PPC for B2B: 3 Tips for a Kickass Inbound Marketing Strategy
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These days, all marketers talk about is inbound marketing and how important it is to establish a strong online presence to grow and keep growing. In fact, when Hubspot interviewed over 4,500 companies for their the "State of Inbound 2016” report, 73% stated that inbound marketing was their organization’s top priority. And we agree that it should be a priority. The issue is, too many businesses ignore a very important tactic: PPC.
What I don’t understand is why businesses think that PPC and inbound marketing aren’t connected.
According to marketers, online paid campaigns are the second most overrated inbound marketing tactic, but frankly, that’s only because most don’t know how to do it correctly. When you do PPC right, it becomes an inseparable part of your inbound marketing strategy.
So, where does the confusion come from?
Personally, I feel the confusion starts with an organization’s misunderstanding of inbound marketing and how to use PPC in an effective—not creepy—way. No worries, let’s figure out why and how PPC should fit into your marketing strategy.
Unlike outbound sales, inbound marketing was developed with the purpose of helping potential customers feel connected to your brand and the products or services you offer. The connection and trust are built slowly, over time, through valuable content such as blogs, emails, eBooks and website campaigns. It’s a step-by-step process that first makes potential customers aware of your business and then, draws those same potentials to your website and into your sales funnel.
Although inbound marketing is a long term strategy, it doesn’t mean you’ll be spending money without payback. The great thing about inbound is that you can start small and add on as you grow—you don't have to jump all-in all at once.
When all's said and done, the three things you can expect from a successful inbound marketing strategy are:
- Long lasting, valuable traffic
- Quality leads
- Easy tracking for ROI
So, how does PPC fit into your B2B inbound marketing strategy? It’s only through the combination of both strategies that you receive the best results.
Remarketing is the most successful PPC strategy and it’s a perfect fit with Inbound marketing. It allows you to tailor your online ads to specific prospects based on their browsing history as relevant to your business. You can target ads toward prospects who have visited your website or app, or you can be even more specific and only show ads to customers based on different actions taken on your website: viewing a particular service or signing up for your email list.
Remarketing campaigns are incredibly effective because they allow you to target people who are already familiar and might be interested in your brand, and reach out to them with messages appropriate to their stage in the inbound marketing funnel. It’s what us marketers like to call “low hanging fruit”. You have the opportunity to specifically target your messaging and communicate with prospects on a much more personal level.
You worked so hard bringing the right visitors to your site using great tailored content and social media engagement, but oh so few people actually will leave their details on the first go. Remarketing will enable you to bring back these users again and again, until they convert.
Let’s say you’re a cloud computing company with a new product offering you want to get out there. The truth is, the best way to begin is with people who are already familiar with your service. Specifically target only the individuals who’ve visited your website during a certain time period or who made it to a particular page, such as your product page.
Post exposure and readership
During your B2B inbound marketing journey, you’ll create lots of content, if you haven’t already. Why not give your best content a small push and reach even more people to increase your engagement?
By targeting demographics, interests, location, job titles, online behavior and more, you can provide valuable content to the maximum reach of prospects.
Let’s go back to the cloud computing company example. When you have a new service available, one of the first things you’re going to want to do is write a few blogs that outline your new product/service. Without PPC, finding readership for those new blogs, which you previously had no SEO or readership for, could take a long time.
Yes, eventually (if you know your SEO), your prospects will find your website through organic search, but that means they were searching for you in the first place. What about the many times people don’t know they need your solution, or do, but don’t know what to search for. Post engagement allows you to get your word out to relevant prospects with relevant content that gives them value.
It also shortens the time it takes and extends your reach in exactly the direction you want to go, which is particularly important for content that is timely and needs to reach a large audience, fast.
Relevant Content Offers
Everyone wants free stuff. It’s human nature to want something in exchange for giving something. It’s why you pay your employees for their time and abilities. It’s why people purchase your services. So, why should you treat your inbound marketing efforts any differently?
Using PPC advertising, you can take advantage of a prospective customer’s desire to receive value from you in return for a desired action.
Think of it this way. When researching a new cloud solution for your business, would you be more willing to give your name, number, and company information to a business that requests it with no exchange of payment or one that offers you a free whitepaper with great insights about the cloud computing industry? You’d obviously choose the latter because you get something of value, equivalent to the time you gave them.
Using PPC to offer relevant content offers is a great way to not only generate more marketing qualified leads, but it’s also a great way to raise awareness. People want free stuff, and they want it even more if the only way they can get it is by putting in some effort. Then, it feels exclusive. Just make sure to provide real value and don’t forget to build a kickass thank you page to give them a chance to request more information.In the end, when it comes to your B2B inbound marketing strategy the only thing that matters is that you’re successful in bringing potential customers into your sales funnel, and PPC should be a key piece of that. The next question is which platform to use but that’s a whole different topic.