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Why is Bing Great for Affiliates?
Bing Ads, now renamed to Microsoft Advertising, operates on Microsoft’ three huge search engines, Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. This powerhouse trio adds up to five billion monthly searches across the Microsoft network. One in five searches are on Microsoft search engines, and in the US alone, Yahoo’s user base pushes this to 33%.
The Bing PPC platform is still underutilised and therefore creates an enormous opportunity for affiliates. Unlike Google, Bing is more relaxed about affiliates and their marketing strategies, so affiliates can take advantages of this major traffic source while it’s growing.
Bing Vs. Google For Affiliate Marketing
Google is the king of search engines boasting more search volume than any other. However, Bing has less competition, and therefore very often a lower cost per click. This means you get more traffic for the same cost if you use Bing PPC through Microsoft Advertising.
As an affiliate, Microsoft Advertising is a clear winner. They are more affiliate friendly than Google and even allow direct affiliate linking in their ads. This is a powerful strategy used by affiliates to create fast campaigns without needing to create their own landing pages. Just grab your promotion URL from your affiliate network and use it as a direct target URL in your ad.
When people click on your ad, they’ll go straight to the sales page of the affiliate offer you‘re promoting. If the offer targets the right audience, uses good keywords, and it’s a high converting offer, then you can start making sales directly from a few simple ads.
Demographics: Who Uses Bing?
Bing PPC reaches a more mature audience, averaging 45 years old. They are more educated with 50% having college degrees and 17% with advanced degrees. They make more money on average than other search engine demographics, with 1/3 having a household income over £100k.
Bing searchers spending 35% more when shopping through Bing, meaning they’ve got more money and they are ready to spend it.
Nearly half the US are on the Bing Network with 66 million relying on Bing alone and many millions using both the Bing Network and Google.
The US has the most Microsoft search users, but in recent years numbers have grown in other countries too. From 2015 to 2019 Germany increased from 7% to 23%, the UK grew from 17% to 23% and Australia grew from 11% to 16%.
Overall, Bing Ads reach a more educated, older, and wealthier audience, ready to spend more money on your offers. Ads are mostly cheaper than google due to low competition, so you get better quality traffic for less cost.
The Best Niches for Bing PPC
Because of Bing’s older demographic, niches related to seniors work perfectly. Health, fitness and wellness are also good niches, and the make-money niche can also do well.
There are so many niches that work for the Bing Ad network and it’s impossible to choose just one idea. The best thing you can do is use trial and error to test what works.
Ask your affiliate manager for ideas on new, high converting offers in these niches and research related affiliate offers online. Look for high-ticket offers that can land you huge affiliate earnings for every sale and use Bing ads as your secret weapon for succeeding with affiliate marketing.
Examples of High Performing Bing Ads
Most affiliate offers provide you with supporting material to promote the offer. We recommend creating brand new ads, using the ones they provide as inspiration. This will allow you to stand out in the market, get higher conversions, and earn more money.
Use Unsplash to find amazing free stock images for your ads and prepare any image ads with the correct ad specifications. Microsoft Advertising provides all the correct specifications for images here.
On a post on Wordstream, Erin Sagin shared some creative display ideas that you can use for Bing or any other ad platform.
One of the to grab visitor’s attention, is to use shocking imagery in your ads.
In the two examples below, the image on the left is a boring, non-emotional ad, and the one on the right shows a shocking image and impactful message.
Make Em’ Laugh
Another example from Erin was to create ads that make searchers laugh. In the examples below, Harvey Nichols and GoDaddy have used humor in their ads to grab attention and persuade you to click.
Combine the material you get from your affiliate articles with these concepts to create highly captivating and converting ads on Bing.
Optimized Text for PPC ads
Similar rules apply to text as they do images. Use shocking, emotive language, and charged benefits you know the searcher is looking for. Look through the offer page and affiliate materials to find text that’s already proven to work.
In your ads, split test text variations and see which gets you cheaper clicks and higher click through rates. Over time you’ll find the best text and images that work for your offers.
Now you’ve got a foundation for creating winning Bing ads, let’s talk about improving conversion rates.
Bing Conversion Tactics
Optimising for conversation rate is the goal of any good campaign. It doesn’t matter how cheap your clicks are or how many impressions you get if you don’t convert those visitors into sales.
With affiliate offers, make sure enough people convert on the offer to justify paying for those clicks. If you pay £10 in ads and get £40 back in sales, you’ve made a profit of £30 on the ad and you can scale up that winner.
Clicks Vs. Conversions
When you earn a click from your ad, it tells you that your headline and image were relevant enough to inspire action from the visitor. A conversion tells you that the affiliate offer was a good fit for that visitor, and they purchased.
Here are 3 steps to improve your conversions.
Step 1: Scale What Works
When you find an ad campaign that converts, spend more money on that campaign. Allocate more daily budget, increase your bids, and spend more on the ads that work.
Step 2: Increase & Speed up Budget
To speed up ad spend you can choose the “Accelerated Budget” option. This means Microsoft Advertising spends your budget faster, and as much as possible during the day.
Step 3: Stay Relevant
Look over the affiliate offer, see who they are targeting and the language they use. Use this language and target audience in your ad copy, keywords, and images. The more relevant your offer is to the audience, the higher your conversions will be.
Microsoft Advertising lay out some guidelines for creating high converting ads. Here are some of the major points you can use when promoting your affiliate offers.
Stay relevant: Use popular keywords and search terms in your keywords, and text, so they resonate with the visitor when they click and land on the offer page.
Use multiple ads within an ad group: You can add up to 20 ads within an ad group, and Bing will rotate through the ads. Experiment with text, keywords, and images, and when you find an ad with a high CTR and conversion, you can then direct your budget to the winning ad.
Use customer lingo: What unique language do your customers identify with? Target the language and tone that your target demographic use.
Talk directly to them: Use words like “You” and “Your” to talk directly to your target audience.
Be specific: Use exact numbers, discount percentages, or facts in your ads to get higher CTR’s and conversions.
Add a call to action: Tell the viewer a specific reason why they should click now. This can be a benefit, lesson they will get, free download, or just access to an opportunity.
New Optimization Methods with Microsoft Advertising
Since 2020, Bing PPC ads have become even more advanced. They now offer all kinds of extra features for advertisers to help improve conversions.
Microsoft Advertising Image extensions now add a new visual to your ads, improving click through rate and ad performance.
You can associate up to 6 images per campaign or ad group and point to unique URLS’s with each image. These help you get noticed faster and find more relevant traffic since people can see exactly what they are clicking on.
Combine image extensions with other tools like the new Video extensions. The video feature is brand new and may not be available to all users. If you want to stay progressive with your ads, then keep a look out for when this becomes widely available.
Sell the Seasons
Another extra feature Microsoft Advertising is rolling out, is their In-Market Audiences. This is a tool that helps advertises target people based on seasonal events like Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine’s day, Mother’s Day and more.
Keyword Matching is Everything
As an advertiser you have to be aware of the different keyword match types and how to use them. There’s broad match, phrase match, and exact match, and they work similarly to how Google ads have set up keywords.
Broad Match: This triggers your ad when someone searches any individual keyword in your keyword phrase, or any words related to your keyword. This match is great for starting out as you’ll target the most people and collect data on which keywords perform the best.
Phrase Match: This triggers your ad when all the keywords a user searches for matches the keyword you use. The keywords can be in any order or with additional keywords added. Phrase match increases relevance to the audience, while still allowing some variation of keywords.
Exact Match: This fires your ads when searchers look for the exact keyword phrases you’ve targeted. Exact match also works for searches that are extremely similar, only differentiated by punctuation, plurals, misspellings, accents, synonyms and other similarities.
Negative Keywords: This will stop your ad from displaying when a customer searches for this term. This is helpful if you do not want your ad to show up if they search for an unrelated phrase, or if you’ve found a keyword has been performing badly, then you can add it to a negative keyword list.
Close Keyword Variations
With all match types, Bing is able to find similar matching keywords and group them in automatically with your other keywords. Close variations include plurals, misspellings, abbreviations and acronyms, accents, reordered words, synonyms, or implied words with a similar intent.
Optimizing Your Landing Page
If you choose to create your own landing pages and collect emails before sending visitors to an affiliate offer, then you’ll have more control over initial landing page optimisation. You can optimise the page for a target audience, specific set of keywords, or have unique landing pages for each of your campaigns or ad groups.
If you’re sending visitors directly to an affiliate offer, then you may not have as much control over the landing page, so you should focus on making your ads as relevant as possible.
Overall, you should create multiple ad groups with different keyword matches, keyword targets, and ad types. You should use broad match to get the most data, negative keywords when you know a term doesn’t apply, and phrase and exact match with higher converting or more related keyword that you want to target.
Becoming a Master of Bing Ads for Affiliates
Use the advice in this post to create highly targeted, optimised ads, and send them straight to affiliate offers for instant sales and conversions. With a little testing you can find profitable ads that will scale quickly and allow you to earn an incredible profit from running Bing ads to affiliate offers.
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