Many marketers write off Bing. While Bing is a well-known search engine, it doesn’t have as large of a market share as Google. However, the tide may be turning as AI’s prevalence continues to rise. According to Search Engine Land, Bing’s page visits rose by almost 16% in the month following the launch of the platform’s new AI-powered iteration, with Microsoft claiming Bing has now passed more than 100 million daily active users.
Not only may Bing provide more organic traffic for websites, but it can also be an impressive tool for SEM – particularly for business-to-business industries. With its tether to LinkedIn, Bing provides the opportunity to connect brands to executive decision-makers at a lower cost than other options currently provide.
So while Bing used to be the butt of the joke, it’s now emerging as a power player in a field so long dominated by Alphabet Inc. Let’s take a closer look at why you might not want to be so quick to dismiss Bing as part of your B2B marketing strategy.
5 Reasons to Consider Bing in B2B Marketing
If you’re looking to expand your reach (and who isn’t?), you may want to consider why many marketers are now focusing on Bing to connect with customers.
1. Reach a Wider Market of Potential Customers
Google may still dominate the market share, but Bing’s numbers are still significant. On PC, Bing accounted for 17.6% of the global market share, or 13.9 billion monthly searches, as of July 2023. In the U.S., Bing actually accounts for over 38% of the PC market share, representing 6.4 billion monthly PC searches. The fact that those numbers are on the rise should be particularly compelling to marketers, as it indicates that Google’s market share isn’t quite as strong as it had been previously.
Bing has also been around long enough to establish trust among its users. Originally known as MSN Search or Windows Live Search, Microsoft Bing has earned a place in the search market. Now, due to Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI, it’s gotten a big boost – especially as public perception of competitor Google Bard seems to be less than enthusiastic. Those who trust the Microsoft name or ChatGPT’s capabilities may be more likely to utilize Bing over Google. If you can harness that potential as part of your marketing strategy, you stand to reach a wider audience of potential customers.
2. Target High-Income, High-Converting Demographics
Data shows that the highest earners use Bing. In fact, 36% of households in the top 25% of household income earners use Bing as their primary search engine.
Bing breaks it down even further, pulling data from the B2B market. Using this filter, 45% of Bing users have income levels in the top 25%. While in prior years, the largest age range of Bing users was 45-54 years of age, this has shifted. As of 2021, 73% of Bing users are under 45, and 75% of Bing B2B users are also under 45. In other words, these users are fairly tech-savvy – and they’ve got both longevity and purchasing power on their side.
Multiple studies have also shown that Bing users not only earn higher incomes but also are more likely to convert. Of course, correlation doesn’t equal causation. This could be due to a higher income bracket, age range, or the ease that Bing provides in terms of ad clickability. But regardless of root cause, the fact that Bing searchers have higher conversion rates should make any marketer’s ears perk up.
According to the data, we can conclude that a significant portion of those who use Bing are poised to purchase. In total, 55% of Bing users use the search engine for product research, while another 38% use it for brand discovery. These statistics show that Bing is an effective marketing tool that can encourage higher (and potentially faster) rates of conversions if leveraged correctly.
3. Connect With Decision Makers
One of the biggest challenges of marketing is reaching a brand’s target audience. This can be especially difficult in the B2B industry, as it may not always be clear who makes the buying decisions for a brand. When a marketer fails to properly target a brand’s customer, that can lead to wasted ad and SEM spending (and nobody wants that!).
This is another top reason to consider Bing for B2B marketing, as approximately 52% of decision-makers in B2B industries use Bing as their search engine of choice. Another 26% of B2B Bing users are senior executive decision-makers, representing a recent 3% increase. From this, we can conclude that a good portion of Bing users hold the reins in their line of work. If you can connect with those users from the start, you may find you’re able to shorten your sales process or spend less time and money on other forms of advertising.
When considering the data, it’s more likely that for brands that want to target the decision-makers of a business, Bing may provide better results.
4. Reduce the Cost of Ads
Despite increased access to higher earners and more decision-makers, the cost of advertising on Bing is often cheaper than what you’ll find with Google Ads. Ad costs are determined by the demand for specific keywords or audiences. As Bing has fewer users in total, it usually means that ads and keyword costs are cheaper on average. The lower cost per click available with Microsoft Bing means brands can maximize their advertising budgets. In other words, marketers are in a better position to compete – and they don’t have to spend as much to see results.
And, of course, when your Bing ads are more effective, you won’t have to overspend in order to reach your target audience via other channels.
5. Increase Advertising Options
In terms of filters and social extensions, Bing also offers a few unique options. For example, Bing ads allow marketers to build keyword lists made up of the most cost-effective options. Targeting when and where to publish ads is also easier for some within Bing PPC. Teams can narrow down ads to display on desktop versus mobile, as well as on Yahoo versus Bing. Other unique targeting options include the ability to choose age range, location filters, or job titles using LinkedIn profiles.
Additionally, running ads on Bing cross-posts them to Yahoo and AOL. The social extension allows brands to share their social media accounts within ad copy, versus the follower count that’s available with Google ads. This interconnectivity stands to benefit marketers who utilize Bing, as they can get more bang for their buck. (We dare you to say that three times fast!)
Bing or Google Ads?
At some point, many B2B brands will need to consider whether to advertise using Google Ads or Bing. Bing offers more affordable advertising that yields lower traffic but more affluent users. In contrast, Google enables brands to reach a wider audience – but at a higher price. An effective marketing strategy typically includes both, playing on the pros and cons of each search engine to create a more balanced plan of action.
Testing performance and conducting A/B testing can also help brands strike the right balance between Google and Bing. Additionally, Bing has built-in features that allow users to import data from Google to Bing, making it convenient to employ the benefits of both. Even better, since people typically choose a search engine and stay loyal to it, there’s little chance of cannibalization when including both in a B2B strategy. They’ll work together, rather than against each other – and that’s music to any marketer’s ears.
Bing offers many benefits to B2B brands. Given Bing’s growing connection to AI and the opportunity it provides to reach a new collection of customers (often at a cheaper price!), it’s clear that Bing should no longer be overlooked. For the best results, B2B brands can monitor data and track conversions, helping them choose the right SEM and PPC strategy for any and all search engines.