Lead generation with Microsoft Ads - the underestimated alternative?

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Advertising options on the Internet and on the desktop are always overshadowed by the almost omnipotent Google network. However, other providers entice with advantages that Google cannot always offer. These include Microsoft AdsMicrosoft Ads is a Google-like offering that is primarily used on the company's own search engine Bing and in some other search engines. In this article, we will show you which advantages you can expect for lead generation with Microsoft Ads.

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An overview: What is Microsoft Ads?

The full official name is Microsoft Advertising. Behind it is a platform that displays ads in the results of search engines such as Bing and Yahoo (and partners that use Bing as their engine, e.g. Ecosia and DuckDuckGo). In addition, these search results extend to many other Microsoft services, such as:

  • The search functions in Windows 10 and Windows 11
  • The search options in Microsoft Office
  • The support of the in-house voice assistant Cortana.

Whenever you search in these applications, you will also potentially see advertisements delivered through Microsoft Ads.

"We already use Google Ads - why Microsoft?"

In May 2022 it brought the Microsoft Search Network (this refers to the sum of the above services, i.e. Search, Windows, Office, Cortana & Co.) on a Market share of 25.6 % in Germany in desktop search. On PCs, notebooks, and comparable devices, Microsoft is thus still clearly behind Google in relative terms, but the absolute number of users is considerable.

Use Microsoft Ads to generate leads from potential customers.
Use Microsoft Ads to generate leads from potential customers.

Monthly, the Microsoft network brings it to about 426 million requests. In addition, some of these are users who cannot be reached by Google because they are using a Windows 11 PC as delivered.

What are the opportunities for lead generation with Microsoft Ads?

Microsoft Windows in its various versions will remain the dominant operating system in the private sector and especially in companies for the time being. This can bring advantages in B2B business:

  • 85 % of companies in Germany use Windows as their operating system and therefore come into contact with Microsoft Ads in one way or another.

Use a Marketing strategyIf your business is clearly geared towards B2B, it may be worthwhile to use Microsoft Ads to generate leads in this segment.

For individuals, Google dominates this market because Android smartphones set Google as the search engine by default. However, an advertising strategy designed for B2B should consider bringing Microsoft on board. Many decision-makers there will Addressed directly at the workplace, if the Targeting for lead generation with Microsoft Ads is targeted at this group.

The competitive disadvantage advantage

Google is the market leader in search and can charge correspondingly high prices for its own services. Also, consider Google's image: "Googling something" has become synonymous with searching the Internet in general. It follows that your competitors are likely to have a very strong presence on Google because the search engine is considered the de facto standard.

The competition is therefore much smaller for Microsoft Ads.

Certain keywords for which you are looking for good performance may be available at a lower price on Microsoft than on Google.

The cost per click decreases noticeably, but the quality of new leads can remain the same or even increase.

With Google, depending on the keyword, you compete with companies that can provide massive monthly advertising budgets. Lead generation with Microsoft Ads, on the other hand, offers similar opportunities with much less competition.

The current Microsoft Ads interface.
The current Microsoft Ads interface.

Of course, you should not take this as a blanket statement: Especially in the already mentioned B2B area there are of course also Microsoft keywords that are very expensive. A prior analysis brings clarity to the matter. Microsoft also offers different payment models for the ads. Therefore, you will only be asked to pay if someone clicks on the ad when it is displayed and if a conversion was achieved from it.

The user advantage with Microsoft Ads

On average, Microsoft Bing users have a higher annual income and are also willing to spend more money. In the U.S., this amounts to around 21.5 % additional spending compared to the rest of the market average. This may be due to the nature of things: Smartphones (where Google dominates) can be had very cheaply, while PCs and notebooks (where Microsoft dominates) are more expensive. Buyers of these devices must therefore inevitably have a higher income to be able to buy them at all.

From this, you can derive certain benefits for lead generation with Microsoft Ads:

  1. Customers have more money, which you can take into account in your advertising strategy. For example, put more focus on the Quality of your products and services and less on a price-conscious offer.
  2. As you have more notebook and PC users, you can target ad campaigns in Microsoft Ads to their benefits - perhaps the Larger display or another Information presentation on landing pages.

Switching to lead generation with Microsoft Ads - a matter of minutes?

Overall, the switch to using Microsoft Ads is straightforward. Existing campaigns that already exist in Google Ads can be import directly into the Microsoft Ads interface with a few mouse clicks. A little control may be necessary, for example to check specified URLs or to change the keywords. You may want to use different keywords at Microsoft than at Google, which may make sense due to the different general targeting.

Importing Google Ads to Microsoft Ads is made easy and fast.
Importing Google Ads to Microsoft Ads is made easy and fast.

However, not everything is adopted automatically. For example, you have to reset tracking settings and also redefine target groups as needed. Effort is therefore to be expected, but the Import function already takes a lot of work off your hands.

Most of the features and extensions known from Google can also be used with Microsoft Ads. For example, add sitelinks to link to other pages directly from the search results. If you search for products, services or even hotels, you can see reviews from satisfied customers. Technically, Microsoft Ads is therefore hardly inferior to the Google solution and should therefore not be an obstacle when implementing a Microsoft campaign.

Lead generation with Microsoft Ads may be the right solution for you

For certain target groups and keywords and when looking for cheap but efficient advertising, Microsoft Ads can be just the right solution. Feel free to contact us if you want to learn more about how and if your company can benefit from it.

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