When you think of travel marketing, platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram are probably the first that come to mind. Poor old Bing doesn’t get a look-in with many advertisers – and this is fine by us. Because the travel marketers who do use Bing Ads are tapping into a resource overlooked by much of the competition.
Bing’s underdog status is a real benefit in this regard but it’s not the only reason you should take Bing Ads (now Microsoft Ads) more seriously as a travel marketer.
With Google’s insanely large userbase, it’s easy to brush off Bing as the less effective advertising channel. But here’s the thing: research shows that roughly 28 million travel searchers only use Bing, which is a target audience you don’t want to be missing out on.
To clarify a few things, this data covers US Bing users for June 2016, which was independently collected by comScore before being published by Bing. These are US travellers you wouldn’t be able to reach on Google and the global figure will, of course, be significantly higher.
Google may beat Bing in terms of volume when it comes to lead generation, but various studies have shown it costs less to convert those leads on Bing. Last year, insights published over at Search Engine Watch, revealed conversions from Bing traffic were 63% cheaper than AdWords.
Bing Ads also gives you location targeting at the ad group level and makes it incredibly easy to schedule your ads for different time zones.
That’s right. Not only are Bing users cheaper to convert; they also spend 25% more on their online purchases than the average internet user. There are a number of reasons for this, but it mostly comes down to the kind of people who use Bing as their go-to search engine.
As you can see, the majority of people using Bing earn $100,000 or more per year. These are generally high-earning, married people over the age of 35 and Bing’s demographic targeting helps you narrow down on this audience that has a habit for spending big online.
Bing is growing at a fast rate and this has a lot to do with travel searches in the UK. Bing says 25% of all searches on the platform are now voice queries (vs Google’s 20%) and Microsoft cites UK growth as a driving factor.
The tech firm says it is seeing a 343% year-on-year increase of voice searches for hotels from Brits using Cortana, which is powered by Bing Search, and 277% year-on-year increase for flights. As for the destinations receiving most growth from UK voice searches on Cortana, they are: Krakow, Orlando, Bali, Almeria, Croatia, Sri Lanka and Gibraltar.
The amazing thing is these stats come before Microsoft has released its own Amazon Echo and Google Home rival device – both of which are struggling to turn voice searches into into consumer leads. Cortana is already doing this in the UK for travel brands and you only have to look at Skype Translator to see Microsoft’s voice technology is up there with the best.
Google still beats Bing on so many levels when it comes to travel marketing, but you don’t want to be missing out on that hefty chunk of travel searchers who turn to Bing first. Sure, it’s a smaller batch of leads to work with, but they cost less to convert and spend more when they do – not to mention the fact Bing makes it easier to target the demographics who spend most.
How Google is changing the search marketing game for travel brands
Is your PPC strategy making the most of travel ‘micro-moments’?
Some of the best travel chatbots we’ve seen so far
Duncan has been working in digital marketing since 2011, managing PPC Campaigns for the likes of Mothercare and Periproducts. In 2016, he made the switch from client side to agency and joined the Vertical Leap Team. More recently, he has been invited to speak at local business events, digital marketing conferences and Google’s Head Office on the finer points of audience targeting available through PPC channels.
He has a History degree from York University, a CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing and formal Theology & Leadership Training from London Seminary.
Duncan is also the Pastor of Christ Church Fareham, a new Church that he launched with a team in September 2018. He plays hockey for Fareham Hockey Club and 5-a-side Football every week. He is also the reigning office Fifa Champion.
Digital marketing under-performing and not sure why? We'll do a free SWOT analysis and reveal priority focus areas and quick wins
Categories: PPC, Travel