Bing Ads Goes B2B

10.24.18 // Ryan Osman

Since Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition, B2B marketers have been waiting patiently to be able to leverage LinkedIn’s company and user data on Bing Ads, and the time has finally come.

Bing Ads just announced they will now offer updated “user-based’ targeting options that we can layer into campaigns, allowing us to bid higher on high value audiences.

The user-based targeting options that we can now leverage are: Company, Job Function, and Industry.

Why this matters to B2B

One of the major frustrations in digital marketing, and especially B2B is that we have our “personas” and “ideal customers”, however it’s difficult to ensure that our ads are actually being placed in front of these audiences.

Targeting by company size is a great example that comes up with just about every Obility client. Some clients only want leads from SMBs while only want Enterprise-level leads. Outside of LinkedIn, this has been very difficult to target exclusively but now we can do this on Bing Ads.

Did somebody say “ABM”? We can now use Bing Ads to target by company and show ads on Bing Search as well as their audience network: Edge Homepage, Outlook email and MSN. This is a great way to complement other ABM efforts, likely at lower costs. There’s no reason not to try this.

Finally, at Obility we work closely with client sales teams and discover which verticals / industries are most likely to close, and we can now not only go after these verticals, but we can also target by job function within these industries to ensure we’re targeting prospects at the correct levels (decision makers or influencers of the buying decison).

Where to start?

Just like with traditional RLSA / Audience layering, we recommend identifying relevant audiences before fully diving in, “observe” how these audiences perform before making any bid adjustments. The truth is that this feature is new, and nobody knows how it will perform. It’s important to first determine audience size to see if this is worthwhile, and how the audiences perform.

If this targeting option does prove effective, B2B marketers will want to split out / segment campaigns by industry (when applicable), ensuring ad copy and landing pages speak to these industries to ensure a proper and relevant customer journey.

If interested in targeting named “Companies” (ABM), consider creating a dedicated campaign[s] as this will likely bucket in with other ABM efforts and as we [should] know, while ABM campaigns run alongside other digital campaigns, they have their own goals.

I think this goes without saying, but it’s likely a good idea to layer some of these option like Company + Job Function. For example, if I’m a “Prospecting Software” provider with an ABM company list, I would want to target (a) the companies on the ABM list and the (b) job functions based on the personas– in this case jobs like: SDR, BDR, AE – I can’t keep track of all of these sales names…

Pro Tip:

Often high-quality leads come at higher costs. At Obility, we often discover that the campaigns that drive high cost conversions or leads are also the campaigns that drive lower cost SQLs and Opportunities. For B2B marketers, it’s imperative to track efforts through back-end platforms like Marketo or Salesforce (or Bizible) to see how these efforts truly perform (how the leads mature). We may not see an immediate lift in conversion rates, and we may even see conversion costs go up, but if lead quality increases, we’re winning.

Final Thoughts

For years, Bing Ads has been Google Ads’ younger sibling and the butt of many jokes similar to Nickelback. But the truth is that Bing Ads is making moves in the right direction and has been beating Google Ads to market in a few key areas recently. First, they launched “in-market” audiences search before Google (July 2018) and now they’ve provided us B2B marketers what we’ve been asking from Google for years.

Touché Bing.

About Ryan Osman

Ryan Osman is an SEM Manager at Obility where he focuses his efforts on lead generation for B2B companies with long sales cycles. Passionate about internet marketing, Ryan also owns and operates multiple profitable websites in various verticals. When he's not at his desk, Ryan likes to take advantage of the Oregon outdoors, whether it be going on a backpacking trip or a day trip to land a steelhead. View all Ryan Osman’s posts >