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Robin Tucker

Total posts: 2
Last post: November 4, 2020

Google Ads vs. Microsoft Ads: What's the Difference?

Google Ads vs. Microsoft Ads: What's the Difference?

By Robin Tucker on  November 4, 2020

When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, it is important to choose the best platform that will enable you to reach the right audience at the right cost. Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) and Microsoft Ads (formerly known as Bing Ads) are two popular digital platforms that advertisers choose to target audiences through paid search placement.

When it comes to your brand’s PPC strategy, advertisers will often question whether to use Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, or some combination of the two. To some, Google Ads might seem like the best and only option right out of the gate, but Microsoft Ads certainly shouldn’t be forgotten. And should you choose to leverage either or both, the same strategy and execution won’t necessarily translate seamlessly between channels. So, what is the best PPC strategy for you? Below, we explore how these two platforms compare and contrast.

Search Volume and Competition

According to Disruptive Advertising, Google has almost 75 percent of the market share for online searches compared to Bing at approximately 12 percent. On the surface, this seems like an advantage for Google, but with higher search volumes, comes more advertisers. This can drive up the competition in some markets, which can make it challenging for your ad to show up in the search results and be seen by a greater number of people. When weighing the pros and cons, Google Ads may have more reach, but Microsoft Ads may be easier to rank higher on.

Cost

With lower competition comes lower costs, which is why Microsoft Ads tend to cost less than Google Ads for the majority of keywords. Thee Digital found campaigns on Microsoft Advertising face approximately 36 percent less competition than Google Ads. This can have a large impact on your average cost-per-click (CPC). Research shows that the average CPC on Bing to be $7.99 vs. $20.08 on Google.

Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling is a tool that allows advertisers to choose the time and day they would like their advertisements shown, as well as schedule times to make bid adjustments. While both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads have scheduling capabilities, keep in mind that they are two separate channels with different ad scheduling settings and data.

The ad scheduling tool in Google, for example, is based upon the time zone you chose when you created your Google Ads account. This is important to keep in mind when targeting different time zones. If you’re running ads in New York and California, for example, it may be best to create separate campaigns for each time zone.

Time zones are not as much a concern for Microsoft Ads. Rather, scheduling is based on the location of the person viewing the ad. This means that separate campaigns are not necessary when targeting multiple time zones.

Search Partner Networks and Targeting

Google Ads and Microsoft Ads both have search partner networks. These are other sites that allow advertisers to expand the reach of their search network ads beyond the main domains. For example, YouTube is a search partner of Google and Yahoo is a search partner of Microsoft.
Google’s Search Partner Network includes hundreds of websites, and by default, Google automatically includes your campaign in the Search Partners setting. You can deselect this feature, but you cannot pick or choose which search partners you want. It is all or nothing!

Microsoft Ads, on the other hand, allows advertisers to separate search partners by “owned and operated” and “syndicated search partners.” You also can use the “target only” method for your ad groups, which allows you to compare performance between partners. These settings can greatly help with optimizing campaigns for maximum performance.

In-Market Audiences for Search

In-market audiences allow advertisers to adjust their display campaigns to reach people further down the funnel by connecting ads to consumers who are actively researching products and services. Google Ads and Microsoft Ads both allow advertisers to add in-market audiences to campaigns; however, their categories and sub-categories vary significantly between platforms. For example, Microsoft has a “Social” category with subcategory options like “Romance & Relationships” or “Takeout & Delivery.” Google, on the other hand, does not have these options, but does have a “Travel” category with subcategory options like “Car Rental” or “Cruises.”

Targeting Other Languages

Google Ads allows advertisers to target up to 40 different languages, compared to Microsoft Ads, which only allows advertisers to target 12 different languages. If your brand is trying to reach a diverse audience, this can be extremely limiting.

Choosing the Best PPC Strategy

Both platforms have pros and cons, but overall provide great tools for running successful PPC campaigns. If your budget allows, the best strategy is to use Google Ads and Microsoft Ads simultaneously. The two platforms can help you extend your reach and connect with your target audience.
If your budget is tight and you cannot stretch it across two platforms, pay close to attention to the details. The six key differences listed above can help you determine the best platform to use for your campaign.

Need help optimizing PPC campaigns or choosing the best digital advertising platform for you? Aztek’s team of digital marketing experts can help! We’ll research the best opportunities for your target audience and consider business goals before suggesting the most appropriate channels and ad formats. After the initial discovery, we’ll then work with you to create a digital advertising strategy tailored to your KPIs with suggested audiences, targeted search terms, and examples of ads. Once the campaigns are up and running, we’ll continue to optimize your paid advertising accounts on an ongoing basis to get the best performance and return on investment.

Contact us today to see how we can maximize your digital advertising efforts.

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How to Use Instagram for B2B Digital Marketing

How to Use Instagram for B2B Digital Marketing

By Robin Tucker on  September 9, 2020

It can be a general misconception that Instagram works best as a B2C marketing tool versus B2B. While Instagram is certainly an ideal visual network for B2C companies, Instagram can also be a successful B2B marketing channel when the right strategies or tactics are in place.

According to TrackMaven’s research, B2B companies experience their largest engagement ratios on Instagram. When used effectively, Instagram can be a strong visual marketing channel for your brand, as well as an opportunity to build a new following or engage with your existing audience through a channel outside of typical B2B-centric social networks – like LinkedIn. If your B2B organization is considering whether there are benefits to building a presence on Instagram or you’re simply unsure where to start, we’ve compiled our tips below for how you can best use Instagram in your marketing strategy.

Showcase Your Company Culture

Instagram’s highly visual nature presents a great opportunity for brands to showcase their company culture and tell their brand story. Who are you? What do you do? What are your values? Rather than simply stating the core services you offer or pushing your audience to content-heavy examples, your Instagram channel can show your audience what your brand stands for.

Additionally, Instagram can also work to better represent the employees and faces that make up your brand. Your customers like to do business with people, and Instagram can offer a human-oriented display of your company culture. A few examples could include:

  • Employee spotlights
  • Accomplishment features
  • Team-building activities or events
  • Community involvement

Use Graphics to Highlight Stats on the Industry

Though you may not be able to easily showcase a new blog post written by your organization in a user’s feed the way you would through other social networks, this doesn’t mean Instagram can’t still be a place to knowledge-share and highlight industry expertise. Following your own organization’s brand guidelines, you can create compelling images or graphics that spotlight statistics, thoughts, or positions. This approach allows your brand to still share valuable information as a thought leader in the space, but in a visually appealing way that is summarized in short graphics vs. a long-form piece of content.

Engage with Your Followers and Industry Accounts

Maintaining activity on your Instagram account is one thing but engaging in two-sided conversations is another. While it can be “easy” to put out information frequently, remember that audiences who choose to comment or respond to your posts are also key to driving success on your channel. Building conversations and responding timely to those potential customers who engage with your brand can help establish a loyal Instagram community.

When opportunities arise to engage with other brands or industry leaders, it can be beneficial to engage elsewhere, too. Not only does it bring personality to your organization but can also increase visibility to other potential customers as you expand your reach and involvement on Instagram.

Use Specific Industry Hashtags

If you want to further reach your audience on Instagram, hashtags are a tactic that shouldn’t be ignored. Although Instagram may allow for up to 30 hashtags in your posts, choosing limited, specific, and focused hashtags catered toward the industry subject of your post can have a much stronger outcome in reaching relevant audiences.

For some organizations, considering a branded hashtag that is unique to your business may also be a useful approach for encouraging audience participation or growing exposure. Utilizing branded hashtags within your own content can help build awareness to your brand while also encouraging others to contribute to the conversation or share their own visuals by using your hashtag.

Leverage Video to Speak to Expertise

B2B companies can and should take advantage of video on Instagram. One of the easiest ways for your audience to grasp your services or see the impact is by simply showing them. If your business has high-quality videos available to share with your audience that emphasize the features or differentiators of your brand and culture, this content can be extremely well-suited for Instagram. Remember to keep your videos―to 30 seconds or less―so you don’t lose any of the attention you have captivated.

Engage Real-Time with Instagram Stories

Whether it’s short clips around the office or preview videos to a post, Instagram’s Story feature is another tactic within the platform that can increase engagement or exposure for B2B companies. If your posts are not reached by a user within their feed, having your Story reach a user at the top of their feed presents another avenue for visibility. It can also highlight your brands personality or simple “happenings” around the office in real-time rather than only publishing

Using Instagram for Your B2B Organization

There may be several approaches B2B companies can take to growing a successful Instagram profile, but it’s always important to remember that Instagram may not necessarily be right for every digital marketing strategy. Take time to dive into the differences of each social network to understand which social channel(s) may be ideal to help reach your business goals. If you have the resources and time dedicated to representing your brand frequently with high-quality content, then exploring Instagram as a B2B channel may be worth the investment.

Need help creating an Instagram strategy for your B2B organization? Give us a call today! Our social media experts are ready to lend a hand to help you better engage your community, tell your brand’s story, and expand your reach.

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