Successful paid promotion in the B2B world requires good planning, content, targeting, and execution.
As marketing budgets become increasingly smaller and sales targets bigger, getting paid promotion right is vital for growth.
Getting this right, however, is not easy and there is often a lack of visibility on how B2B paid promotions are performing, delivering value and so on. Therefore, it’s important to be able to actually track these campaigns to demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) and build credibility.
It’s 2019. Ready?
You need to maximize your SEO efforts if you want to succeed online.
Let’s face it. If you don’t, your business will be left behind. SEO is a top priority for marketers.
Ranking on the first page of Google can be the deciding factor in making your business thrive online. You probably already know that, right?
Let’s look at some stats.
These marketing stats might lead you to believe that spending money on ads and paid promotion is a waste. However, with digital marketing and the ability to track, managed, and improve your ads you know exactly how your ad said is performing. So it’s a great choice for some brands.
You can dive in and do it yourself, but be careful.
The point I’m trying to make here is that you can run ads and be on the top of Google search within a day, or soon as the ad is approved. But when you turn off the ad what do you think happens to all your search results? I hope you know the answer and if you don’t just ask.
Read on for our ultimate guide on how to cut straight through the noise, get in front of your desired buyer audience and succeed in your B2B paid promotion.
Picking the Right Platform for paid promotions
Firstly, you need to choose the right channel for your B2B audience. The tricky thing is, there are lots of channels and platforms to choose from – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, GoogleAds and so on.
Your decision should be based on where your audience is most likely to be. Naturally, B2B brands consider LinkedIn as the best channel for paid promotion given the business focus of the platform, but that doesn’t mean you should discount other platforms.
Facebook is becoming more popular for B2B brands and has the largest audience of all platforms – 2.27 billion users as of January 2019. This decision is different for every business and might require testing to get a better handle on the ROI.
The good news is that social channels are, now more than ever, pushing users away from organic results and towards paid, making social media marketing crucial for businesses.
Improve results by targeting the right people
You’ve got your chosen paid channels, but before you carry out any paid promotion activity, you need to work out the specific buyer personas you are going to target. You need to understand your target market, target users, and target audience to ensure your paid content and video ads have an acceptable conversion rate.
You want a customer-centric marketing strategy.
So, what is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona tells you what prospective customers are thinking and doing as they weigh up their options to address a problem that your company resolves.
There are lots of resources on this on the internet, but you can use this HubSpot blog post on how to create detailed buyer personas for your business if you need some help in getting started.
Before writing any content, your starting point should be the buyer persona you are writing this content for. In addition, certain types of content are more suitable for a particular buyer persona than others.
For example, C-suite buyer personas who are pressed for time might prefer a short e-book with a few valuable pointers rather than a full-length white paper.
Once you’ve identified your all-star buyer personas, you are ready to start moving those targets through your marketing funnel. As a general rule, at the top of the funnel, start out with targeting that is broad enough to capture a big chunk of the available opportunity.
But also relevant enough, to avoid paying a wad of cash targeting people who have no interest whatsoever in your product or service. Here are two B2B channels that offer excellent persona targeting options.
LinkedIn targeting and paid media
LinkedIn is historically associated with B2B paid promotion for a reason. The platform offers particularly granular targeting options for B2B marketers.
For top-of-funnel campaigns where you want to cast your net fairly wide, you can target by seniority, which means you will not lose out on specific variations of job titles which you might miss if you targeted individual job titles.
If you already have a list of the most common job titles to target, then this will be a great option for you, especially when you overlay this with targeting by industry and company size.
LinkedIn’s resource hub offers a full list of LinkedIn targeting options.
In display Google Ads and paid promotion
In display advertising and AdWords in-market audiences also make it possible to target specific industry verticals where the targeted individuals are further down the purchase funnel.
This can be very powerful when overlaid with keyword targeting which accurately reflects your potential buyer’s target product or service. Plus, the Google Display Network reaches 90% of Internet users worldwide!
How to succeed in paid targeting?
The big question that will determine if your paid promotion will succeed or not is how can you tell a bad prospect from a high potential lead?
If you want to increase your brand awareness, ranking higher on search engines, increase your lead generation and reach viewers you may need to do both.
There are two marketing techniques to get you and your company on the first page of Google’s search. Paid media or content marketing support with a good SEO strategy.
You’ve found the right targets, now you need to identify if they are a quality lead. Marketing automation platforms offer lead scoring functionalities for this which lets you rank prospects according to their perceived value to the organization based on their previous behavior in the purchase funnel.
If you don’t have an automation platform to hold your contact information, you can score the quality of each prospect by their likelihood of buying.
Here is a roundup of the most important points to consider when you put together your paid marketing programme:
How do you benchmark performance?
First things first, check the size and scope of your influence within the world of social. You’ll need to determine who’s currently connecting with your content and it’s worth carrying out an audit of your channels to gauge your inbound efficacy.
Check out this social media audit template to get started. Determining your digital footprint will allow you to better forecast the success of paid promotion campaigns.
Once you’ve conducted your audit and established a benchmark for social performance, it’s time to set some goals and objectives. These may include growth, audience acquisition, prospect generation, and conversion.
Goals should be specific and aligned with your broader marketing strategy. Ultimately, these targets will determine whether your paid promotion has been a success or not.
Create great content
Before you get carried away, ensure your paid promotion messaging is aligned with your company’s values, messaging and tone. Then you can let fly with engaging, relevant, creative posts.
Remember, real people connect to real companies and authenticity and personality are integral to building a strong relationship between your business and its audience.
But, keep in mind your audience when writing paid adverts – the more you can speak directly to their pain points and challenges the better your results will be. A catchy headline is a no-brainer for improving prospect engagement!
Don’t be afraid to try a variety of content as well. Most successful B2B businesses are already adopting video content as part of their paid strategy, for example.
Improve results with powerful visuals
To get the most out of your paid promotions, use powerful, eye-catching imagery. If you don’t have the skills yourself to create good images, there are plenty of tools readily available to help, including Design Wizard and Pik Wizard. If your paid ads aren’t aesthetically pleasing, they will probably be ignored.
Finally, continually optimize your paid promotion. This should be an ongoing process – if something is working well, put more paid budget behind it, if something isn’t, dial it down. Every part of the puzzle can be optimized – your content, your paid ads, your images and your website.
There you have it, the guide to successful B2B paid promotion. Don’t forget: Choose the right channel, get your targeting right, define performance metrics so you can measure success and continually optimize.
Ellan Dineen is the Marketing Associate at Design Wizard. When she’s not hard at work in the Marketing Department, Ellan can be found en route to foreign lands with a book in her hand and a podcast in her ear. With a Master’s in English and Diploma in Social Media Marketing, she knows the importance of staying up-to-date with the industry’s latest trends and insights and is keen to pass these tips on to her readers.