Bing recently announced the release of the Bing Shopping Campaign (BSC) beta to a limited number of advertisers. Bing Product Ads have been around for a while and work great for ecommerce accounts. As we’ve seen with Google Shopping campaigns, the benefit of the new shopping format allows for easier management, share of voice reporting for benchmark CPCs and segmentation flexibility.
While Bing Shopping Campaigns are not available to everyone just yet, they are expected to be rolled out to US advertisers in summer 2015. Below are 3 key tips you need to know before getting started with Bing Shopping and some of our insights.
What We’ve Seen So Far:
- Easy import of Google Shopping Campaigns into Bing
- One feed per account but can be uploaded multiple times a day
- Just like Google, make sure data feed headers are correct
- Product target options include: All Products or Filtered Products
While the idea of BSC is to allow for easier management and more control of your product ads, the initial set-up to get started in this beta is still complex. More specifically, getting the feeds correctly uploaded and populating in the interface. However, troubles with data feeds are not a new thing in any shopping platform. Just remember to take the time to ensure the headers and content are correct before uploading and that will save you the time of fixing and re-uploading files. Some other cool features include importing Google Shopping campaigns into Bing and being able to target all products or filtered products.
If you currently run Bing Product Ads or Google Shopping campaigns and are seeing good results, I would highly encourage you to reach out to your Bing rep and request to get whitelisted. Below are a few key tips to help make getting started a little easier.
Tip 1 – The Set Up
Before your Bing Shopping Campaigns are even a twinkle in your eye, you will need to first create a store in Bing Merchant Center.
Once you’ve created a store you will need to be able to verify your URL via Bing Webmaster Tools. Your are given three options for verifying your site:
- XML File authentication
- Meta tag authentication
- Add CNAME record to DNS
Next, begin building the Shopping Campaigns. If you already have Google Shopping campaigns you can import from Google and link to your Bing Merchant Center.
Or create a new Shopping Campaign and associated ad group and product ad and link to your merchant account.
Already running Bing Product Ads?
If you already have a Bing product ad campaign running you will want to create the new Bing Shopping Campaign. Set the feed to “medium” or “high” priority so Bing knows to give priority to the new campaign.
Here are the differences between the Bing Product Ads campaigns and Bing Shopping Campaigns:
Tip 2 – The Feed
Awesome. The store has been created. The site has been verified. Now it’s time to get to the fun part – uploading the feed! Bing has done a really good job of keeping the feed requirements very similar to Google’s requirements, but there are a few differences. I would recommend reviewing Bing’s sample feed before attempting any sort of upload.
Once you’ve confirmed you have all the right headers and information in the feed correctly, you can do a test upload to see if there are any errors. One thing I ran into was that you couldn’t have any dollar signs in the price column. The numbers must be numeric with 2 decimal places, excluding tax and shipping. That may change when the full version roles out but it’s something to keep in mind with the beta version.
Custom labels can be used to identify each product as a bestseller, seasonal item, special offer, high margin item, etc to help group products and enable themselves to target more granularly. For customers starting with Bing Shopping, “Custom labels” replace “Bing Ads Label” and “Bing Ads Grouping” found in Product Ads campaigns.
Find the full list of custom fields available here.
Tip 3 – Optimization Tips
Because the Bing Shopping beta is so new we are still working on testing different optimizations strategies and reporting options – stay tuned! However, we’ve listed a few optimization tips to consider when getting started.
- Refresh your feed weekly. Feed will expire after 30 days but is recommended to at least update once a week or even once a day.
- Go beyond the required attributes. The more attributes used the higher the chance of your ad being shown for relevant searches.
- Use the new Custom Labels for Bing Shopping Campaigns (0-4). Use these to label high revenue items or top sellers and segment by campaign to optimize budgets and bids more efficiently.
- Use Share of Voice reporting for benchmark CPC, CTR, and impressions.
- Don’t forget the negatives! Be sure to run search term reports and exclude poor performing queries to increase efficiency.
- Use a high-resolution image for the Product Image URL. Bing recommends using images with a white background. Image size must be 220 x 220
While Bing Shopping might not have the same volume as Google, it is still one of the top 3 search engines and a great way to pick up some incremental revenue – especially if you are already running Google Shopping. If you are already running Bing Product Ads, it’s probably time to start getting yourself familiar with the new Bing Shopping format that is scheduled to be rolled out later this summer as the legacy version goes off into the sunset. As I mentioned before, this is a limited beta until the official rollout in Summer 2015 so reach out to your Bing reps ASAP to get whitelisted if you are interested in getting started with Bing Shopping.