Using Google, Bing, and Linkedin Ads for B2B Lead Generation

To streamline your B2B lead generation efforts, it is important to utilize effective advertising channels such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. These platforms play a crucial role in achieving business growth through digital advertising. With these channels, you can maximize your B2B lead generation potential and ensure a successful outcome.

LinkedIn Ads: The Ultimate B2B Social Advertising Platform

Why LinkedIn is Great for B2B

LinkedIn Ads is widely recognized as the leading B2B social advertising platform for several reasons. With a user base of over 500 million professionals, it boasts the largest network of its kind, ensuring that B2B advertisers can effectively target a highly relevant audience actively engaged in business activities.

One of the platform’s key strengths lies in its precise targeting options. You can specifically target job titles, seniority, company names, geography, and industries, minimizing wasted advertising efforts and allowing them to reach their exact niche.

LinkedIn’s user base includes a significant number of senior-level influencers and decision-makers, with 61 million senior-level influencers and 40 million decision-makers. This provides you with unparalleled access to top-level professionals in their industry, offering invaluable opportunities for engagement with key figures.

Furthermore, LinkedIn users actively seek industry insights, peer perspectives, and professional recommendations, creating an environment where they willingly engage with business-related content. This makes LinkedIn an ideal platform for promoting B2B solutions.

Before considering paid advertising, you can establish a strong organic presence on LinkedIn through company pages, group participation, and content sharing. This organic foundation can complement paid advertising efforts and help build brand awareness.

LinkedIn offers a range of advertising products, including Sponsored Content and Sponsored InMail. 

  • Sponsored Content allows you to create native ads that appear in users’ newsfeeds, increasing visibility. 
  • Sponsored InMail enables you to send personalized messages directly to prospects through LinkedIn Messenger, which is particularly effective for reaching decision-makers and initiating conversations.

Additionally, LinkedIn provides remarketing and lookalike audience options. You can remarket to existing customer lists and website visitors, and they can also create lookalike audiences based on their existing customers. These features further enhance the targeting capabilities of the platform, allowing you to maximize their reach and effectiveness.

Why Promote Your Business on Linkedin

Before exploring LinkedIn’s paid advertising options in more detail, it is crucial to take into account various complimentary methods to market your business. Begin by establishing a company page, as it is a necessary prerequisite for certain paid advertising products. 

Company pages are free of charge and enable you to highlight your company, engage with employees, and attract followers. Encourage your employees to connect with your company page and promote updates through sponsored posts, which are not free. Additionally, here are some extra cost-free strategies to consider.

  • Build your company page, which is not only free but also crucial for various paid ad products. A well-crafted company page showcases your business and enables employees to connect and promote it. Additionally, anyone can follow your company page, and you can engage a wider audience through sponsored posts.
  • Join relevant industry groups on LinkedIn, where you can participate in discussions, share valuable insights, and network with potential leads. These groups provide a unique opportunity to connect with professionals outside of your immediate network.
  • Actively engage with other users on the platform by allocating time each week. Liking and commenting on content, especially within groups, can be highly beneficial even without direct connections.
  • Share your content directly on LinkedIn using their publishing platform. This allows you to post short status updates or longer blog-length content, which will be distributed to all your followers in their newsfeeds. Note that not everyone has access to this feature, but those who do will see a «Write an Article» option in their status field.

How to Use Paid Ads on LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation

LinkedIn offers a diverse range of advertising products that come with advanced targeting and analytics features. These options can empower you to effectively reach your specific target audience with accuracy and certainty. There are several methods available to enhance your targeting, such as:

  • Demographic. Target users based on criteria such as job function, seniority, company name, geography, and industry.
  • Interest. Delve into targeting by groups, field of study, skills, and more.
  • Persona. Reach key segments of LinkedIn’s audience based on their persona, whether they are job seekers, opinion leaders, business travelers, and more.
  • Matched. LinkedIn’s matched audience targets offer the opportunity to remarket to existing customer lists and website visitors. Additionally, you can match your account lists with millions of company pages to reach similar businesses to your existing or prospective clients.

LinkedIn presents various paid advertising products, and we will briefly summarize each:

  • Sponsored Content. This ad type allows you to run native ads in LinkedIn’s newsfeed on both desktop and mobile devices. Sponsored content can be precisely targeted to desired segments and can also leverage matched audiences. Note that a company page is a prerequisite for utilizing this advertising product.
  • Sponsored InMail. Sponsored InMail enables you to send personalized messages to prospects directly through LinkedIn Messenger. Access to this feature is granted to users with premium services, which provides a certain number of InMail credits.
  • Text Ads on LinkedIn. Similar to sponsored search listings on platforms like Google and Bing, LinkedIn’s text ads are tailored to specific audiences rather than keywords. These text ads operate on a self-service pay-per-click (PPC) platform, driving traffic to your website or landing page. Each LinkedIn text ad features a compact 50×50 pixel image alongside a concise headline and description, with placements at the top or to the right of the main newsfeed.
  • Display Ads. LinkedIn offers two types of display ads: programmatic display ads and dynamic ads. Programmatic display ads essentially function as off-site banner ads within the platform and are available through demand-side platforms for businesses wishing to advertise directly on LinkedIn. Dynamic ads, on the other hand, are personalized ads that appear on member profile pages, with options for Follower, Spotlight, and Job Ads. These formats cater to increasing company followers, promoting products, services, events, or content, and advertising job opportunities for recruitment purposes.

LinkedIn also provides a program called Elevate, which is a content marketing product focused on encouraging employees to promote and share content.

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How to Start Capturing B2B Leads with LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn provides over 20 audience attribute categories to choose from, including 

  • company size
  • name
  • member universities
  • Interests
  • groups
  • skills
  • job title,
  • and seniority. 

Don’t be overly specific with ad targeting to avoid targeting a small group. Start with up to five targeting criteria.

Now, that your Campaign Manager is all set, let’s talk about the Sponsored Content. 

Sponsored Content is a way to reach your desired audience directly through your LinkedIn feeds. You can target specific criteria mentioned earlier and choose from three content formats: 

  • single image ads
  • video ads
  • and carousel ads. 

This allows you to experiment with different messages and formats and continuously improve your ad campaigns based on the data you receive.

As for Sponsored messaging, it enables you to reach prospects through InMail, similar to email campaigns. Engagement on InMail is typically higher than traditional email, but it is important to note that this feature is not available in the UK and EU due to GDPR restrictions.

Lead generation ads can be used with sponsored content and messaging. You can collect leads from target accounts and contacts within LinkedIn using lead generation forms. These leads can then be synced with your CRM system for further nurturing.

Also, make sure you follow these tips for better lead generation with LinkedIn:

  • Improve your campaign performance and control costs by utilizing different bidding strategies on LinkedIn. Options such as Maximum Delivery, Cost Cap, and Manual Bidding can help optimize your efficiency.
  • Simplify the lead generation process by using LinkedIn’s Lead Generation Forms. These forms allow you to collect data without the need for a landing page and seamlessly sync leads with CRM systems.
  • To streamline and organize your campaigns on LinkedIn, utilize Campaign Groups. This will help prevent your campaign structure from becoming overwhelming, especially when dealing with multiple similar campaigns.
  • Gain valuable insights into how specific companies engage with your brand on LinkedIn by using Company Engagement Reports. This will enable you to develop more effective account-based marketing strategies.
  • Target specific segments like job titles, seniority, and industry by leveraging Company Matched Audiences. You can also easily target employees of specific target accounts, allowing for more precise targeting.

LinkedIn can be an effective platform for B2B lead generation when used alongside other marketing strategies. Incorporate LinkedIn into a multi-channel marketing campaign to maximize results.

Google Ads, a dominant force in online advertising, is the go-to platform for B2B lead generation due to its expansive reach and diverse targeting options. To harness the full potential of Google Ads for lead generation, we need to delve deeper into the intricacies of this powerful tool.

How B2B Advertising With Google Ads Works

B2B advertising with Google Ads is different from that of B2C advertising. At the same time, there are similarities as well. Here are the key tips you should consider when running B2B ad campaigns on Google Ads. 

  • Generating high-quality B2B leads through Google Ads requires a consistent effort due to the longer sales cycle and lower lead volume compared to B2C. Set realistic expectations and begin with campaigns that focus on micro-conversions to generate interest in your product. 
  • Bidding strategies such as Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC), Maximize Clicks, Target Impression Share, and Maximize Conversions can be used for B2B lead generation. To improve conversion tracking, find ways to optimize conversions and establish specific rules
  • Additionally, create an effective landing page that drives conversions for effective B2B lead generation. 
  • It is also important to exclude leads who have already engaged with your sales team from remarketing campaigns. The choice of keyword match types, such as ‘exact match’ and ‘phrase match’, should be based on the campaign’s objectives. 
  • Lastly, monitor and manage negative keywords as they play a vital role in ensuring cost-effective campaigns.

How to Target a B2B Audience on Google Ads

To effectively target a B2B audience, you must follow a precise strategy. Here’s a step-by-step approach:

  • Find the right (high-intent) keywords. Targeting the right keywords is a journey. Numerous B2B marketers start by identifying their primary keywords or expansive, high-intent keywords. Nevertheless, to attract potential customers who are ready to convert, it is crucial to concentrate on more specific keywords that demonstrate a willingness to take action. For example, rather than using the phrase «b2b content», try such queries as «b2b content tools» or «b2b content management system».
  • Choose a campaign objective. To start your campaign, pick an advertising objective that matches your lead generation goals, like leads, traffic, or brand awareness. Select the option that best suits your campaign’s specific objectives.
  • Select the right ad type. For B2B lead generation, focus on search ads. These ads appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs), making them an ideal choice for reaching high-intent prospects actively searching for solutions. While Google Ads offers multiple ad types, search ads are the most effective for this purpose.
  • Leverage Google Ad extensions. Google Ad extensions improve the performance of your search ads. They enable you to include buttons, gather leads, guide users to contact you, and more. The top extensions for B2B lead generation are sitelink extensions, callout extensions, and structured snippets. 
    • Sitelink extensions steer users to particular pages on your website, enhancing click-through rates. 
    • Callout extensions emphasize specific advantages or features, like operating hours or free shipping. 
    • Structured snippets offer extra details about your site, enhancing user engagement.
  • Optimize ad and landing page copy. Crafting persuasive ad copy and enhancing landing pages is crucial for generating leads. To enhance your Google Ads performance, try using A/B testing to improve your ad copy and achieve the best possible outcomes. You can conduct A/B tests directly within the Google Ads dashboard or integrate Google Ads with Google Optimize for more extensive landing page testing and customization.
  • Track your results. Effective lead-generation campaigns need careful tracking and measurement. Key performance indicators (KPIs) to focus on include lead quality, close rates, average order value, and customer lifetime value. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides a wealth of data and insights into your ad performance.

Google Ads is a powerful tool for generating B2B leads, particularly due to its extensive reach and targeting options. If you approach it right, you’re likely to succeed with generating quality B2B leads.

Microsoft (Bing) Ads: The Cost-Effective B2B Lead Generator

Google is the market leader in search engines, with a worldwide market share of 88.5% for desktop searches. Microsoft’s Bing, on the other hand, has a market share of just 2.73%. But that does mean that Bing (Microsoft) Ads should be ignored. B2B companies should think about adding Microsoft Advertising to their search engine marketing plan because of its affordability and potential reach, despite the widespread use of Google.

Bing is pre-installed on most desktop computers as a standard search engine in the browser, and can even be called up directly via the search function in Windows 10. This makes it an effective way for those using Microsoft Advertising to reach B2B users at their workplace in a targeted manner.

Microsoft Advertising campaigns are managed through the Microsoft Advertising Editor, which enables the user to manage keywords and campaigns. Bing Ads offers an additional desktop tool, which Windows users will find particularly easy to use.

Advantages of Bing Ads for B2B Advertising

  • Lower competition. Bing (Microsoft) Ads typically experience lower competition compared to Google Ads. This can result in potentially lower cost-per-click (CPC) rates, which is advantageous for advertisers on a budget.
  • ABM Integration. Bing Ads seamlessly integrates with account-based marketing (ABM) technologies. This feature allows you to target specific accounts and industries more precisely, making it an attractive option for B2B advertisers with well-defined customer profiles.
  • Campaign Manager. Setting up campaigns on Bing Ads is relatively straightforward, thanks to the Campaign Manager tool. This user-friendly interface streamlines the process, making it accessible to both seasoned marketers and newcomers.
  • Professional, educated audience. Bing’s user base typically consists of an older, professional, and educated demographic. This can be particularly advantageous for businesses catering to this segment. Bing has a different target group than Google, with the typical Bing user being between the ages of 35 and 44 and having a middle to high income. The click prices for Microsoft Advertising are in part far below those for Google Ads, making it an attractive option for B2B enterprises.

Challenges of Bing Ads for B2B Lead Generation

See these blog posts for more tips on lead generation:

Conclusion: Which Ad Platform to Choose for B2B Lead Generation

When considering the best platform for your business objectives and target audience, it is crucial to carefully evaluate your options. 

Google Ads offers extensive reach and versatility, making it a powerful tool for capturing a wide range of potential leads. With its ability to target high-intent keywords and leverage Google’s search engine dominance, Google Ads can be a reliable workhorse in your lead generation strategy, especially if your B2B offering resonates with users actively seeking solutions.

On the other hand, Microsoft (Bing) Ads provide a more cost-effective alternative. With lower competition and integration with account-based marketing (ABM) technologies, Bing Ads is particularly attractive for businesses with well-defined customer profiles. While it may not have the same scale as Google, Bing Ads can deliver quality leads at a more affordable cost per click (CPC).

For B2B advertisers, LinkedIn Ads is often considered the ultimate social advertising platform. It offers a direct gateway to a professional and influential audience, with advanced targeting options such as job titles, seniority, and industry. This precision targeting allows you to reach decision-makers and key figures in your industry. Additionally, the engagement-friendly environment and variety of ad formats cater specifically to B2B advertisers.

To succeed in B2B lead generation, you should understand your target audience and align your advertising strategy with their behaviors and preferences. This requires a holistic approach, leveraging the strengths of each platform to maximize your lead generation efforts. 

Ultimately, the choice of ad platform—or combination—should be a strategic decision that aligns with your unique business goals and your audience’s preferences. The insights and knowledge shared in this guide can serve as a valuable resource to guide you on your journey to becoming a lead generation virtuoso in the dynamic world of B2B marketing.

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