Your goal is always to get your B2B products and services seen by a target audience. But B2B advertising using Google Ads can be complex and costly, so is it worth it? In a word, yes.
Creating a Google Ads account is free. But B2B marketers know a poorly executed paid search campaign can quickly chew through your time and marketing budget. Conversely, a successful B2B Adwords strategy is profitable and able to expand awareness of your brand. Often, a failed ads strategy is due to a combination of insufficient resources and digital marketing inexperience.
This piece aims to help B2B marketers dip their toes into the complexity of Google Ads without being overwhelming. It explains how to avoid common mistakes and create advertising campaigns that work. And the best place to start is by defining what Google Ads is as a platform, and what it is not.
What Is a Google Ads Campaign?
Google Ads is an online, pay-per-click (PPC) paid advertising platform focused on Google Search. It gives marketers a high level of control over their search ad campaigns. You tailor strategies around analyzed data and specific keywords that target online searchers. Countless businesses use Google’s PPC ads to great success. Yet others fail because of poor keyword research, incorrect assumptions, hurried campaigns, and infrequent campaign maintenance.
|The State of PPC Report, 2022: Almost 79% of companies surveyed said PPC is a significant driver for their business|
Most B2B marketers run Google Ads campaigns in an attempt to:
- Sell B2B products and services
- Direct targeted traffic to the company website or store
- Raise brand awareness
- Promote their business more generally
Marketers manage their Google Ads campaigns online. You can run, pause, and change anything about your campaigns at any time. That includes ad text, keywords, images, settings, budget, and timing.
How Google Ads for B2B Advertising Work
Running a stellar ad campaign takes skill, patience, and tweaking. But before the ad comes the auction. So as a marketer, you need to develop a bidding strategy. You base this on the amount you’re prepared to pay per single click for a given keyword. This is your maximum CPC (cost-per-click) bid. We’ll look at B2B PPC tips later.
But CPC is not your only bidding option. There’s also CPM and CPE:
- CPM (cost per mille): charged per 1000 ad impressions or ad views
- CPE (cost per engagement): the amount paid per predetermined interaction on the ad’s destination page
After securing your keywords and bids, comes your ad copy. The text within your ad hopefully persuades the viewer to click on it. All the tools needed to research, bid, create, and manage your ads for B2B campaigns are in your Google ads account.
Here’s what a basic Google Text-only Ad looks like:
What Google Ads Are Not
Google Ads is not an advertising solution where marketers can “set it and forget it.” One of the most common mistakes advertisers make is spending more time on the setup of a search campaign than the maintenance of the campaign. Because reviewing the data of a running ads campaign and making data-base changes is critical to a PPC campaign that will become more successful over time.
That said, skilled B2B marketers create successful ad campaigns that need small amounts of regular work rather than large, sweeping changes. So executing well-thought-out ad strategies can reward B2B companies with an exceptional ROI.
Many B2B advertising campaigns fail because smaller SMBs cannot commit the necessary time. Couple that with an inexperienced marketer, and you have the recipe for a failed plan.
Bold Entity | A B2B-Focused Partner
Bold Entity is a B2B-focused SMB marketing resource/partner with Google Ads Certification. We help plan and run your digital ad campaigns, freeing you to focus on managing your business. Our seasoned marketers know how to drive results on Google and social media platforms. Contact us today if you’re ready to take your digital advertising to the next level.
Visit Bold Entity’s Website to Learn More About Our Digital Services
Paid B2B Advertising vs. Organic Traffic Lead Generation
A solid SEO strategy generates free traffic and should be part of every marketer’s broader campaign. So why not focus solely on SEO and free organic search traffic for your B2B leads?
Primarily, because SEO works at a glacial pace. Getting to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS) for a specific search term takes weeks, months, even years of concentrated effort. The search results pages are also very fluid, so it isn’t easy to secure a top position for long. Aggressive SEO competition from B2B companies and unexpected Google algorithm updates can upend your SERP position. So, you need to continuously optimize your website using on and off-page SEO strategies.
Paying for B2B leads gives you the opportunity to immediately rank high in Google Search for your high power keywords and brings immediate results by reaching your desired targeted audience. Targeted properly, PPC leads are further down the marketing funnel towards conversaion than most visitors delivered by organic content and SEO. And in the B2B space, spending a little money for a single high-quality, motivated lead can create a faster conversion than organic marketing.
|Did You Know Google’s Display Network reaches an incredible 90% of internet users across millions of platforms? Inserting your brand on websites, news pages, blogs, and YouTube.|
How to Plan a Successful B2B Advertising Google Ads Strategy
A B2B AdWords strategy doesn’t have to be hit-and-miss. When done well, creating a successful B2B online advertising campaign is an excellent lead generation strategy. It only targets prospects who are actively searching what you offer. But your job is not only to get seen in front of a target audience. Your ad must also convince the viewer to take action.
Get to Know Your Audience
Ad campaigns are most profitable when you identify your ideal customer. The source behind any successful B2B advertising is placement. You need your ads to appear in front of the right eyeballs. You can only achieve this if you know precisely who that audience is. It sounds logical, but many inexperienced marketers overlook this critical point or make off-the-cuff assumptions about who that audience is.
When creating ad copy, ask yourself if it talks directly to your target B2B buyer. Does it offer what they want, a solution to their specific pain point? Suppose you’re an electronics wholesaler promoting a deal on Android smartphones. In this case, your ads would be wasted if they reached the eyes of Apple-focused retailers. That’s why your ads must talk directly to your targeted B2B buyers.
Think carefully about what your CTA offers the ad viewer. Your campaign must align with its call to action. What does the CTA do, where does it send them next? If you’re selling, the CTA might send them into the middle of your sales funnel. That could be your B2B landing page, for example. If you’re building awareness, your CTA might offer a free download or send the visitor to a video that explains your offerings. You get the idea.
B2B Advertising Keywords Matter—Do Your Research
There are excellent free tools to help B2B marketers. For example, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are perfect for collecting and analyzing search data that is already bringing people to your website. And Google’s keyword research tool, Keyword Planner, is great for expanding on already performing keywords for new suggestions. Keyword research is a vital part of any B2B Google ad campaign. The words you use affect when and where your ads appear on the internet. Thus, a carefully researched keyword list can dramatically improve ad placement and reduce your ad’s PPC price.
Conversely, a poorly researched keyword list results in higher prices and lower ad positions, creating an ineffective campaign that chews through your budget. So when choosing keywords for your campaign, be mindful of your target audience. And make sure the words relate specifically—not generally—to what you’re selling.
Boost Your Campaign with Google Ad Extensions
Google also offers free ad extensions to help fine-tune your B2B advertising campaigns. Matching the right extension for your campaign will draw more leads. There are too many to list here, but the three below will give you some idea of where to start.
|Case Study, Accor Hotels: Company marketers achieved a 14% increase in ad conversions after implementing free ad extensions.|
Location Ad Extensions
Location extensions are great for local businesses. They let you display your company’s address, usually along the bottom of the ad. Many also include a map marker on the address line or show the viewer’s distance to your company premises. These ads highly benefit mobile users on the move as they can simply click the ad to get directions.
Click-to-Text (SMS) Extensions
These extensions are also helpful for mobile device users. All they do is click the ad’s CTA to engage with your business via their messaging app. It’s a fast and efficient way for people to contact you. You also have the option to make the SMS processes even more convenient. For example, you can pre-populate the message with various lines such as “Please tell me more” or whatever short message is appropriate.
|About 84% of the US population are mobile internet users. That’s 281.5 million people as of 2022, and it will rise to over 303M by 2026.|
Use the call extension if you want a phone number to appear on your B2B Google Ads. It’s a simple addition, but it can be a powerful tool. If your ad has interested the prospect, then calling you is the next logical step. You can also track how many calls you get from the ad, which is a great way to check its effectiveness.
Watch Out for Unwanted Unqualified Clicks
The only people you want to click on your ads are quality leads. Attracting anyone other than your ideal audience will cost your campaign money. However, you may experience unintentional clicks if your ad is unclear or keywords are non-specific. It’s yet another reason to make sure ads target the right audience. Ad campaigns can also become victims of illegitimate clicks from malicious software. Fortunately, there are fraud-blocking tools available that deal with fraudulent clicks.
|A marketing study found that 54% of online users think ads lack cultural diversity. How representative is your B2B advertising?|
Add Negative Keywords to Your Campaign
Negative keywords are related words or phrases but irrelevant to your ad campaign. Positive and negative keywords work together to fine tune the search queries where ads appear, a ”this, but not that” approach to search tailoring. Let’s use a company that supplies high-quality fountain pens to illustrate. It doesn’t want ads to display in an online search that includes the words cheap or inexpensive. Or maybe it doesn’t carry the Montblanc brand, so there’s another word to add to the list.
In this example, the words cheap, inexpensive, and Montblanc go onto your campaign’s negative keywords list or ad group. This tells Google not to display your ad for searches that include those words. That’s how you keep your ads away from eyeballs you don’t want to attract.
There are free and paid tools that make light work of compiling negative keyword lists based on specific Google search queries.
However, it’s not as easy as it appears on the surface. Consider the above fountain pen example. While the company may not sell Montblanc pens, the negative keywords would also prevent their ads from appearing on a high-value search like “What is a decent, cheaper alternative to a Montblanc pen?” Negative keywords are powerful and simple to implement but do require thoughtful consideration.
Monitor & Tweak Ongoing B2B Campaigns
Like any advertising, you do not know if an ad campaign works before it goes live. One of the biggest benefits of Google Ads is that you can make live changes to your campaign while it’s running. So learning to track and tweak a B2B advertising campaign is a critical marketing skill.
Successful campaigns do not run on autopilot. They are consistently reviewed on their performance to understand what the campaign is doing and how it can be improved. The simple approach is to ask yourself what happens, when does it happen, who makes it happen, and why.
When? Over 80% of phone calls from ads are before noon
Who? 65% SMB purchasing agents, 25% bookstores, 10% stationers
Why? Want details for bulk discounts and gift sets
|A B2B survey found that 82% of firms consider lead generation a significant challenge, and 87% fail to exploit the full potential of buyer intent.|
Forget Content Marketing and SEO?
SEO and targeted content marketing are a natural complement to effective PPC campaigns. It’s one method Bold Entity uses to continue funneling high-quality prospects to your business. Call us to learn how our personalized services help SMBs like yours expand their social reach to your target audience.
See How Bold Entity Takes SMB Ad Campaigns to the Next Level
Closing Thoughts on B2B Advertising Success
Successful B2B advertising with B2B Google Ads can prove complex and time-consuming. Successful campaigns require regular monitoring, new data analysis, and tweaks to ensure they continue performing well. It takes knowledge and powerful PPC tools to run profitable campaigns.
While we believe Google Ads is a service that makes sense for nearly all B2B company marketing, its success is a question of knowledge and time. Do you, or someone on your team, have the time to learn Google Ads and regularly manage search ad campaigns?
Ask, and for most SMBs that answer is no. Instead the best course for many B2B SMBs is investing in the services of expert digital marketing agency. An experienced agency will save you money in the resources it takes to manage an effective Google Ads campaign, and often provide a better ROI than handling it in-house.
- https://www.thinkwithGoogle.com/case-study- ad-extensions/