Many B2B marketers are facing a battle when it comes to figuring out how they should be investing in paid social and paid search strategies. This is why we would like to cover some some best practices for implementing channel activities effectively.
Being Effective & Efficient
Most B2B marketers want their campaigns to be effective and efficient, but too often they do not reach the right audience and waste money on tools that might not be able to help them realize their goals. Thus, the question is, how can your B2B marketing team stand out in today’s digital world?
Let’s first look at why we’re seeing an increased focus on paid social and paid search strategies, then we’ll take a closer look at how you can make these methods work for your organization.
Switch to Paid Ads leads to Overcrowding in Marketing Landscape
We saw this trend two years ago when we cited an infographic on paid ads in B2B marketing. The reports found that 91% of marketers in B2B thought that paid ads was where they should focus their efforts to generate sales leads. And since that time, more and more companies have put a big focus on building their online presence.
Thus, the B2B marketing landscape is becoming more and more crowded. Manufacturers, Saas companies and other companies across the B2B sector are investing millions of Euros into paid social media marketing and paid search marketing. That also comes with a mind-boggling amount of paid options: Google, YouTube, LinkedIn etc.
How to use Paid Social & Paid Search to drive results in B2B Marketing
Colin Westwick, director of marketing at Context Global, says that when it comes to marketing channels, “it’s a case of value vs. bang for buck. What is the most important thing when it comes to paid social and paid search? The answer is: ‘How you use it’. It’s important to really understand how to connect your brand with a buyer’s aspiration and then apply the right tool to achieve this.
Build awareness with Display Advertising
Before someone can start to consider your services, they need to be aware of you. This is the first step in any business decision making process, finding the supplier in the first place. Utilizing a combination of Google’s Display Network and ad placements on industry publications you can start to build awareness of your company and its services. Here the goal is to increase the number of ‘impressions’ or the amount of times you advert is displayed on someone’s screen.
It’s important to remember that this type of digital advertising campaign is not aimed at driving leads, a mistake many marketers make. Yet, it’s often hard to justify awareness campaigns to other business stakeholders if they can’t see direct results in terms of leads generated (at least not in the short-term).
The aim of this campaign is to get your company's name in front of as many eyeballs as possible, and the right ones at that. There are a couple of ways to target your display ads, you can base it on keywords or audiences or a combination of both. We would usually recommend a combination of the two so that your targeting is not too broad or too narrow.
Getting your Audience right is key
There’s a whole art to audience building using custom lists, affinity audience, lookalike audiences etc that we won’t cover here but Google have some good information on the different types of audiences you can reach in their support articles too.
This kind of advertising is usually a cheaper option as you don’t have to pay for each click, but it’s harder to track the results of this advertising method. In Google Analytics, you can start to monitor which campaigns have the highest number of impressions and which ones might need more focus. We will dive into this topic when it comes to LinkedIn in a separate Newsletter.
Generate effective leads with PPC Ads
The goal of PPC advertising is to generate sales leads, it’s not just about brand awareness. When using paid search, you are creating a link between a customer and your brand. Because it’s more effective to create more leads through PPC, this method can be the best alternative for companies without a lot of money to spend on advertising. You only pay for those customers that actually want to buy your product or service. Use PPC and your business could see a significant increase in leads or sales coming directly through your website.
Building a Funnel with Paid Social
Paid social is the other important channel for B2B companies, especially when it comes to acquiring potential clients. If you’re looking for new business, social platforms are the best suited place to start and reach out to people who might be interested in your products or services.
So what social media platforms should you use? It depends on your strategy. We’ve seen that LinkedIn is most relevant for people looking for business-to-business services. So for B2B marketers we recommend to concentrate your efforts here.
Use B2B Social Media Platforms such as LinkedIN
LinkedIn can be an effective channel for B2B companies. Because they are able to target their customers and deliver targeted content, they can attract even more potential customers and make the right connections. It’s often the right channel to find professionals in your industry who want to buy your products or services.
A strong social media presence is important for businesses these days. Not only is it a great way to connect with your customers, but it’s also an opportunity to reach out to new audiences, build your brand and communicate directly with your audience.
Case Study: How BenQ utilized LinkedIN
For example, BenQ decided to target this audience and deliver a focused campaign on LinkedIn by creating ‘value’ content such as infographics. For instance, one of their posts had a reach of 114,000 people and generated 274 click-throughs. That’s a pretty impressive ROI for a B2B company.
BenQ saw that LinkedIn was the right channel for them for two reasons. 1) Firstly, their target audience was on the platform where they could find them and deliver specific content. And 2) it was effective because LinkedIn is specifically designed for connecting business professionals with each other.
Focusing on the objectives of your brand, you can be more confident about where and how to spend your advertising budget. This can help you get the most out of your campaigns and make sure that you’re getting a good return on investment.
Paid advertising has the potential to be your best working strategy for B2B marketing. It’s a great way to connect with potential customers and attract them to your business.