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How to Create a Successful B2B PPC Campaign

According to a recent poll, 95% of B2B marketers are focusing their efforts on SEO, while only 35% are involved in paid search advertising. Based on these findings, it seems like a great time to get a jump on the competition and start building out some B2B-optimized PPC campaigns if you haven’t already.

Creating a successful B2B PPC campaign poses many hurdles for companies. For one, you only have 95 total characters in each ad, which isn’t always enough space to clearly describe your business or product. Also, if your product has a closely-related B2C version, you have to make sure you aren’t attracting the wrong customer. Below are some best practices to consider when creating B2B PPC campaigns and ad copy.

1. Know your competition
Before creating your campaign, do research on your competitors. See what type of messaging they’re using in their ads, and find out what keywords they’re bidding on. In addition to performing your own searches on Google, you can also utilize competitive research tools, including Spyfu and Compete.

Once you know what your competition is doing, start identifying unique qualities about your product or business that you can emphasize in your ad copy. For example, if you offer the lowest price in your industry, make sure to point that out.

2. Know your customers
When putting together a keyword list, consider all of the possible ways your potential customer would search for your product. Think about phrases and key terms that people may use to find your product if they’re not exactly sure what they’re looking for. This will increase your ad exposure and help you capture the most search traffic.

When crafting your ads, make sure to include features that address your customers’ needs. You only have 95 characters to get your message across, so it’s important to emphasize product attributes that your customers will find appealing. Also, when writing ad copy, use only familiar acronyms and short-hand, and avoid abbreviating words just to save space. Here is an example of an ad that addresses a customer’s need – boosting employee loyalty and retention.

Awards Ad Example

3. Load up campaigns with negative keywords
If your product or service has any overlap with a similar B2C product or service, you’ll need to regularly pull search query reports from Google and Bing to identify potential negative keywords. For example, if your company sells high-end laser engravers for industrial use, you’ll want to add several negatives, such as “jewelry”, “photos”, “personalized” and any others that you know don’t apply to your product. This way you can eliminate a lot of unqualified clicks right off the bat, saving hundreds to thousands of dollars in advertising costs.

4. Incorporate business-focused messaging
This is another way to prevent customers looking for B2C versions of your product from clicking on your ads. Including clear, business-focused messaging may result in lower click-through rates, which in turn may lower your quality scores a bit, but the slightly higher CPCs you’ll pay will be much cheaper than spending money on completely unqualified clicks.

Below is an example of a B2B ad for a general, broad match keyword Mobile Advertising. The ad clearly states this is an agency providing services and not a mobile phone provider. It also lists a variety of types of services it provides to capture the correct business audience. This term brings in valuable leads but also finds consumers looking for mobile phones. In the end, you will have a much higher conversion rate by eliminating irrelevant clicks from B2C consumers.

Vibes Ad Example

5. Use a clear call-to-action
Including a strong, clear call-to-action is important in both B2B and B2C paid search campaigns. However, you can differentiate your ads even further by including call-to-actions that will resonate best with your potential B2B customer and deter clicks from those looking for a B2C version of your product. For instance, if you sell a high-end product that cannot be purchased online and are mainly concerned about generating leads, you can avoid using call-to-actions like “Shop Now” and “Visit Our Online Store” and focus on phrases like “Request a Price Quote” or “Download More Information”. This will help hone in on the most qualified clicks and contribute to higher conversion rates.

Common B2B Call-To-Actions:

  • Request More Info
  • Request a Price Quote
  • Request a Free Demo
  • Download More Info
  • Download Product Catalog
  • Learn More About
  • Browse Our Products

6. Optimize landing pages and lead forms
If your goal is to generate leads, you’ll want to make sure your landing page includes your lead form or clear ways to navigate to the form. Also make sure the lead form contains enough fields to make it clear that you are selling a B2B product, but not too many to deter potential customers from filling it out. It may also be helpful to display messaging prominently on the landing page or even directly within the lead form that reiterates the fact that your product or service is for business consumers.

Below is an example of a lead form for a company that offers employee recognition programs to businesses. They often have people looking to redeem awards fill out their lead forms, so to prevent this, they’ve added a separate link for them to click on rather than submitting the actual form.

Awards Lead Form

There is a lot of opportunity to generate valuable leads and new business customers from B2B paid search campaigns. Use these tips and other best practices to get optimal results and don’t shy away from search advertising just because you are a B2B business!


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