Advancing PPC Strategies for B2B: Bridging the Gap with Innovative Tactics and Best Practices

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Welcome to the world of B2B marketing, where mastering Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a game-changer. This blog is your guide to navigating B2B PPC strategies with simplicity and impact. We kick things off by understanding the unique aspects of B2B, paving the way for advanced tactics. From enabling successful campaigns to multi-channel approaches, we’ll explore strategies that go beyond the basics. You’ll also learn about personalized targeting and the tech tools that can boost your campaigns. Finally, get a glimpse into the future of PPC, ensuring your approach stays ahead of the curve. Join us on this journey to unlock the secrets of success in the ever-changing realm of B2B PPC advertising.

Understanding PPC for B2B

Connecting the Dots

At the heart of effective B2B PPC strategies lies a fundamental understanding of Pay-Per-Click advertising and its nuanced application in the business-to-business environment. Unlike the direct-to-consumer (B2C) landscape, where immediate purchases often drive success, B2B transactions typically involve longer sales cycles and a complex web of decision-makers. In the B2C world, the goal is often to capture a wide audience; conversely, in B2B, precision targeting is paramount. In this intricate landscape of marketing, keywords, and ad placements, B2B PPC requires a strategic approach that considers the longer decision-making processes, the importance of lead quality over quantity, and the necessity of aligning with the specific needs and pain points of businesses. As we delve into the advanced strategies ahead, keep in mind that the success of B2B PPC campaigns hinges on connecting these distinctive dots to create a tailored and effective advertising approach for businesses.

PPC Jargons Deciphered

Before we dive in, let’s outline some important B2B PPC terms. Understanding these terms is essential for navigating the complex world of B2B advertising.

  • Cost Per Lead (CPL): The cost associated with acquiring a new lead through your PPC campaign. For B2B marketers, monitoring CPL is crucial for evaluating the efficiency of lead generation efforts.
  • ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): A metric that measures the revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. B2B marketers should prioritize a positive ROAS to ensure a profitable PPC campaign.
  • Lead Scoring: A system that assigns values to leads based on their behavior and engagement. In the B2B context, understanding lead scoring is vital for prioritizing and nurturing high-value leads.
  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM): A strategic approach where marketing efforts are concentrated on specific high-value accounts rather than a broader audience. B2B PPC often integrates ABM for precise targeting.
  • Multi-Touch Attribution: B2B sales cycles are typically longer and involve multiple touchpoints. Multi-touch attribution models help marketers understand the contribution of each touchpoint in the customer journey to a conversion.
  • CRM Integration: The integration of PPC campaign data with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. This allows B2B marketers to track leads from initial click through conversion and align marketing efforts with sales data.
  • Offline Conversions: By setting up offline conversion tracking in CRMs like Hubspot, you can connect online engagements to offline outcomes, such as sales calls, in-person meetings, or closed deals.

By familiarizing yourself with these PPC jargons tailored to the B2B context, you’ll be better equipped to navigate and optimize your campaigns for success.

Practical Guide: PPC Strategies for B2B

Enabling Successful Campaigns

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork by understanding the nuances of B2B PPC and decoding essential jargon, let’s dive into actionable insights and strategies for implementing successful campaigns in the B2B realm.

  1. Channel Selection & Precise Targeting: When choosing the optimal PPC platform for your B2B campaign, the first step is to articulate your goals clearly. Whether you aim for lead generation, brand awareness, or increased web traffic, these objectives will serve as your compass in platform selection. Google Ads and Bing Ads, offering versatility, reach broad audiences, while LinkedIn Ads provide a direct channel to professionals and decision-makers. Factor in your budget, as platforms differ in cost per click (CPC). While Google Ads and Bing Ads are recognized for cost-effectiveness, LinkedIn Ads may entail a higher CPC. Evaluate ad formats in relation to your goals and messaging, and scrutinize keyword targeting, ad placement, and creative capabilities for each platform. Your decision should also be influenced by testing and optimization features, coupled with robust tools, like Hubspot, Salesforce, and GA4, for tracking return on investment (ROI). In B2B PPC, precision is key. Ensure your campaigns are meticulously targeted towards decision-makers within businesses. Leverage the detailed targeting options available on platforms like LinkedIn, honing in on specific industries, job titles, and company sizes. This focused approach increases the likelihood of reaching those with the authority to make purchasing decisions. We’ve found that utilizing Job Function targeting and Member Skills reaches a wider audience than Job Titles and typically results in a lower CPC.
  1. Write Compelling Ad Copy: It’s important to create ad copies that speak directly to the pain points and aspirations of your B2B audience. What problem does your service solve? You’ll want to highlight the value propositions of your products or services and emphasize how they address the unique challenges faced by businesses. You’ll also want to utilize relevant keywords to capture attention and encourage clicks in your Google or Bing campaigns in order to ensure a high quality score. Within LinkedIn, we recommend utilizing single image lead generation ads, but you want to be sure to select the correct ad type and assets based on where the user is within the marketing funnel. LinkedIn offers a variety of ad formats tailored for different B2B marketing goals. Choosing the right ad type (single image, video, lead generation, website visit, etc) depends on your specific objectives, whether it’s increasing brand visibility, generating leads, or driving engagement within the B2B community.
  1. Strategic Keyword Selection: Within Google Ads and Bing Ads, you’ll want to optimize your keyword strategies for B2B by focusing on high-intent keywords specific to your industry. Consider the terminology commonly used within the B2B space, including industry jargon and product-specific keywords. Regularly review and update your keyword list to stay aligned with evolving trends and audience behavior. We’ve found that utilizing long-tail keywords will result in higher qualified leads, even if this means that the quantity of leads is lower.
  1. Leverage Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Integrate ABM principles into your PPC campaigns for a more personalized and targeted approach, especially within LinkedIn Ads. Identify high-value accounts, tailor your ad content to their needs, and allocate budget strategically to maximize impact. ABM aligns your PPC efforts with broader marketing strategies, fostering stronger relationships with key accounts.
  1. Implement Conversion Tracking & Offline Conversions: Robust conversion tracking is the backbone of successful B2B PPC campaigns. Set up conversion tracking pixels on your website to monitor specific actions such as form submissions, downloads, or demo requests. This data is invaluable for assessing campaign effectiveness, optimizing for high-performing keywords, and refining ad messaging. You’ll also want to integrate conversion tracking within GA4 or Hubspot so ensure leads are flowing through accurately. Additionally, setting up offline conversions through HubSpot can provide valuable insights and enhance your understanding of the customer journey. By integrating offline conversion data, such as sales made outside of the online platform or interactions that occur in the physical realm, you gain a more comprehensive view of how your marketing efforts translate into real-world results. This enables you to attribute conversions more accurately, analyze the complete impact of your campaigns, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your marketing strategies.
  1. Maximize LinkedIn Advertising Opportunities: Given its professional networking focus, LinkedIn is a powerhouse for B2B PPC. Utilize LinkedIn Advertising to target specific industries, job roles, and company characteristics. Leverage sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and display ads to reach a professional audience with precision. LinkedIn Retargeting is also a great option for continuing to nurture users who have interacted with your ads, as we know it may take multiple touch-points for a user to convert.
  1. Optimize Landing Pages for Conversions: Ensure your landing pages are tailored for B2B conversions. Clearly articulate the value proposition, incorporate trust-building elements such as client testimonials or case studies, and streamline the conversion process. A well-optimized landing page enhances the likelihood of converting clicks into high-quality leads.
  1. Integrate 6Sense with LinkedIn: For B2B marketers aspiring to excel in account-based marketing, the integration of 6Sense with LinkedIn emerges as a transformative strategy. 6Sense, powered by artificial intelligence, excels in identifying and prioritizing high-potential accounts. When seamlessly integrated with LinkedIn, this combination becomes a powerhouse, elevating your capacity to engage decision-makers through personalized and targeted content with key accounts and contacts lists.

The Power of Remarketing

B2B PPC plays a pivotal role in remarketing efforts, serving as a strategic tool to nurture leads through the intricate and often protracted B2B sales cycle. As we mentioned above, remarketing in the B2B context involves reconnecting with users who have previously engaged with your brand, providing an opportunity to reinforce your message and influence decision-makers at various stages of the buying journey. 

LinkedIn is a highly effective platform for B2B remarketing due to its professional and business-focused environment. With a user base comprising professionals, decision-makers, and key stakeholders, LinkedIn offers a unique opportunity to reconnect with and influence individuals at various stages of the B2B sales cycle. The platform’s precise targeting options allow advertisers to tailor remarketing efforts based on job titles, industries, company sizes, and other professional characteristics along with custom single image remarketing lists. This specificity ensures that ads reach the right audience, fostering brand recall and engagement. 

Tailoring Ad Groups

Organizing ad groups in Google Ads and Bing Ads based on the buying funnel stage is a strategic approach that can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns. By aligning campaigns and ad groups with different stages of the funnel, you can tailor your messaging and targeting to match the specific needs and mindset of users at each stage of the decision-making process. Here’s a breakdown of how you might structure ad groups:

Top of Funnel (TOFU):

  • Objective: Build Awareness
  • Ad Content: Focus on introducing your brand, product, or service.
  • Keywords: Use general and informational keywords related to your industry.

Middle of Funnel (MOFU):

  • Objective: Generate Interest and Consideration
  • Ad Content: Provide more detailed information about your offerings.
  • Keywords: Use a mix of broad and more specific keywords to capture user interest.

Bottom of Funnel (BOFU):

  • Objective: Drive Conversions
  • Ad Content: Emphasize value propositions, promotions, or unique selling points.
  • Keywords: Focus on specific, high-intent and long-tail keywords related to your products or services.

This funnel-based organization allows you to deliver tailored messages that guide users seamlessly through the buying process. It also enables you to allocate budget and bidding strategies more effectively, ensuring that you invest more heavily in areas of the funnel where users are closer to conversion. Regular monitoring and optimization of these ad groups based on performance data will further refine your strategy and enhance overall campaign efficiency.

Importance of Ad Personalization

The Personal Touch

Personalizing ad copy in B2B marketing is a powerful strategy that can elevate campaign performance and foster brand recognition among buyers. By tailoring ad content to address the specific needs, challenges, and aspirations of B2B audiences, marketers create a more engaging and relevant experience. This approach goes beyond generic messaging, resonating with decision-makers on a personal level and establishing a deeper connection. Personalized ad copy demonstrates an understanding of the intricacies of the B2B landscape, building trust and credibility. Moreover, it allows brands to showcase their expertise and position themselves as valuable partners in the buyer’s journey. As a result, personalized ad copy not only enhances campaign effectiveness by driving higher engagement and conversions but also contributes to long-term brand loyalty and recognition within the B2B market.

LinkedIn stands out as an exceptional channel for personalizing ad copy in the B2B realm. The platform’s dynamic ad formats, such as sponsored content and InMail, provide opportunities for creative and personalized storytelling. By tapping into the professional context of LinkedIn, B2B marketers can deliver ad content that not only aligns with the individual needs of their audience but also establishes a sense of authenticity and credibility, ultimately contributing to more effective and impactful campaigns. We highly recommend testing personalized messaging within your ABM marketing efforts.

While personalization is important, tailoring PPC strategies based on the buyer’s sales cycle is also crucial. In the awareness stage, you’ll want to focus on creating compelling ad content (Single Image or Video) that educates and establishes your brand as an industry authority. This could be in the form of a content download, ebook, or report.  Within the consideration stage, we recommend utilizing Single Image ads or Message Ads to highlight the benefits of your product and address pain points, offering valuable content such as eBooks, webinars, or case studies as website visit ads or lead generation ads. As prospects move into the decision stage, you’ll want to implement persuasive calls-to-action to try and move users to conversion. We recommend utilizing LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms to streamline the conversion process in order to offer free trials or product demos. By aligning personalization with the buyer’s journey, B2B marketers can effectively guide prospects from initial awareness to conversion.

Channelizing PPC for Various Goals

The goals of B2B and B2C advertisers differ significantly due to the distinct nature of their target audiences and the sales processes involved. In the B2B landscape, the focus often revolves around establishing long-term business relationships and nurturing leads through a more complex sales cycle. Common B2B advertiser goals center on actions that indicate a deeper level of engagement and commitment from potential clients.

For B2B advertisers, actions like free trial sign-ups and case study downloads are paramount. Free trial sign-ups allow businesses to showcase the tangible value of their products or services, enabling potential clients to experience firsthand how the offering addresses their specific needs. Case study downloads play a crucial role in building trust and credibility. B2B buyers are typically risk-averse and seek evidence of successful implementations before committing. Therefore, downloading case studies provides decision-makers with real-world examples of how the product or service has positively impacted similar businesses. This could lead to a demo request down the road.

On the other hand, B2C advertisers often focus on more immediate and transactional goals. Actions like product purchases, newsletter subscriptions, or social media engagement are common objectives. B2C sales cycles are generally shorter, and the emphasis is often on driving quick conversions and maximizing transactional value.

While both B2B and B2C advertisers aim to drive actions that align with their overall business objectives, the specific goals and actions chosen reflect the unique dynamics of their respective markets. B2B advertisers prioritize actions that demonstrate a commitment to the brand and a willingness to engage in a more extended partnership, such as free trial sign-ups, case study downloads, and demo requests, reflecting the intricate and considered nature of B2B purchasing decisions.

Maximizing PPC Output

Engaging Potential Customers

Engaging with potential clients is crucial for converting leads into loyal customers, and effective follow-up strategies play a pivotal role in this process, especially after acquiring leads through PPC campaigns. Once a user has shown interest through a PPC-generated lead, timely and personalized follow-up is essential to nurture that interest into a meaningful relationship and potential sale. Email follow-up strategies, in particular, provide an avenue for delivering targeted content, addressing specific needs, and building brand trust. Personalized emails can offer additional information, exclusive offers, or invite further interaction, keeping the brand top-of-mind for potential clients. Establishing a structured and automated email follow-up sequence ensures consistent communication, helps guide leads through the sales funnel, and maximizes the chances of converting PPC-generated leads into valuable, long-term customers.

Importance of Video Ads

Video ads play a pivotal role in B2B PPC marketing, particularly in building brand awareness and fostering a deeper connection with the target audience. In the B2B landscape, where trust and credibility are paramount, video ads offer a dynamic and engaging medium to convey complex messages effectively. They provide an opportunity to showcase a brand’s expertise, products, or services in a visually compelling manner, leaving a lasting impression on decision-makers. Video content has the ability to convey not just what a product or service does but also how it solves real business challenges. As a result, video ads contribute significantly to brand storytelling, creating a memorable brand identity and influencing the perception of the brand within the B2B audience. In essence, the importance of video ads lies in their unique capacity to humanize complex B2B offerings, drive brand recall, and establish a compelling presence in the minds of key stakeholders.

Multi-Channel Stratagem

By adopting a holistic approach and strategically utilizing diverse channels such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, and LinkedIn Ads, advertisers can maximize their reach and impact. Utilizing a CRM, such a Hubspot or Salesforce, will then help bridge the gap between lead submission and closing the deal, so we highly recommend this being part of the overall structure. This multi-channel strategy recognizes that different channels serve distinct purposes in the customer journey and that a diversified approach allows for a more nuanced targeting of diverse audience segments. It encourages marketers to leverage the strengths of each platform while considering the specific preferences and behaviors of their target audience and moving the user through the marketing funnel. By strategically combining the strengths of various platforms, you create a more resilient and impactful B2B marketing campaign and reallocate budget between platforms to increase ROI.

Navigating SEM and Lead Generation

Qualitative Differences

Within the landscape of Search Engine Marketing, the quality of leads can significantly vary, underscoring the necessity of discerning between prospects. While quantity is an essential metric, focusing solely on lead volume can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. Qualitative differences in leads highlight the need for sophisticated lead grading systems or softwares that prioritize follow-ups based on the likelihood of conversion, often integrated into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms like HubSpot or Salesforce. These systems, as mentioned, assess leads based on criteria such as engagement level, demographics, and behaviors, assigning a grade or score to each lead. By leveraging CRM-powered lead grading, marketers gain a nuanced understanding of lead quality, allowing them to prioritize follow-ups and allocate resources strategically. This approach not only refines the follow-up process but also enhances the effectiveness of lead nurturing throughout the entire customer journey. We recommend gaining access to your client’s CRM system in order to understand lead scoring further, as this can help with campaign optimizations.

Lead Generation

In B2B lead generation, PPC advertising plays a pivotal role, offering a targeted and measurable approach to reaching potential clients. However, the significance of PPC goes beyond any single channel (Google, LinkedIn, Bing, etc), particularly in the context of longer sales cycles characteristic of B2B transactions. A comprehensive B2B PPC strategy involves evaluating and utilizing multiple channels to effectively engage with decision-makers throughout the extended decision-making process. While PPC provides immediate visibility, its true impact is realized when integrated with other channels to create a cohesive and multi-faceted marketing approach. This approach acknowledges the intricate B2B sales journey, ensuring that PPC not only generates leads but also contributes to nurturing and guiding those leads through the various stages of the sales funnel. By evaluating beyond a single channel, businesses can optimize their PPC efforts to align seamlessly with the nuanced dynamics of B2B lead generation, ultimately driving sustained engagement and conversions.

In conclusion, our exploration of advancing PPC strategies for B2B has unveiled a multifaceted approach to navigating the intricacies of the business-to-business landscape. From understanding the nuanced differences between B2C and B2B environments to deciphering essential PPC jargon specific to B2B marketing, we’ve laid a foundation for strategic excellence. We’ve emphasized the importance of precise targeting, compelling ad copy, and strategic keyword selection along with the integration of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), conversion tracking, offline conversions, and retargeting as indispensable for success. We’ve explored the significance of LinkedIn as a powerhouse for B2B PPC and uncovered actionable insights for enabling successful campaigns. By integrating these diverse strategies and leveraging innovative tools like Hubspot and 6Sense, marketers can orchestrate targeted, impactful, and enduring PPC initiatives that resonate with businesses, drive conversions, and maximize return on investment. We hope you are now well equipped to optimize your B2B campaigns with confidence, propelling your ROI to new heights!

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