Paid Search for B2B: the basics

Nowa­days, the Inter­net has become the pri­ma­ry source of infor­ma­tion for many B2B buy­ers search­ing for busi­ness solutions. According to the IDM B2B Barom­e­ter of July 2014, page 10, B2B mar­ket­ing bud­gets are cur­rent­ly at an all-time high, with 52% of a typ­i­cal bud­get being spent on dig­i­tal in 2014, mak­ing Search one of the pri­ma­ry chan­nels in terms of mar­ket­ing spend.
Paid Search offers B2B mar­keters the abil­i­ty to cap­ture leads fast, and in a cost-effec­tive way. How­ev­er, get­ting good results from a PPC cam­paign require some exper­tise that B2B mar­keters might not have, and a greater lev­el of cam­paign man­age­ment in order to be suc­cess­ful. In this arti­cle, we’ll look in more details at the best Paid Search prac­tices to rein­force your B2B mar­ket­ing strategy.

Main­tain­ing a good coher­ence between the key­words, the ads and the business
Key­words in a PPC cam­paign, are the equiv­a­lent of the demo­graph­ic selec­tions in a direct mar­ket­ing list. It is essen­tial to tar­get key­words direct­ly rel­e­vant to the busi­ness, which are not too generic.

Show­case the main com­pet­i­tive advan­tages of the business
Focus on the Unique Sell­ing Points of the com­pa­ny; the things that real­ly make you stand out. It can be the val­ue of the prod­uct, the rep­u­ta­tion of the com­pa­ny, or the free deliv­ery offered. These should be fea­tured in the ads, but also in the AdWords exten­sions (like Sitelinks, call­outs, 3rd par­ty reviews etc.).

Cre­ate dif­fer­ent cam­paigns for dif­fer­ent match types, devices, and keywords
It is impor­tant to use a coher­ent dis­tri­b­u­tion between exact, broad and phrase match. At the start, we rec­om­mend invest­ing more in exact match, and to cre­ate sep­a­rate cam­paigns for each match for more clar­i­ty. It is also essen­tial to cre­ate dif­fer­ent cam­paigns for mobile users and desk­top users, as they both fol­low a dif­fer­ent cus­tomer jour­ney so the mes­sages need to be adapt­ed. Final­ly, make sure you make a clear dis­tinc­tion between your brand cam­paigns and your non-brand gener­ic cam­paigns, which have very dif­fer­ent aims, as dis­cussed in my pre­vi­ous arti­cle around brand­ed and non-brand­ed key­words.

Mea­sure and track properly
It is imper­a­tive to be able to have an effi­cient track­ing sys­tem in place, espe­cial­ly with the longer sales cycles in B2B trans­ac­tions. Mea­sur­ing the suc­cess of your cam­paigns is essen­tial in order to opti­mise spend and max­imise ROI.

What about you, do you have any tips or advice to share in order to be suc­cess­ful while per­form­ing Paid Search for B2B? Do not hes­i­tate to share your expe­ri­ences in the comments.