While many marketers focus on Google as the major path to potential customers, Bing retains a significant share of searchers online. That's why it's important to learn about new advertising and marketing opportunities on sites other than Google. For instance, Bing has finally rolled out a Merchant Promotions program, which can improve the user experience while allowing advertisers to include "special offer" extensions to their ads.
How Do Merchant Promotions Work?
Think of Merchant Promotions as ads within ads. If you have Merchant Promotions activated in your Bing Merchant Center store, you can create the special offers extension. When the user hovers over your ad, he or she will see the text you created to promote your product. You could use it for coupon codes, limited-time offers, and other special offers that could turn casually interested consumers into customers.
To get started using Merchant Promotions, Bing must first give your company and your account approval to use special offers on your SERP ads. From there, you’ll just need one or more product feeds to access Merchant Promotions. Once you’ve created a feed, you can add the special offers extension and begin to take advantage of this new feature. Note, this program is restricted to the United States for the time being.
How Can Advertisers Benefit From Merchant Promotions?
Users don't have to hover over your ad to know that a special offer awaits. The words "special offer" will appear underneath your ad, alerting the consumer that he or she can save money or gain other benefits from checking out your merchandise. In addition to fueling curiosity, the words "special offers" will help your ad stand out from the pack. Users will wonder why your ad is different from the other products that appear on the page.
Words like "sale," "clearance," "promotion," and "special offer" have long worked in brick-and-mortar retail stores. They draw attention to the product and give customers the impression that they have been given a special opportunity. This psychology works the same online as it does in the store.
This is especially true when it's a limited-time offer. Think about all those late-night promotional programs that urge you to "call in the next 30 minutes" so you don't miss out. Bing's Merchant Promotions program allows advertisers to set a time limit on the promotion, which will appear below the other text on the pop-up. Shoppers will know they have to act now if they want to take advantage of the savings.
Additionally, Merchant Promotions give shoppers more details before they even click on your ad. Consumers have become wary of advertisements in recent years, and they like to have as much information as possible before they even explore an opportunity. Merchant Promotions capitalize on that fact.
Interested in learning other ways to capitalize on digital marketing? Then check out our case study that covers how a cross-channel marketing approach helped a retailer see great results: Search, display, and social advertising boosts high-end retailer's YOY sales by 70%.