PPC for B2B Part 1: Casting a Small Net in a Big Sea

Whether you’re dabbling in marketing technologies or you’re a full-on MarTech nerd, you should understand the fundamentals of why PPC tactics are incredibly powerful for targeting prospects, no matter how niche your B2B company is.

In this blog series, PPC for B2B, I will discuss how to use PPC (pay-per-click) tools for B2B campaigns, despite the misconception that they work best for B2C. While many PPC tools are designed to capture large audiences across their multiple internet browsing habits, they can also work exceptionally well to catch the few fish out of the sea that you need.

Finding Your Fish

For every target audience, B2B or B2C, you have to figure out where they are spending their time online—and there are many ponds to look in. PPC tools let you target prospects that are actively searching for your goods or services.

Before beginning a campaign, PPCs have audience tools to assess how active your target market is on that platform. But no assessment can replace good old-fashioned trial and error. If a campaign isn’t generating desirable leads after a month or so, don’t be afraid to adjust your approach. The beauty of PPC vs traditional advertising is there’s no contractual obligation—campaigns can start and stop based on their performance. This, of course, is true for both B2B and B2C campaigns, but figuring out where a smaller B2B audience is engaging online is challenging.

PPC Characteristics Unique to B2B

Once you’ve decided which platform to start your campaign on, there are a few considerations B2B marketers need to keep top of mind when setting up their PPC campaigns:

  • Longer sales cycles = delayed proof of ROI. You will be able to tell right away how many conversions one campaign is bringing in over the others, but as we know conversions don’t always result in sales. B2B’s longer sales cycles require patience for proof of ROI. It’s important to manage expectations and extend your timeline for measuring a campaign’s success.
  • Speaking of measuring success, it’s important to define your conversions and assign each one a value early on. Every company and every campaign is different, but defining what a conversion is and how much it’s worth is vital to monitoring a campaign. In B2B, these definitions are often more challenging than B2C (where it’s usually very clear how much each conversion is worth).
  • Expect smaller audiences. B2B audiences are often smaller than B2C audiences and PPC audiences are no exception! That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth targeting—a single click can hold significant value if that click is the right person.
  • Smaller audiences = higher competition = expensive keywords. Similar to other sales methods in B2B, we can expect a higher cost-per-acquisition (CPA) than the average B2C campaign.
  • Targeting is incredibly important because PPC tools are designed to cast wide nets to capture large audiences. Because we know B2B audiences are more narrow, it’s important to spend extra time during the setup of a campaign to target properly. This often involves designing multiple ads, landing page experiences, and ad groups to properly reach customers with the right message at the right moment in their buying cycle. Remarketing and retargeting features in PPC tools allow you to continue to send your audience the right message at the right time as they continue to move down your conversion funnel.

In the upcoming B2B for PPC blogs I will take a deeper look at Google Ads (formerly AdWords), Facebook and LinkedIn, to discuss each platform’s features that B2B marketers need to consider. Interested in diving deeper into how PPC may serve your business? Let’s chat.

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Dana Farmer

Dana creates compelling content for clients and gets it in front of the right eyes. She has managed public relations and social media for dozens of brands. With a background in Journalism, she’s a firm believer that getting the story right yields big results.


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