Posted on July 8th, 2020
This is the second in AIMCLEAR’s 3-part series covering B2B Marketing. We’ll conclude the series by wrapping up all the information and resources into a complete guide that will be available for download. Check out Part 1 here.
Know your audience first.
Have you ever seen an AARP ad while scrolling through TikTok? Unlikely.
Whoever runs their digital ad buys likely made the wise decision to focus advertising budget towards demographics that would find their content relevant.
Before deciding which channels to choose we need to ask who our audience is. In B2B, we usually aim for decision-makers like executives, directors or managers. The people who hold the purse strings and can make the decisions.
The 3 Best B2B Channels
Let’s dig into the best channels for B2B marketing, for the majority of B2B brands.
Google & Bing
Search is the digital marketers best friend. If you’re a seasoned digital marketer this will come as no surprise to you. Running ads on intent-based ad platforms is a recipe for success. This is equivalent to your customer shopping in a supermarket looking for cereal. They are already there and they have the intent of buying cereal. Spending money on an ad is like having your cereal at eye-level. People are looking for you and you’re showing up in the most convenient place.
Depending on the action you want customers to take and the barrier to entry, consider adding extensions to your ads like:
- Lead form extension (get their contact info without even leaving Google)
- Phone number extension (call your business directly from the ad)
- Sitelinks (bring users directly to the page on your site they’re looking for)
What to look out for:
It’s easy to waste money on Google & Bing if you don’t know what you’re doing. Match types, placements, and automated bids can get you into trouble if you don’t know what to look out for. If you’ve never run ads on Google before, take some courses to up your game.
Make sure to check the search terms report after your campaign has been running for a little while to see if the keywords your ads are showing up on are relevant. Also in competitive industries like legal assistance, you can spend your entire budget on one click if you’re not careful.
LinkedIn has the best job and company data of any advertising platform (barring some programmatic channels) and they make it incredibly easy to get up and running. For example, if you’re selling human resources software you can get this specific:
- Job role: Human Resources
- Company size: 11-50
- Seniority: Executive, Director, Manager
- Location: Minneapolis, MN
- Years of experience: 10+
Precision is important on LinkedIn. Focus on refining your audience without overly limiting it. Think of it like a sniper rifle not a shotgun.
What to look out for:
Costs. LinkedIn has the well-earned reputation of being an expensive paid social advertising channel. On top of that, if your audience targeting or creative is off, you can severely limit your ability to get a decent conversion rate.
When bidding, start using Enhanced CPC and decrease the CPC to the lowest level you can. AJ Wilcox, LinkedIn Ads Ambassador, talks about this frequently. It’s a common misconception that you need to use LinkedIn’s recommended bid which more often than not will drive up your costs. All too often, I see people using Automated Bid + Audience Expansion. Don’t do this. In one scenario, I tested automated bid vs. enhanced CPC and I saw the CPM go from the $80+ range to the low-20’s.
Additional B2B Ad Channels
So, just Google, Bing, and LinkedIn? No! There are many channels that can work for you. Here are a few we’ve been testing:
- Quora: This question and answer website is our generation’s version of “Yahoo Answers” except it’s geared towards the professional crowd. There are great opportunities to do some hyper-personalized advertising on questions related to your product.
- Twitter: there are a lot of active communities on Twitter and with that, comes eyeballs. This is also an affordable channel if LinkedIn isn’t working out for you. You can target people similar to your competitors followers or you target ads to people tweeting using a specific hashtag.
- Reddit: this is one of the most popular websites on the internet and with that comes hyper-personalized niche audiences that follow specific sub-reddits. These sub channels have thousands of users that could be your target audience. Note: make sure you’re authentic, relevant, and aren’t afraid to interact directly with users.
- Facebook: B2B targeting on Facebook took a hit in late 2018 when Facebook removed several targeting options, but the channel is still valuable to engage your audiences:
- Setup Facebook pixel
- Use Facebook and Instagram platform for retargeting website visitors and engagement audiences
- Use first-party data and look-a-like (LaL) audiences
Next up: Part 3 of our 3-part series will take a deep look at one of the most consequential aspects of B2B marketing – lead gen. In the meantime, be sure to reach out to us if AIMCLEAR can help grow your business – contact us for a free consultation!