Originally published to Medium.
(Featured Partner Series)
When was the last time you used Bing as a verb? As in, “I’m just going to Bing that to find out the answer.” Probably never, right? And yet, we talk about “Googling” things all day long. Which is funny, really, when you consider that roughly a third of all desktop searches are carried out on the Bing search engine. In fact, with 14 million automotive PC searchers in 2017 *, it seems that Bing is way more prevalent than many of us are giving it credit for, and that to exclude Bing as part of your marketing efforts is nothing short of committing search engine suicide.
At TRFFK powered by autotrader.ca, we make it our mission to ensure you are showing up everywhere potential customers can be found. That means diversifying your media budget to go beyond the staples of Facebook and Google. We sat down with Chris Vessey, Head of Automotive Partnerships at Microsoft, to dig a little deeper into the world of the Bing search engine and how it can help your campaigns.
In Canada, roughly 1 in 5 desktop searches originates from Bing which continues to grow at a healthy rate, realizing 22% Year over Year growth in 2017
Q: The last we looked into it, Bing held almost a quarter of market share for search on desktop. Do you see that number rising? How does mobile compare?
A: Bing’s desktop market-share is actually now up to one third. 34% if you want to be exact! This number continues to rise as more and more people adopt and connect Windows 10 devices which is driving a lot of the growth. Our mobile share also continues to increase through strategic partnerships that Microsoft has fostered across many of the blue-chip brands that you and I rely on every day to get our news, investment tips and consume media all via mobile.
Q: We’ve learned that the Bing demographic is different to the Google one, and is typically a slightly older, more motivated audience. Do you see that this leads to less bounce, and higher conversions?
A: This is true. The Bing audience skews to a more affluent, educated set of users which drives a much higher buying index when compared to the average internet searcher. Across our search traffic, when you add it up we see all the supporting engagement KPIs that would indicate a qualified audience such as longer time on site, more products viewed, and lower bounce rates. Our search retargeting capability and in-market audiences are a great way to leverage the network.
Q: There is a lot of chatter about the increased transparency that Bing offers, in particular regarding how to increase ranking. Talk to us about the kinds of tools we can expect from Bing to help us market our dealers better.
A: Bing offers all different types of Ad Insight capabilities and integrations both through our Channel Partnership program and our Power BI analytics platform. For Partners such as TRFFK who are leveraging both; this provides a clear line of sight of real-time market insights specific to each Dealer’s individual marketing area. Through consistent analysis of keyword performance relative to impression volume and query demand you can quickly capitalize on the value of Bing as one of your media channels.
Q: Bing’s Places for Business sounds like the ideal tool for car dealerships. How does it differ from Google’s “GMB”?
A: Bing’s Places for Business is a great way to market your dealership through Organic rankings — what’s also cool for Auto Groups is if you have multiple locations under an umbrella brand it allows you to list those as well. It offers multiple ways for in-market shoppers to contact your dealership in the most convenient way for them all while showcasing the key aspects of your dealership such as hours of operation, directions, pictures of your store-front and inventory along with the different types of services you offer.
Q: What are some of the ways Bing Webmaster Tools help our dealers with their online marketing?
A: This is key to driving a high ranking through organic searches which when coupled with a paid listing, drastically increases your overall click through rate. By understanding what drives people to your website and online inventory empowers dealers to better focus on increasing quality traffic which effectively increases overall lead generation and conversions of those leads. Our local research tools and dashboards give Dealers a clear line of sight for which areas of their market they can quickly capitalize on.
Q: We are always looking for the best ROI we can get. Are lower Costs Per Lead really a reality with Bing?
A: Bing is a very cost-effective marketing channel when compared to what else is in the marketplace. Once you have dialed-in your campaigns for optimal performance it’s always important to keep those campaigns fully funded in order to generate as many quality leads as possible. Owning and curating a first party audience is always going to protect margin for Dealers; and when done correctly with Bing — the performance and ROI will speak for itself.
Q: What are the advantages of the Bing Ads platform?
A: There are many. Scalability is first and foremost. Through Bing Ads Dealerships are able to take advantage of many sophisticated technologies that help identify in-market shoppers and eventually convert them into a sale. Technologies such as in-market audiences, search retargeting, and dynamic search ads are just a few of the scalable tools that Bing Ads provides to all of its users. Couple those technologies with our expansive network and you really start to see the quality of the audience shine when compared to other media channels.
Q: In what other ways does Bing work to help car dealers in their marketing efforts?
A: Bing offers a multitude of insights, recommendations and in-market shopping data that can be applied across other media efforts. In leveraging our Universal Event Tracking pixel, this gives Dealers a full 360 view of how their additional marketing efforts are helping drive consumers to search for their dealership or inventory. Bing is a complementary addition to any online or digital strategy and will only expand and enhance a Dealer’s first party local audience.