Online Targeting At Its Best
The crucial innovation of digital advertising is that it is so much more customizable than traditional print, radio, and television advertising.
Digital ads are infinitely more targetable for your particular audience and can be tailored to any budget. Traditional media, by contrast, offers set rates for predetermined ad sizes (in the case of print) and ad duration (in the case of radio and television).
For B2B marketing, your digital presence is becoming more and more important- it offers a comprehensive look at your entire organization and informs interested viewers in your products or services and differentiating value. Having an online presence is crucial for B2B companies, as B2B buyers are now relying on internet research to inform purchase decisions.
Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions will occur in digital channels.
Digital advertising can help you get in front of these buyers at the right moment, so you are front of mind when they are ready to make a purchase.
Follow these four guidelines to build a successful B2B digital advertising campaign.
1) Pinpoint Your Digital Audience
Any business should have an effective read on its target audience, but not every business realizes that knowledge can be translated into productive digital advertising. B2B advertising must be targeted and precisely worded to effectively connect with your audience.
Where you choose to advertise should be where your target audience is spending more of its time online. Businesses selling to consumers, for example, will find fertile ground on Facebook and Instagram. B2B companies, however, are better off taking advantage of LinkedIn’s advertising opportunities.
Your audience’s geography should also inform your ad buy choices. Geographic targeting is one of the unique strengths of social media advertising.
2) Identify Your Platform
- Google Ads
Google’s ad platform creates opportunities to reach people who are searching for products and services like yours at the exact time they are looking. Breaking into Google Ads means choosing the keywords, or search terms, you are hoping to rank high for on Google’s search results pages. Be ready for competitive bidding for popular or generic keywords. It takes a bigger budget to break into the top of search result pages for these. Instead, we recommend honing in on the specific keywords that describe your unique selling proposition– using your particular geography, in the case of local businesses. This will lower the bidding landscape and allow you to get more out of your ad spend.
Another effective digital advertising strategy is to track the people who visit your website and present display ads to them during their subsequent web surfing. This “remarketing” technique was pioneered by large online retailers like Zappos and Amazon, but it is accessible to all business websites, with the use of a small piece of tracking code embedded on your site. Google Ads offers a remarketing service that is integrated with its Ads platform.
- Social media
If your business has active social media profiles, launching your digital advertising campaign here will probably be the most intuitive way to start. Social platforms are great for any advertising budget and any target audience. They offer granular targeting that puts your ad in front of only the people you are looking to reach, based on their demographics, geography and interests. LinkedIn is the best option for B2B advertising because the platform allows for precise targeting, so you can make sure your ads are being seen by the right people; choose from job function, job title, company size, and more to consistently get you in front of the decision maker for the greatest ROI on social media advertising.
3) Determine Your Budget
Whether it’s search or social media, your ad spend will be based on factors that you determine. If you are making a play for popular search terms, be prepared for a rich bidding market. Similarly, if you are choosing broad demographic and geographic criteria on your social media ads, they will be big purchases.
Always start with a reasonable budget when you begin your campaign. As you collect data, you will be able to refine it. Ideally your campaign will become more effective and increase the ROI for you.
Another aspect of digital advertising is the budget per click. You get all kinds of data back that can be used to refine your campaign to get the best ROI. In regards to your budget you should have an idea of how many clicks you convert to deals (i.e. one out of 10 clicks is closed deal) and how much you would like to spend on marketing per deal. Say you are paying $2 per click, then you are spending $20 per closed deal. When your campaigns start, you will probably be in the red on your clicks, but you should be able to bring it into the black as the campaign is refined.
4) Create Great Landing Pages
So your ad did its job and enticed prospects to click through. Where did they end up? Creating a unique landing page aligned in message with the ad is a critical piece of digital advertising.
An effective landing page builds on the message of your ad and offers a way for your prospects to deepen their relationship with your company. We prefer using HubSpot to build our own landing pages and landing pages for clients because of how easy HubSpot makes it and how effective the pages are for converting leads.
Follow these guidelines to develop a digital advertising strategy that works for your budget and business goals.
There are many potential pitfalls and caveats to managing your own campaigns. I have seen more than one campaign that was set up incorrectly and the client’s ad spend was wasted without any success.
I highly recommend taking an online course on digital advertising before you attempt to run your own campaign. If your business is growing and you want to focus on running your business and not learning something else, I highly recommend you find a professional to setup and manage your campaigns for you.
Breezy Hill is a Certified Google Partner who runs campaigns on multiple platforms. We would be happy to meet with you to design your ads, define your goals, and create your best targeting strategy with you.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in June 2017 and has been edited and updated in February 2022.