B2B Paid Advertising Best Practices

Advertising for a business product or service is much different than a consumer product or service. B2B products often have higher prices, longer sales cycle, and multiple decision makers.

Before getting started with B2B ads, it’s important to remember paid advertising is not a magic bullet. The product has to work well and convert well in order to have success with advertising. This means a business should already have a funnel and sales process in place before advertising begins.

Here are some things to keep in mind when managing B2B paid campaigns. 

 

Sales Process

A system should already be in place on the client side that includes a CRM, tracking system, content for capturing leads, nurture sequence, sales process, and a feedback loop to get data that we can’t get from the advertising platforms.

This system is crucial for conversions, and getting the information is crucial so we make sure we’re optimizing toward users who actually make it through the funnel.

 

Offer

For B2B advertising, we generally see the best success running ads to content downloads, webinars, or demo requests. Driving straight to a sale almost never makes sense, unless you’re retargeting to people farther down the funnel.

We don’t see a lot of success sending traffic to blog posts, unless it is highly optimized for conversions. There are some opportunities to use blog posts in different ways like in a retargeting campaign on social for someone who might need more information. Or it could be included as a sitelink on search if it’s a popular complementary content piece to learn more about the product or service.

 

Platforms

Search is usually the best place to start to capture the people who are already searching for exactly what it is you offer. Depending on the industry and competition, it’s possible that CPCs could be on the higher side, so it’s important you have an idea of how much you can spend to acquire a customer. This can then be backed out to figure out how much can be spent per lead, or per other conversion actions further up the funnel.

LinkedIn is good for very specific company or role targeting, but it is much more expensive than other platforms. We don’t recommend starting out on LinkedIn for new companies or companies that haven’t been advertising for long.

 

Facebook vs. LinkedIn

Rather than launch out the gates with LinkedIn, it’s a lot cheaper to run ads and test creative and messaging faster on Facebook. The people you’re trying to reach on LinkedIn are normal people who are also on Facebook. While Facebook might not have all the same targeting options as LinkedIn, there are still plenty of ways to reach the same audience. Lookalikes based on existing customers or website visitors is the best bet to start with. Researching relevant interest audiences and job titles can also provide good results, as well as retargeting campaigns.

Once you find messaging and creatives that work well on Facebook, you can then introduce them to LinkedIn knowing that they’re already successful and will have a better chance to perform well. 

If LinkedIn is a platform that you might want to use in the future, it’s good to make sure the ad account is set up right away. Set up the insights tag so retargeting and conversion data starts collecting and can be utilized once the time comes to launch campaigns.

 

Landing Pages

Landing pages should consist of all the relevant information a user would need before taking the action on the page, like a download or demo request. It’s a good idea to pay attention to customers and questions that come in to see what prevents people from signing up, and add in more content that addresses those blocks. 

One strategy we see good success with is different landing pages made for different roles or categories. For example, there may be a page that talks to a CEO, and a separate one that talks to a marketing manager. Or if eCommerce and SaaS businesses are common customers, you could create separate landing pages that talk to the specifics of how the product or service would help them.

Another thing to look out for is qualifying potential customers. This can be done on the landing page, as well as at the ad level. The more you can explain who this product is and isn’t for, the less time is wasted dealing with unqualified leads. If you can do this at the ad level too, it can help save advertising spend.

Make sure landing pages have a link to the privacy policy in the footer, company contact information, and links to the homepage or other parts of the site. Rather than trapping users on a landing page with no other links, it’s usually more helpful to include normal navigation links. For B2B products, especially if they’re bigger investments, potential customers often spend more time on the site looking at more information before deciding to convert.

 

Conversions

In the paid advertising platforms, we typically report on conversion actions at the top of the funnel like leads or demos, since those actions have the biggest volume. If there are other steps in the funnel that are easy to track, those should be set up in the platform as well. If the volume of conversions for those actions are high enough, those can be used for optimization to get higher quality leads in the funnel.

If sales cycles are long or conversion info from farther down the funnel can’t be fed back into the platform, these should still be tracked separately. Common metrics might include MQLs, SQLs, Opportunities, and Deals. These metrics can be exported from CRMs, and connected with the advertising platform data on a Google Sheet or Data Studio report. As long as the UTM data is tracked in the CRM, it will be easy to match up the campaigns and ads and make optimizations based on that.

For example, we might see a keyword that has produced a lot of leads, but once we connect it to the backend data, we realize none of those leads were qualified or resulted in new customers. Without that knowledge, we would’ve thought it was performing great, but now we know that keyword can be paused as it didn’t produce the end result we were looking for.

 

B2B Paid Advertising Management

B2B products and services are one of our specialties at JDM. If you need help running your campaigns on search or social, contact us for more information!

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