B2B and B2C companies have become more and more similar in recent years. As a result of this mirroring process, the marketing strategies they used have grown closer together.
B2B brands are more likely to use traditional B2C tactics such as social media engagement and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Because of the sophisticated targeting options available through ad platforms like Google and Facebook, PPC ads have become a powerful lead generation tool for B2B companies. In fact, PPC advertising has become one of the primary sources of quality leads for such companies in recent years.
However, not all lead generation PPC campaigns are created equal. In order to successfully attract qualified leads, advertisers need to understand the key principles behind collecting B2B leads through PPC – six of which are described in this article.
1. Be specific with keywords
Most successful PPC campaigns are based on a great keyword strategy. Keywords are the backbone of PPC campaigns. You determine just about everything – which search queries appear in an ad, which terms block ads from being displayed, in which direction you go with the copy of the ad, and which landing page you link to.
When using PPC to improve the quality of leads generated for a B2B company, keywords are crucial in reaching the right audience. The two main categories of keywords are short-tail and long-tail.
Short-tail keywords (general terms that contain a word or two) usually generate tons of traffic. However, because of their broad nature, they are far less likely to reveal a user's intent. For example, if someone searches for "CRM software," he or she may be trying to figure out what CRM software is, what solutions are available, what the general public's opinion is, or a variety of other things.
To generate more qualified leads, B2B companies should choose more specific keywords that match the searcher's intent. This is where long-tail keywords come in.
Long-tail keywords (certain phrases made up of three or more words) are better suited for marketers because they tend to reach people further down the road to sell. Prospects may be looking for "small business CRM pricing," which likely indicates they are much closer to buying. So, if you're generating leads through PPC ads, long-tail keywords are your best option.
2. Refine your match types
Match types also play an important role in determining the quality of a lead. If you use different types of matches to optimize campaigns, precise and phrase matches give advertisers more control. Conversely, broadly matching keywords draw more, but low-quality leads.
To avoid bad matching strategies, promoters should use one of two approaches:
- Limit the use of broad match keywords.
- Analyze searches carefully and implement negative keywords.
While neither approach is perfect, advertisers can adjust and tweak campaigns over time to identify their ideal buyers. However, depending on the company's ability to experiment, it may be advisable to hire a qualified, paid advertising team to aid in the optimization process, which will save money in the long run.
3. Connect to focused landing pages
For PPC ads that aim to generate qualified leads for B2B brands, the landing landing page is a critical component of success. To generate landing pages that increase conversion rates, focus your goals on collecting email addresses and contact information rather than selling the final product.
The reason for this is that the research phase for B2B customers takes much longer than that of their B2C counterparts. B2B customers often want to have a long-term relationship with a company. That's why they want to make sure they're making the right decision.
To do this, B2B customers may want to learn more about the company and its offerings, try a free trial, or speak to a sales representative first. Accordingly, create optimized landing pages where your visitors can quickly and easily fill out contact forms to find out more.
4. Create mandatory contact forms
One guaranteed way to scare off window shoppers and looky-loos is to ask them for more information.
If marketers find that their landing pages and contact forms contain a lot of low quality leads, it is wise to increase the information requested on the contact form. For example, if you are using Facebook lead ads to reach potential customers, you may want to increase the number of questions asked or increase the specificity of the articles.
Consider the information that is important to the sales team when approaching a potential buyer, such as:
- Job title
- annual sales
- Number of employees
- Business goals
- Pain points
Pay attention not only to the amount, but also to the type of data collected. There is a significant difference between asking for an email address and asking for a business email address. To ensure the quality of the leads generated, ask for the exact information the company wants when contacting prospective buyers.
5. Make a clear and convincing copy
A copy of an ad can mean the difference between a shopper clicking an action or walking by.
For B2B PPC ad copy:
- Be precise: Make a detailed copy for what you are offering.
- Tag value: Show how a product or service solves a consumer's problem and promotes their situation.
- Show credibility: Has the product won any awards? It's a "best seller?" Point out differentiators that give credibility to the company and its offerings.
You need to keep an eye on the target audience and speak with the voice or tone of the end customer. Companies whose copies are tailored to the type of target person end up generating a larger number of qualified leads than companies that don't.
6. Serve different types of ads
It can certainly be beneficial to have text ads on Google and video ads on Facebook. However, the most important thing when creating different types of ads is using the advanced features provided by each platform.
For example, companies that run ads on social media may set up Facebook retargeting ads to reach those who have previously visited their website. The same idea applies to Google Ads users: by retargeting customers through Google, B2B companies can reach potential customers not only through Google but also through a variety of third-party websites and other locations.
Retargeting is a powerful tool for generating sales for B2C brands, but B2B companies can also use retargeting to move potential buyers deeper into the sales funnel.
For example, if a visitor reads a blog post on the company's website that highlights the value of one of their products or services, that person can participate in a retargeting campaign that involves downloading a white paper or booking a call with a sales rep .
When customers join a retargeting campaign, the leads are likely to be of higher quality because these people are more familiar with the brand and are clearly interested in what it offers.
Businesses can also use the audience customization capabilities provided by PPC platforms to drive higher quality leads. Facebook's lookalike audience helps businesses connect with those who think and act like the company's customers, and the similar audience in Google Ads does a similar role.
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In order to generate high quality B2B leads through PPC advertising, companies need to learn to endure the concept of people being turned away. The aim is not to get as many leads as possible, but to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and to find the most profitable prospects.
Implement the B2B PPC strategies listed above to develop more sophisticated and refined paid campaigns and, as a result, find the most qualified customers for your company's products or services.