Google Ads is already very popular in the B2C sector. However, many B2B companies still believe that Google Ads doesn’t work and focus on other tactics.
However, what does reality look like? Is Google only effective for reaching end consumers? Actually no! According to Marketo Engage, 93% of all decision-makers in companies will conduct online research when looking for products or services. That means being visible in the Google search can make an impact on your sales numbers.
Therefore, it is also necessary for companies in the B2B sector to be present in search engines. In addition to search engine optimization (SEO), search engine advertising can also be a good marketing measure. This article will show you how to successfully integrate a Google Ads campaign into your B2B online marketing strategy.
B2B Online Marketing Specifics
To properly use Google Ads for your business, let’s review what specifics B2B marketing involves compared to B2C marketing. Based on this, you can adapt and design your Ads campaign accordingly. Essentially, the following specifics arise here:
- Products and services in need of explanation: Products and services in the B2B sector are often very complex and require a tremendous amount of explanation.
- Multiple decision-makers: As soon as you want to sell to larger companies, you have to assume that more than one person will be involved in the buying decision. This means that a decision-making process will also take longer.
- Rational buying decision: While B2C customers like to be guided by emotions at some point, entrepreneurs will always tend to make rational decisions.
- Higher margins: Profit margins are usually higher in the B2B sector.
- Higher customer lifetime value: Although the potential target group of many B2B companies is often comparatively small, the value of an individual customer is all the more remarkable.
- Less competition: B2B companies usually have fewer competitors.
The factors mentioned above do not apply to every B2B company. They merely represent a tendency based on experiences. But, of course, every niche brings its challenges.
How to incorporate B2B Google Ads into your marketing strategy
Your long-term b2b online marketing strategy should be building organic reach and traffic. This means ranking in the organic search results, which will save you money later down the road. But B2B search engine optimization usually needs time until you start seeing results.
Therefore, it might be worth investing a certain percentage of your marketing budget in Google Ads to get results in the short term. A well-targeted and implemented Google Ads can give your website the boost it needs!
How to successfully set up your B2B Google Ads campaign in 7 steps
1. Define your target audience
In the B2B sector, you should always know your target audience very well and define it precisely. There are often several decision-makers involved whose wishes and preferences cannot all be brought together under one roof. You can use the following four key criteria to define your B2B target audience with relative precision.
- Organizational characteristics: Company location, industry, company phase, number of employees, market share.
- Economic characteristics: Sales, profit, growth, buying strength
- Buying behaviour: Purchase frequency, price sensitivity, time of purchase, point of sale
- Personal characteristics: Multiple decision-makers
The target audience can also be defined very precisely with Google Ads. For example in the settings by using demographic data and defining user-specific keywords.
2. Determine a B2B keyword set for your Google Ads Campaign
Based on the audience, you should now consider which keywords might be relevant to them. An important tip here is to look for B2B-specific keywords first. Avoid terms that have no straightforward tie-in with B2B.
|Industry||B2B Keyword||B2C Keyword|
|Coffee machines for the hospitality industry||Commercial Coffee Machine||Buy coffee machine or cheap coffee machines|
Exclude keywords that are assignable to the B2C sector from your B2B Google Ads campaign. For example, keywords such as “private”, “definition”, “jobs”. These are keywords that cover the search intention of a private customer.
Current events can influence the search volume of keywords both positively and negatively. Therefore, you should regularly check whether your keyword set is still up-to-date.
3. Ad Copy
Make sure you use B2B-specific wording and write precisely for your target audience. After all, every click from a private individual cost you real money. However, you should also be aware that private individuals, like entrepreneurs, often only give ad texts a cursory read. You will, therefore, never be able to 100% exclude irrelevant clicks.
You should also consider the following points when drafting the ad copy:
- Advertising vs building trust: While pushy ad copy may still work in some areas of B2C online marketing, you’d be better off adopting a more severe and trusting tone in B2B. Your customers like to conduct detailed research before making a purchase decision. Using trust elements such as awards or certifications in your copy and landing page can make a huge impact.
- Include a call-to-action: At the end of every ad copy, there should be a compelling call-to-action (CTA). Depending on the way you plan to generate your leads, a CTA could be: “Get information here,” “Inquire now,” or “Get a quote here.”
- Use ad extensions: Google Ads also provides you with the “Ad Extensions” feature since the space for an ordinary ad copy is very limited. Use the ad extensions to add additional information about your product or service.
4. Choose the right campaign type
The advertising possibilities of Google Ads are not limited only to paid search ads. Beyond search engine advertising, you can also run Display ads, YouTube ads, and ads on Google Shopping or Google Maps.
Think carefully about which of these options makes the most sense for your B2B company. To do this, you should consider which channels all the decision-makers in your target group are most likely to be on. This way, you will get the most out of your B2B Google Ads campaign.
5. Create an ad schedule
Not only the right channel but also the right time is crucial for Google Ads. In the Google Ad Scheduler, you can specify strictly what times of day your ad should appear to a precision of up to 15 minutes. Here are some tips to get the most out of the ad scheduling feature in Google Ads:
- Use business hours of potential customers: Research the usual business hours of your users and adapt them for your advertising schedule.
- Leave out weekends: Think carefully about whether you want to run your ads on weekends. If the user can’t reach out to you on weekends, you might wish not to run ads Think about offering other conversion options such as whitepaper downloads or scheduling an appointment through tools like Calendly.
- Use performance evaluation for adjustments: Google Ads gives you the option to run a performance evaluation of your campaign daily and on an hourly basis. In this way, you can see at which times your ad performs particularly well or poorly. Use this data and make adjustments to your ad schedule.
To be better remembered by your potential customers during the customer journey, I strongly advise you to use the so-called Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). Here you collect the data of website visitors without conversions and create a separate campaign to target these users with search ads afterwards. In addition to that, you can set up a display remarketing campaign.
7. Conversion Tracking
It is vital to track all of your interactions with potential customers. This way, you can also leverage smart bidding strategies like conversion maximisation. Here are some hard and soft conversions you can track:
- Form submissions
- Newsletter Sign Up
- Whitepaper Downloads
Conclusion: Are Google Ads campaigns worth the effort for B2B?
Google Ads or SEA in B2B marketing work very similarly to B2C. However, it would be best if you continually keep in mind the specifics of your company, your products, and your target group to place successful ads.
All the points mentioned above are essential in optimising your campaigns and save you from getting too many irrelevant clicks from B2C customers. In the worst case, Google will otherwise rate your “user experience with the landing page” as below average, which will only hurt you in the long run.
Therefore, you should not rush the start of a campaign. Instead, strategic planning in the form of a SEA audit and optimising your landing pages are the absolute basic requirements for your ads campaign to be profitable.