So you’ve decided to run a paid search campaign for your B2B business, but you’re not seeing the revenue you expected? As PPC consultants, we’ve spent millions of dollars in ads, here are some of our best tips to turn your so-so campaigns into revenue-generating machines.
Go deep with research
We see our clients making this mistake all the time, management decides “We need to launch PPC ads”, so they cobble together a Google Ads campaign, burn budgets with ineffective optimization, and decide that paid search doesn’t work for their business.
The problem here isn’t that PPC is an ineffective channel for B2B marketing, but rather that it’s so easy to do it wrong. To start off on the best footing, you need to go deep with research.
But what does this mean, exactly?
It means you need to know your customer inside and out. The bare minimum here is to document what problems they are facing, why your product or service would be chosen over another, and what competitors they could choose instead.
Here’s a simple way of thinking about B2B purchasing decisions. B2B buyers are typically looking for two things: ways to make more money, or ways to save time (and quite often it’s about boosting their internal recognition so they can get a promotion).
Think about and document how your offering can help them get there. This is a great jumping-off point to start ideating around your company’s most effective use-cases and considering which value propositions to highlight with your search marketing efforts.
Map your research to ad copy and landing pages
So you’ve built a rock-solid strategic foundation, your boss loves it and you feel warm and fuzzy. What’s next? Implement the damn thing. Use the learnings from the research phase to map every element of a campaign to a use-case and value proposition. If you’re not doing this, you’re not really marketing, you’re just communicating (ineffectively).
What’s important is that you build message match into your campaigns. To do this effectively, your search ads should contain the keyword that your prospect is searching for, and any landing pages that these direct to should also contain this keyword or phrase, and ideally, build upon the associated ad copy to convince visitors to convert into customers.
Social proof is providing evidence that other people or businesses have purchased your product or service. It’s one of the most effective techniques that marketers can use to boost ad campaigns.
As a B2B marketer, you should highlight your marquee customers. Have you worked with household name brands? Put them up front and center! If you don’t want to name specific clients you could generalize by categorizing their attributes i.e. ‘Fortune 500’ or hint at your customer’s size/revenue or even vertical/industry i.e. ‘We’re trusted by the 3 of the largest companies in health technology’.
Logo walls are incredibly effective landing page elements that can be used to highlight your biggest and best-known customers. Commonly deployed on landing pages for SaaS companies – simply rows of brand logos that visitors will recognize, and that will boost your brand equity by mere association.
However a word of caution – if your firm is targeting SMEs, freelancers or smaller businesses in general, big-name logos might actually have the opposite effect, scaring off these prospects as they search for a more affordable, less enterprise-focused solution.
ABT: Always be testing
A marketer is only as good as their last test. Effective search marketers should be running at least one test in their campaign at any one time, but ideally far more.
Ad copy is an obvious place to start. There are multiple levers to test here – but remember what advertising legend David Ogilvy has to say about headlines – “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar”.
With that in mind, headlines are crucial to grab attention, select your audience and communicate value. We recommend testing out different offers (i.e. Free trial, Introductory discount, etc.), CTAs (i.e. Book a call, Download free ebook), and value propositions (i.e. Close deals 32% faster, Reduce HR overheads, etc.).
And while there are many levers to test, the next most important area is your landing pages. These pages should do a lot of the selling for you before you even get the prospect on a call.
Consider how landing page layout, design, and copy can convince visitors to convert. If you don’t have a huge amount of traffic yet, a good practice is to test significantly different variants of each page, so that you can reach conclusions on what’s working and find direction faster.
Building B2B Google Ads campaigns that drive revenue is challenging, but not impossible. If you practice all of the above tips you’re probably doing better than 95% of marketers in your space. Remember that it’s an iterative process, and that small wins can compound into serious results over time.
If you need a hand supercharging campaigns to get to the next level of growth, get in touch with our team for a complimentary PPC consultation, we’d love to hear from you.