There’s a ton of kinds of advertising you can do on the internet, one of which is business to business pay per click (B2B PPC). Generally, people use paid marketing to reach out to customers. They pay for above-the-fold space to improve their sales or increase the number of leads they receive.
On the other hand, there’s business to business marketing, where a business sells directly to other companies. These sales are often larger than B2C sales since companies are more likely to buy an increased amount of your product or service.
As you’ve probably guessed already, the process for advertising to businesses is pretty different than the process for advertising to customers. Here’s what you need to know to make sense of B2B PPC and take advantage of all it has to offer:
1) Shift Your Mindset
When you think about selling to a consumer, all you need to consider is one decision-maker at a time. Often, sales cycles are pretty short and moving someone down the sales funnel is easy with the right marketing.
B2B PPC is a little different. Organizations have multiple stakeholders, all of which are decision-makers. Furthermore, each one of these stakeholders is unique. Once a business member is familiar with you, you need to show them middle- or bottom-of-funnel messaging. Alternatively, you may need to show another individual from the same organization top-of-funnel messaging because they’re unfamiliar with your offering.
In other words, you don’t want a new visitor to see a bottom-of-funnel advertisement, like a click-to-shop button, on their browser. Instead, they want more open-ended content about what your product is and why it’s worthwhile.
Interestingly enough, B2B audiences generally require more information and detail than B2C audiences. If a company is thinking about a long-term relationship with your business, they’ll want a lot of buyer-oriented information that will help inform their purchase. Unfortunately, the last-minute sales and special deals that drive conversions in the B2C world don’t work for most B2B campaigns.
If you want to be successful with B2B PPC, you’ll need to start by thinking about where prospects are in your funnel and how you can cater your content to their positions. Although purchase funnel models differ, they generally start with awareness at the top of the funnel followed by familiarity, consideration, purchase and then loyalty.
2) Use Qualifying Writing
Securing a steady stream of high-quality PPC traffic is challenging, but it’s not impossible. One of the best ways to make sure the business traffic you’re receiving is quality is to use pre-qualifying advertising copy.
More specifically, you want to highlight the business sizes and industries you’re interested in working with. If you work with small businesses, let it be known in your ad copy. If you work with larger corporations, state that clearly by using words like “enterprises,” “corporations” or “firms.”
Lastly, you can choose to include pricing in your advertising copy. This tactic is loved by some and questioned by others, so you’ll probably want to take it for a test drive and see what you think. By letting a business know what your product costs upfront, you’ll probably secure more leads that are actually willing to pay your fees.
That being said, including your price isn’t always helpful, as it can make people at the beginning of the sales funnel feel like they’re being pressured. So, try it out, and see how it works for you.
3) Segment and Rethink Keywords
When companies run a B2C campaign, they generally create different ad groups for the various products or services they offer. When it comes to B2B, you’ll want to segment a bit differently.
Create ad groups that represent the B2B sales funnel. This way you can make sure the copy that individuals see is directly applicable to their stage on the buyer’s journey.
In addition to segmenting, you’ll need to find the right keywords for your campaign. If you’ve run PPC advertisements before, chances are you’ve spent more time than you would have liked identifying the best keywords.
Well, here’s the bad news: you’re going to have to do that all over again. The good news is that some of the keywords that worked for your B2C campaigns may work in your B2B campaigns, too.
Look at your segments and identify relevant keywords for each one. Again, if you’re looking at your bottom-of-the-funnel segment, you’ll want to include keywords that are designed to convert. If you’re looking at your top-of-the-funnel segment, you’ll want to include keywords that are more informative and general.
After your keywords are decided and your campaign is running, run a Search Terms Report. This will help you determine if you’re receiving irrelevant clicks. With this in mind, you can create a list of negative keywords that’ll help improve the quality of your traffic.
4) Analyze and Adapt
Whether you’re running a B2C or B2B campaign, analyzing your results is essential. After your campaign has been running for a few days, look to see which ad groups, keywords and pieces of content result in the highest interactions or conversions. Remove what’s not working, and duplicate the items that are bringing in results.
As you review your report, you’ll want to keep one thing in mind—the sales cycle for B2B is often much longer than B2C. Depending on your industry and product, your sales cycle could be around six months, so you’ll need to have some patience until you can really see what’s working.
Another tip is to keep an eye on when you’re generating opportunities. Since you’re catering to a business, you might see more traffic during business hours. As such, you can save money by turning off your advertisements after hours or over the weekend so you can increase your budget during the times that matter most.
Go Get ‘Em
B2B PPC can be confusing, but if you master the area, it’ll provide you with a significant ROI and new opportunities. The four strategies listed above will help you create B2B campaigns that draw in qualified leads so you can boost your bottom line.