Bing Ads and You: Synergizing Content Marketing and Search Engine Marketing

In the last post of this Bing Ads and You series, we discussed how a strong brand could lower the cost of search engine marketing and how to adopt content marketing to promote your brand.  Since then, I have read Anders Hjorth’s, “The Missing Link in Digital Marketing,” discussing the challenges to properly credit the efforts across Brand Marketing and Performance Marketing, Anders called out:

When you invest heavily in brand exposure it has an impact on the performance of your conversions. You KNOW it works but you can’t always SHOW it works.” 

Meanwhile, I have also received a couple of inquiries from Bing Ads blog readers on whether it’s necessary to have a strong brand before starting search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns.  While Brand Marketing’s ROI is harder to measure and a strong brand is not a pre-requirement to start SEM campaign, many left branding on the to-do list, but I would like to point out the newly available remarketing function enables marketers to execute content marketing and search engine marketing to targeted audiences simultaneously in order to deliver a 1-2-punch and conduct A/B testing to assess Brand Marketing’s ROI.

In this post, l would like to give you a quick overview of remarketing before illustrating how we leveraged it in the MaternaLIFT Project.

First, what is remarketing?  As most website visitors won’t purchase products on their first visit, remarketing enables merchants to follow up with those customers-to-be to influence their purchase decisions.

Second, how do you adopt remarketing?  Remarketing is audience-driven and you need to deploy an audience tag at your website/selected web page(s) to mark those you would like to follow up with. The audience tag is named differently across major marketing platforms: It’s called Universal Event Tracking (UET) at Bing Ads; the remarketing functionality will be available to everyone in Fall 2015. In Adwords, it’s called Remarketing and Custom Audience at Facebook.

How to create a Facebook Custom Audience

 bing ads content marketing search engine marketing

Note that meticulous selection of your marketing audience with an eye towards balancing its scale and relevance is the key to a successful remarketing campaign.  That said, please keep the following two scenarios in mind while defining your remarketing audience:

  • Tagging the whole website would help you reach the marketing platforms’ remarketing activation threshold while those visitors are still in shopping mode, but it prevents you from presenting a specific value proposition for an individual product listed on its own web page.
  • Tagging specific web page(s) would enable you to be more targeted in messaging and to better adjust bids based upon an individual product’s margin, but this audience group could take a longer time to meet the remarketing activation threshold and wouldn’t reach potential buyers in time.

 

For the MaternaLIFT Project, after studying its web site traffic volume, its potential customers’ purchase behavior and its website structure, we decided to apply remarketing to those who have been to MaternaLIFT’s product page without purchasing in the past 15 days and used Google Tag Manager (GTM) to deploy audience tags accordingly.  While deploying audience tags with GTM is relatively easy, it’s the tag firing and blocking rules you need to master to connect with the right audience.

How to use Google Tag Manager to deploy Bing Ads and Facebook’s audience tags

 bing ads content marketing search engine marketing

After designing and implementing the audience tags, we created a new campaign in the search engines and generated corresponding marketing content at Facebook to follow up with those targeted audience with...

  • A broader set of keywords to increase visibility.  Knowing ads will be shown to those have evaluated MaternaLIFT’s products, we were able to bid on general terms that we normally wouldn't be able to adopt due to their lower ROI, which increases the chance to engage with those about to purchase.
  • Higher bids to show ads in prominent positions. Remarketing also enables us to increase bids to show ads in a higher position where more clicks take place (accordingly to a study conducted by complete: 85% of clicks took place in the top of the page).
  • Messages focusing on unique features and brand value. Knowing ads will be shown to those in comparing offers, we crafted message to address their main criteria: is this what I need in terms of product price and brand value?  We highlighted those elements on SEM ads and created a post on Facebook to provide more details, then leveraged remarketing to connect search engine marketing and content marketing to deliver a consistent and complete message to drive sales.

 

How to leverage remarketing to coordinate your marketing efforts across search engines and social media

bing ads content marketing search engine marketing

Use remarketing to deliver a 1-2-punch from both search engines and social media to drive more sales.  You also can leverage it to conduct an A/B test to compare the result for doing performance marketing or brand marketing alone, which we plan to do with MaternaLIFT and will share the findings afterwards.

 

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Bing Ads Home Page: Updated for on-the-go performance review

No time to spare?  No problem!  The next time you sign in for an instant look at your account's performance or to review any new issues or opportunities since you last checked, be sure to try the out new Home Page in Bing Ads.  This page was redesigned specifically for the Bing Ads user who needs to monitor their account quickly to see the information that matters to you most.

bing ads home page

What's new and for whom?

This update is for all Bing Ads advertisers in all markets! The Home Page got a makeover, to show you what you need to know, without any clutter or confusion.

bing ads home page

As you can see, we’ve made a significant number of changes.  We expect the new functionality and architecture of the page will be especially helpful to marketers who need an instant, reliable snapshot of how their account(s) are performing in order to stay on top of any problems that should be investigated, or to seize opportunities as soon as they arise.     

Benefits of the new home page

The Bing Ads Home Page in the web user interface (UI) is a single place for you to access and customize the account information that matters to you the most.  Specifically, it provides:

 
  • A summary dashboard for an at-a-glance view of your:

 

o   Key performance indicator (KPI) summary 

o   Performance trend graph

o   Top Mover report

  • Modules for quick access to information tailored to your needs for monitoring and tracking performance.  You can select which modules to display, reorganize the module layout, change a module’s display columns and rows, etc.  With the Bing Ads Home Page, you can:

 

o  Quickly assess your campaign performance. 

o  Easily identify issues to resolve. 

o  Easily find opportunities to optimize your campaigns.

 

Modules at a glance

There’s always more you can do and dive into, if you choose.  That’s why we have the modules for you to leverage and customize at your convenience.  The opportunities are endless, so here is a reference table for your convenience.          

bing ads home page

bing ads home page

bing ads home page

What's next?

Thank you for your feedback in making this release possible.  We’re already preparing for the next iteration, which will incorporate our top ask from pilot participants to enable period-over-period comparison in the trend graph, and allow customizable module definitions through filters. 

Connect With Us

We would love to continue to hear from you and your thoughts. Questions, concerns and thoughts are welcome on our Feature Suggestion Forum, through email feedback to bingadsfeedback@microsoft.com, or reach us on Twitter.

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Register now for a free Bing Ads Connect event near you

bing ads connectIf you're in the search marketing industry and are located in the metro regions of Chicago, Seattle or Los Angeles, you won't want to miss out on this opportunity to attend a free Bing Ads Connect event coming to your area next month.

If you haven't heard of Bing Ads Connect, these are hands-on, workshop format events where you'll get expert help and valuable insights to make your Bing Ads campaigns the best they can be. At a Bing Ads Connect event, you will...

  • Learn about new search marketing resources
  • Talk to experts about growing search advertising opportunities
  • See a sneak peek of upcoming Bing Ads enhancements
  • Gain skills to fine-tune your Bing Ads campaigns
  • Get 1:1 support in creating and optimizing your account
  • Earn your Bing Ads Accreditation

 

These events are free of charge, but space is limited, so reserve your spot now to avoid getting shut out! Here are the registration links by location so you can learn more about where the event is being held, who will be there and what the day's agenda will look like:

Register here for Chicago, IL on Friday, June 5th.

Register here for Redmond, WA on Wednesday, June 10th.

Register here for Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, June 17th.

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Reach local customers with Bing Places for Business

When it comes to gaining exposure for your business online, you want to make sure you're leaving no stone unturned. Now that reaching mobile customers has become more important than ever, having a strong online presence is especially true for businesses with a physical location that could benefit from being visible to those who're looking for what you have to offer while on-the-go.

You've got your PPC campaign up and running with your most relevant keywords and most eye-catching copy, but have you claimed your Bing Places for Business listing yet?

If you're not familiar with Bing Places for Business is, it's a free service that helps connect businesses with their local customers. For example, as I mentioned in my last blog post, my husband and I are in the midst of summer vacation planning.  Given that our usual dog sitter isn't going to be in town when we're going to be away, one of the loose ends we need to tie up is to locate a dog boarding facility close to home.

To keep my search local, I enter the query, "dog boarding redmond wa"... this is what I see:

bing places for business

Many local businesses will show up regardless of whether the business owner has claimed the listing or not -- not all will, in some cases, you may have to add your business. Those that claim their listings can include helpful information like hours of operation, photos, services offered and more. Because Bing Places for Business is free, there's no reason not to tell the best possible story about your business when it shows up in local results like these. For example, without even clicking on any of these listings to see which ones have more info and which don't, I can already tell that Canine Behavior Center is worth looking at just based on the number of Yelp reviews alone, better yet that the majority of them are positive.

It's small details like that that can make or break a sale, so if you haven't already claimed your Bing Places for Business listing, there's no time like the present!

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