Starting in July, Bing Ads will be making the option to migrate from Product Ads campaigns to Shopping Campaigns available as a general release, as a part of their continuing quest to have parity with Google AdWords. Google AdWords made their transition in Q3 of 2014 and since then, advertisers have enjoyed increased functionality and features, faster loading / indexing time of product feeds and greater control over their campaigns, ad groups and product types. So, it makes sense that Bing would also make this change, if anything to make it easier to import directly into Bing Ads from AdWords.
I’ll be doing a webinar with SEMrush on June 11th at 11am ET (Bing It On: Making the Migration to Shopping Campaigns) that goes into greater detail on how to make this migration, best practices to follow and some tips on what to look out for when getting started. However, before you go and either start Bing Shopping Campaigns or make the migration you might have a few questions on how we got here in the first place! So I’ve gathered up what are some of the most commonly asked questions about this migration, both from the Bing and AdWords side.
Why Didn’t They Just Start with Shopping Campaigns? Why the Change?
Product Listing Ad Campaigns came first, back in 2009. Back then, they were charged on a CPA (cost per action) basis and the process, features and control were pretty minimal. You really just uploaded the feed through Merchant Center with the required specs, set the CPA and let it run. Products Listing Ads (PLAs) showed on the google.com/shopping SERP alongside other organic results that Google deemed relevant to show alongside and a few of these PLA units would show on the regular google.com SERP as well.
Then, in October of 2012, Google decided to make all product listing ads paid results. Which meant that in order to serve the volume, complexity and speed needed, an upgrade of some kind needed to happen in order to support this burgeoning source of revenue. So, in February of 2013, Shopping Campaigns were introduced. You then had the option of starting or trying the new format or continuing with your old PLA format campaigns – until August of 2014, when it became apparent that PLA campaigns simply weren’t going to be robust enough to carry on the behemoth that Google Shopping had become and were depreciated to make room for Shopping Campaigns.
Bing Ads introduced their version of Product Listing Ads Campaigns in spring of 2014, calling them Product Ads Campaigns. They worked very similarly to Google Product Listing Ads Campaigns and now with the shelving of PLA Campaigns on the Google side, Bing must also shelve theirs and adopt the new Shopping Campaigns format to make the workflow between the two systems as seamless as possible.
What’s the Difference Between a Product Ads Campaign and a Shopping Campaign?
It’s all about the features! The biggest difference is that with the newer campaign type, you’ll be able to have greater control, granularity and insights into performance, traffic and what’s working and what’s not. A quick hit list: • Campaign priorities (assigning low, medium and high) • Deeper granularity to review and bid by product within the Bing Ads UI • Share of voice reporting (benchmark reporting for impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC) • Custom labels (up to 5 can be added within the feed) • Dimensions tab reporting with at a glance views of Category and Product Type levels, brand, item and store IDs.
What Are the Benefits to Making the Change to Shopping Campaigns?
Time and control, overall. You’re going to save time in management, be able to make changes to bids more quickly, break up and consolidate groups of products in a way that allows you to optimize for your primary KPI (key performance indicator) whether that’s the classic ROAS (return on ad spend) or profit margin per category, CPA (cost per action) – whatever your goals may be. Additionally, the ability to import directly what you want from AdWords to Bing Ads will streamline workflow and of course, being able to manage within the offline editor.
What Happens If I Don’t Do Anything?
Right now, nothing yet. So chill. The general release begins in July, from there you’ll get plenty of time to make the migration if you don’t have time in the next couple of months to start. However, if you want to take advantage of the additional functionality before holiday, it’s best to calendar taking care of this in August or September of this year as the new campaigns will need a little bit of runway to get going; start gathering data and for you to tweak as need be before holiday shopping really starts.
Be sure to check out my webinar on Thursday, June 11th – and ask even more questions! I also welcome additional comments below.