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Six tactics to gear up for the Summer Games

Six tactics to gear up for the Summer Games

All eyes will be on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as the summer games kick off in August. For 2.5 weeks, the world will be mesmerized by amazing feats of strength, endurance and resilience.

This international competition and its talented athletes will turn aspiring viewers into ambitious doers. For example, in the U.K., sports participation increased in 2012 before and after the London summer games, and stayed high through the next year.[1] For sporting goods/fitness equipment and sports apparel advertisers, the games are a prime time to connect with aspiring athletes and help them become more active.

Below are six tactics fitness-related advertisers can use to reach their audience and make search part of their multimedia campaign.

1. Expect a large, live audience

Sporting events often draw large live TV audiences.[2] And the summer games are no exception. They have a history of drawing an average primetime audience of more than 20 million viewers.[3] They also draw large online crowds. During the 2012 games in London, 20.4 million hours of streaming video were consumed on NBC properties.

Plan your PPC budget around your TV ad schedule. At Bing Ads, we’ve found that during large sporting events searches for TV commercials surge after they air and the next day.

2. Plan for the second screen

Viewers will be watching the games unfold live on TV, but they’ll also be looking to the second screen in their hand. As smartphones become ubiquitous, mobile searches are a critical piece of the retail landscape. Tailor your ads for mobile devices to reach searchers looking for a fast answer, more information, or your closest location. You can leverage mobile bid boosters to reach mobile searchers who find a second screen priceless.

In addition to tailoring your mobile ads, you need to have your mobile landing pages ready and optimized to turn researchers into customers. Mobile searchers don’t have time to waste waiting for your website to load and are likely to bounce. Pay attention to page loading times to keep them on your site and learning more about your products and services.

Got a mobile app? Promote it with App Extensions. They add a link to your ad that takes searchers directly to your app’s page in Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

3. Ad copy tips

To help you and other sporting goods advertisers find the right combinations of ad titles and descriptions, we analyzed 14,000 ads and 19 million impressions on the Bing Network.[4] Our analysis reveals top-performing ad copy combinations across devices for Sporting Goods/Fitness Equipment and Sports Apparel advertisers. It also found opportunities for using Sitelink Extensions more effectively to increase click-through rates.

Sporting Goods/Fitness Equipment: For PC+Tablet ads, a title with Swimming related keywords (e.g., “lake pool”, “swim”, “swim outlet”) performs well paired with a description of Sports Accessories (e.g., “swimwear”, “goggles”). For Mobile ads, the description Camping/Hunting (e.g., “knives”, “tents”, “scopes”) pairs well with a wide range of titles, including Superlatives (e.g., “best”, “great”, “quick”, “fantastic”).

Sports Apparel: For PC+Tablet ads, there’s nothing like Quality (e.g., “authentic”, “quality”) for the ad title, which pairs well with various descriptions like % Off, Online (e.g., “online now”, “online today”), or Tournaments (e.g., “mlb”, “nba”). For Mobile ads, % Off is what matters in the ad description, and it pairs well with a variety of titles including Stores (e.g., “fan shop”, “store”) and Local (e.g., “florida”, “ohio state”).

Test, test and test again: Our study provides insights into average ad quality, which has a lot of variability. To get the highest quality ads, it’s important for you to test and optimize your ads, keywords, and sitelinks on a regular basis. Visit the Opportunities page in the Bing Ads UI to see the ad copy, keyword, bidding, and budget opportunities specific to your account.

4. Use Sitelink Extensions to see a higher click-through rate

Sitelink Extensions offer a number of opportunities for Sporting Goods/Fitness Equipment and Sports Apparel advertisers.4 Take advantage of categories where there’s high ad quality (the grey bar below) and low usage (the green and blue bars).

In Sporting Goods/Fitness Equipment ads, try including sitelinks that refer to Styles (e.g., “styles”, “women”, “ladies”) and Brand terms. In Sports Apparel ads, try using sitelinks for % Off and Price/Pricing (e.g., “great prices”, “price guarantee”, “$”).

5. Take advantage of available ad tools and formats

To make the most of your campaigns, take advantage of some of the tools offered by Bing Ads to give your ads greater impact.

·    To attract more attention from customers, use Bing Shopping Campaigns. Your ads will showcase your products in a larger format with images, text, pricing and your company name. Available for PC, tablet and mobile searches. Get started today by easily importing your existing Google Shopping Campaigns into Bing Ads.

·    To get a second chance to turn high-quality visitors into customers, use Remarketing in Paid Search. You can increase your ROI by optimizing your ads, bids and keywords for searchers who have previously visited your website, like those who visited your homepage or abandoned a shopping cart.

·    To deliver more clicks for your and fewer for your competitors, bid on your own brand terms. A Bing Ads’ study found that brand term bidding gained Retail companies 31% more clicks, and dropped the competitor share of clicks by 77%.[5]

·    To help drive foot traffic into your local establishment, use Call extensions in conjunction with Location extensions, which can lift CTR by up to 10% and 20%, respectively. Your phone numbers will be displayed as well as directions to help customers find your business. And don’t forget to layer in location targeting to ensure optimal customer experience and the most relevant leads.

6. Target the Bing Network audience

To make the most of your fitness-related campaigns, get to know the Bing Network audience. Numbers show that about 93 million searchers use the Bing Network – including 54 million unique searchers not reached on Google – for 832 million retail-related searches, and accounted for 29% of all retail paid clicks.[6] For more insights on our audience, visit our Audience Insights page.

Interested in learning more? We’ve got more fitness-related ad copy and sitelink analysis in our Choose Your Words Carefully: Summer Games 2016 edition presentation.


For more seasonal and vertical insights, check out the Bing Ads Insights Portal.


[2] Nielsen, The Year in Sports Media Report: 2015, February 3, 2016.

[4] Microsoft Internal Data. Total Impressions Generated = 19 Million, Total Ads Analyzed = 14k, Analysis Period = 1 April 2015 – 31 July 2015. Note: These categories represent groups of similar keywords.

[6] comScore qSearch (custom), US, December 2015; industry categories based on comScore classifications.