December 12, 2021
When it comes to B2B leads that arrive at your desk, is it better to have a potential buyer who’s browsing, or has intent to make a purchase?
Okay, the answer is so obvious it’s almost a rhetorical question.
Of course it’s better to have leads that are driven by intent, and when it comes to all the channels of digital marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising tends to generate the most motivated buyers.
But there are so many PPC advertising platforms out there, it’s hard to discern which are the best. It’s been found that B2B buyers are moving online in droves, and finding the best advertising platforms is important for your success in generating leads.
Content marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are fantastic ways to build awareness, showcase your brand and generate leads, but those campaigns take a lot of time to develop. If it’s your objective to reach number one on Google rankings, it will take months, or even a year to get a piece of content to that pinnacle.
In the meantime, PPC advertising will get you there right away, and it won’t cost you anything unless someone clicks.
That’s right, it’s free advertising!... That is, until someone clicks.
And of course, you want your buyers to click, and since your customers are smart enough to know it’s an advertisement, and still click on it anway, shows intention in their actions.
In fact, a Google economic impact report found that the average ROI for PPC advertising is 200 percent. If the campaign is run correctly the results speak for themselves.
If that weren’t enough of a reason to use it, consider that as valuable as content marketing and SEO are, leads that are derived from PPC advertising are 50 percent more likely to buy than a lead generated organically.
PPC advertising is a form of digital marketing that can be used in a number of different channels. Those include search engines such as Google and Bing, e-commerce stores such as Amazon, or social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
PPC advertisements populate the top part of user’s feeds, and typically are used to generate a lead by encouraging the user to contact you, or to make a purchase.
In a B2C setting asking for a user’s business right away makes more sense, but if you’re a B2B company that sells scrap metal, for example, you’re more than likely going to want a user to contact you before any transactions are started.
This is where it gets a bit technical, and why it’s often best to have an expert digital marketing agency run the campaign. However, it is possible to run campaigns in house, but in order to do that, you must understand how PPC works.
Well, it starts with keywords, as they are the driver of search engines. B2B companies want to identify which keywords their customers are using to search for information related to your products.
Once you choose the right keywords, B2B companies will create an advertisement that is meant to populate when a user conducts a search involving those keywords.
Then, an advanced algorithm that is generated by an Ad Auction, which is an automated bidding system, places your ad in the running to come up.
But here’s the tricky part, as you may have already guessed that if you can target certain keywords, so too can your competitors. Prior to posting your advertisement you can set budgets and caps on spending, which means the Ad Auction won’t go past a predesignated amount.
That means that it’s possible you could get outbid by your competitor, and vica-versa. However, the good news is that if you do get passed over you don’t have to pay for the advertisement. Basically, you live to fight another day and gain a valuable learning experience that doesn't cost you anything.
Your advertisements will still appear, but less frequently, and if that happens, you’ll need to make some adjustments.
As different platforms run their Ad Auction algorithms, adjustments are being made constantly. To simply set a campaign in motion without monitoring it is like sending a fighter into the ring with a blindfold.
Ad Auction algorithms may be complex and difficult to fully understand, but there are a number of tactics you can employ to formulate the best strategy. Some factors weigh more heavily than others, and those should be given the most attention.
Distributors, manufacturers and several other B2B companies know that making a sale requires more than one conversation. Oftentimes B2B companies have products that are technically complex and it’s important for them to be a part of selection and implementation.
These types of B2B companies are often structured with a robust sales team, and their marketing efforts should be geared toward getting your seller’s leads.
Creating an advertisement that encourages users to contact your sellers is a great call-to-action for these B2B company setups.
Negative words aren’t what you’re thinking: “bad,” or “evil.” They're actually a valuable tool that can be used as a preference in your PPC ad campaigns to help companies specify their business.
For example, if you were a distributor who provides robotics and automation equipment for the food and beverage industry, you may want to specify that you are not an industrial supplier of the auto industry.
One thing that’s very important when advertising in the B2B realm is that users are far more educated in their decisions than B2C buyers. That means that B2B buyers probably already know an awful lot about your products, and that means you can use industry lingo.
B2B PPC (see that) campaigns should use acronyms that are industry standard, and if they don’t understand, then they probably weren’t a realistic buyer in the first place.
Prior to launching any advertisements, B2B companies need to decide on their objective. That means creating a call-to-action that’s meant to spread brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, make a sale or generate a lead.
PPC campaigns will ask you this question, along with many others in order to target the audience of your choosing.
From there each advertising platform has its own set of nuances, not to mention the fact that each has different types of users.
There’s upside, and there’s downside to each advertising platform. It would be great if marketing budgets were unlimited and B2B companies could advertise on every platform. But since we’re back here in on earth, it’s a good idea to focus on a few that are right for your business.
Google Ads is the undisputed champion of PPC advertising, and chances are, you’ve certainly seen what ads look like on the search engine platform. Your ads will be placed at the top of Google rankings, putting you in a great position to have users click.
However, Google’s greatest strength is also its weakness. Use of Google far exceeds that of any other search engine, which is great because your pool is bigger, but that also means it’s more crowded with competition. As a result, your ad may not be the only ad listed toward the top of the first page.
Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) is the next most used search engine, but it’s used far less than Google. And, that’s a good thing as much as much as Google’s many users are a bad thing.
Competition is less fierce on Bing, as less companies advertise on the search engine platform. One-third of Americans still use Bing at least once a month, and Windows users may not notice that Bing is set as their default browser.
Not all B2B companies think of social media as influential in their buyers decision, and there is data that says that thinking is incorrect. A LinkedIn study found that 84 percent of CEOs and C-suite executives are influenced in their buying decisions by social media.
And it’s not just LinkedIn either, as there are other social media platforms that have more users, or offer a different kind of reach to your potential customers.
We’ll start with the obvious in that Facebook is the most highly used social media platform on the planet. That’s great for advertisers as there is a giant pool of potential customers, and with Facebook’s unique targeting criteria, it’s easy to focus on a specific type of person.
Facebook Ads Manager can also produce varying types of advertisements, such as banners and posts.
Twitter is another highly used social media platform that reaches a broad audience. Even with its limitations that make tweets small, there are a lot of different options when it comes to placing an ad.
One unique feature is their boosted posts option, where you can take an organic post that your company created and boost it like it’s an advertisement.
LinkedIn is the best social media platform for B2B advertising. By its very nature of bringing professionals together, it’s an ideal setup for B2B companies whose customers are decision makers such as CEOs, C-suite executives, and management.
B2B companies have reported a lot of success on LinkedIn, as 65 percent of B2B companies have acquired customers through LinkedIn.
There’s certainly a lot to think about when starting a PPC campaign, and once it’s going, there is no autopilot. Campaigns need to be well thought out, have an objective, and monitored constantly to roll with the punches.
Most B2B companies will find success with PPC advertising on Google and LinkedIn, but as you can see, there are plenty of other options that shouldn’t be ignored. You want to find your customers where they are, and have them read an ad that you created that helps them with a problem they’re confronting. After that, your sales team will love the leads generated from PPC advertising.
Get the support you need to be a PPC advertising champ. Get in the ring with Main Event Digital.