What is PPC for B2B?
If you are looking to generate leads, then pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way to do it. It’s not just about generating traffic and leads; it’s also about converting those leads into sales. This article will discuss how to use PPC to generate leads for your business.
PPC for B2B differs from PPC for B2C in that the goal of each campaign is different. For example, if you sell products online, you want to get as many people on your site as possible so they can buy what you have to offer. However, if you are selling services, you need to find potential clients who may be interested in what you offer before getting them on your website.
Unlike PPC for B2C, which focuses on driving traffic to your website, PPC for B2B is about generating qualified leads. You don’t necessarily need to drive traffic to your website or landing page. Instead, you should focus on increasing conversions by using conversion tracking software like Google Analytics to track the number of visitors who convert into leads.
What Is Pay Per Click Advertising?
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be defined as an online marketing strategy that allows advertisers to bid on keywords to appear when users search for specific terms on search engines like Google or Bing. When someone clicks on the ad, they are taken directly to the advertiser’s website, where they can make a purchase. Businesses are charged for each click that leads to their website or landing page.
How does PPC work?
The first step in PPC strategy is choosing keywords. Without good keyword targeting, you won’t achieve high rankings and low costs per click. The second step is creating ads that match the target audience you’re trying to reach. These ads must include relevant pricing, contact details, location, etc.
PPC for B2C vs B2B
There are several reasons businesses choose to use PPC for lead generation instead of other forms of digital marketing. PPC offers a more targeted approach than SEO. With PPC, you only pay for clicks that result in a sale. On the other hand, with SEO, you could spend money on paid links that send traffic to your website but never actually result in a sale.
PPC is less expensive than most other forms of digital marketing, including social media marketing. PPC is highly measurable. Unlike SEO, there are clear metrics you can measure to determine whether your campaigns are working. Fourth, PPC is flexible. You can easily change bids based on changing market conditions. Finally, PPC has immediately trackable results.
Laser Targeted Keywords (Intent is king)
Keyword selection is the foundation of a great PPC campaign. It’s essential to understand the intent behind every keyword you target. In other words, do you want to attract new customers, increase sales, or generate leads? Once you know this, it will help you decide which keywords to target.
For example, let’s say you run a plumbing company. Your main objective is to attract new customers. You would probably target keywords like “plumbing services” or “plumber near me.” If you were looking to increase sales, you might target keywords like “buy plumbers supplies” or “how to buy plumbing supplies.” And if you want to generate leads, you might target keywords related to your business model, like “plumbing companies near me” or “best plumbing contractors.”
Include Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords tend to be longer and more specific. For example, selling plumbing supplies might target long tail keywords like “plumbing tools for round bathrooms” or “water pressure regulator for beginners.” The value of long tail keywords is that you are likely to find low competition compared to the main keywords.
Use Negative Keywords: Just enough negative keywords
Negative keywords are words that you wouldn’t want to bid on. They should be included in all of your ad groups. However, you don’t need to add them to all of your keywords. Instead, just add them to the ones that aren’t performing well. For example, if you sell plumbing supplies, you may not want to bid on words like “bathroom remodel” or “home improvement.”
You must vigilantly monitor the campaign. Some keywords will help expand your list of keywords based on data gathered as the campaign runs. Do not overuse negative keywords.
Create Ad Groups
Ad groups allow you to group multiple keywords into one ad. This allows you to create ads that have different targeting options. For example, you could create an ad group called “Plumbing Supplies” that targets long-tail and short-tail keywords. Then, you could create another ad group called “Home Improvement” that targets only long-tail keywords.
You can also create an ad group with keywords that match your landing page URL. For example, if your landing page URL was /services/plumbing/, you could create an Adgroup called “Services” that targets only those keywords.
You can use up to 20 ad groups per campaign.
Optimise Landing Pages
Landing pages are where users click after clicking from search engine results pages (SERPs). A good landing page has relevant content that answers questions about your products or services. It should include calls to action so visitors can take actions like signing up for email newsletters or downloading whitepapers.
To optimise landing pages, make sure they are mobile-friendly. Add images and videos to improve their conversion rates. Use call-to-actions that encourage people to take desired actions. Include CTAs such as “Learn More” or “Get Started Now.”
Test Different Placements
Your ads appear at SERPs’ top, bottom, left, right, or centre. Each placement has its benefits and drawbacks. Test each placement to see which performs best for your business.
For example, if you’re running an eCommerce site, you might test placing ads at the top of the SERP. That way, when someone clicks on your ad, they’ll immediately reach your website. But, it’s important to note that this placement isn’t always effective. Some websites rank high because they offer great customer service. So, if you place your ads at the top of SERPs, you risk losing traffic to competitors who provide better customer service.
Another option is to place your ads at the bottom of SERPs. This helps ensure that potential customers find your ads while browsing other sites. However, it’s possible that a user won’t even notice your ad. If that happens, they’ll never get to your website.
Another option is to place your ad in the middle of SERPs. This ensures that users see your ad no matter their position.
If you’re selling a product, you can also place your ads at the side of SERPs. This lets users scroll down to read more information about your product.
When testing placements, remember that Google doesn’t show every keyword in every ad group. So, you may not see any results when you run tests.
Sniper Focused ad copy
Copywriting is one of the most underrated PPC strategies. You can get the rest right, but you must persuade users once they land on your page. I would discourage using the same copy across several pages. Not only does it take away the opportunity to highlight unique features and services, it also robs your business of the chance to run A/B tests. Running tests enables your business to measure copy performance and double down on things that work.
The best PPC strategies for B2B Lead Generation
Beyond choosing the right keywords and running ads on the pages, PPC strategies ensure maximum ROI. You can do little things to make massive differences to a campaign. It also means choosing the right platforms to run certain types of adverts in your campaign. The platforms we will discuss as part of a sound PPC strategy are ideal for certain ads and audiences and will not produce great results for others.
The Query focused Approach: Quora, Reddit, Google Ads
Focusing on users’ queries throughout their buyer’s journey is smart. For instance, if you sell software, you could target queries like “What is the best CRM?” or “How do I set up my CRM?”. These queries give you an idea of what products and services your audience needs.
You can also use these queries to create content. Create articles that answer questions like these. Then, link them to your landing page so people can easily buy from you.
You can also target popular forums such as Quora and Reddit. These forums have millions of active members who are actively searching for answers. They often ask questions related to specific industries. Targeting these forums gives you access to a huge pool of potential leads.
In most cases, forums focus on the sense of community. Adding value to your query responses is important even when driving paid traffic to the pages. Valuable content drives engagement and results in great business outcomes.
Use Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are one of the best ways to exchange value for custom. Most B2B customers do not have time to browse hundreds of websites before making a purchase decision. Lead magnets are perfect for getting them to visit your site.
A lead magnet is a freebie that entices visitors to provide their contact details. In most cases, you would add them to an emailing list. The power of such emailing lists is how targeted the marketing efforts can be. Examples include white papers, eBooks, webinars, case studies, etc.
There are two main reasons why lead magnets are effective. First, they offer something valuable to prospects. Second, they help you build trust with new contacts. Starting a B2B customer’s journey with an eBook, webinar or case study removes some of the potential objections that they may have. For starters, your expertise is no longer in question. The lead magnet establishes expertise.
Using LinkedIn Ads
Most marketers will tell you that Linkedin ads are not what they used to be. Changes in legislation, especially within the EU, have meant that targeting had to be changed to comply. However, there are still not many better places to target B2B customers. Linkedin has full profiles and, for the most part, makes it easy to communicate with leads.
It is important to be proactive when running Linkedin ads. The platform is packed with spammy-style marketing, such as unsolicited messages. To stand out, you would want to deliver something of tremendous value. A well research, data-driven, industry-specific piece of content can be the silver bullet in your PPC strategy.
Create content that does not pitch a sale immediately. You want to offer insight first to get your audience into the sales funnel before you make your proposition. When done right, case studies, webinars, and whitepapers can be a passive way of making a sales proposition. If you know what works and have used these vehicles to make it clear that you know what you are doing, customers will often reach out to make the purchase. This is true for solution focused content as well.
By showing how to solve a problem, you will often engage users who do not necessarily want to or may not have the time to implement it. How does that sound for a warm lead?
Yes, social media. I know it is not the most B2B place to run your PPC campaigns. Well, is it not? I would argue that this is one of the most unutilised opportunities. While everyone focuses on other platforms, social media platforms house enormous user data. They allow you to run a laser focused campaign. Data points such as age, number of kids, and level of education are not always at hand on traditional B2B platforms. The trick is to develop several personas that you can match to the data available on social media. Run these campaigns and decide what works for your business.
We have previously covered how showcasing your expertise makes the sales process easier. Webinars are one of the most popular ways to do so. They allow you to gather an audience interested in a topic or solution related to a product or service you offer. I would recommend not tying the solutions to your products completely. You can show your guests how to use various methods to solve this pain point. Once done, you can highlight what makes your product or service better.
Run a PPC campaign for a pain point or solution focused webinar. Exclusive discount codes can incentivise webinar audiences.
You probably don’t need telling that budget management is one of the most important parts of running a PPC campaign. You must keep a tab on how much you are spending on traffic to pages and the outcomes attached to this spending. This gives you a clear idea of your ROI (return on investment) and cost per lead. Knowing these two metrics informs how you should allocate your resources. The cost per lead needs to be kept under control. Campaigns that are performing well are amplified to reap an even greater reward.
It is relative to the industry. A high cost per lead in one sector may be the norm in another.
If you spend more than the industry average, you might consider reallocating some of your budget to another channel. Before reallocation, it is always worth making tweaks to the landing page, copy and other parts of the campaign.
There are many channels where you can spend money without getting leads. For example, you could invest in email marketing if you have a high volume of website visitors but few conversions.
Stop Using One-size fits all landing pages
To borrow from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Not all landing pages that are made equal are equal. They should instead be tailored to each campaign. Reusing a landing page that was successful in a previous campaign is easy. Since it worked then, it will work this time around, right? Wrong! Every offer and campaign has nuances. Understanding and taking advantage of said nuances will improve a landing page’s conversion rate.
There are various ways to go about this. One of the easiest ways is to leverage the budget and research of bigger businesses in your industry. If you are building a landing page from scratch, you can look at some elements that you can borrow from high conversion sites within your niche. Amazon is a great example if you are in the eCommerce space. What elements are they using on their pages that you can introduce to yours?
Landing page builders often have templates that you edit to achieve a quick turnaround. Find one that is close to what you have in mind. Even with all the data, running A/B tests to different layouts and variations of your landing pages is essential. A tiny change such as button colour or CTA (call to action) placement may make a difference.
Always be tweaking
A great landing page is never final. Continuous testing delivers new insight that influences change. Never stop improving your landing pages. Never stop trying new things on them. It is okay for the new things to be unsuccessful. That is the nature of marketing. If it doesn’t succeed, try something else. Imagine if you were to continually achieve an additional 1% increase in conversion by changing what you already have in place. Why would you not take advantage of that?
Remarketing or retargeting is built on the understanding that customers’ journeys are never straightforward. They may not be ready to purchase the first few encounters, but if you keep yourself in mind and are easily accessible, you will be where they turn when the time is right. Remarketing is a powerful tool that allows you to reach out to past customers who haven’t converted yet. You can use remarketing to target specific audiences based on demographics, location, device type, and interest.
The most common way to do this is through cookies. Cookies are used to track users across devices and websites so that you can show ads based on their interests. When someone visits your site, you store a cookie on their computer. Then, when they visit another site later, you see that they’re still there and send them a message. You can make it personal by sending them offers relevant to their browsing history.
Automation is now
Imagine trying to monitor and implement everything we have discussed so far manually. Not only is it time-consuming, but there is a higher likelihood that you would make some mistakes due to pressure to time constraints. You must automate some of these processes. There are plenty of tools out there to help. A great start would be to find tasks that take up most of your time and automate them. One of the most common automated tasks is bid management for PPC campaigns. This is because managing bids manually takes a lot of time and effort.
There are many more examples of automation. The key is to focus on the ones that consume the most of your time and resources. Put your time where it is most needed. Once you get started, you’ll quickly realise how much time and money you save.
Do you even COPY, bro?
There is no substitute for good copy! Even the most intuitive landing pages will underperform when the copywriting is lacklustre. There is a reason why some of the biggest businesses seek out the most talented copywriters. You can drive all the traffic you want and not see a good result if the copy doesn’t connect with the target audience.
A good copywriter understands the type of language and nuances within an industry. People buy from people. They will buy from those that they feel understand their pain. Humans are tribal creatures. Does your copy speak to your tribe?
One of the best ways to test it is by putting it in front of many people that fit the persona. Ask them:
- Do they think the writer understands the problem?
- How does the copy make them feel?
- Do they understand how the solution fixes the problem?
- Based on the copy, what next steps should they take?
Consider the feeling you receive in feedback and how they connect to your product and overall brand. You want to ensure that their response is in line with your intentions. If not, tweak the copy until you find the perfect fit. I believe it was Maya Angelou that said, “People remember how you made them feel.” Emotion is the leading contributor to transactional decisions.
Do not leave it to the CTA buttons. Take every opportunity to nudge your reader within the copy gently.
Data Rich Content wins
As unique as your business might be, plenty of others offer products and services somewhat similar to yours. Data is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself in a crowded market. Providing original data and insight puts you head and shoulders above the rest. It is excellent for warming up leads that land on a PPC page and a great way to build natural backlinks. Others will cite your piece of content and the data provided.
Find a middle funnel data point to link to a query for a PPC campaign.
Examples may include:
How much paper should a business be using
Thermal printer, cheaper paper, alternatives to paper
We have covered many PPC strategies to try for B2B Lead Generation. The biggest takeaway from it all is to get the basics right. Great copy, automation, and continuously testing your landing pages. There will always be room to improve a campaign. You will continue to grow as long as you keep testing and improving. Use them to deliver qualified leads to your business.
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