PPC advertising for B2B

Improving the effectiveness of PPC advertising for B2B companies

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For B2C companies, PPC is a lot more straightforward. For B2B companies, there’s a lot more to unpack.

Because buying cycles for B2B companies tend to be longer, it’s not often that easy to get a “click” to turn into a “lead” on the first try. It’s also easy to start getting leads that aren’t really good leads that can eventually turn into sales because of misguided targeting.

Here are a few things to consider when executing a PPC advertising campaign:

Understand your customer

Your PPC ads will be directed to the customers you are trying to capture, so it is essential to have an excellent grasp of who they are and what they need. Demographics play a significant role in advertising, so you need to understand your customer’s age groups, device preferences, online tendencies, and current business challenges, and motivations, to name a few.

The best way to approach this is to build buyer personas and customer journey maps. Buyer personas help you create a profile of the different customers who use your products/services, and customer journey maps help you visualize and understand their purchasing lifecycles. These exercises aren’t only useful for PPC; they will give you valuable insight into your entire marketing approach. You’ll have a better grasp of who your ideal target is and what makes them click. This information will be useful for AdWord Search campaigns, display campaigns, Facebook campaigns, and LinkedIn campaigns.

You can read HubSpot’s useful guide on building buyer personas here.

And you can find their guide for building customer journey maps here.

Understand your product or service

B2B PPC Campaigns are most effective when trying to sell something specific, rather than purely advertising a brand.

You must have a clear idea about what product or service you are looking to market, and what challenge or challenges it resolves for your potential clients. One of the common mistakes companies make when starting PPC advertising is to be too general and broad in their messaging to aim to be as specific as possible with both their targeting and what they’re offering.

Your ads should also be designed to generate demand. This means that rather than just exposing your brand, they should try and educate your potential buyer on the challenges you are addressing and how you have the solution that they may or may not have been aware of before seeing the ad.

If you are offering something similar to other products or services, search for an angle that sets you apart from the competition or find a unique aspect of your buyer’s challenges that you know how to address.

It’s also essential to understand the entire buying process of what you are offering. Is it a long or short purchasing cycle? Is the person most likely to click on your ad also the person who makes purchasing decisions in the company? How long does it take for a potential customer to consider purchasing this product or service? For example, the buying process for a new SUV is significantly longer than the one for a new TV as it’s a considerably larger and riskier investment. The same goes for purchasing a life insurance plan for your workforce vs. getting new water dispensers for the office.

Understand the process

When it comes to managing expectations and planning your moves, it’s critical to understand the PPC process. PPC is directly linked to online searches for keywords and keyword phrases. Who gets the top spot depends on several things, including:

  • How much you are bidding for that keyword
  • How much competition there is for a keyword
  • How specific or broad your targeted keywords are
  • What locations and demographics you are targeting

The usual process of a PPC conversion goes as such:

  1. Potential buyer searches for a keyword that is related to their needs, challenges, or business interests.
  2. The keyword triggers an Ad on the search engine that shows the buyer copy intended to appeal to them based on their search.
  3. The potential buyer clicks on the ad.
  4. The buyer is exposed to a landing page with further information designed to pique their interest enough to get them to provide information, schedule a call, download gated content, or some other call to action.
  5. The potential buyer is now in your CRM, or your sales team has their contact info to begin the sales process.

Taking this process into account means you need to understand what the potential buyer is doing every step of the way to optimize your efforts at every point. This leads to our next point:

PPC as part of a strategy rather than a standalone tactic

PPC can be extremely effective, but it can also end up being a frustrating effort that doesn’t yield the expected results. When the latter happens, its often tied to the fact that PPC campaigns don’t perform well when launched as stand-alone efforts that aren’t part of a broader marketing strategy.

The more support a PPC campaign has in the form of content marketing, SEO, social media posting, social media PPC, and being tied into a unified message around clear marketing objectives, the more effective it will ultimately be.

We can use our R.A.C.E. framework to explain this

  1. Reach: traffic generation
  2. Act: demand generation
  3. Convert: Lead conversion
  4. Engage: Customer generation

PPC is a part of step 3, where you convert visitors into leads. If your marketing strategy skips steps 1 and 2, you might need to rethink your approach and why you want to do PPC.

Marketing content, for example, helps you put out information on both your brand and the challenges you resolve with your solutions. It also gives you more than just a landing page to advertise. Publishing blogs, case studies, guides, and other assets that you can also post on social media and boost with PPC ads will help you have more impressions and reach more specific audiences.

SEO is also an important part of the process since your content and your PPC ads should tie-in with your SEO strategy based on solid keyword research. When your entire marketing effort is guided with a consistent message and unified keyword strategy, your PPC ads will be able to capture nurtured, quality leads.

Are you interested in PPC advertising? We can help you figure out what’s best for your organization. Learn more!

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