By Cedric Chambaz, Marketing Manager Search & SMB, Microsoft Advertising

Every September it is the same story: a new year, new pupils, new teacher… The perspective of the unknown can be daunting for our little ones. And to a certain extent, I recognise the same apprehension in the eyes of their parents, now business owners, when I mention I work in search marketing. Of course, they have given up on the school uniforms, but they are still facing that ambivalent feeling: on the one hand they acknowledge search as a critical marketing technique for SMB (small and medium businesses) and yet, on the other hand, they are somehow frightened by what seems like dark digital arts to them.

In order to bust these myths, Microsoft Advertising has created adExcellence, a series of free video tutorials which help search newbies — and seasoned e-marketers - learn about pay-per-click advertising and how to make the most out of Microsoft adCenter, the search marketing platform that serves your ads to consumers searching on Bing. Regularly updated, these virtual classrooms give you access, at your own leisure, to a wealth of information, from ad copy tips to targeting strategies, from budgeting to optimisation best practices… What’s more? Just like in the old days, you can even take the adExcellence exam and become an accredited adCenter user.

adExcellence is one of the numerous assets of the Microsoft Advertising Learning Centre, a great depository of research, case studies, tools… available to marketers. Bookmark that page, it is very handy and certainly lighter than any of these textbooks your children have to carry around.