currently not yet activated for ads.

In contrast to Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising offers desktop applications. This feature should not be underestimated, because the search engine Bing is often used in workplaces. Companies usually equip their departments with Windows PCs with the Bing search engine preset. Many employees do not change the default settings and use the Microsoft product during their everyday work. With the display of the advertisements in the "green" search engine Ecosia, Microsoft Advertising also has a unique selling point. Ecosia is primarily used by environmentally conscious users, for whom sustainability is also a concern when using the Internet.

Conclusion

There is no getting around Google for advertising companies if a marketing campaign is to be led to economic success. For special target groups and in selected industries, however, Microsoft Advertising offers great potential. As is usual in online marketing, there is no “silver bullet”. In practice, a combination of both networks has proven to be expedient for implementing your own advertising strategy. Since Google Ads campaigns can be imported directly into Microsoft Advertising, this approach does not pose a major technical challenge.