Boost every stage of the customer journey with B2B paid marketing
The Internet is a sea of information, often with great tides of distraction. A prospect in the consideration stage can readily move away to another task and leave the customer journey incomplete, thanks to a simple distraction, say, an email alert.
Paid advertising can help brands keep customers engaged throughout the B2B customer journey. A well-thought-of marketing strategy covering all stages will have better chances of a good ROI.
Keep reading to know more.
Leverage paid marketing at every stage of the customer journey
- In awareness stage - In this stage, the prospect is aware of a specific challenge they want to solve and is also becoming aware of your brand. B2B buyers spend 27% of their(1) time researching online. They may use informational keywords at this stage. For example, a hospital procurement head could be looking for ‘automated infusion systems.’ They are only looking to learn more about it but are not ready to invest yet. Well-designed paid ads (on social media or search engines) that use these keywords can help prospects know about the brand.
- In consideration stage - In this stage, prospects compare various offerings and want to know more so they can decide accordingly. Create ads that showcase expertise and your USP. With a proper selection of keywords and target audience, your ads can reach these people at the right time to create an opinion in your favor. Also, retarget those who had shown interest in the awareness stage. Transactional keywords related to price, buy, implement, and download will be helpful when you are creating the campaign.
- In decision stage - Prospects have decided at this stage (or are about to) to partner with your business. Consistent communication and engagement - talking about offers, add-on services, value add, etc., can help reassure them that they have taken the right decision. Here also, you can retarget those who had come very close to conversion (like they may have taken a demo or a free trial but did not pursue further).
- In the loyalty stage - After partnering with a brand over some time and getting beyond satisfactory results, companies (customers) become brand advocates. Continue showcasing services and products related to their previous purchases from you. For example, if a lab has purchased diagnostic equipment from your healthcare company, showcase ads about reagents, servicing, maintenance, etc. The ad copy must also reflect that these viewers are your customers and have invested in something valuable.
Steps to get started with B2B paid advertising
Some of the steps of paid advertising are similar to other digital marketing strategies such as SEO or content marketing. The difference lies in how precisely you define the audience. With paid marketing, you need to be bang-on concerning audience definition and understanding their pain points to yield good ROI.
Take a look at the steps.
- Define a measurable goal - Make goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). Each goal must align with the stages in the customer journey. For example, for prospects in the consideration stage, you can define a goal as ‘Increase lead generation by 20% over the next quarter’. This goal will help you design a precise campaign and be easy to measure.
- Define target audience - You not only need to create specific personas but also update the audience using dynamic audience segmentation. With dynamic segmentation, you can modify audience definition as per their actions. In B2B marketing, understanding the size of companies that typically invest in your products, the decision-makers, which geography buys the most from you, etc., will help define your audience. If you do not set the audience right, you may get more likes; but not enough CTR, or you may get more website visitors but not enough leads.
- Decide platforms for advertising - 77% of B2B marketers use paid social media or promoted posts for content marketing. LinkedIn is used most widely for B2B campaigns(2) compared to other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Each has its advantage, such as LinkedIn for thought leadership, showcasing expertise, or Instagram for engagement.
- Research keywords - Identify the keywords used by your target audience. The platform you will be using for your paid campaign will recommend some. Keywords should be as per search intent. A prospect in the awareness stage with an informational search intent will use generic words. Those in the conversion stage will have a commercial purpose and use keywords that include price, buy, order, implement, download, etc. Incorporate these keywords while creating the campaigns.
- Decide a budget - The budget will depend
on the goal. The budget for creating awareness will probably be lesser than the budget for lead generation. You will have to cater for several things - the cost of the campaign, the cost of hiring a team, or simply the cost of hiring a paid marketing agency. Of the total digital marketing budget, marketers(3) tend to spend 39% on paid search and 18% on paid social.
- Create ads with CTA - Once the above factors are defined, one can create ads by content writers and designers. You will need a content marketing strategy in place. The content must address the prospect’s pain point, which is possible if you know at what stage they are in the customer journey. For example, a research-based biopharma company is struggling with incompetent data analysis tools. Your innovative software could solve their challenge. So, create captivating ads highlighting the feature of saving researcher’s time, efficiency and accuracy in data analysis, and greater productivity. Decision-makers will instantly relate to it, and a clear and encouraging CTA in the ad will trigger a click.
- Create a crisp landing page - If the ad captures the audience's attention, they will click the CTA and reach the landing page. The landing page should not overwhelm the audience with information but intrigue them further so that they fill-up the form for more information. Continuing the above example, the researcher clicks the CTA on the ad and wants to know more. The landing page could give a gist of the benefits and offer a free trial after filling up a form or creating an account.
- Execute campaign - To execute the campaign, you create it using a tool. Every platform has its tools, such as LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Twitter Ads. In that, you will have to feed all the above factors and finally launch your campaign. It is an exciting stage where your paid marketing strategy can pay off, and the ad gets seen by your audiences. As the campaign goes live, data starts accumulating.
- Analyze and optimize - Once the ad is live, analyze it in terms of Click-through Rate (CTR), Cost Per Impression (CPI), Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Lead (CPL), the traffic that it is generating, what kind of audience is clicking the ad and so on. It will help you modify the ads for better performance. You may need to optimize keywords, create compelling copy, or change the audience definition. For example, if your goal is lead generation, and the ad is only getting impressions, it could indicate a mismatch in audience definition or an ineffective ad copy or CTA.
You need not perform the above steps linearly. Most often, the steps go simultaneously and should be open to tweaking for better performance of ads.
In a nutshell, you can use paid advertising at every customer journey stage. The idea is to boost visibility and fast-track the results.
How can Ethosh help you see results with B2B paid marketing?
At Ethosh, our digital marketing and domain experts bring vigor to your B2B marketing initiatives. With well-planned paid marketing strategies, we help you reach the right audiences with valuable content, retain interest through landing pages with a unique proposition, and optimize campaigns with accurate data analysis. Get ready to enlighten and engage customers at every stage of their journey.
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