MSN Search Marketing

It’s Chandler again here.

Today i will spend some time to write about MSN Search Marketing in Singapore.
The reason i don’t include any of the SouthEast Asia countries because virtually MSN Search doesn’t exist at least from my opinion.

Topics covered include:

  • What is MSN Search Marketing? Basic features.
  • MSN Search Marketing to advertiser
  • My own comments

1. MSN Search Marketing: Basic features

Singapore MSN Search Marketing in short is keyword targeted, CPC model, text ad, self serve model, IP targeted, very much like Google actually.
With Live Search, the appearance of the ad is similar to that of Google.
You can refer to the picture below:

The ad layout is almost identical to Google’s. However, if you notice closely, MSN name their ads as sponsored sites. Also, for the ads appearing above the natural search results, if you hover the mouse over the grey box, you can click, unlike Google’s ads where you have to put the mouse over the ad title.

The important point to note about MSN Live Search Ads is that they have many features that Google or Yahoo don’t have.
For example, you can use adCenter tool to detect online commercial intention of each keyword which is a very powerful concept since advertiser ultimately wants to know if they use the keyword, how likely it is for them to convert visitors to sales.
Other tools are: seasonal keyword forecast, keyword profile or demographic detection (gender, age, online behavior etc…), search funnel etc…
All of these tools carry with them wonderful concepts. And to be frank, while being a Google’s fan and although i never run MSN campaign before, from some of my most respected sources, MSN ads convert much better in general compared to Google’s and Yahoo’s.

MSN Live Search offers API (Application Programming Interface) access also. Wah! Compared to Yahoo which is running on CPM model haha.

2. MSN Search Marketing to advertisers

Due to too low Search volume, most of the agencies in Singapore don’t promote MSN Search Marketing often if at all. The operation cost to most agencies simply does not justify promoting MSN Live Search.
Supreme low search volume coupleing with agencies not promoting the product often results in very low level of usage for MSN Search ads in Singapore.
Although the conversion rate might be higher than Google’s or Yahoo’s, the actual number of perceived conversions is simply too low to make a difference.
However, as you can see, the tricky thing is most people using Windows XP and Internet Explorer. When you open Internet Explorer (IE), the homepage is normally MSN.com
Ah hah! People, by nature, are quite lazy so they may not change the homepage, especially those who are not very savvy, so every time they open IE, they will see some ads. Ponder about that for a while 🙂

3. My own comments

To me, MSN strength lines in the portal itself plus various products that they have. They will enjoy a very big market share for the media market (loosely translation: banner ads market).
Almost every youngster in Singapore using MSN, hotmail, mySpace etc… which gives MSN a huge advantage.
And in a young, immature market like Singapore or the rest of Southeast Asia, MSN holds a certain level of advantage and also offers certain advertising opportunities.
The media package for MSN in Singapore is not cheap though. However, they are a very hot product. If you want to book for MSN, you need to book 1 or 2 months in advance!!!
The click through rate for MSN ads
If MSN bought Yahoo Search, It would be a serious threat to Google i guess. MSN technology, financial backup from Microsoft plus Yahoo market share, one could only imagine.

haha, it seems that i have to cut short today’s post, busy talking to my friend on IM and also try to read some fictions now 😀
This concludes the introductory post on MSN Search Marketing in Singapore. I still have some to share though so i may come back to this topic later after i cover other topics

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