Effective Strategies For B2B PPC Marketers

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) hosts PPCChat with a great question set titled “Effective Strategies For B2B PPC Marketers.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: In the B2B landscape during this time of year, where are your efforts/action items focused? Why?

  • Our business is not seasonal, so we are not focused on holidays. More planning for 2017. – Terry Porter (@TPorter2)
  • Q1-Q2, great time to get them leads in the funnel w/ hopes they close before the year is over. – Eric Louis (@eld3000)
  • Getting budgets and strategies in place for 2017. – Jacob Baadsgaard (@jakebaadsgaard)
  • Sales & strategy for FY17. Solidify budgets and testing plans, focus on initiatives that were successful in 16 for expansion. Dec is an epic time of year to GSD, focus on the items you let slide the rest of the year. Knock out your ’16 to do list. – Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
  • Not seasonal here. Still working on driving leads. Working to change ad message for early 2017 as businesses get new Q1 budgets. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • We are reviewing current vendors looking for results that are down YTD. Creating mini marketing plans per vendor for 2017. – David Cox (@dcoxdesigns)
  • B2B clients are getting a focus on 2017 strategy between time critical B2C holiday work. – Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
  • Planning our 2017 strategy. – Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
  • Some clients are keeping an eye on the political situation. Election had an effect on my old industrial clients 4 years ago. – Joe Martinez
  • Prep for 2017 and continuing testing ad copy for another few weeks. Then stop during the holidays. Sales go down. – Duane Brown (@duanebrown)
  • Either winding down because equiry rate drops in December, or keeping going as usual. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)

Q2: How much weight do you put on competitive metrics like impression share and the auction insights report? Why?

  • Auction insights can correlate to the average CPC so we definitely look at that and try to adjust after spying via SEMRush. – Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
  • Not a ton, but I do pay a little bit more attention in B2B vs. ecomm since we don’t have PLAs as well. – Matt Umbro
  • Been trying using auction insights report to direct ongoing competitive analysis/research. – Kyle Crocker
  • More now than ever. Seeing a big increase in competitors for one of my clients. Older B2B industries slowly doing more digital. – Joe Martinez
  • Overlap rates within the auction insights are very helpful and can definitely guide keyword adjustments. – Jeremy Krantz
  • Started really focusing on imp. share recently. Low imp. share means room for growth, possible higher budget, cpc bids. – David Cox
  • Impression share is an imporant metric for B2B. Being new to this, I didn’t know about the Auction Insights Report. – Terry Porter
  • Also useful in validating that the campaign is targeting the right searches. – Kyle Crocker
  • I put some weight on them combined with other metrics like past performance and competitive data. – Jacob Baadsgaard
  • Impression share is a good yard stick to look at for Brand and some generic. Auction insights I’ve never been a huge fan of. – Duane Brown
  • Imp Share worth watching if budget to grow it. AucIns is more “meh” but can be helpful for date comparisons to see comp movement. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Really surprised that B2B isn’t focused on Impression Share. What’s the reason to ignore it? – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
    • Though even then, can use it to show clients potential for growing budget (and thus leads). – Kirk Williams
      • Absolutely on all points – I typically focus on Exact Match IS for B2C. See as a barometer of market size too. – Doug Thomas
  • I tend to discount impression share in generic verticals. ie: “network management software” I don’t care if I’m at 100%. – Matt Umbro
  • Heavy weight on Auction Insights. Need to understand whom is outranking us, by how much; which players are in & their position. – Rachel King (@rachelking237)
  • Great to show client getting consistent high Imp. Shr when competitors are all over the place looking amateur. – Eric Louis
  • I am very interested in Comp analysis and data from the engine reps though. Tis a place to start. – Maria Corcoran
  • Low impression share = low opportunity. Need to be visible to capture a click or call. My team is trained to check daily. – Rachel King
  • A lot of attention to impression share. Increasing it is one of the most powerful levers we have. – Steve Gibson

Q3: In B2B campaigns, what conversion points do you find work best for getting initial interest and adding users to the funnel?

  • Phone calls! I can’t imagine what some of my conversion totals would look like without tracking it. – Joe Martinez
  • Whatever it takes to get them into a remarketing segment. – Andrew Bethel
    • Use micro-conversions to move them along. Combine events + user site behavior for extra-special lists. – Kirk Williams
  • Something we are still working at figuring out as we just put in a new MA platform and are relooking at all our work. – Duane Brown
  • Resource downloads, newsletter signups +1000 on phone call & remarketing comments too! – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Phones calls are just about as important as forms #ppcchat but remarketing is also very effective. Especially RLSA. – Jeremy Krantz
  • If I’m selling 100K software, whitepaper downloads and webinar signups are perfect for PPC. Get them in the funnel and nurture them. – Matt Umbro
    • Whitepapers are key to a SAAS program. 100% agree, better then phone calls as initial interest. – Maria Corcoran
  • Sales video watched 100%, Spec Sheet Downloads, White Paper downloads, newsletter signups. The usual culprits. – Kirk Williams
  • Use site visits to start a re-marketing campaign to continue engagement past initial interest. – Nancy Lim (@nancy_elle)
  • RFP – gated download submission, MQL & RSLA’s a a method Link your CRM data to PPC & opt to lower funnel. – Maria Corcoran
  • Any interaction that allows us to follow up or track them–in a remarketing list, CRM, or otherwise. – Jacob Baadsgaard
  • Any channel you can use to profitably market to them. – Steve Gibson
  • Product family landing pages that often lead to a cart add and the chance to remarket. – Terry Porter
  • Remarketing using Customer Lists and Gmail placements. Have to admit, just started trying this, early into data collection. – Rachel King
  • Free content offerings & trials are huge for my clients to get ppl in the funnel. – Emma Franks (@akaEmmaLouise)

Q4: How specific do you go with your messaging, especially if selling high price point products?

  • As specific as dynamic keyword insertion will let me get. – Jeremy Krantz
  • For high price points, I focus on value messages and “free trial” messaging. Bigger investments may need more nurturing. – Joe Martinez
  • Specific in what sense? I make all marketing messages as specific as possible as it increases conversion. – Steve Gibson
  • Balance between some self qualifying & being too restrictive on prospects. Get decent leads into system is usually goal. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • High price points = long conversion cycle. Messaging is focused on information gathering & 3rd party reviews like whitepapers. – Maria Corcoran
  • Pretty specific, especially on high value equipment. Long tail keywords important. – Terry Porter
  • As specific as possible to fit ad group (KWs typically segmented well). General info for high funnel – specific for low funnel. – Emma Franks
  • We go as specific as possible. We use it to weed out unqualified leads and engage qualified ones. – Jacob Baadsgaard
  • I’m not afraid to mention the price or a rough cost – I’m not afraid to lose clicks if the user isn’t right. – Matt Umbro
  • As specific as possible to gate out consumers and lower value customers. – Timothy Jensen
  • For example, I might say that “software packages begin at $65K” – Matt Umbro
    • I won’t mention price unless it’s either a benefit or I’m disqualifying. – Steve Gibson
      • I generally use it to disqualify. – Matt Umbro
  • The more relevant your message, the more it’s going to connect with your audience- regardless of price point. – Nancy Lim
  • It’s a balance between QS factors, and quality click traffic. The more specific the better the traffic, but may = poor CTR. – Rachel King
  • As an aside, critical to understand role search plays in purchasing big ticket B2B items. Sometimes large role, sometimes not. – Julie Bacchini
  • Tailor ads, keywords to search queries. on shopping side, adjust bids per SKU, takes some time, but pays off. – David Cox
  • Give the people what they want in ads… most want to save time or make more money in life. – Duane Brown

Q5: How do you work with clients to ensure the leads you are driving are turning into opportunities for them?

  • Luckily all of mine use Salesforce. So proper URL tagging and reporting are all I need. – Joe Martinez
  • In house – so full access to CRM data & weekly meetings with Sales teams. Salesforce data integration & tracking is key. – Maria Corcoran
  • One of most important things you can do for a client- help them focus on leads that have reasonable chance of converting v all. – Julie Bacchini
  • Most of mine don’t have good CRM, so providing lists of phone calls and forms and asking for feedback. Better than nothing. – Kyle Crocker
  • I keep hounding my clients until I get information. I can’t do my job to the best of my ability without the lead info. – Matt Umbro
  • We pass info thru params into their CRM & analyze. Where possible bring CRM data back to Adwords. Like Maria mentioned. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • I am blessed to have API connections with all brands! Downstream data is available w/in ~2 mins of conversion at the KW level. – Rachel King
  • Tie into CRM if possible – use shared Google spreadsheets for others. Need to work with them @ their level of organization. – Timothy Jensen
  • Before starting, we map out their closing process & model the target Cost of Acquisition, then see what CPA’s needed to hit it. – Glenn Schmelzle (@heyglenns)
  • Shared access to CallRail is helpful for tracking phone leads. – Timothy Jensen
  • If you don’t have a CRM, use event tracking to capture the “Company” form field in Google Analytics. Show who came from PPC. – Joe Martinez
  • If they know what they’re doing, they’ll have something in place that tracks leads through the sales process. And, if they don’t, they need a lot more than PPC work. – Steve Gibson
  • ASK regularly how they are feeling about the leads (can vary wildly from what you see in data) but just as important. – Julie Bacchini
    • Always feels strange asking how leads “feel” vs. data. But super valuable, especially on smaller scales. – Kyle Crocker
  • Work closely with their CRM and sales team to ensure we know what’s working for them and what’s not. – Jacob Baadsgaard
  • Always tough. Integration with their CRM best Secondary is routine client meeting/interviews to get “feel” from them of leads. – Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
  • I work in house. my client “feels good” when ad spend to sales ratio is low and ROI is high. – David Cox

Q6: Talk about a unique idea you brought to the table for one of your B2B clients?

  • When client had a tradeshow, we set up Facebook local awareness ads just around the convention center to drive booth traffic. – Joe Martinez
  • Have sales folks direct their prospects to visit website for edu/informat article & then are added to specific remarketing list. – Kurt Henninger
  • Highly specialized GDN placements – either by niche or geography can be gems. – Julie Bacchini
  • We utilized known customer data from demandbase to autopop form fields to assist conversions – which it did greatly. – Maria Corcoran
  • Not unique, but they weren’t leveraging any job category targeting in social channels. Target businesses who use the service. – Rachel King
  • I try to avoid having unique ideas. – Steve Gibson
  • Not unique, but i started modifying bids per SKU in Google shopping rather than bidding on the brand. REALLY good results. – David Cox
  • Think about products in other ways besides names and part numbers. Applications, benefits, etc. Broaden focus! – Terry Porter
  • Targeting people who work for select companies in FB/LI and funneling them into remarketing list from LP. – Timothy Jensen

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More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
• David Cox (@dcoxdesigns)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• Duane Brown (@duanebrown)
• Emma Franks (@akaEmmaLouise)
• Eric Louis (@eld3000)
• Glenn Schmelzle (@heyglenns)
• Jacob Baadsgaard (@jakebaadsgaard)
• Jeremy Krantz (@JeremyKrantz)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
• Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
• Nancy Lim (@nancy_elle)
• Rachel King (@rachelking237)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Terry Porter (@TPorter2)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Using Effective Strategies for Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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