Ask some B2B businesses why they’re not running PPC marketing campaigns, and they’ll give you a whole list of reasons.
They’re not convinced it’s necessary. Or they worry about not getting a positive return. They claim that they can’t saddle their overworked marketing teams with another layer of responsibility. And they’ve heard horror stories about companies losing a bundle thanks to a single botched AdWords setting.
These B2B businesses are wise to proceed with caution. After all, when venturing into any new marketing channel, you need to do your due diligence.
But even with these reservations, the case for getting into PPC only grows stronger. And today, it’s a marketing channel that your B2B simply can no longer ignore.
So to encourage you to take that first step, here are five compelling reasons to get into PPC:
1. Where do you go when you need to find a solution to a business problem?
Some of our clients are surprised at the results we get almost immediately after launching their campaigns. They’re amazed at the number of clicks and conversions. So I’ll ask them, “Where do you go when you need to solve a problem in your business?” Inevitably, they respond, “I start Googling”!
Exactly! For some reason, there’s a disconnect between how B2B business owners and marketing teams use Google and how they think their customers use Google. For some reason, they fail to realize that their customers are just as active on Google as they are.
The days of people searching the Yellow Pages for solutions are long gone. Today, everyone reaches for their laptop, tablet or mobile when they need to solve a business problem, whether it’s finding a supplier for a specialized part or figuring out how much it would cost to outsource a critical service (for example).
You might argue that people still reach to friends or colleagues for advice, and that’s true. But no matter how widely people cast their inquiry net, at some point they’ll still end up on Google to confirm what they’ve learned.
2. Give your brand greater presence in search results
Now, consider what happens when people search Google for your product or service. Does your brand show up on the first page of organic search results? If so, congratulations!
But if your brand isn’t on the first page, you can still get there with paid search ads.
And even if your brand is on the first page organically, you can reinforce its presence with an ad.
For example, I ran a Google search on industrial plastics manufacturing. Here’s a screenshot of the results:
As you can see, the search returned four PPC ads at the top. Only one and a half organic results are visible on my laptop screen. If you’re relying purely on organic results, even a page one listing is no guarantee that you’ll be seen.
So if you want to build your brand presence on Google, then you need to run paid search ads.
Besides, we all know that organic search results can change in an instant. The next time Google tweaks their algorithm, or a new aggressive competitor with deep pockets emerges, your organic listing can drop in an instant.
In addition, consider what happens if you choose not to run PPC ads. Then, you’re essentially gifting that ad space to your competitors. And while you may wish your competitors all the best, you don’t need to do them any favours.
3. If PPC won’t work for your brand, you’ll know soon enough
When new B2B clients come to us, we make no promises. How well (or poorly) your B2B ads will perform is an unknown we can only reveal by trying.
But here’s the good news: Typically, within three to six months, we have a pretty good sense of which way things are going to go. If things start slow, and we can’t turn them around in a few months, we may conclude that PPC marketing simply isn’t the right channel for your B2B businesses—and we will tell you that.
When this happens, it’s usually because your B2B is in a highly competitive space that’s dominated by mega brands with monster budgets.
That doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. But often, it would take a significant PPC budget increase to turn things around. (Let’s face it: A $5,000 a month budget is going to have a hard time competing with a $5,000 a day megabrand budget.)
Sometimes, we can suggest other, more creative PPC approaches. But given current parameters, you may do better to put your resources into other marketing channels.
4. PPC can provide valuable insights for other marketing channels
One unheralded benefit of getting into PPC is that it can help you with your other marketing channels. For example, say you’re preparing to launch a new product or service but have no idea how great or small the demand will be. One way to gage the response is to first advertise it via PPC. If your ad gets lots of clicks and conversions, then you’ll know to plan accordingly in your other channels.
PPC also works especially well with organic search marketing. Wondering whether a particular keyword or phrase will convert in SEO? Give it a try in PPC and see what the data tells you.
Not all marketing channels generate this kind of immediate and precise data. So if you find you’re a bit data deficient in some of your other channels, PPC can make a great addition.
5. You don’t have to do everything yourself
Sometimes even seasoned B2B marketing teams hold back from PPC due to their lack of in house expertise and resources. And they’re wise to be cautious.
PPC rules, settings and best practices can change significantly over the course of months, weeks and even days. In addition, most PPC accounts need to be monitored daily (and sometimes hourly). And all of this makes it difficult to run PPC campaigns as a “part time” responsibility.
Thankfully, you don’t have to charge your marketing team with this responsibility.
PPC advertising agencies, such as Group Twenty Seven, specialize in managing PPC campaigns. When you work a specialized PPC agency, you not only get a more accurate trial of PPC as a marketing channel (one where the results aren’t swayed by inexperience and errors), you also won’t have to worry about a newly minted in house PPC “expert” getting tripped by an default account setting that messes with your ROI for weeks or months.
It’s Time to Get Off the Fence
The time for delay has passed. Today, the case for getting into paid search marketing can’t be denied. To learn how we can help your B2B get started in paid search marketing, give us a call.