Bing? Really? Everyone knows that Bing has a fraction of Google’s users. Why would you want to spend money to advertise on their network?
I’m suggesting this because it is significantly cheaper that AdWords. Over the last month I’ve done a test (using the small campaign I describe, below). I paid one-fifth of the cost per click on Bing and received many more leads than I did with an AdWords campaign over the same time.
It’s not just me. A couple of my clients have very cost-effective BingAd campaigns. Some of these are in highly competitive (and expensive) areas.
I’m not suggesting you invest thousands into Bing (although, like I said, it works). I am suggesting you setup a small BingAds campaign. I think you’ll get a lot out of a little money (and time).
What is a “Small” Bing Ads Campaign”?
Just what do I mean when I suggest you start a “small” campaign?
- We only want one Campaign in our account. You can limit this campaign by geography (the more narrow, the better). Only spend $100 to $150 for the month. Divide your number by 30 to estimate your spend per day.
- Pick 3-5 phrases you’d like to test. We’ll test the modified broad match version of each phrase (use a plus +before +each +word).
- Create an ad group for each phrase. Although each ad group has a different keyword, set your initial cost-per-click bids equal among each keyword. We’ll change this, later.
- Each ad group has 2 different ads. Use a couple different messages. Write these in light of best-practices: a call-to-action, incentives, etc.
- Setup conversion tracking. Every campaign (no matter your channel) needs a goal. Be sure to setup your BingAds conversion pixel, so it knows what you really want to do with your campaign.
Let me explain why I’d setup your small campaign in this way. I’ll show you all you’ll get from this, too.
What you will get from a “Small Bing Ads Campaign”?
This is not a campaign that will make your company rich. Sure, you might get a couple conversions out of this. Hopefully that they will pay for your campaign. That’s not the biggest benefit, though. We’re doing this for the information we gather. That information will pay-off, later.
Great Keyword Research Data
I’ve always used Google’s Keyword Planner for my keyword research. The problem: Google might revoke free access to this tool. Without that we would have a hard time telling:
- Are customers looking for you?
- Which keywords customers might use to find you?
- Which keywords do customers use more?
A simple BingAds campaign could tell us this. If we test a couple phrases, we can learn this information without the Keyword Planner. This is why I suggested we use modified-broad-matches. That gives us relevant phrases that can still account for the long-tail. That’s some great keyword data for later in the campaign. Of course, as you start to identify productive keywords, change your campaign. Add negative keywords. Start bidding on exact- or phrase-match phrases, as relevant.
This is also why I suggested you setup the campaign, in the beginning, to bid the same for each word. This helps you learn which phrases people search for, more often. Once you have this initial set of data, change your bids- focusing on conversions.
It doesn’t matter that our budget is small on our campaign. We’ll still get the data we need to compare keyword phrases. In some cases, we’ll be able to bid enough to see impressions and even clicks. With some phrases, we might not be able to bid high enough to even appear on the first page of results. If that’s the case, we’ve learned something important: a lot of potential customers are searching for that phrase!
While we mourn losing free access to the Keyword Planner it’s always had limitations. For instance, the Keyword Planner can lead us in the wrong direction. Sure, a lot of people might search for a particular term- but what good are they if they won’t become a customer?
A simple BingAds campaign can tell us which keywords are likely to become customers. That’s the point of our marketing, after all.
If we have to move to third-party keyword research tools, we’re going to have to pay to use them anyway. As long as we’re paying, wouldn’t it be better to get accurate, not-sampled keyword research data from a PPC campaign? Even better if the “tool” pays for itself by generating leads along the way.
Test Your Message
Sure, with keyword research, you can know how potential customers might look for you. How do you stand apart from others who offer similar services? What message makes a potential customer chose you, over them? You could spend thousands of dollars on a branding consultant only to form an educated guess.
Or you could do your own market research with a small BingAds campaign. Try a couple different ads, each with a different message. From there you can see which of those messages produced more clicks. Even better if that message produced a new customer!
Test the Viability of a Full PPC Campaign
A small campaign can help you test the waters for a full-force PPC campaign.
- If your campaign doesn’t produce anything, what will it take? Do you simply need more money? Do you need a better website? Do you need to think about different keywords? Should you look in another direction besides search marketing?
- If it starts to produce results, can you get more? If you spend more, will you make more? What if you were to expand into AdWords, too?
The point of my exercise is not to convince you to move in to PPC. That being said, if the dollars make sense, it’s worth considering.
Open Doors to Other Marketing Channels
PPC works well with other marketing channels. Use your BingAds campaign to multiply the effects of your other marketing channels. Here are some ways you can do this:
- SEO can be slow. You start by identifying keywords. Then you update your site’s content. Then you still have to wait for Google to re-crawl and to re-index your site before you see traffic. This wait becomes tragic if you picked a keyword that only generates traffic, but no leads. If you used a small BingAds campaign to do your keyword research, you know which phrases produce sales before you put all that work into it.
- Sometimes a small PPC campaign, like this, might not be enough to get an actual customer. If that’s your case, use your campaign to generate a softer lead. Inviting them to signup for your email list, is worth it for you (and, hopefully, them too).
- Don’t forget to retarget to the visitors from your BingAds campaign, too.
What would you pay for a tool that could give you all these features?
- Identify keywords your customers are using to look for you.
- Learn which phrases potential customers use more.
- Discover long-tailed keywords you’ve never considered.
- Uncover conversion rates by keyword.
- Message testing with potential customers.
But wait, there’s more!
- Advanced SEO data.
- An expanded email list.
A small BingAds campaign, might be the tool for which you’re looking. Around $100 a month, for this, seems like a good deal, to me.