Getting results through a B2B PPC campaign can be hard!
But don’t worry, I have you covered. Here are 5 ways to improve your B2B PPC campaign.
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How Do B2B PPC Campaigns Differ From B2C?
Let me count the ways.
First up, the length of the sales process.
In the case of B2Bs, it can take much longer to convert a visitor to a sale.
B2Bs aren’t going for the quick sale; they’re going for the relationship and the lifetime value.
They need to establish trust and rapport with their prospects as they push them through the buying cycle, initially putting more focus on their expertise than their actual product.
Another thing: the way campaigns are measured. B2Bs are looking for lifetime value, w
Think about it. Once an e-commerce business reaches a certain scale, they can start to calculate the monetary value of someone simply visiting their website. So gaining 5,000 extra visitors a month will result in x amount of extra revenue.
This visitors are easy to track, which makes it relatively simpler for that e-commerce company to gauge the success of its campaign.
With B2Bs, not so much. Rather than attribute growth to visitors, they need a way to track visitors as they move from prospects to qualified leads (don’t worry, we’ll get to that.
Another difference: the PPC channels used.
While both B2Bs and B2Cs will find success with AdWords, B2Cs have the whole world of social media available to them.
B2Bs, on the other hand, will do better investing only in social channels geared towards businesses and professionals (*cough* LinkedIn).
These differences mean that certain steps need to be taken to ensure your BBC PPC campaigns are as effective as possible.
Choose Keywords to Target All Stages of the Buying Cycle
Keyword choice is essential for any campaign (and anything related to SEO, really).
Naturally, that extends to your PPC campaigns.
While B2Cs can often get away with brand and product-specific keywords, B2Bs need to put more thought into all the variations of keywords your customers may be using.
These will be both industry-specific (SEO or copywriting services) to long-tail keywords used throughout the buying process.
For example, a consumer shopping for internet will probably search for something like “best internet providers near me.”
But a business professional looking for service may look for something more along the lines of “commercial internet providers” or “small business internet packages.”
Your business may offer all of the above, but it’s important that you set up that you set up separate ad campaigns to target the different clientele.
To find these keywords, use the Google Keyword Planner, SEM Rush or Spy Fu.
Don’t Overuse Broad Match for Keywords in Your B2B PPC Campaign
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk broad match keyword settings.
For those unfamiliar, AdWords gives you several options for pulling keywords related to ones you have already selected: broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match, exact phrase match and negative match.
These are intended to be helpful, and often can be, but B2Bs especially need to be careful when it comes to broad match.
With broad match, Google will pull keywords it thinks will be useful, but often won’t be what you had in mind. At all.
For example, if you’re advertising for “commercial internet services,” using broad match your ad could show for those searching “cheap commercial internet services,” or “free commercial internet services.”
If this isn’t what you’re advertising, it will leave you paying per click for unqualified prospects. And those prospects that due click through will feel misled by your ad.
Avoid this by exploring all your match options, and making good use of negative keywords.
Negative keywords are ads or phrases you don’t want your ad to show for. So, if you want to exclude words like “free,” you can do so.
But negative keywords come in all shapes and sizes as well, including negative broad match, negative phrase match etc.
And if you’re not careful, you could end up excluding keywords you actually could be used in relevant search queries.
To make sure you understand and are choosing the best options for you, I suggest reading up on negative keywords here.
Create Specific Ad Groups For B2B PPC
When it comes to making purchasing decisions, B2B buyers are likely to put in a lot more research than B2Cs.
Remember, the sales process is a lengthy one. We’re talking expensive purchases and pricey contracts, so buyers will be doing their homework and collecting all the information they can from you company and your competitors.
Which is why it’s a good idea to separate your ad groups and keywords based on different stages of the sales funnel. Those stages are:
In order to properly plan and execute a strategy like this, you’ll need to have a fully developed buyer persona.
Address their pain points at each stage. What are their problems going into the awareness stage, and what types of keywords would they search for when researching for the interest stage?
What things do they consider before making a purchase, and what unique selling proposition will appeal to them?
The answers to these questions will help shape the keywords and copy associated with each stage.
Then, it’s a matter of building each ad group in your campaign around those stages.
The benefit here is that you’ll gain a better understanding of where each prospect is in the buying cycle based on the ads they interact with and be able to measure the effectiveness and ROI of the various stages for future planning.
As you plan out your various ad groups, you’ll also want to make sure you have tailored landing pages dedicated to each group and buyer stage.
Use Remarketing to Push Prospects Further Down the Sales Funnel
So you have your ads grouped and ready to go, but there’s just one thing: how do you recapture the interest of someone who only interacted with your ad at say, the awareness stage?
Easy. You use remarketing.
Okay, easy may not be the best word. But effective definitely is.
Remarketing is an undeniably effective way of recapturing the interest of a lead you thought was lost.
If your goal is to retarget prospects at various stages of the sales funnel, a sequential remarketing campaign will be your best bet.
These are designed for those that need a little push through the sales funnel, and allow you to create different remarketing ads to target different audiences.
Sequential remarketing works by grouping your audience into different categories or lists depending on the landing pages they’ve visited, time on site, downloads initiated or other actions.
When a visitor takes one of those actions, it will prompt a new set of ads to be shown to that visitor with tailored messaging to push that user further down the funnel.
For example, if someone interacts with a top-of-the-funnel ad or visits a page of your website related to content, not your actual product, that could trigger a remarketing ad with an ebook download or whitepaper to capture the lead and push them to the next stage.
Focus On Landing Pages and Setting Up a Conversion Process For Your B2B PPC
Getting a prospect to click on your ad is only half the process.
The next step is ensuring they land on a page that’s relevant and grabs their attention.
We already discussed that you should create multiple landing pages to correlate with your individual ad groups.
That means there should be a clear alignment between the keywords, ad copy, and landing page copy. No one wants to land on a page that’s unrelated to what they thought they were clicking on, and will only result in a low time on site and high bounce rate.
Google doesn’t like it either, and poor alignment can lead to a low-quality score.
But beyond having a clear connection to the ad that triggered it, your landing job has a few other jobs to do.
Look at it this way: your landing page is often a prospect’s first interaction with your company. In lieu of the business lunch or power meeting, they’re getting to know you through the information you choose to include on your landing page.
It’s not about quick sales, it’s about quality information.
In fact, Marketo reports that 68% of B2B businesses use strategic landing pages to draw in new sales leads.
Which is why you’ll generally find information-rich pieces like ebooks and whitepapers that demonstrate thought leadership.
Which also means that the success of your landing page will be determined by click-throughs and downloads, not actual sales.
That being said, a good landing page will almost always include a form submission for a download or “more information.” (Note: CTAs for B2Bs at this stage shouldn’t be focused on the sale, they should be on gaining more information or learning more.)
The general rule with forms is that less is more.
As in, less form fields, more submissions.
I say…yes and no.
True, more people will submit a form with fewer fields to fill out. But sometimes, it’s not about sheer quantity.
It’s about quality.
If you’re offering a truly great piece of content, those that really want to read/watch/listen to it (ie your most qualified leads) will fill out the form.
Take a look at this one from Salesforce.
There’s a lot of fields there, and it may be a deterrent to some visitors. But those that are really interested in the Salesforce product will likely fill it out because they want what’s on the other side of that form.
To make this work, you need to really sell your visitors on why your product is great enough to take an extra minute of their time.
Highlight the benefits of your product and your unique proposition. Show them what they’re getting through images and videos. Address their pain points and how your product or service will solve it for them.
All they have to do? Fill out the form.
When in doubt, you can always consider making some fields optional.
So, our takeaways for landing pages are:
- Create separate landing pages for each ad group
- Make sure each landing pages aligns with its correlating group and keywords
- Focus on quality leads over quantity
Wrapping up B2B PPC
Planning a B2B PPC campaign requires patience and a good look at the long haul.
Remember, a sale isn’t an overnight process. But by incorporating the tips above, you’ll be on your way to acquiring more qualified leads and conversions in the long run.