In what may well prove to be a masterstroke in the online advertising world, Microsoft has announced that Bing Ads will soon be able to allow advertisers to target Linkedin Audiences. This functionality should be available by the end of the year.
The announcement happened in the form of a quiet response by a Bing Administrator on the Bing Ads suggestion forum where a user had come up with the precisely the same suggestion.
What makes this a particularly significant development is the fact that the ability to target Linkedin audiences would be exclusive to Bing Ads given that Microsoft owns Linkedin. Google AdWords doesn’t offer the same and it is unlikely that Google will be able to replicate the same functionality.
A comparison of the two search engines – Google Vs Bing
According to data from Net Market Share Google is still the preferred search engine with almost 75% of the market share. However, Bing’s usage has shown an increase of 5% over the last 2 years while Google’s has dropped by around the same rate. This clearly indicates that Bing cannot be ignored by advertisers as they still do hold around 10% of the global marketing share percentage which may actually amount to a considerably large chunk of a company’s target audience.
A comparison of Google AdWords Vs Bing Ads
Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads are pay-per-click advertising platforms that help businesses target specific audiences to attract traffic and eventually increase revenue.
Google AdWords is comprised of:-
- The Search Network which shows text ads on search engine results pages
- The Display Network that shows display (image and rich media) ads on relevant websites across the internet
Bing, owned by Microsoft includes 3 search engines – Bing, Yahoo and AOL so their ads appear on all the three platforms.
But due to the sheer volume of Google’s market share, it remains the most popular search engine and outdoes Bing by what seems to be an insurmountable margin.
The concept of the online advertising is based on search marketing where people are offered what they are searching for. Here, intent plays the major role and search engines put several algorithms at play to trigger the most accurate results for their search audiences. Therefore, when it comes to B2C businesses – Google AdWords rules the roost.
What makes Linkedin so important to advertisers?
Linkedin is an extremely valuable network as it holds a huge repository of professional information about individuals and their experience and areas of expertise. There are a whopping 500 million professionals on Linkedin ever on the lookout for better opportunities or to connect with like-minded professionals. This platform can, therefore, be used gainfully by B2B businesses to target with greater precision as they can reach specific individuals from specific industries. It fills the demographic gap in a way Google AdWords not really been as effective at doing.
What does the new Bing functionality mean for B2B businesses?
With this new functionality of Bing Ads to be able to target Linkedin audiences, advertisers will be able to merge intent and professional information – thus successfully reaching out to a more accurate pool of people. As Linkedin and Bing Ads both belong to Microsoft this seems to be a most logical move and promises to give a significant boost to Bing Ads.
There are several reasons why this move would especially benefit B2B businesses.
- Linkedin ads used by themselves tend to have a higher minimum CPC which is often not suitable for smaller businesses. However, if Bing ads are able to reach out to Linkedin users on the same platform, it increases their scope manifold and so does the likelihood of conversions
- Bing Ads had earlier this year introduced its advertising platform called the Microsoft Audience Network and has since begun incorporating Linkedin data on that platform. This network scans through the Linkedin profile information, combining it with Microsoft demographic data and web search activity to feature the most relevant ad to the right person in the timeliest manner.
- Tying together user intent and audience professional information is what best serves B2B interests and is something that Google AdWords has not been able to achieve much success with.
When Bing Ads roll out this new functionality, it seems all set to prove a win-win scenario for Bing and for online advertisers alike while Google may at last find itself pitted against a challenging competitor.