There are some major differences to keep in mind when running a PPC campaign for as part of your B2B digital marketing plan. Although the features and capabilities of AdWords is the same across all PPC campaigns, regardless of products or services, it’s how you use them that will determine the effectiveness of your campaigns.
1. Set Clear Conversion Goals
For starters, understand what goals or conversions are useful for tracking. If someone isn't likely to go and purchase a $25,000 enterprise solution from an e-commerce site, then don’t optimize for that conversion. Instead optimize for the “Request More Info” form or other key pages or touch points, like a good old fashioned phone call (using a unique phone number you can track).
2. Create Ads for Each Stage of the Sales Cycle
Second, understand the lifecycle of your products or services and at what point your ads are shown in that lifecycle. For most B2B services, the lifecycle is rather long – anywhere from three months to a year depending on the cost and research going into finding a solution. Chances are if your ad is shown based on a search term it means they’re in research mode.
3. Segment by Audience
Third, figure out who is searching for your products or services. Is it board directors? Highly technical people? Key decision makers? Certain industry leaders? From there, determine the best way to reach those people. It might mean exploring the display network but it will definitely mean adjusting the keywords you use and bid on.
4. Bid on Industry Terms
This leads me to my fourth tip: Adjust your PPC keywords to better reflect the B2B industry terms. For instance, I’ve found that using variations of keywords that include “industrial”, “enterprise”, and “professional” (and using them in the ad copy) helps to distinguish that your products are meant for the B2B market and not the everyday consumer.
A few other keyword tips include:
- Actively use the search query report (found on the keywords tab, then under Keyword details) to find additional keywords. Google does a great job at showing your ads to searches it deems as relevant. In some cases you’ll find that Google may be showing your ad for a term you completely missed, and the interface allows you to easily add it.
- At the same time, use the same search query report to determine negative keywords. Examples of negative keywords might include similar-named but irrelevant products or brands, consumer focused terms, events in the news, etc.
- Make sure to narrow down the keyword lists to very specific, highly relevant terms. Start by setting the keywords to phrase match or exact match. Broad matched will likely gather a lot of irrelevant search terms.
- Consider day-parting to conserve budget. Limiting the your ad exposure on the weekends increases the available budget during the week (when most B2B industries are actively researching products online), but be sure to review your Analytics data before you decide to shut anything off.
Just like with any PPC campaign, be sure to optimize and refine every few days to ensure your campaigns are performing properly. Remember, with a long sales-cycle typical of B2B companies, the return on investment from PPC might not be seen for a few months.
Ready to learn more about PPC campaign management? Enroll in OMI's elearning center and watch on-demand classes like: The Business Case for PPC