Rachel Chambers

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What’s in a Brand Name? Using Trademarks and Copyrights in Your Advertising

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Outside of sales, brand recognition is what every advertiser wants. When customers are searching for your product or service, you want your business to be the first that comes to mind. When it comes to using brand names in your ads or on your site, you may be wondering whether or not you could gain clicks from these popular terms that are aligned to your business, but that you don't directly own in terms of trademarks and copyrights.

The answer depends on how you use them, but before we delve into some of the common allowed uses and pitfalls of trademarks and copyrights in Bing Ads, let’s define what we’re talking about.

The Bing Ads intellectual property guidelines govern the use of trademarks and copyrighted products in advertising and on your website. The term "trademark" generally refers to brand names, logos and slogans that are associated with a business, while "copyright" refers to ownership of original work such as music or software.

Let’s talk about how to appropriately use these components within your keywords, ads and landing pages.

Keywords and Ads

Some markets allow you to bid on competitor keywords whether or not they are trademarked. You can find details about specific markets within our advertiser guidelines. For example, if you are a company that sells gardening supplies and would also like exposure to those searching for a larger retailer, “Contoso Lawn Care,” bidding on that term is fine.

Unlike keywords, however, using competitor terms in ad copy is generally not allowed in order to prevent user confusion about the brand owner. However, these terms are allowed in ads under four conditions:

  1. Use of a trademark by a reseller of authentic goods or services
  2. Informational websites about goods or services represented by the trademark, such as product reviews
  3. Ordinary dictionary use of a term
  4. Comparative advertising, when supported by independent research

If you are having issues with multiple rejections that you feel are legitimate, you can request bulk exceptions.

To avoid issues with trademarks in your ads you will also want to:

Choose highly relevant keywords. Bidding on trademarked terms that have little relevance to your content may get you clicks, but using keywords arbitrarily can get your ads reported and lead to a low conversion rate. What’s the point of getting people to your landing page if they don’t stay there?

Check your settings. Using dynamic textto insert trademarks into ad copy is a common reason for rejections. Please make sure if you are bidding on brand name keywords, that it’s not causing your ads to be in violation.

Brand Ex

 

Website/Landing Page Content

Trademarks and copyrights may appear on many websites, but the content must not overstep those intellectual property boundaries. If your site contains other brands, make sure you:

  • Only use authorized endorsements. You read that a movie star loves a moisturizer you sell online. While using the name of the product may be allowed, advertising with claims like “Joe Famous’ Beauty Secret” or updating your website with his photos, is not.
  • Only advertise authentic products. We do not allow the promotion or sale of counterfeit or pirated products on our network. If you don’t have the real thing, you can’t label it as such on your website or sell it using other logos or branding.

Carelessly using trademarked or copyrighted content isn’t just annoying—it can be illegal. As an advertiser it is your responsibility to make sure that you aren’t stepping on any toes. In most cases, brand owners will contact you directly with issues, but Bing Ads does review all complaints that we receive.

With the holiday shopping season drawing near, updating your keywords and ads is probably at the top of your marketing list. Make sure to double-check any trademarks or copyrights you may be using and avoid extra hassles. Also, keep in mind that well-chosen non-brand terms can be very effective.

For more guidance, please review our intellectual property guidelines and ensure your ads and keywords are approved quickly. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment if you have questions on using brands and trademarks in your ads.

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Make Your Bing Ads Clicks Stick with a Quality Landing Page

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You’ve set up your Bing Ads account and are starting to get impressions and clicks, but are you getting the conversions you want? Figuring out how to keep your customers happy can be tricky,

 

but if they aren’t converting to take the action you want them to (e.g. sales, newsletter sign up, etc.) after clicking through from your ad, then the answer is clear: it’s not them, it’s you.

Making sure that your ads provide a clear and direct path to your offers is part of the equation, but the rest of it comes down to making a good impression once users get to your site. While brick and mortar retailers have been known to do this by pumping in scents or playing only the latest hipster music, you have to do this with your landing page. Let’s discuss some of the most common landing page behaviors that send customers hitting their “back” button and what you can do to provide a quality user experience instead.

 

All flash and little else. There are all kinds of advertising techniques, but it’s pretty much universally accepted that flashy gimmicks are overused and annoying. Selling the benefits of your products or services is key, but how you sell them gives users an impression of you as a business—if you seem evasive, you may come across as untrustworthy. If you are touting some pretty impressive claims or using testimonials, make sure you're able to back up these claims with concrete data proving that your product/service delivers on its promise.

Content anemia. Sometimes users leave a website because a landing page has scant information about the offers or services advertised. It can be especially troubling when a website asks for personal information in order to get any details. If someone is giving up their name, email address or any other identifiable info, they should have a reasonable idea of what they will be receiving in exchange. Plain and simple: people should protect their personal data when doing business online, so make sure they have the information to feel that sharing it with you is necessary and secure. If not, fill in the gaps in your landing page or add navigation where users can find more.

Avoid pointless detours. We understand that sometimes websites must redirect to other sites for more information or for secure purchasing reasons. However, if your site is a stop-off on the way to a final destination, you can’t just be an empty platform—you’ve got to give them something useful. No one likes going out of their way to get the same information twice.

Want to know if your landing pages are putting their best foot forward? Consider these questions:

· Is the user able to easily find details on what I am offering and how to obtain it?

· Am I clear and honest about any claims or results promised?

· If I am collecting personal data, do I provide enough background information for the user?

o For more see our User Safety and Privacy Guidelines.

· If redirecting users, am I shortening the user’s path to the information they are looking for?

In summary, make your landing page work for you! By ensuring a quality user experience, you’ll ensure that more of your clicks become conversions.

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Getting the Right Message Across with Clear and Accurate Ad Copy in Bing Ads

MSC13_ChrisA_03 (2)We’ve all clicked on an online ad only to end up somewhere unexpected or unwanted. These journeys are frustrating and, in some cases, leave you feeling tricked. As in life, in search engine marketing you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure you get it right with clear, accurate messaging.

Transparency is the best policy when it comes to your campaigns, but those brief lines of text can quickly get murky. Inaccurate ads are sometimes simply the result of poor wording or unfamiliarity with SEM techniques, but they can also be a sign of advertising that is intended to mislead our users. We do our best to prevent misleading ads and work with advertisers to improve the quality of their messaging. For best practices on creating better ads, familiarize yourself with our User Safety and Privacy guidelines.

Determining the clarity of an ad comes down to whether it sets the right expectations for the user once they click through. Your ads and landing page should accurately represent your business, your brand, and what you offer. Besides avoiding confusion, higher quality ads lead to improved relevancy that, in turn, promotes more positive user experiences and increases ROI– good news for both you and your potential customers!

Wondering if your campaigns fit the bill? Ask yourself these questions:

Is it easy to complete the expected transaction after clicking my ad?

o Is it is clear what product or service is being offered on the landing page?

o Is the offer available on the site when the user triggers the ad?

  • If offers are available for a limited time, schedule your campaigns or ad groups accordingly.
  • No one likes a “catch.” Don’t promote deals or discounts that aren’t applicable and include any special conditions up front.

Is there any reason the user would be surprised or confused to find my landing page?

o Does the ad title, text and display URL convey what sort of site to expect?

o Am I misleading my audience into thinking that I offer products or services that I can’t?

  • Providing government documents or the retrieval of secure, confidential information are examples of services that can only be performed by authorized entities.

o Are brand names in my ad copy implying an affiliation where none exists? Does the use of trademarked brands or logos on my landing page create brand owner confusion?

Misleading advertising isn’t just a headache for users, it affects your bottom line. So, make good business sense and please your customers: if an ad is clear and speaks honestly, it will draw clicks and hit your target audience. Then, when people do continue to your site, they will stay because the landing page is what they expect. It’s a win-win: you’ll only pay for the clicks you want and give customers a great experience that keeps them coming back for more.

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