Paid Search is a fantastic channel for you to capture existing demand for your category and your business. Prospects are actively looking for a solution that they think you can provide, they read your PPC ad, think it could work for them and visit your website to check out your solution. If they like what they see they will convert to a ‘lead; by filling in your form, scheduling a meeting, calling you or emailing or using live chat to ask more questions.
So far so good; so what’s the hitch?
Google and Bing run auction models and you pay on clicks. The goal of any search specialist is not to get loads of clicks from people who are not interested in buying your product; that would be easy! Just put ‘Get Free money’ in your ad copy and away you go. The goal is to get clicks from visitors much more likely to convert to a customer
B2B marketing has low website visitor to lead and customer conversion rates
However, conversion rates are low in B2B marketing with this study from Ruler Analytics stating just 2.9% of all B2B website visitors convert into leads.
The good news is that the conversion rate for people who click on paid search ads on Google is higher at 3.2% of all visitors’ that’s 10% better! People are more likely to click on your ads if they actively want your product or service.
But leads aren’t the goal: new customers and revenue is!
However, leads aren’t the real goal of search marketing either. It’s to spend money on Google or Bing on clicks from visitors that turn into leads that are more likely to become long term high value customers. After all, leads need sales team attention which costs money. It’s better to focus the sales team on prospects more likely to convert than not.
Therefore, the real goal of PPC in B2B marketing should not be the lowest Cost Per Lead. It should be to focus on getting a high Return on AdSpend for long term customers acquired through Google or Bing. That way you can best increase the revenue for your business to the highest amount with the lowest amount of marketing spend.
Now to understand this level of detail, you will need to connect your CRM system to your Google Ads account.
This will drive what prospects you target, which keywords to prioritise and what you bid on in each search engine auction. We explain how BrightBid’s automated bidding engine can help you achieve these goals here.
Ideas to beat high CPCs in paid search
Now here’s where it gets interesting. It can be quite expensive in CPC (Cost per Click) terms to focus on high value customers on high intent and competitive keywords: £25 – £80 a click is not uncommon in many B2B categories.
You could choose a number of tactics to get around this issue.
The Long Tail Strategy
One way is to focus on less competitive terms, the so-called long tail strategy, which has lower costs. This can be a winning strategy if you have low budgets but it can also reduce your ability to grow your business effectively as you’re letting your competitors win the highest numbers of high value, high converting new customers in the market.
The other tactic is to have a strong retargeting plan in place enabling you to bid higher on more competitive terms safe in the knowledge that if you don’t convert them when they visit your site for the first time, you will convert more through your retargeting ads.
We have found one of the best approaches is to use paid search to drive new visitors to your website and then use LinkedIn as your retargeting strategy. LinkedIn is great because you can add additional layers of targeting and filter out any visitors from countries or industry verticals you don’t serve or with job titles that aren’t senior enough to be decision makers. Using LinkedIn for retargeting and not initially driving initial traffic is also a great way to reduce spend in this channel as CPC’s for cold traffic on LinkedIn can be higher than Google Search and intent levels for the initial visit, lower than in PPC. After all, people aren’t actively searching for a product and service like yours on LinkedIn. Your ad might catch their eye as interesting but they might not yet be in the market and ready to purchase.
LinkedIn also needs at least 300 visitors in a retargeting campaign and we’ve found this to be significantly more in practice to drive enough frequency to get leads. This can be achieved by retargeting all website visitors, LinkedIn company page traffic and other engaged audiences.
Using Bing and LinkedIn job profile retargeting
Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016 and started to roll out LinkedIn targeting to Bing search in 2020. According to Microsoft it can only be used on Bing campaigns targeting the following markets: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France and Germany.
LinkedIn profile targeting is available for search campaigns, dynamic search ad campaigns, Microsoft Shopping Campaigns, and audience campaigns.
B2B marketers can target prospects based on their:
- Company, such as Microsoft, British Airways or TikTok
- Industry, such as finance, broadcast media, or law enforcement.
- Job function, such as marketing, sales, accounting, or purchasing
We talk more about using Bing on top of Google paid search in this post here.
In terms of messaging to these visitors, we strongly recommend that you focus first on trust and credibility messages such as case studies, customer testimonials, review site scores or thought leadership approaches such as white papers or educational blog links. This is because new visitors in B2B might need a while to take the leap to book a demo and it is often trust and credibility messages that help get them over this hurdle. If this approach works, you can expand the retargeting out onto other display networks such as Google’s or other programmatic vendors.
Once you’ve run this messaging layer for a 30 – 60 day period, it is worth pushing more conversion tactics such as ebook download lead gen forms on LinkedIn lead gen to demo visits or working closely with your sales team to try selected outreach.
Setting up your Google and Bing Search and LinkedIn retargeting in this format is often a great approach in B2B marketing. BrightBid uses our AI engine to manage your paid search on Google or Bing but we can also help you with your LinkedIn set up. Please send an email to email@example.com if you would like to discuss this approach further with one of our digital specialist team.