PPC campaigns require a lot of thought. That’s why it’s so frustrating when you spend all this time hashing out what you think is the perfect strategy, just to have zero ROI. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common.
When done right, PPC can offer quite a lot of opportunities. Chances are, your target audience is searching for answers on Google. In the B2B space, over 70 percent of buyers start here in their journey. So running a hyper-targeted niche campaign on Google makes sense. And when done right, you can attract and convert some super-qualified leads. But you have to understand how to properly set up your PPC ads.
We love learning from mistakes. Sometimes that’s the easiest way to move forward. That’s why we put together these key B2B PPC mistakes that we see most often, along with clear ways to avoid them in your next campaign.
1. Not Understanding the Differences Between B2B & B2C Campaigns
Let’s start with the biggy. We’re not B2C companies. So we need to stop thinking like them. A lot of information out there on creating the perfect PPC strategy is targeted towards B2C companies, and can easily steer you towards making this B2B PPC mistake. So, it’s important to know what makes a B2B PPC campaign different.
Buyers Think Logically Not Emotionally - Yes, we’re stereotyping here, but in general B2B buyers are more focused on data and facts. B2B audiences don’t respond the same to emotional trigger words that might drive action in a consumer. So when writing your PPC copy, you have to think logically. Here’s how:
- Don’t use spammy language like “special sale”, “we’re the best”, “great deal”.
- Emphasize a clear value proposition instead of trying to trigger an emotional response.
- Use statistics and numbers instead of over-exaggerated hyperboles.
- Avoid talking up your company like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. Because, honestly, it’s not. And everyone, including your customers, knows that. Focus instead on what your company can do for your customers and prospects.
The Buying Process is Longer - Typically, the B2B buying process requires a lot more research and consideration. There’s generally a lot of people - and opinions - involved. This means you shouldn’t be going for the hard sell in these campaigns. Your PPC goal is more to gradually nurture your prospect through the funnel, with multiple touchpoints along their journey.
Your Convincing a Group, Not an Individual - Remember your audience. Typically in B2B PPC campaigns, you’re not just talking to one person. You need buy-in from multiple individuals. You might have one ad group targeting an office manager, another targeting the marketing director, and even another targeting the C-level decision-makers. Keep this in mind when writing the language for your PPC copy, or breaking down your campaign targeting.
2. Failing to Understand Your Audience
That brings us to B2B PPC mistake #2 - not understanding who your audience is. In a B2C campaign, it’s pretty straightforward. Your PPC campaign is targeted towards the end-user. But when you’re strategizing a B2B PPC campaign, you have to think about a campaign that appeals to those deciding to make the purchase, not necessarily those who will actually be using your products or services.
For example, maybe you are selling a software service for a niche business. Your target audience might not necessarily be the employees who will actually use this software, but rather the higher-up executives making smart business decisions for their team members.
Always consider who the decision-maker is before launching into your keyword research and ad copy. In the example above, your target audience will likely be more concerned with employee productivity, rather than the specific tools that your software solution offers. Because you’ve thought strategically about the pain points of your ideal customer, your PPC ads will be much more likely to convert.
Learn how to get your PPC campaigns in front of the right people by creating your own buyer personas.
3. Not Creating a Landing Page
B2B PPC campaigns are tough because most of the time, you’re selling a complex product or even an idea. It’s not quite as simple as selling shoes. And if your prospect clicks on your ad and lands on a page that doesn’t adequately describe what your selling or doesn’t offer clear next steps, the user will likely bounce. That’s why creating a landing page for your PPC campaigns is so essential.
Your landing page should be strategic. Think of it like a funnel that is sucking your prospect towards a very specific action. It needs to be focused, clear, and specific. Here’s what your landing page should include:
- Action driven language
- Intuitive layout
- On brand assets
- Responsive design
We could talk a lot about the science of creating an effective landing page. In fact, in this post, we list out 7 Tips for Creating a Landing Page that Converts. The important thing to remember for your B2B PPC campaigns is you should always connect your ads to a specifically designed landing page for that campaign.
Don’t use just any old webpage. And don’t use another landing page designed for different campaigns. Creating a strategic page targeted towards your PPC campaign will drive more conversions while also helping you better track and manage the success of your ads.
4. Not Having the Right CTA in Your Ad Copy
When B2B PPC campaigns lack a clearly articulated call to action, they fail to convert. But you can’t just plop any old CTA into a PPC campaign and expect it to work. Especially not in the B2B world.
Remember how we talked about how we’re dealing with longer sales processes? That requires multiple touchpoints. And multiple touchpoints mean creating different CTAs for each stage. When creating your B2B PPC campaign, you need to consider what stage of the buyer’s journey your user is in.
Let’s take a look at an example. Consider someone who is searching for “AI-powered Intelligent Sales Automation.” This user is much further along in the funnel than a user who is just searching for sales tools and might not even know what AI-powered sales automation is. In this instance, an appropriate CTA might be “schedule a demo”.
But for the user that is just searching for “sales tools”, you want to stay away from the hard sell and aggressive CTAs. Think about ad copy that’s more educational and informative. Then use your landing page as a nurturing tool to educate them on what sales tools are and why automation software is what they are looking for.
5. Backloading Your Ad Copy with Keywords
Finally, when you’re ready to write your actual ad copy, you’ll probably have done quite a bit of keyword research. The next step is to incorporate these keywords strategically and effectively into the 90 character allotted description that Google allows. A common B2B PPC mistake is focusing too much on utilizing all this space and not focusing enough on your keywords.
A lot of B2B PPC campaign marketers get caught up in writing a really good description that is detailed and full of action-packed language. Little do they know that more often than not, Google will truncate a description, even if it’s exactly 90 characters, and a keyword will get lost and never shown. This can seriously hurt the performance of your ads.
The best advice we can give you is to write content that focuses on these keywords. Keep readability and user experience in mind. Always make sure your copy makes sense. But cut the fluff, and keep your keywords towards the front of any of your descriptions. This will ensure you never have to worry about your keyword getting cut off.
It’s Time to Rise Above B2B PPC Mistakes
There’s so much potential for success with B2B PPC campaigns. But it takes being strategic and thinking beyond traditional B2C tactics. When you’re dealing with a longer sales cycle, it’s not very likely that you’ll get a prospect to convert right on the spot. But an effective B2B PPC strategy will provide a nurture path for these prospects with targeted touchpoints along the way.
And don’t forget to A/B test. Like most digital marketing campaigns, it takes data, optimization, and time to find the right strategy for your business and prospects. Through experimentation, you’ll likely uncover more B2B PPC mistakes. Take them in stride, learn from them, and pivot. Trust us, your B2B PPC campaigns will be better because of it.