Make the Grade in Back to School Sales

Books closed. Pencils down. Laptops packed. School’s out for summer. While summer camp or a vacation may be top of mind for customers, shopping for back-to-school is right there too. 63% of consumers start shopping as early as June, so get your ad plans ready to go early and plan through September.

 

 

 

Here are a few key insights.

In 2015, 37% of back-to-school spending was on K-12 students with apparel being the most purchased – some 50% of total sales. 63% was spent on those heading for their freshman year or back to complete their undergrad.

12% more customers spent $500 or more on kids clothing in the last six months with Bing Network searches vs Google.

TIP: Include keywords like back-to-school and back-to-college in your ads.

 

While 91% of people are still heading in store, 60% are browsing, comparing or shopping online.

Tip: Adding a call or location extension can increase click-through’s 3 – 10%. http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/ad-extensions

 

Make the grade in mobile commerce.
• 37% of shoppers will use their smartphone for back-to-school supplies.
• That’s a 15% increase over last year and
• 12% will use their tablet.

For more digital insights on trends to ad words that work, go to the complete Back-to-School presentation here and head to the top of the class in your back-to-school sales.

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Bing Ads is now accepting .pharmacy top-level domains

As of April 13, 2016 in the United States and Canada, Bing Ads is now accepting .pharmacy top-level domains as proof of accreditation from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) for online pharmacies and prescription-only medications. Bing Ads requires that all pharmaceutical advertiser in the United States or Canada, are accredited by the NABP. This new .pharmacy program, as well as previously accepted forms of accreditation will continue to be accepted under the Bing Ads Pharmacy and health care products and services policies.

 

Benefit to our users and advertisers

Microsoft is directly engaged with the NABP to ensure that these advertising requirements and accreditation programs help provide a safe environment for our users, as well as a positive experience for you as an advertiser. This top-level domain is not available through domain resellers and is not transferrable; only companies that have been fully vetted by the NABP are granted a .pharmacy domain.  This safe guard can help users quickly identify that they are on an accredited website just by looking at the URL.

To learn about additional program requirements, or to apply for a .pharmacy domain, please visit the program website, www.safe.pharmacy.

 

Questions? Comments?

As always, feel free to ping us on Twitter, or you can email us directly at bingads-feedback@microsoft.com.

 

Thank you,

Melissa

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The Art of Advertiser Science: The Science of Remarketing follow-up and Q & A

We had our latest Art of Advertising Science webcast last week where we covered paid remarketing. Remarketing is how you can say hello again to customers who have previously visited your site, with an ad that shows up when they search on relevant terms. For example, let’s say you want to target visitors who spent 2+ minutes on a product page, maybe your Insane Running Shoe page. The next time those people search on keywords related to your Insane Running Shoe, your ad will appear in the search results. And here’s the cool thing – your ad copy can be much more specific, perhaps with a headline that says, “Insane Running Shoes – Free Shipping.”  

Not only are you able to say hello again, you’re also able to act on interested customers with more thoughtfully targeted advertising. That whole scenario sounds dreamy and perfect – and it is. But it also requires some implementation to get it up and running.  

Today we’re answering all of the questions we got during the webcast but didn’t have time to answer. If you have new questions that aren’t answered here, ask in the comments or take it social with #AskBingAds. 

TL:DR 

  • Date: May 31, 2016 | Time: 11am PST 

Here we go: 

 
Q. When do remarketing ads show? Where do remarketing ads show? 

A. Remarketing (also called retargeting) is how you say hello again to people who have already visited your website. Remarketing shows your ads to your targeted site visitors when they do a search on the Bing Network, using keywords that are relevant to your product or service. For example, let’s say a site visitor put a camera in their shopping cart on your site, then left the site. Using Universal Event Tracking (UET) or another tag management system, you’re able to identify every visitor who has left an item in a cart and you can put them into a specific remarketing list. The next time these same people search Bing for anything using keywords you’ve bid on (such as cameras, camera cases or camera reviews), your ad shows in the search results page with ad copy you can customize targeting that customer.  

 

Q. Will UET work with ASPNET and with Adobe Dynamic Tag Management? 

A. Yes it will. 

 

Q. What is the difference between Microsoft Search Remarketing and our regular PPC ads? 

A. With remarketing, you are only targeting people who have already visited your website. So ads that you serve to these people are based on the knowledge that they’re already interested in your products or services. With regular PPC campaigns, you’re targeting a general audience based on the keywords they use, regardless of whether they’ve ever expressed interest in your specific company or website. Using UET you will be able to build a list of customers based on actions they take on their site and then target ads specifically to them. 

 

Q. Given the engagement from users on visual, will there be any chance of a return of content ads, or dynamic image/text ads like with Google’s remarketing ads? 

A. Bing’s native ads, currently in beta, are an excellent option for including a visual in your remarketing strategy. Native ads are a search-based product that serve in a content environment (currently only MSN) instead of in the search results page. Ads are served based on three user factors: Search history, context of page and remarketing list. Additionally, you can use Image Extensions and Video Extensions (in beta).  

 

Q. How would remarketing work well for a car dealership where there are no online purchases being made? 

A. Remarketing goals can be anything you want them to be and do not need to be tied to online purchases. In your context, you would implement UET on your dealership website to track visitor behavior and then create remarketing goals/lists based on what you’d like those visitors to do. For example, visitors who spend at least two minutes on Make/Model X web page might get a remarketing ad with Make/Model X in the headline and an invitation to test drive in the description.  

 

Q. How does remarketing work for big ticket items, such as cars? 

A. Remarketing works just as well for selling toothbrushes as it does for selling cars. If you know you need an in-person or over the phone connection with a customer to close a deal use Call and Location Extensions in your ads. See the example above for how it can accomplish your goals. 

 

Q. Can you remarket to visitors who have been to a specific page on your site? 

A. Absolutely.  

 

Q. Can I bid on my competitor’s terms if they are trademarked? 

A. Yes, you can bid on keywords that are your competitor’s terms if they are trademarked. But you cannot use those terms in your ad copy or title. Learn more about our Intellectual Property Policies and Editorial Policy

 

Q. Is the strategy different for remarketing using display image ads versus regular text ads? 

A. Yes – because remarketing in paid search understands intent much better than remarketing in display does. With remarketing in paid search, your ad is served to a previous site visitor based on keywords they use in a search, which is a clear expression of their intent. With remarketing in display, your ad is served to a previous site visitor based on the demographics that the content site claims to have.  

 

Q. I am a boat captain, and I take people fishing. I am highly ranked on TripAdvisor. Can I link my ad to TripAdvisor? 

A. We do not recommend directing your searcher to a site that you do not have control of. Landing pages (the web page that the searcher lands on when they click on an ad) need to be relevant to the ad in order to get a quality ranking in our search engine algorithm, and if you cannot control the page that you link to at TripAdvisor, you cannot know for sure that your searcher is going to see the correct information. 

 

Q. What topics or who CAN’T we remarket to? 

A. You must comply with all laws, regulations, self-regulatory guidelines and other policies applicable to remarketing campaigns, which includes any prohibitions on creation of remarketing lists based on sensitive data. Sensitive data may include health information, personal identification numbers, sexual orientation, or other categories generally recognized as sensitive in nature. It is your obligation to understand and comply with any such prohibitions applicable in the market(s) where you operate. For more information, please see our Bing Ads policy for Remarketing

 

Q. Why remarket to converters if you’re already using targeted email marketing (email blasts based on purchase data)? 

A. Remarketing can be an additional channel for reaching your targeted audience, and when used in conjunction with effective email marketing would likely increase your chances of getting that converter to act again. This is a perfect time to upsell or resell to a customer based on purchase and site behavior.  

 

Q. How can a company in a niche market, with low visitors to the website, take advantage of remarketing? It will take a lot of time to generate a remarketing list with 1000 visitors. 

A. This is an excellent question, but unfortunately to ensure quality the minimum number of users for an effective remarketing list is 1000. In your case, remarketing might not be a viable channel just yet, but I would suggest adding UET and by the holidays or over six months you should be able to build a usable list.  

 

Q. Is it possible to prevent a particular shopper from seeing our remarketing ads? 

A. Remarketing lists have a strict 1000-user minimum, so you will not be able to target one specific user (helps preserve user anonymity), but the current release of remarketing also does not include support for exclusions—they are in development. In the meantime, you can set the bid adjustment of an association to -90%, which will achieve a very similar effect. 
 

Q. Can I use my competitor’s URL’s to remarket to their customers? 

A. No you can’t point people to a competitor’s site or use their official URL in your ad copy – you could use their name in your display URL. It’s a controversial strategy but not against Bing Ads policy.  

 

Q. Complementary site cross-marketing – wouldn’t this affect privacy policies and disclosures? 

A. Yes it would, and companies that partner in this way would need to be mindful of these issues. There's no specific guidance on this with regard to Remarketing, but the answer will depend on whether these accounts are under the same customer shell. If they are not, you will not be able to share Remarketing lists across different customer shells. 

 

Q. Can I build my remarketing list based on all website visitors, or only visitors that came through Bing Ads originally? 

A. Your remarketing list is based on all website visitors, regardless of how they got to your site. 

 

Q. Can I import my Google Adwords Remarketing campaign? 

A. This is currently in our feature development list for Remarketing; stay tuned to the blog and social accounts for announcements on when this feature goes is available.  

 

Q. How can we use our retargeting lists from other channels (like Adwords or Facebook)? Is it possible to display Microsoft ads to a list created via other ad networks? 

A. This functionality is currently in development, but right now your Remarketing list comes exclusively from visitors to your website that have been tagged via your UET tag. Currently we cannot import AdWords and/or Facebook lists into Bing Ads Remarketing. 

 

Q. Are remarketing ads only shown in search or are they also shown on media sites? 

A. Your remarketing ads will show across the Bing Network, which includes Bing, Yahoo, AOL and media sites such as Wall Street Journal. 

 

Q. Do you differentiate strategies between search and display networks? 

A. Remarketing in paid search only shows in the Bing Network as a paid search ad, and is not a display product and does not show on display networks. 

 

Q. Are a lot of unrelated companies really sharing UET tags? I foresee some legal and privacy concerns and the potential for abuse. 

A. This was an example we heard of from two small companies in the same location, a similar industry but who did not directly compete. This is a strategy you’d have to do some research on to see if it’s viable for you. Larger companies with multiple brands will use this strategy to cross-sell and upsell. 

 

Q. What strategies are best for landing pages? 

A. While we are not landing page experts, we can direct you to two excellent resources: Bing Ads URL and Landing Page Policies and this article by Larry Kim of Wordstream. 

 

Q. Has remarketing for Shopping Campaigns fully rolled out to users? I have three audiences targeting at +100% bid that receive less than 10% of the list size in a 30-day period. Is this the volume of impressions I should expect at a +100% bid? 

A. Yes, Remarketing lists can be associated with Ad Groups set up for Bing Shopping Campaigns. Your expected volume will depend on the configuration of your Ad Groups and Remarketing lists, and therefore cannot be determined from the magnitude of your bid boosts alone. Be sure to test out different bid boosts in the experiment we outlined to find the best combination for you. 

 

Q. Should I remove my negative keywords lists for my remarketing? 

A. No. Your negative keywords list will continue to prevent your ad from showing on search terms that aren’t relevant. 

 

Q. I understand that you can specify a maximum number of days to target customers, but can you also specify a number of days to wait before targeting customers? 

A. No, this is not available currently. 

 

Q. UET doesn’t have to be through a tag management system, correct? 

A. Correct. You can use UET through Bing without a tag management system, but you can also use a tag management system with UET if you are additionally managing tags on other platforms such as Google or Facebook. 

 

Q. Why can’t we run the two ad group tests at the same time? 

A. Since both Ad Groups would have the same keywords, running the two test groups at the same time would simply result in cannibalization. That is, the Ad Group with the higher bid boost would always beat out the other, and you would therefore not have a fair comparison. By using day-of-week targeting to alternate the two Ad Groups, they will not be competing against one another, and what's more, you will be able to eliminate the confounding variable of day-of-week seasonality in your test. 

 

Q. When you say “memberships,” do you mean people who have signed up to receive exclusive information from your business? Or is it just users who have been on your website in the last 30 days? 

A. In the context of the webcast, “memberships” means people who have signed up to receive exclusive information. 

 

Q. How do you actually share those remarketing lists? How do you implement them? 

A. The first 15 minutes of the webcast covers that so check out the recording of the presentation. There is also a set up video on our Remarketing page. 

 

Q. How do Bing remarketing impressions compare to Google remarketing impressions? 

A. This question might be referring to either how the impressions look or how they perform. In terms of how they look, Remarketed impressions, like on RLSA, have no distinguishing features from normal ad impressions (read: no shining red buttons or whistles), but they can show customized ad copy if you're using the Target and Bid setting. In terms of how they perform, this will depend strongly on your unique campaign configuration and Remarketing list set-up. Once you've had some time to experiment with your Remarketing-enabled Ad Groups, let us know what you think about the performance! 

 

Q. Is OPA (Other People’s Audiences) the only thing that sets Bing remarketing apart from Google remarketing? 

A. Currently, one of the biggest differences between Bing Ads' Remarketing in Paid Search and Google's RLSA is the ability on Bing Ads to implement Remarketing lists at account-level rather than at customer-level. We are working on developing new Remarketing features as we speak in order to help provide an even better experience for you. 
 

Q. [In reference to PointIt’s results for Microsoft Store] Are the increases over AdWords compared to AdWords remarketing or pure search? 

A. Natalie was referring to the performance of remarketing campaigns when she compared the results of the AdWords to Bing Ads.  

Q. Can you explain how testing every other day helps to measure accurate results?  

A. Testing every other day allows you to alternate between the two Ad Groups so that they don't cannibalize each other's traffic, while also eliminating the effects of day-of-week seasonality. By running the experiment for 4+ weeks (making sure to swap day-of-week targeting settings at the end of each week), you will be able to have a fair comparison between the two bid boosts on the two different Ad Groups and see which gives you the best performance.  

What’s next? 

  • Date: May 31, 2016 | Time: 11am PST 

Please share your thoughts and comments below or go social with #AskBingAds. 

 

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Ask and You Shall Receive: The Humanization of Search

In a world where we’re almost always connected to technology and devices, we have instant access to information wherever we are—causing a transformation to the search experience. Whether people realize it or not, search is embedded in their daily activities; it’s on their mobile devices, cloud-connected game consoles and increasingly, on smart devices throughout their homes. This transformation is changing how we interact with search as it becomes an intelligence platform powering devices and technology—making it become more human.

As search becomes more ubiquitous, people expect an experience that goes beyond search and understands them in a more personal, intimate way. And search is evolving to do just that.

 

Our Changing Relationship With Search

As consumers interact with technology in new, deeper ways, like through personal assistants, search is quickly adapting. Voice-powered search is a big reason why.

Unlike keyword-based searches, voice search lets us express ourselves naturally, using conversational phrasing that matches human speech patterns. Spoken language connects people to what they're searching for with an immediacy, convenience and intimacy that text-only search just can’t provide. Because of this intimacy, search can discern what information the user is seeking with far greater precision.

Search isn’t just becoming more human; it’s becoming interwoven into the fabric of our everyday lives. With a growing technology ecosystem of phones, tablets, and smart home gadgets, search is the intelligent fabric that delivers the most relevant information when and where it’s needed.

Our internal research at Microsoft shows that, consumers search consistently—all day and well into the night. Increasingly, those search results are being delivered through a speaker by a synthetic-but-friendly voice, or presented as a short list within a phone app.

 

Search Gets Smarter

Search is getting better at understanding consumer intent and delivering actionable results. Why? With search becoming more embedded into our lives, an unprecedented amount of information about the people who are searching begins to add up.

This knowledge helps move the search experience from one that provides straight forward answers to search queries to one that mimics human thinking, providing better results based on our intent and preferences. Not only do we know more about users—location, past search activity, purchasing habits, likes and dislikes—but we also have access to data sources that provide facts about people, places and entities the user may be searching for.

Tapping into this treasure trove of information gives us a good idea what the consumer is likely to be seeking when performing a search. This, in turn, lets us give the consumer what he or she wants without explicitly asking. The result: a higher-value experience that gets the searcher that much closer to taking an action.

 

Marketers Must Evolve, Too

As technology and search continues to evolve at a break-neck pace, so do consumer expectations. The search industry, with its billions of human interactions per day, is uniquely qualified to offer a personalized experience to consumers.

The ability to instantly surmise consumer intent offers the chance to target highly personalized brand messages and content wherever the consumer might be. This means harnessing the conversational language of search and evaluating marketing strategies across the board—from keyword targeting to content creation to investment allocation.

As the number of search-powered devices in the marketplace multiplies –marketers will need to harness the potential of the massive amounts of data generated by an interconnected web of devices – including future technologies like virtual reality headsets.

In this new era of marketing, it’s going to be possible to see where users are interacting with offline messaging, when and where they are at in a retail store, which device they're using, and whether they're even in front of a traditional screen. Most important, marketers will be able to tie that information back to online user behavior, and respond accordingly.  

For brands, opportunities to reach consumers with personalized messaging and content have never been greater. The combination of a more human search experience, more places and ways that search is integrated into technology and better data insights will help brand stakeholders find the most efficient methods for bringing consumers closer to taking action.

It’s not just about gaining more business or even creating new audiences – it’s about harnessing the promise of the future.

To learn more, download The Humanization of Search[DT1] .


 [DT1]link

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