As an ad agency that typically focuses on driving sales for direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands, we occasionally receive requests from B2B companies looking to generate revenue through lead acquisition.
Reaching a B2B audience can be tricky though, as your audience size will be smaller since you aren’t marketing to the mass population and your CPCs and CPMs will be more expensive due to the competitive landscape.
There is also the challenge of attracting true B2B inquiries while staying away from unqualified clicks that come from a B2C related audience.
So how do you effectively run B2B paid media ads? Find out below.
6 Tips for Generating More B2B PPC Leads
1. Target the Right Audience
A common issue when running B2B campaigns comes from audience and keyword crossover. This happens when your ads can potentially show for both B2C and B2B consumers.
Avoid B2C consumers by using Google’s in-market and affinity audiences to target people who have shown a history of B2B buying behavior that is based on their interests, habits, and what they’re actively researching.
Use Google Ads audience targeting to only show your ads to Business Professionals and users who have shown purchase intent for Enterprise Software. A cybersecurity software client we have initially observed audience data based on a number of different affinity and in-market datasets. They found that their highest quality leads who were most likely to purchase were consumers who fell in the Business Professionals and Enterprise Software segments.
2. Personalization by Segmentation
We are big on hyper-segmentation that allows us to granularly understand specific audience attributes that drive quality leads and sales. Since job titles are a big area of focus for B2B audiences, we segment our campaigns and ad groups so our ads specifically talk to each job title, instead of having ads that broadly speak towards an entire group of people. By doing this, our ads call attention to a particular type of person and also gives us the data to know which specific job titles perform better than others.
In Linkedin Ads, breakup campaigns by job title, and have each ad specifically mention the job title they are targeting to help capture attention. For one client, we A/B tested ad copy that specifically mentioned job titles versus broader ad copy that could apply to multiple job roles. We found mentioning the job title of the consumer we were targeting increased overall click-through rate and engagement.
3. Create a B2B Funnel
The customer journey for a B2B purchase tends to be longer than a B2C purchase. B2B buyers will spend time becoming aware of a problem they have, researching if there is a solution to that problem, then researching companies that provide this solution. Since their mindset changes multiple times during their buying journey, marketers should approach each phase differently. By mapping out your B2B funnel with different offers for each phase, this will provide users an experience that guides them towards an easy purchase decision to buy from you.
At the top of the funnel when users are learning about their problem, show them ads that are more educational. As they move towards the bottom of the funnel and are now aware they need a solution, retarget these users with ads that introduce them to your solution, such as a free demo or trial offer, or a case study that showcases how you’ve helped a business in the past. A client we work with buckets offers by funnel stage and will send us content based on which stage they are at in their buying journey. This client has found that conversion rates drastically increase as the buyer moves further down the funnel, something they completely missed out on previously.
4. Lead Magnets & Email Marketing
Lead magnet campaigns offer gated content in exchange for contact information. Great lead magnet examples are free eBooks, infographics, and how-to articles. After you capture someone’s contact info, use email marketing to reach them directly in their inbox. Email marketing converts at a higher rate because of this and is a must for B2B companies to be successful.
Offer a free eBook or infographic that either helps educate or provides an actionable solution to a problem that relates to your service. Add leads you acquire to your email campaigns to continue to stay top of mind as they move towards making a buying decision. We have a software client that offers a free informational whitepaper just so they can capture email addresses. They then use email marketing to nurture and convert these leads into sales-ready opportunities when the buyer is ready to search for a solution.
5. Clear Ad Copy
Discourage people who aren’t in the market for a business service to not click on your ad by using ad copy that clearly defines who your target audience is. Although this may hurt your click-through rate, you will notice that your conversion rates and lead quality will be higher and fit your business model better.
Use language in your ad copy that specifically applies to businesses, such as: organization, employees, and commercial. Including your pricing could also discourage people who aren’t in the market for your service as well. One of our clients purposely lists their enterprise software pricing in the ad copy to deter individuals who aren’t in the market for their solution. The tradeoff of a lower click-through rate for a higher conversion rate and lead quality is more than worth it to them.
6. Closed-Won Deals > Leads
Driving a ton of leads from paid ads are great, but if none of them turn into customers, then it doesn’t matter. What’s more important is how many leads are becoming actual customers. Would you rather have a campaign that generates a lot of leads that don’t turn into customers or a campaign that generates fewer leads that turn into more customers? Take your optimization efforts a step further by optimizing based on customer data instead of lead data.
Receive an automated report from your CRM that reports on closed deals attributed to your paid media campaigns. One of our clients created an automated Salesforce report that emails our team monthly about inbound marketing leads that have closed based on our efforts. We then tie each closed-won deal to one of our campaigns to see how much booked revenue was actually generated by each campaign.