Bing Product Ads – Are They Right for You?

Bing Product Ads give you the opportunity to showcase your products in an engaging ad format by including images, promotional text, pricing and your company name. It also lets you reach 31 million retail searches that don’t use Google in the U.S.

Online retailers should definitely consider Bing Product Ads since the Bing/Yahoo network accounts for 117 million retail clicks a month, or 22% of all U.S. retail paid clicks, as stated by comScore in June 2013. Those aren’t numbers to take lightly, especially if you are a small business just making your way in the very competitive world of retail.

Bing is trying very hard to get your business with one of their key features which allows advertisers to import directly from Google’s PLAs. Bing Ads had been beta testing the format for several months, across hundreds of advertisers with 140 million different offers.

To use the Bing Product Ads, you must offer retail products and have at least one SKU, have a U.S. billing address and sell products online with a secure online checkout option.

Marketing experts say Microsoft was smart to take a page from Google’s Product Listing Ads playbook, which also allows marketers to run image-dense ads along with other search listings. “In this case Bing and Microsoft have learned that it’s best to watch what Google launches successfully and be a fast follower,” says Kevin Lee, CEO of online marketing firm Didit.

“The Bing Product Ads are nearly identical to the Google product,” Lee says. “That’s good. It makes it easy for both retailers and their agencies to go live.”

David Pann, general manager of the search network at Microsoft, writes in a blog posted on the Bing Ads website that Bing Product Ads were designed for easy deployment. “You don’t have to write ad copy and develop keywords for each campaign,” he writes. “Instead, Product Ads builds upon work that you’ve already done, automatically serving the appropriate image, price and brand name.”

One difference between Bing Product Ads and Google Product Listing Ads is that the Bing ads run on the right side of the search results page, where they appear separate from natural search listings. By comparison, Google Product Listing Ads appear in the center of the search results page, where until recently they appeared among natural search results.

Second Quarter Search Spend Results
Last month the second quarter reports came out from the large search marketing firms and they pointed to continued growth in paid search investment in the US and globally. The reports also underscore the increasing influence of mobile and image-based product ads on growth.

According to RKG’s quarterly report, Ad spend, or money set aside for set aside for advertising, rose 23 percent year-over-year among RKG’s retail-heavy client base. Both Google and Bing saw spend increases.

Ad spend on Bing rose 19 percent overall. Bing non-brand spend also increased by 19 percent, nearing Q4 levels, and click volume rose by 26 percent. With mobile traffic share increasing, CPCs fell 6 percent year-over-year.

Spending on image-based product ads increased by 72 percent year-over-year in Q2. Click share rose by 28 percent and CPCs bumped up 35 percent. In contrast, text ad spending rose by just 11 percent year-over-year.

Bing Product Ads, which launched in beta last fall, and became available to all advertisers at the end of March, drove 8 percent of Bing Ads non-brand clicks and spend. Bing Product Ads generated 48 percent higher revenue per click (RPC) than non-brand text ads, far outpacing Google’s 17 percent spread between PLAs and non-brand text as RPC. CPCs were 8 percent lower and CTRs were 19 percent better.

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