B2B PPC, or Business-to-Business Pay-Per-Click, might not be the go-to strategy for most B2B businesses, but let’s face it: it has the potential to revolutionize your B2B advertising game.
If you’re among those who doubt the effectiveness of B2B PPC advertising, here’s a fact that might change your perspective. Google reports that 71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search.
Needless to say, leads generated through PPC advertising already have a much stronger interest in your products or services. Isn’t it logical that guiding such leads through your sales funnel will be significantly easier?
Unlike B2C (Business-to-Consumer), B2B PPC can be more challenging. Here, your target is not individual consumers with personal preferences; you’re tackling specific industry needs and approaching entire companies, departments, and, ultimately, decision-makers.
That’s why crafting a well-thought-out B2B PPC strategy isn’t just important; it’s essential. In this blog post, we’ll discover the world of B2B PPC with straightforward and simple explanations, tips, and strategies.
How does B2B PPC work?
Running a B2B PPC campaign means that you aim to attract other businesses or professionals as customers or clients through paid advertising.
B2B PPC allows you to precisely target a desired audience based on specific criteria like industry, job titles, company size, and more.
Here’s how it works in a nutshell: You create ad campaigns that are tailor-made for your ideal B2B audience, and you pick the keywords or criteria that will make your ads show up. When a potential business prospect searches for something related to what you offer or matches your target criteria, your ad appears.
Step-by-step guide on creating a B2B PPC campaign
To help you in navigating the complexity of a PPC strategy for your B2B business, we’ve crafted this guide. It covers the essential steps necessary for structuring a highly successful campaign.
Set clear campaign goals
The goals you want to achieve should be the foundation upon which you build the entire strategy. These goals serve as the guiding stars that will direct your efforts throughout the campaign.
That’s why it’s important to sit down with your team and carefully consider your primary objectives.
Is there a new product launch on the horizon that demands increased brand awareness? Are you looking to expand your market reach and attract potential customers from new territories? Or perhaps you’re focused on boosting sales for your existing products within your current market?
The common goals of a B2B paid campaign
- Lead generation
- Increasing brand awareness
- Promoting new products or services
- Driving website traffic
- Increase sales
Don’t forget to be as specific as possible. Setting up SMART marketing goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) will give you a clearer picture of your expectations. Once you clearly define this, you’ll find it much smoother to navigate through the next steps for creating your PPC marketing strategy.
Select the right B2B PPC platforms
Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, etc., each platform offers unique features that can benefit your B2B campaign. These platforms have different audiences and ad formats.
Your job is to pick the one that fits your business goals best. Are you targeting professionals seeking business solutions? LinkedIn might be your go-to. Looking to capture potential customers actively searching for specific services? Google Ads is a powerhouse.
By understanding what each platform does best and matching it with your goals, you’ll ensure your message gets to the right people at the right time.
In this step, we’ll explore these major B2B PPC platforms to help you make an informed choice that supercharges your campaign’s effectiveness.
The best platforms for B2B ads
- Google Ads. Google Ads is the go-to platform for reaching potential customers actively searching for services or products. It offers a wide reach and a variety of ad formats, from text-based search ads to native ads, making it suitable for various B2B campaigns.
- LinkedIn Ads. LinkedIn Ads is the ideal platform when targeting professionals and businesses seeking specific business solutions. It allows precise targeting based on job titles, industries, and company sizes, making it perfect for B2B lead generation.
- Meta Ads (formerly Facebook Ads). While often associated with B2C, Facebook Ads can also be valuable for B2B campaigns. Its extensive user base and detailed audience targeting options enable you to reach decision-makers and influencers in a less formal setting.
- Twitter Ads. Twitter Ads (or are they already X ads?) can be effective for B2B campaigns seeking to create brand awareness and engage with an audience interested in industry trends. With features like promoted tweets, trend takeover, and tailored audiences, you can reach professionals actively discussing relevant topics.
- Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads). Microsoft Advertising, while smaller than Google Ads, can be an excellent choice for B2B businesses targeting enterprise customers. It’s especially valuable if your audience prefers using Microsoft products and services.
Select the most effective ad types
Now that you’ve selected the most suitable networks for your PPC campaign, the next step is to define your ad formats. Each ad format has its strengths, and your goal is to leverage those strengths to maximize your campaign’s impact.
If your goal is to boost brand awareness or promote new products or services, you might want to grab attention with visually striking images and graphics. Want to capture potential customers actively searching for solutions? Text-based search ads can be your best friend.
Let’s break this down further so you can better align them with your campaign objectives.
The most effective ad types for B2B PPC
- Search Ads:
Use when: You want to appear at the top of search results when potential customers are actively searching for your products or services.
- Display Ads:
Use when: You aim to visually capture attention with eye-catching images and graphics. Ideal for brand awareness and visual storytelling.
- Video Ads:
Use when: You want to engage your audience through compelling videos. It can be used for demonstrating products, sharing testimonials, or storytelling.
- LinkedIn Ads:
Use when: You want to narrow down your targeting based on their job title, job experience, education, demographics, interests and traits, company, industry, and more. LinkedIn ads are displayed on LinkedIn users’ feeds and offer a unique opportunity to reach a professional audience.
- App Install Ads:
Use when: You’re looking to promote your mobile app and drive installations among your target audience.
- Social Media Ads:
Use when: You want to reach a wide range of users active on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. Social media ads can be effective for various B2B campaign objectives, including brand awareness, lead generation, website traffic, and sales.
Choose the Right Keywords
Keyword research is the compass that guides your B2B PPC campaign through the vast digital landscape. It’s about understanding the words and phrases your target audience uses when seeking solutions.
Thorough keyword research empowers you to pinpoint these valuable search queries, ensuring your ads appear precisely when potential customers are looking for your products or services.
Take the time to dive into the world of keywords, and you’ll uncover the language of your audience. This will enable you not just to choose the right keywords but also be able to craft your copy later in a way that speaks directly to your audience’s needs and desires.
Tips for effective keywords research
Start with brainstorming. List potential keywords and phrases relevant to your business.
Once you have an idea of the applicable keywords, use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to discover related keywords, search volumes, estimated CPC (Cost per Click), and competition levels.
Analyze what keywords your competitors are targeting to identify opportunities and gaps. Lastly, Focus on user intent. Consider the intent behind keywords (informational, navigational, or transactional) to align them with your campaign objectives.
Long-Tail vs. Short-Tail keywords
Don’t limit your keyword selection to the common short-tail keywords. These are shorter, broader keywords (e.g., “PPC marketing”). They typically have higher search volumes but may be more expensive and require more effort to narrow down user intent.
Instead, explore possible variants of long-tail keywords. These are longer, more specific keyword phrases (e.g., “best B2B PPC strategies for lead generation”). They often have lower search volumes but tend to convert well because they match closely with user intent.
Negative keywords to filter traffic
Negative keywords are just as vital as positive ones. They help filter out irrelevant traffic and save your ad budget.
For example, if you offer PPC advertising services for B2B, you might use “free” as a negative keyword to prevent your ads from users looking for free PPC services.
Regularly review and update your list of negative keywords to improve campaign efficiency.
Identify your target audience
Segmenting your B2B audience for PPC ads is one of the more challenging parts. Here, you need a more in-depth analysis and planning.
What are the features your product/service has? What problems is it solving? Who’s the end user? Who’s the decision maker that has the purchasing power? Do you want to address your selling points to the end user or to the decision-maker?
These are crucial factors that can shape the tone and approach of your PPC ads. Don’t be afraid to test and learn new things.
For example, most often, B2B advertisers want to reach directly to the decision-makers. But can the end-user have a high influence over the decision-maker’s choices?
Techniques for selecting your target audience
Start with your buyer personas. Having your buyer personas in mind helps you always stay focused on their needs and pain points and offer USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) that offer solutions to their problems.
Break down your audience based on business criteria. This is an essential targeting step for ad campaigns in the B2B world. Take into consideration the following verticals:
- Target industries
- Type of company
- Company size
- Job title
These verticals will be especially useful for your LinkedIn ads as they offer filtering options based on these criteria.
Use demographic targeting to narrow down your audience. This allows you to target your ads to people based on their age, gender, location, income, and other factors. This can be a useful way to narrow down your audience and focus on the people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Create your ad copy and creatives
Your ad copy and creatives are the voice and face of your B2B PPC campaign. Crafting compelling ad content and visuals is like painting a masterpiece that captures your audience’s attention and sparks action.
You can brainstorm tons of copy and creative ideas. Remember, though – they need to “speak” in your audience’s language.
Whether it’s crafting engaging headlines, writing persuasive ad text, or designing visually striking images and videos, they need to communicate a message that resonates well with your target audience.
Tips and insights for crafting ad copy and ad creatives
- Tailor your messaging to resonate with your target audience’s needs, desires, and pain points.
- Highlight the benefits your product or service provides, not just the features it comes with
- Make your headline attention-grabbing. Use power words and numbers when possible to pique interest.
- Incorporate testimonials, case studies, or industry awards to leverage social proof
- Use clear, concise, and relatable language. Avoid complicated jargon and use straightforward language to convey your message.
- Incorporate strong Calls to Action (CTAs) to encourage users to take the desired action, whether it’s downloading a whitepaper, signing up for a webinar, or requesting a demo.
- Use visual storytelling to convey your message in your display or video ads.
- Ensure your ad creatives are mobile-friendly, and test how your ads appear on various screen sizes.
- Take advantage of ad extensions provided by PPC platforms. These extensions can enhance your ad with additional information, such as site links, callouts, and structured snippets.
- Make sure your ad creatives meet the ad compliance criteria provided by the advertising platforms.
Budgeting and bidding strategies
Your B2B PPC campaign’s financial foundation lies in strategic budgeting and bidding. This step is about allocating your budget effectively, determining how much you’re willing to pay for clicks, and maximizing the return on your advertising investment (ROI).
Here are the main factors you need to take into consideration when setting up your budget allocation and bidding strategies:
- Bidding on specific keywords
- Setting daily or monthly spending limits
- Adjusting bids based on factors like device type, location, and audience
Attentiveness to your budgeting and bidding strategy is important. It provides you with financial control and adaptability, enabling you to fine-tune your B2B PPC campaign for maximum efficiency and ROI.
Optimize your landing page/s
In B2B PPC campaigns, success doesn’t solely depend on captivating ads and strategic bidding. The final destination, where the magic happens, is your landing page (LP).
You’ve already succeeded in crafting compelling ad campaigns that pique your audience’s interest, and they were motivated to click and learn more about your product or service.
Your next critical step is to create high-converting landing pages. These pages should inspire users to take the next action – whether it’s downloading your e-book, scheduling a demo, or making a purchase.
Key factors to consider for a good landing page experience:
- Highly relevant to the keywords or ad copy that visitors clicked on to get there.
- Clear and easy to understand. Visitors should be able to quickly identify what the page is about and what you want them to do.
- Use strong and action-oriented CTAs that guide users on what to do next.
- Keep the page clean and free from distractions that could divert users from the main CTA.
- Optimize page loading speed to prevent user frustration and high bounce rates.
Check this article to learn more about how to create a high-converting landing page.
Effective strategies for ongoing PPC success
Achieving success in your B2B PPC campaign is a significant milestone, but the journey doesn’t end there.
Here’s how to keep them thriving over the long term:
Continuous monitoring and analysis
Regularly monitor the performance of your PPC campaigns. Dive into your data or Google Analytics to understand what’s working and what needs improvement.
Analyze metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI). These will help you Identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for optimization.
A/B testing and experimentation
As with everything else in marketing and in PPC for B2B as well, everything is test and learn. Don’t be afraid of experimentation.
Conduct A/B tests on various elements of your campaigns, including ad copy, creatives, landing pages, and targeting options. Test different ad formats and bidding strategies to discover what resonates best with your audience.
Implement changes based on data-driven insights. In the end, you might be surprised that the last possible option you might have is driving the best results.
Avoid bad actors
As attractive as it is for advertisers, the PPC arena is even more attractive for the fraudsters out there. They conduct various forms of ad fraud, trying to take away a significant part of your ad budget.
The problem with these fraudsters is that they don’t interact with your ad with any purchase intent. Most often, they’re automated bots or can be people hired in click farms that click on your ads without any interest in your product or service. This means you’re losing ad budget on fake clicks instead of on real people who could convert into customers.
The consequences of ad fraud are significant, with predictions indicating a global cost to businesses of 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2023.
That’s where the role of cybersecurity solutions steps in. ClickCease is particularly focused on protecting advertisers and their budgets from ad fraud and malicious actors.
The Total Protection Suite will identify and block ad fraud across multiple platforms in real time, helping you maximize the potential of your ads and direct your ad budget toward genuine users only.
Stay informed about industry trends
Big platforms like Google Ads often change their policies or how they work. When they do, it can affect how your ads perform and what you need to do to make them work better.
Also, the way people search online changes all the time. If more people use mobile phones or ask questions to voice assistants, you might need to change your ads to fit that.
So, always keep an eye on what’s new and adjust your B2B PPC campaigns to keep them working well.
Is PPC good for B2B?
Yes, PPC serves as a great channel for generating leads for your B2B business, driving more website traffic, or boosting the awareness of your brand, products, or services. Recent stats show that using PPC search ads can boost brand awareness by 80% in B2B marketing.
PPC ads are shown to people who are already interested in what you have to offer because they are searching for keywords related to your products or services. Consequently, the traffic that you’ll drive on your website, or the leads that you’ll generate through paid advertising, will have high converting potential.
What are the main KPIs for B2B PPC?
The main KPIs for a B2B paid campaign primarily depend on your business and campaign goal. However, the most important ones that are applicable to any type of B2B PPC campaign are:
- Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of people who see your ad and click on it.
- Cost per click (CPC): The average amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
- Return on Investment (ROI): The amount of money you make from your PPC campaigns minus the amount you spend.
- Conversion rate: The percentage of people who click on your ad and then take a desired action, such as signing up for a demo or downloading a white paper.
- Cost per lead (CPL): The total amount you spend on PPC divided by the number of leads generated.