Almost everyone in the UK uses search engines to find the things they want to buy – and most business are no different.
Businesses often use Google to discover and buy the goods and services they need – and Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) makes it easy to ensure your company appears in the search results they see.
However, getting the very best from your pay-per-click (PPC) budget can be a challenge – particularly when selling business-to-business (B2B).
As B2B experts, we’ve taken a look at some of the top tips we’ve learned when successfully managing PPC campaigns for companies targeting other businesses:
1. Set clear goals and objectives
It’s important to have an aim for your PPC campaign to help guide your Google Ads strategy.
Are you looking to increase website traffic, generate leads, boost sales or raise brand awareness?
Many businesses state it is to drive traffic to their website and create engagement or leads – such as online purchases, calls or completed enquiry forms.
However, when it comes to B2B – particularly if you have high-value products or provide complex services – using PPC to create brand awareness could be more effective.
Google Ads can ensure your business is ever-visible when anyone searches your products or sector. It may not result in immediate sales or clicks, but being seen can build trust which is critical when your potential customers are ready to buy.
2. Conduct thorough keyword research
Before launching your Google Ads campaign, it’s important to conduct thorough keyword research to identify the most relevant search terms used by your customers.
It’s tempting to simply think ‘What would I Google?’. Common sense and personal experience are very important. However, what you actively think when searching can be quite different to the search terms businesses naturally turn to.
Thorough research – using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs – can help you identify the keywords that match your target audience’s search intent.
Including negative keywords (which prevent your ads from appearing) can help filter out irrelevant search queries and avoid terms which are prohibitively expensive.
3. Create compelling ads
Google is a competitive environment where users take just a fraction of a second to scan information and click on the most relevant link.
Compelling ads highlight the unique value proposition of your products or services. Don’t be afraid to use short phrases to quickly communicate as much info as possible. Be specific and use an active voice to tell the user what they might ‘get’ or ‘discover’.
By creating various versions – each with a single difference – you can A/B test and determine which ads perform best.
Ad extensions (extra information which accompanies your search ads) are also very effective at providing additional information and encouraging clicks.
4.Optimise your landing pages
This is a critical area which many businesses overlook.
No matter how good your Google Ads campaign, keyword targeting or compelling ads – if the page you direct clicks to is poor, your campaign could end up discouraging customers rather than encouraging them to engage.
As a general rule, your homepage is typically too broad to be a suitable landing page. Instead, create or specify pages which relate more closely to the keywords and ad content being used. Remember that the person landing has limited attention span and needs to be quickly and clearly led to the content they require.
If you’re chasing calls, purchases or other engagement, you also need to ensure that the landing pages are optimised for conversions. It should provide a seamless and relevant user experience, load quickly and have clear calls-to-action (CTAs).
5. Maximise your quality score
Google Ads utilises a quality score system to assess the effectiveness and relevance of your ads and landing pages.
The better your quality score, the lower the costs-per-click (CPC) and the better the ad placement – meaning you need to bid less to appear for competitive terms.
A higher quality score also means users are more likely to click on your ads, discover the information or products they need and make a purchase or other positive action.
6. Set the right ad scheduling
In a 24/7 world, businesses can be online at all times of the day.
However, particularly in B2B marketing, there are times – typically Monday to Friday, within normal office hours – when they may be more likely to be searching for the products and services they need.
Concentrating your budget with an ad schedule can increase your chances of clicks from businesses who are ready to buy. Over time, you can analyse your campaign data to identify the times and days when your ads perform best.
7. Use conversion tracking
Google’s move from Universal Analytics to GA4 has further highlighted the importance of conversion tracking.
With Google Ads, you can establish conversion tracking to measure the actions that matter most to your business, such as contact form submissions, product purchases or phone calls.
This can allow you to better evaluate the performance of individual search terms and adverts, as well as the overall return-on-investment (ROI) of your campaign.
In addition, your bidding strategy can be set to target conversions rather than clicks or impressions. However, this may not be suitable if you are using Google Ads to help generate brand awareness.
8. Keep an eye on competitors
It can be valuable to analyse your competitors’ Google Ads campaigns and strategies and to help adapt or improve your own.
Though some insight can be gained simply by Googling key words and analysing the ads which appear, this is significantly influenced by a number of factors. Instead, tools such as SEMrush can give you more reliable data.
However, don’t assume your competitors get everything right! Many established businesses have poorly targeted campaigns which inefficiently spend their budget!
9. Set up remarketing ads
Remarketing adds can be particularly effective for B2B marketing.
They display further digital ads on third party websites to those who have recently visited your website, convincing them to return.
They can be customised to appear for differing pages and behaviours and help re-engage potential customers and improve conversion rates.
10. Regularly monitoring and amend your campaign
A common mistake is to spend considerable time, effort and money building a Google Ads PPC campaign – only to leave it to its own devices for the next 6 months or even longer.
Regularly review your campaigns performance in Google Ads by identifying trends, spotting underperforming elements and making data-driven adjustments. Experiment with ad variations, bid adjustments and targeting options to discover what works best for your audience.
Staying up to date with the latest Google Ads features and changes is important to get the very best from your PPC budget.
Getting the best from your Google Ads campaign
Getting the best results from Google Ads requires ongoing effort, testing and optimisation.
It’s arguably most suited to business-to-consumer products and services – but can also be a very rich vein of sales, leads and brand awareness for business-to-business organisations. It’s essential to be patient and make data-driven decisions.
As East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency, we establish and manage successful Google Ads campaigns for clients in many sectors.
If you need any help, click here
We’re delighted to announce that Full Mix Marketing has been shortlisted as one of five finalists for a highly prestigious DMA Award!
We have been selected for our work promoting Essex Sexual Health Service for Provide CIC, against national competition from campaigns for brands including Dove, Ann Summers and the Alzheimer’s Society.
“It’s a massive honour to be recognised and mentioned in the same sentence as such leading brands and marketing agencies. We’re very proud of our work with Essex Sexual Health and the benefits it’s delivered” says our Managing Director, Sarah West.
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) is a leading industry group which aims to champion technology, talent, creativity, research and insight to set standards for the UK’s marketing community.
The DMA awards attract entries from leading marketing agencies and in-house marketing teams from across the UK and describe themselves as “Rewardingly hard to win”. The judging of 250 entries, from 200 brands, for 39 awards, was completed over five days by 400 professionals from within the marketing industry.
As well as evaluating the strategy and creativity used in each campaign, the award considers the results achieved. For our work with Essex Sexual Health Service, these included increasing traffic to the service’s website by 72%, engaging with over 25,000 social media users and successfully encouraging stakeholders to adopt the service’s marketing. In late 2022, Provided CIC subsequently won a new 7-year contract to deliver NHS sexual health services in Essex, which specifically praised their marketing.
The winner of the 2023 DMA Award for Health and Wellness marketing will be announced at a gala event in central London on Tuesday 5th December.
More details of the DMA Awards can be found here.
Many B2B marketers have long found the direct approach highly effective.
Most businesses can identify their ideal customers. Direct marketing – including emails, mailers and social media direct messages – can help put your products or services in front of them.
As B2B specialists, we thought we’d look at the reasons direct marketing works so well for so many of our clients – and why it could be highly effective for your company or organisation too…
1. Direct marketing can be highly targeted
Direct marketing allows businesses to reach a specific and carefully targeted audience.
If you can define the sector, type, location and size of the companies you wish to work with or sell your products to, you can typically purchase or create a database of likely targets. Analysing your existing customers may help you identify key attributes or qualities to target.
In addition, direct marketing to your current customer base can help improve retention and client-value.
2. Direct marketing can be personalised
The more tailored your direct marketing is, the more effective it will be.
You can use individual or company names, past purchase history and other relevant information to create bespoke messages that resonate with your recipients.
Individual personalisation might not be practical, so you could segment your target database and create messages which better target groups who share similar characteristics.
3. Results from direct marketing are measurable
Both marketers and business-leaders love marketing which can be tracked and evaluated! Direct marketing campaigns are typically highly measurable.
Response rates (how many recipients reply) and conversion rates (how many recipients become customers) are often straight forward to identify. Therefore, return-on-investment (the cost of the campaign relative to the sales made) is also easy to measure and compare to other marketing channels.
However, results from direct marketing can take time. An initial email or mailer may not generate results – but responses should increase with subsequent direct marketing as recipients become more familiar with your brand.
4. Direct marketing can create an immediate response
Many forms of direct marketing, such as email marketing or direct mail, can generate quick responses.
If your direct mail lands when a potential customer is looking for what you deliver, you could make a quick sale! Immediate responses can be encouraged with offers, launches or access to useful information, advice or tools.
However, in B2B marketing, buying-decisions and new supplier relationships can take time to form – so responses typically increase with each direct marketing action.
5. Direct marketing can help build relationships
Direct marketing can help build and maintain long-term customer relationships.
Due to the many pressures of running an organisation, businesses generally like to form long-term relationships with their suppliers and those they purchase products or services from.
Through regular communication – potentially including tailored offers or insights – businesses can nurture customer loyalty and improve retention.
6. Direct marketing can be cost-effective
As mentioned, direct marketing can be one of the most effective tools for B2B marketing.
Compared to some other forms of marketing (such as advertising), direct marketing can also be very cost-effective. This is especially true of digital methods like email and social media messaging.
Mailers can incur print and postage costs and a comprehensive database is a sound investment when beginning direct marketing.
With time, businesses can control their budget by allocating resources to the most promising and responsive segments of their target database.
7. Direct marketing can be integrated with other marketing channels
Brand awareness and trust are vital in B2B marketing and using a mix of marketing channels typically delivers greater and faster results.
Direct marketing – via email, direct mail, SMS and telemarketing – can be integrated with channels including advertising, events, PPC, SEO, web development and social media.
Your direct marketing should look and feel familiar to your other marketing channels. Those who received your emails or mailers should get a similar experience when they visit your website or receive your brochure etc.
A multi-channel marketing approach increases opportunities of reaching your target audience through their preferred communication channels.
8. Direct marketing is quick and adaptable
Direct marketing campaigns can quickly be adapted in response to changing market conditions, priorities, customer feedback or other opportunities – such as changes in legislation or new technology.
Direct marketing also often generates timely feedback from customers which can provide valuable insights into their preferences or pain points.
A/B testing – where different versions of a message are tested to see which one performs better – can also be created with relative ease.
What affects the success of direct marketing?
So, we’ve established eight reasons why direct marketing can be highly effective for B2B marketing.
However, there are a number of factors which can affect its success…
The quality of the database used is critical. If you’re going to the effort of using direct marketing, it makes sense to build or purchase an up-to-date database to make it worthwhile.
The size of database used is also critical. Whilst direct marketing can be very effective, responses rates are typically low – so having a comprehensive database of potential target customers is important.
For B2B marketing, there are few legal constraints as (under GDPR rules) most businesses contacts can be marketed to without permission if they have a ‘legitimate interest’ in what you are promoting.
Like most B2B marketing, the key to success with direct marketing is persistency. It takes time for most businesses to become familiar enough with your brand to respond.
Keep in regular touch with your target database as it may be three, six or even twelve months before considering the product or service you deliver appears on their to-do list.
Get more from your direct marketing
When executed thoughtfully and ethically, direct marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their target audience and drive results.
We’re East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency, specialising in delivering a full mix of marketing for businesses who provide what they do to other companies, organisations and professionals.
As a full-service agency we can provide any element of your strategic, digital or creative marketing – and have extensive experience in sectors including manufacturing, engineering, technology, IT, logistics, construction and business services.
If you need any help with your marketing, please get in touch here.
Senior Marketing Executive, Karina, is celebrating two years with East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency, Full Mix Marketing.
And, the word she’d choose to describe her role over that period?
“Close – that’s what my relationships have become with both our clients and my colleagues” says Karina.
“I’ve been fortunate to establish and manage marketing for a number of clients. It’s been fantastic earning their trust and hopefully being almost as much a part of their team as I am a part of Full Mix” adds Karina.
After joining the Norwich-based agency in 2021, Karina was promoted to Senior Marketing Executive and has played a growing role in managing marketing for a number of the companies which the agency supports.
“Karina embodies what a great marketer in a marketing agency does. There’s no difference between the diligence she shows our clients and the diligence she shows her colleagues” says James West, director and co-founder.
Following a break to start a family, proceeded by 11 years at Bernard Matthews, Karina’s added her knowledge delivering marketing for a big brand to the marketing agency’s team.
Karina’s role has seen her working closely with businesses in diverse sectors including logistics, manufacturing and specialist technical services.
“I get to submerge myself in one industry, then switch my focus on quite another. It’s daunting at first but it helps give me a close, but also impartial view, that I hope really helps our clients” states Karina.
As well as being in constant communication with the clients that she account manages, Karina coordinates herself and other members of the Full Mix team to deliver marketing including social media, content marketing, search engine optimisation and graphic design.
“Karina has proven excellent at communicating with clients and carefully orchestrating our team’s efforts. However, she’s just at home burying her head in her computer to create something which will help our clients look great in their sector” concludes James.
Full Mix Marketing has established itself as East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency, working with a growing number of successful companies in sectors ranging from manufacturing and engineering to professional services and technology.
The firm often acts as an entire marketing department for their clients, helping them identify and benefit from the right mix of digital, strategic and creative marketing.
Karina has two daughters with her partner Matt and frequently travels to Germany to spend time with her parents and enjoy a chilled glass of Riesling from the slopes of the Mosel.
This week, the Full Mix Marketing team have swapped smart trousers and skirts for our favourite jeans and denim, all to help increase awareness of genetic diseases.
‘Jeans for Genes’ is an annual event which helps raise both the profile of genetic conditions and funds for projects which improve the lives of people suffering from them.
Some genetic conditions are apparent at birth, whilst others are diagnosed later in childhood, adolescence and even adulthood. They can have a profound and lasting impact, so Jeans for Genes’ ambition is that every individual – and their family – can access the right support at times when it’s needed most.
The week runs from Monday 18th to Sunday 24th September 2023.
To find out more or donate, visit www.jeansforgenes.org
We’re pleased to announce we will be exhibiting at the region’s two leading B2B trade events this Autumn.
First, on Thursday 12th October, we will be on Stand 1 at Norfolk Chamber of Commerce’s 25th B2B Exhibition at the Norfolk Showground.
Next, on Wednesday 22nd November, we will be on a stand (TBC) at Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce’s Cambs B2B at Duxford Imperial War Museum – which is returning after a four year hiatus.
Both trade events look to bring together companies who serve and support other businesses (B2B) from across the region to build connections and find ways to work together. Naturally, as East Anglia’s leading B2B marketing agency, we’re keen to be there to help with anything marketing related and help encourage business growth across the East!
More information can be found at www.norfolkchamber.co.uk/b2b-2023/ and www.cambridgeshirechamber.co.uk/cambridge/b2b-cambridge-launch/