B2B advertising strategy in 7 steps [video]

You don’t need any more leads. Seriously, you don’t need any more leads. Well, at least you don’t need any of the wrong kind of leads. Your B2B advertising strategy needs to be set to generate more of the right kind of prospects. There’s simply no point spending any money on dealing with leads, generating or dealing with leads of the wrong sort.

With digital advertising, you get so much immediate and powerful feedback that you’ll very quickly get absorbed into the ideation, creation, testing, measurement, improvement cycle, and that’s a good thing. It’ll generate great results, and it’s a whole lot of fun, at least if you’re a marketing geek like I am. That’s a good thing, but there’s simply no point dealing from your Sales Force, dealing with the wrong kind of leads and spending your advertising dollar that generates the wrong kind of leads. I know that sounds obvious, but it’s a really easy trap to fall into, and we’re going to not do that today. What I’ll show you is a few tips from, or a few lessons that we’ve learned from our own bit of advertising strategy and its execution. Before giving you some actual steps to take with your own bit of bit of advertising, I’ll share a tool tip, and I’ll show you how to make your funnel plan reflect your B2B advertising strategy.

First let me share with you a little bit of data from our own B2B advertising. First up, we spend about $10 a click, and we get roughly 2.5% conversion of click to lead, that is once they go to the landing page. Roughly 1 in 40 of them becomes a lead, a form fill that says, let’s chat. Around 1 in 8 of those become earn a proposal. We get some duds in there, we get some conversations that are good but don’t quite justify a proposal. About 1 in 8 of our leads become a proposal, and we close roughly 2 and 3 of our proposals. All up that’s $4,800. Let’s call it $5,000 per converted sale generated from advertising, so it’s clearly worthwhile. Our average first year value from our marketing service is contracted to about $60,000, and clients tend to stick with us for about 3 years, so that’s $180,000 lifetime value from a $5,000 advertising spend. Perfectly happy to spend that every day.

Therefore, do we obsess about click-through rates? Absolutely not. We do obsess about landing page conversion because we’ve paid for those clicks. We haven’t paid for an impression, we’ve paid for a click. Once they’ve clicked, we obsess about landing page conversion, not click-through rate conversion. There’s simply no point getting more leads in if they’re the wrong kind of leads. In fact, you want to go even further than that. You want to repel the unattractive leads. I’ll show you how we do that in a moment. All right. Here are my 7 recommendations to make a great B2B advertising strategy. Well, firstly we need sales and marketing to agree what problem we’re solving for the market. Secondly, who has it? Not just the segments but the ideal profile that is the kind of if you like, persona, the kind of company that we really want to be dealing with.

Be crystal clear about the kind of company and the segments where we’re going to find that kind of company and agree it with sales. Don’t do it on your own. Third step: Research really deeply what those people are Googling. When they begin their journey, ask them. Ask past customers, they’ll tell you. Use the Google keyword planning tool, I’ll give a link to that later in the show notes and look at Google trends. Fourth step: Build a landing page that sells your next stop based on what you’ve learned about the sort of phrase that people are looking for and what they are looking for. The important thing is here that you’re selling the next step, you’re not selling a product.

You’re also not selling content so don’t tell them about your product or service too much and don’t sell them just on a content, like download this great white paper because frankly, in B2B, your conversion rates will be such that your conversion rate will go through the roof if you’re just selling content off a paid ad. Do that with SEO. For the clicker, the person who’s gone that far, we actually want them to commit to have a conversation. That’s typically the conversion or call to action that we’re inviting. Step 5: Get Google’s keyword planning tool to identify the best list of phrases to advertise for. Now I know you’ve done some research on phrases, but that was to set up your landing page. Now that you’ve got your landing page, you want phrases to advertise for that might be slightly different and to group them into similar phrases because you want a group of ads that you’re going to put together.

Step 6: Make at least 2 ads for desktop and at least 2 ads for mobile for each group of ads, so that you can test and find out what copy and treatment works really well for your market. Step 7: This is the bit that I’ve been leading up to. Make sure that your ad copy is on the one hand, super compelling for the right audience and super unattractive for the wrong audience. You just don’t want to be paying for the wrong clicks. Do that at the ad stage, not at the landing page stage. In short, do your filtering at the ad stage before you paid, not at the landing page once you’ve already paid, and it’s too late. No real surprises what I’ve chosen for today’s tool tip, and that is Google ad words keyword planner or just called Keyword Planner.

What Keyword Planner lets you do is to put in the landing page that I spoke of earlier and your product category and to then invite Google Keyword Planner to come up with high volume, not too competitive phrases that it’ll recommend based on an algorithm. It will make recommendations of phrases that you should consider for your ad strategy. It’s a good place to start. It’s not the end. You’ll have to do a lot of thinking, but it’s a great place to start your keywords with.

As you know, Funnel Plan is a great way for sales and marketing to agree the objectives, the strategy, the velocity and the tactics that sales and marketing are going to use together to go to market. We’re talking today about advertising strategy, and it’s obviously going to play its hand mostly at the top of the funnel. The most important thing that I’ll begin with in the conclusions was that we need to agree the problems. Let’s take a look at that in the Funnel Plan. There are many problems that we might solve for the market, but sales and marketing need to agree the one that they’re most going to focus on. From that, agree the profile of an ideal client, ICP, ideal client profile and the segments and roles within those segments where we expect to find that profile of buyer. That’s a critical step. Otherwise we’re communicating with the wrong audience. Sales and marketing need to agree that.

We also need some sense of the velocity. Now in this case I’ve got the total velocity, and you can see that in order to get 140 sales, I need to begin with only 530 named targets. Although advertising is not for my named targets, it’s for those that I don’t know. We still need to begin with a narrow audience. I’d rather have a low volume of clicks and be disappointed at that level but a high conversion rate once they’ve clicked. We’re going to the Funnel Plan, and we’re going to start of course with the problems. We’re going to list the problems and then choose a problem. In strategy, we’re going to agree who the target market is, both the ideal client profile, ICP, and the segments where we’re going to find those buyers. Finally we’re going to go into tactics. In the tactics, we’ve got early stage tactics, and that’s clearly what we’re after here.

Advertising is, of course, going to position, but it’s going to do more than that. The advertising itself will position, and the landing page will be the means by which we get them interested and troubled. We’re going to need to make changes to make sure that advertising plays a role in our tactics early stage. We’ve already got low volume, high targeted Google ads. In B2B, that’s typically the setting we go for, low volume, highly targeted Google ads, and we of course, need a landing page that they go to. On the landing page, let’s take a look, that’s interest established. By the time they’ve clicked, they’ve already shown interest. My tactic there is going to be in the interest established stage.

Let’s take a look what we’ve already got. We’ve got inbound phone and web inquiries responded to by inside sales but not yet the landing page. Simple addition, let’s add in a tactic. And we will say landing page, invite to conversation. That’s at the interest established stage, so there. I’ll go into my reorder tactics because I want to get that in the right sequence. In reorder tactics, I can see a visual representation of all of my tactics. We’ve got low volume, high targeted ads, and we’ve go the landing page to appear in the right order. Let’s bring it down to this green section here and what I’ll do is I’ll code that as an inbound tactic, so that landing page invites a conversation. Let’s add that to the inbound group, that was the green group, and that’s it.

The most important thing is we get sales and marketing to agree the problem and the ideal client market that has that profile of the ideal client, so we’re targeting the right buyers and excluding the wrong buyers. That’s it, hope it helps. In next week’s show, I’ll share with you how to build a great partner marketing plan. That is a marketing plan for your partners that help you take your product or service to market. Until then, may your funnel be full and always flowing.