Oh, how the buying process has changed with B2B. According to Sirius Decisions, more than 67 percent of the customer’s buying journey is now done digitally, and 57 percent of the actual purchase decision is complete before a customer even contacts a supplier.
And why is this? Because marketing is no longer about B2B, or even B2C. Marketing is now about being there when the buyer is searching – it’s about “B2Me.”
B2B marketing has become more of a personal buying journey. Buyers are empowered – they do extensive research and use social channels to get reviews and support from peers. They are no longer waiting for a salesperson to call them. They take the first step in the buying cycle. And with longer sales cycles and competition, it’s important to use strategic inbound tactics such as paid search to lead your prospective clients to purchase from you.
Marketing in the B2B world isn’t easy. And with paid search, it can get even more complicated. Keywords can be very expensive and competition is very intense. However, there are things you can put in place that can help with your B2B paid search. Here are some key points to keep in mind to guide buyers through their purchase decision process.
1. Be the Buyer’s Caretaker
Taking care of your buyer means providing them relevant content that answers their questions. With paid search ads, it’s important to speak to their pain points. What keeps them up at night? What problems are they trying to solve? Use language in your ad copy that they understand and that is relevant to their industry.
Think of being the buyer’s concierge. You assist them, help them make decisions, and provide them with everything they need through their journey.
2. Use Offers That Lead to the Next Step
With B2B, it’s important to provide some type of offer that will speak to what the buyer is searching for. It’s all about providing the right information at the right time. Whether it’s downloading a white paper or reading a case study, ensure the offer will take the buyer to that next step in the nurture process.
3. Use Retargeting
Retargeting is a great way to reconnect with people that have been to your site, whether they have converted or not. With paid search retargeting, it’s an idea way to remarket to B2B customers with a special offer or promotion. It’s another way to create a “personalized” experience for the buyer.
4. Long-Tail Keywords
Looking further down the funnel are the long-tail keywords that can be your opportunity for success. People using long-tail searches are more apt to be closer to buying. Focus on what happens at the bottom of the funnel, and ensure you have the right ad copy in place. Use your SQR reports to find additional keywords to add to your campaigns as well.
5. Know Who Your Buyers Are
Persona-based marketing provides insights on your target buyers. With more decision-makers in the buying process and buying becoming more self-directed, it’s important to know who your buyer is, and how to best connect with them.
But what’s a buyer persona? It’s a model of an atypical buyer and their buying behavior. This helps companies target their ideal buyer, and helps the sales team target the hotter prospects. Conducting in-depth buyer research, creating buyer personas, and understanding your buyer’s goals can be a time-intensive process. But gathering these insights on your customers can help you laser-focus your paid search marketing efforts to the right audience.
Remember – it’s about the “me” experience with B2B. Make it personal with paid search.