Last month, Microsoft announced it was purchasing LinkedIn for $26 billion. On its face, the acquisition might seem puzzling. Why would Microsoft want to buy a social network like LinkedIn?
Well, it’s not the first time the company tried to get its hands on a social network: Microsoft reportedly tried to buy Facebook nearly a decade ago, seeking the social networks’ large user base to help its search engine Bing compete with Google.
But with the current acquisition of LinkedIn, Microsoft claims its motive are different: the company hopes LinkedIn will add more of a social aspect to its programs, such as Slack and Outlook.
However, it’s difficult not to draw parallels between the current acquisition and Microsoft’s attempt to buy Facebook. After all, buying LinkedIn gives Microsoft access to the social network’s user base of 433 million people. That could mean big changes for Bing Ads.
Big Changes for Bing Ads? 3 Predictions from the Microsoft-LinkedIn Merger
1. A Combined Bing & LinkedIn Ads Manager Platform
Imagine being able to create ads for both Bing and LinkedIn in a single platform. This is what marketers’ dreams are made of. Just look at the integration of Facebook and Instagram ads: advertisers can simply check off Instagram as an advertisement display option.
A unified Bing and LinkedIn ads dashboard could offer the same ease of advertising. Since advertisers could launch ads on both websites at the same time, it would become even more appealing to expand to both Bing and LinkedIn advertising.
If this becomes a reality, Bing could also provide native conversion tracking for LinkedIn ads – something the social network currently lacks. While Facebook, Twitter, and Google all offer advertisers in-depth dashboards to gauge ad performance, LinkedIn doesn’t offer native conversion tracking. With a combined ads manager platform, Microsoft could finally introduce LinkedIn conversion tracking – making marketers and clients everywhere happy.
2. Better Targeting for Bing Ads
Using LinkedIn’s demographic data, Bing could better target search queries based on an individual’s LinkedIn profile information.
For example, if a business owner in Chicago searches “business contract lawyer” on Bing, he could see results for lawyers throughout the country. But with additional intelligence provided by LinkedIn, Bing could automatically know the searcher’s location and show him business contract lawyers near him in Chicago.
In the words of President & CEO of Marketing Mojo, Janet Driscoll Miller, “keyword-based advertising doesn’t provide identity.” This is where Google AdWords and Bing Ads fall short: they don’t have additional demographics readily available to better target a user’s search results.
By using a searcher’s information listed on their LinkedIn profile, Bing Ads could transform and become even more targeted – making searchers happy when they quickly and easily find what they’re looking for, and bringing even more people to the search engine.
3. Bing Ad Extensions for LinkedIn Author and Business Profiles
Remember Google’s authorship search results? Here’s what they looked like:
While Google has since done away with its authorship experiment, Microsoft now has the opportunity to do something similar on Bing and, if successful, attract more users and advertisers to the search engine.
Some benefits of adding Bing Ad extensions that link to an author’s LinkedIn profile or a company’s business profile include:
- Transparency and personalization that build an impression of trustworthiness.
- Branding for a more complete online presence.
- Improving conversion rates by providing more customer service platforms for on-the-fence buyers.
While these are just predictions, we hope to see some of these developments introduced as the Microsoft-LinkedIn acquisition is finalized.
What do you think about our predictions? Did we miss something you think will be a big change to Bing Ads following this acquisition? Comment below and let us know!