An Account Executive working for a popular global brand, selling IT equipment & services to a varied audience, including Small & Big businesses asked the following question concerning B2B Pay Per Click Advertising:
“Thoughts on B2B Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising”
This was my response to him, considering they sell IT products & services to other businesses.
… your potential customers don’t want to make a fool of themselves or worse, get fired for making the wrong buying decision. They also have to cut through a lot of clutter, claims, hype etc.
So your opportunity here is to educate them first. However all the educational material you produce, must first be noticed by your prospects before they can download (or order) and read it.
PPC offers you a chance to get your educational material noticed. That should be the main role PPC plays in your overall B2B marketing strategy.
Having said that, there is a tiny fraction of your prospects (3 to 10%), who are looking to buy right now (or in the near future). You should also use PPC to get your message in front of them. Beware the page you send them to; once they click on your ad, DON’T send them to your home page.
As an example, say you produced the following pieces of information:
- Business Buyers’ Guide to Office IT Equipment. (Includes 10 things you must know to avoid silly buying mistakes…)
- ROI analysis for Office IT Equipment Buyers
- Total Costs of Ownership (TCO) of Office IT Equipment
You could use PPC (Google Search Network, Google Display Network, LinkedIn, etc) to get this material in front of your target audience.
Once they get and read this information, it does several things for you, it educates your prospects, positions you as an expert; not as a salesman, keeps you top of mind, etc.
PPC is not the be-all-end-all. You should also use other media like industry magazines, newsletters, forums, partners, etc to promote the same material.
The whole “complex sale” process is a multi-step process.
Getting your information product (or bait as it is sometimes called) is step 2 of the process. You also have to get the other steps right, to make a success of it.
There is a myth that C-levels executives do not search online. Let me ask you a question. When a C-levels executive has a business challenge which they have no experience of solving in the past, where do you think they go?
95 % of them go online as a starting point.
As a B2B marketer, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising offers you three main opportunities, namely:
- The ability to put your educational sales material in front of prospects who are not actively looking for your products & services and even those who do not know they have a problem you can solve.
- The ability to reach new and existing customers with very targeted messages across multiple platforms for a highly effective return on investment (ROI).
- The chance to catch the right prospects who have expressed interest in what you have to offer, through keywords at the moment they are actively searching.
However the key to success is to target properly, be relevant and send prospects to the right landing pages on your website.
Please let me know what you think, by leaving your comments below.