Pay-Per-Click advertising plays a significant roll in the success of small-to-medium sized B2B companies during all phases of the buying cycle.
Is your company covered across the entire buying cycle for your behavioral segment keywords relating to your products and services? This article will answer these questions.
o What is the B2B paid search buying cycle?
o What keywords should you bid on?
o When should you bid?
o How much should you bid?
o Do you have compelling call-to-action?
o What other forms of advertising work well with pay-per-click efforts?
Lifetime Value of a Customer
The value of a new customer for B2B marketers is very high. Each B2B transaction is high and leads to an even higher lifetime value that could be worth hundreds, thousands or even millions.
Researching Through Search
Pay-per-click advertising delivers immediately to searchers who are researching companies; capabilities, specifications, usage practices, liability, reliability, product integration, reputation, location, costs, etc.
Searches vary depending on stage of buying cycle. According to a study released by Google and Millward Brown, “22 percent of respondents would turn to search as their first source of information during the purchase process’s first stage (research and engagement). Another 16 percent would turn first to manufacturers’ Web sites, 15 percent would go to colleagues, 12 percent would talk with IT consultants, and 10 percent would go to content Web sites.”
Stages of the B2B paid Search Buying Cycle
o 1st Stage – Aware
Buyers tend to use broad category search terms to conduct their initial awareness search.
o 2nd Stage – Research
Buyers use additional add-on terms such as, reviews, articles, etc.
o 3rd Stage – Compare
Buyers tend to use comparative words to extend awareness such as, comparison, compare, difference, etc.
o Final Stage – Purchase
Finally, buyers do branded or product name searches to confirm their findings and make an information buying decision.
Now that you understand the when to bid and what to bid on, now we will discuss how much to bid?
Prior to launch of your B2B pay-per-click campaign, you should understand the metric that makes your business successful. Savvy marketers will have a mixture of manual and automated bid techniques to make sure their keyword bids align with performance thresholds. Typical B2B thresholds are usually based on cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This is the amount you are willing to pay to get an action; telephone call, contact us form, download, request demo, newsletter signup, etc. Positioning your ads is one part of the pay-per-click process. The other is how to improve conversions. Anyone can send traffic to a site, but getting the traffic to convert requires analysis and pro-active marketing to create good call-to-actions.