Introduction - Google AdWords For B2B
For B2B companies, campaigning on Google AdWords can often be a grueling and unrewarding experience. The process is different compared to B2C for a number of reasons. Perhaps the main difference is that business-to-business relationships are ongoing, require trust and the sales process generally takes longer than business-to-consumer relationships. Also, the B2B decision-making process often takes place on multiple levels within the company’s hierarchy.
For those reasons, generating quality leads that would potentially turn into customers using AdWords requires patience fine-tuning and a customer centric strategy that puts content in the center. This post will help you separate the good and bad practices of using Google AdWords for B2B purposes.
Generate the right content for your audience
In order to generate quality B2B leads, a business should create relevant content for its audience with respect to their stage of the buyer's journey.
Trying to sell to a prospect that doesn't trust you by using direct response ads is a sure way to fail. You need to figure out what your prospects needs and challenges are and be there to add value when they are searching for them..
Google AdWords can be a highly effective way for increasing your content visibility. A thorough knowledge of your buyer personas and their typical buyer's journey will provide you a more subtle and focused customer-centric approach. Placing the right content at the right place and time will help attract prospects, convert them into leads and then hopefuly customers.
One way to understand the buyer's journey is to turn to your current customers and ask them about the journey they went through prior to choosing you as their business partner. How did they access your site (mobile or desktop), what are their goals, what are their biggest challenges, what formats do they prefer and so on - these are all questions you can ask to gain valuable insights. This is perhaps the most insightful data that you can obtain because you already know these customers are a good fit for your company.
Boost content visibility
Advertise your content so that it will show up on relevant search queries. Create eBooks and unique content offers and offer them as gated content, provide the content in return for the prospects email address. That way you will be providing value and generating leads who are interested in learning from you.
Follow through with your content
Educating your prospects in only the first part of the buyer’s journey, aka the awareness stage of the buying process. Most buyers go through a consideration or evaluation stage next where they evaluate the potential ways of resolving their problem before reaching a final decision, which is when they are ready to buy. Successful businesses create content that accompanies the buyer all the way through from the initial to the final stage of the buying process. Use remarketing campaigns to amplify the process, nurture your leads and push them down the buyer's journey.
Evaluate and test your content’s performance
Keep a close eye on your campaigns and see if they are generating the results you are expecting. Bear in mind that many factors have a role in determining overall content performance so you should steer away from using a single metric only. Any marketing metric you decide to use should correspond to the marketing goal of each piece of content you generate. Evaluating and testing will help you optimize your strategy based on actionable data.
Force the sales aspect
B2B is about building trust and creating long-standing relationships with both potential and current clients.
For B2B, Google AdWords should be used as a way to amplify Inbound Marketing with a clear notion to:
- attract (turn strangers to visitors)
- convert (turn visitors into leads)
- close (turn leads into customers) and
- delight (turn customers to promoters)
Generating results using AdWords campaigns to amplify Inbound Marketing takes time but will eventually pays off. Remember that your prospects are absorbing your content before your sales people even know who they are. Forcing the sales messaging and campaigning for your solution, rather than catering to your prospects, minimizes your chances of an effective AdWords campaign and ultimately costs much with low quality and un-nurtured leads.
Be too traditional
The same goes for being too traditional. You will only spend money and generate leads that are mostly irrelevant to your business. Gone are the days of measuring reach, views, likes etc. Those are vanity metrics – they're not indicative of your true performance. A wider range of actionable metrics such as conversion rates, traffic sources and others provide a better focus on how advertising is driving revenue.
Be inconsistent with your campaigns
The main idea behind amplified Inbound Marketing is to help potential clients find an answer to their questions when they have them, not when you think you should be asking them. In order to do so, you need to consistently produce engaging content and make sure to advertise it so that your prospects will find you when they are seeking info (with time, your Inbound efforts will yield organic results, AdWords will help close the gap until the SEO magic happens)
Unlike their B2C counterparts, B2B businesses have a harder task when it comes to generating quality leads online. Google AdWords presents a strategic approach to developing more efficient and quality search results, which convert to relevant leads. Finally, those leads can turn into potential customers. However, there are certain principles to follow and others to avoid if you want to drive your audience toward the content on your website. Creating the engaging content for your targeted audience can be the difference between gaining a new customer and losing money. In the ever-changing B2B environment, where your audience is searching specific queries, that might be easier said than done. Nevertheless, follow the guidelines in this post and your Google AdWords campaigns just might wonders for you.
If you found this useful, and you're curious to learn more and find out how to create a long lasting B2B marketing strategy, we invite you to download our How-To guide for creating an Inbound Marketing strategy