Managing B2B paid search is very different from B2C paid search, and needs to be approached in a bespoke way.
This is because the products and services offered by B2B companies are usually more expensive and require more research, longer consideration, and therefore typically have a longer sales cycle. It is often the case that the final sale happens several steps after the online conversion, once the leads have been filtered through an offline sales team.
It is therefore very important for B2B advertisers to utilise paid search to engage with their audience throughout the prolonged sales journey, focusing just as much, if not more, on building awareness and assisting with research, as on generating conversions.
Here are some tips to enhance your B2B paid search strategies:
1. Understand goals and expectation
In a lengthy sales cycle, it is important to acknowledge the value of each action and engagement when optimising your Paid Search approach. Although lead generation or a sale might be the eventual goal of the campaign, ensuring potential customers engage with your brand during their research is also important and you should align your KPIs accordingly.
Regardless of the goal, it’s important to keep in mind that B2B search traffic and conversions will be lower than B2C, simply because there are more B2C searches.
2. Take advantage of ad scheduling
Searches with higher intent to convert for B2B offerings will be more prevalent during business hours and on weekdays, so you’ll likely notice higher click-through rates and conversion rates during these times. Ad schedules allow marketers to set specific bid modifications to increase or decrease bids for certain days and times. Setting these up can potentially save you lots of money and ensure you are pushing bids during those critical high converting time periods.
3. Provide a quality customer experience
You want your visitor to land on a landing page that can be easily navigated with a clear call-to-action. For example, for driving leads, you want to make sure the submission form is easy to locate, only asks the absolutely necessary information, and is clear on what the next steps will be.
4. Take advantage of remarketing
Since these are usually larger purchases, conversions may not happen on the first or second search. Using remarketing initiatives, marketers can target those individuals that come back to their site with specialised messaging. Since they’ve already shown intent, they’re likely further down the funnel and could be closer to converting.
5. Target specific audience segments
A B2B audience is more niche than B2C, so identifying key audience segments is important, but it can take some time. Once historical data is developed, it’s much easier to target specific business verticals or segments of a market. A great way to do this is by creating ad groups with keywords relevant to the audience segment and aligning ad copy to the needs of that group.
The writers are Freddie Taylor, director at Performics, and Adriana Simandl, media manager at Performic.
(Image credit: 123rf)