B2B PPC

Free ebook: The PPC Guide For B2B Professionals

Quick: What do ground-penetrating radar, hydraulic tie-rod cylinders, and third-party PPC (pay-per-click) software platforms have in common? Not much, really — but all three are examples of B2B (business-to-business) products that B2B companies can sell via PPC advertising. PPC advertising, specifically through Google AdWords and Bing Ads, is a system that offers B2B companies the ability to capture leads fast and efficiently. Your target market is basically raising its hand and saying it’s interested in your product or service, and it does so by typing in search keywords on Google or Bing. The beauty of it is, they’re looking for you, instead of you standing around a trade-show booth for ten hours at a time asking people — who are schlepping around bags of swag and smelling like last night’s rager went a bit too long — what their biggest business challenges are. If you ask us, PPC is much more appealing than a trade show. It can also be far more cost-effective. In this guide, we’ll touch on B2B market characteristics and how they relate to PPC, and then we’ll review some real-world B2B PPC tips to help you crush it in your own B2B paid-search campaigns. I’ll refer to my own experiences with ground-penetrating radar, hydraulic cylinders, and software along the way to add some context. (Full disclosure: there are, of course, exceptions to some of the examples I use because PPC is not just a science — it’s an art.)

First 3 Pages

THE PPC GUIDE FOR B2B PROFESSIONALS TIPS FOR MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS COMPANY THROUGH PAID SEARCH Quick: What do ground-penetrating radar, hydraulic tie-rod cylinders, and third-party PPC (pay-per-click) software platforms have in common? Not much, really — but all three are examples of B2B (business-to-business) products that B2B companies can sell via PPC advertising. PPC advertising, specifically through Google AdWords and Bing Ads, is a system that offers B2B companies the ability to capture leads fast and efficiently. Your target market is basically raising its hand and saying it’s interested in your product or service, and it does so by typing in search keywords on Google or Bing. The beauty of it is, they’re looking for you, instead of you standing around a trade-show booth for ten hours at a time asking people — who are schlepping around bags of swag and smelling like last night’s rager went a bit too long — what their biggest business challenges are. If you ask us, PPC is much more appealing than a trade show. It can also be far more cost-effective. In this guide, we’ll touch on B2B market characteristics and how they relate to PPC, and then we’ll review some real-world B2B PPC tips to help you crush it in your own B2B paid-search campaigns. I’ll refer to my own experiences with ground-penetrating radar, hydraulic cylinders, and software along the way to add some context. (Full disclosure: there are, of course, exceptions to some of the examples I use because PPC is not just a science — it’s an art.) B2B MARKET CHARACTERISTICS TO REMEMBER FOR PPC B2B professionals already know their audience is smaller than the B2C audience. This is because they’re targeting other businesses, not the mass population. As a result, you’ll see keyword search volumes are lower in B2B than in the B2C space. For example, there are more searches for “shoes” in a day (shoot, probably in an hour) than there are for “ground-penetrating radar” in a year. This means that in B2B, you’re targeting a unique subset of the overall population — this is market segmentation within market segmentation, several times over. B2B professionals already know their audience is smaller than the B2C audience. As a result, you’ll see keyword search volumes are lower in B2B than in the B2C space. Your B2B buyer could be one of many people from various departments at a company. It may be the end-user, the CEO, someone from IT, or a company accountant — and you have to design your PPC campaigns (keywords, ad copy, landing pages, etc.) with this in mind. B2B buyers tend to do a lot of comparison shopping too, especially if we’re talking about expensive purchases, long-term contracts, and possible ongoing relationships. Thus, you need to provide a lot of buyer-oriented information, like case studies and white papers, in your PPC campaigns, as opposed to the “hot deals” that drive immediate transactions in the B2C world. The sales cycle is generally longer in B2B — in fact, it’s often three to six months or more. So your PPC return on investment will often come months down the road. Just tell your boss PPC is an investment in the future — because it is! PPC TIPS FOR B2B BUSINESSES At its core, a B2B PPC campaign is just like a B2C one. You have campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and so on, just like B2C — but you’ve got to keep the market characteristics in mind. 1. RESEARCH For types of clients like the previously mentioned examples — ground-penetrating radar and hydraulic tie-rod cylinders — and really any B2B PPC situation, you’ll have to dig in and conduct some serious research to run a top-notch B2B campaign. Why is this? Because even though you might understand your market, applying it to the PPC channel is a different matter, one that’s full of pitfalls. An example of this is my client in the hydraulic cylinders business. Through the course of my research, I learned there are tie-rod cylinders and there are welded-body cylinders. My client sells only tie-rod cylinders, but when I looked in the account he set up (and had been running for a few months, spending thousands of dollars), I noticed he was getting clicks for welded cylinders, too. Had I not bothered to do some research, I would have assumed “a hydraulic cylinder is a hydraulic cylinder” and not caught this wasteful spend. As a result, I made sure to add “welded” as a negative keyword and called out “tie-rod cylinders” in the ad copy to avoid the shoppers looking for welded-body cylinders, pre-qualifying clicks and saving the client some dough along the way. The takeaway is this: Even though you understand your market, be aware that Google and Bing do not, and they’ll try to match you to as many types of keywords as possible.