The Internet has become the first stop shop for B2B buyers looking for business solutions and purchase information. While B2B buyers are more active now than ever on social media when looking for business solutions, their primary source of information still comes from search.
Considering the importance search has in B2B buying decision making, B2B marketers can capitalize on PPC search marketing to generate more business.
Utilizing a PPC strategy for your B2B business can give you instant results, whereas organic search campaigns take time to gain traction. Additionally, organic search keywords are competitive. When a PPC campaign is paired with an organic search campaign, your business can benefit from increased visibility and brand awareness as well as the perception that your business is a major player for the search keywords used.
The issue many B2B businesses face when executing a PPC campaign is the level of expertise it takes to get results from a specialized market. Unlike B2C campaigns, B2B PPC campaigns require a greater level of management and targeting in order to deliver results.
Here are a few PPC issues B2B marketers face and ways to optimize for each:
B2B search keywords are competitive, optimizing PPC bids and quality rankings are important in the B2B space. You’re usually targeting a well-defined persona and competing with alternatives for their attention. Understanding how your buyers conduct their research will help you optimize and outmaneuver the competition.
A majority of the page visits generated by search results are organic. This creates an uphill battle for B2B marketers to attract customers to their paid links. Supplementing one for the other in your paid-versus-organic search strategy will help you maximize the clicks to your website.
The search patterns for B2B buyers and B2C buyers are different in that B2C buyers tend to use broad search terms while B2B buyers rely on very specific terms to generate results. It’s the difference between searching for “running shoes” and “email marketing tool that integrates with X.” This makes it difficult for B2B PPC managers as the campaign audience tends to start farther away in search before narrowing in on a more specific search keyword.
Sales Cycle Complexity
B2B sales cycles last significantly longer than B2C sales cycles. This means that B2B PPC marketing campaigns need to be able to adapt to the unusual sales cycle in order to be successful. Focus on nurturing your target audience over time, with different marketing messages appearing during each stage of their buyer journey.
Difficult to Measure Results
When finding the ROI of your marketing campaign, the length of the B2B sales cycle can make it difficult to measure. There are multiple touchpoints across numerous channels and marketing sources. Big data in marketing has made channels more efficient and personalized to the end-user, but making sense of all of this information can be difficult.
As we’ve covered above, B2B buyers are taking longer to complete their purchases as they research more thoroughly. It can takes months from the first time a prospective client clicks your ad until the purchase is complete. Tracking a client through this process can be difficult.
Despite the fact that search continues to grow as a revenue source for B2B businesses, in house PPC operations are difficult without the level of expertise agencies can provide.