B2B Content Has a Visibility Problem – Here’s How to Fix It
Published: August 7, 2019
Author: Dave Hennessy
As a B2B marketer, you depend on content marketing to drive awareness about your brand, products, and solutions; help lift consideration intent along the funnel; and eventually convert high-value decision makers. Because of the number of touchpoints required to convert a customer, there’s significant investment required to create and publish brand content, from blog articles and whitepapers to ebooks and case studies.
As an expert on your brand, creating the content is more or less the easy part. But when it gets published, how do you ensure all of the content you’re creating is actually getting seen? And seen by the right users in the right places at the right times?
Enter native advertising, which allows B2B brands to distribute strategic content at scale and put these content touchpoints in front of the right decision-makers at costs more efficient than any other media channel. On the opposite end of an intent-based channel like search, native is all about contextual discovery and consideration, enabling marketers to strategically target users when they’re consuming content similar to the content you want to serve them. While social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are technically considered ‘native advertising’, B2B brands looking to efficiently reach new users with contextually-relevant content experiences stand to benefit most from non-social native, which encompasses most in-feed, in-article, and in-mail ad placements across the open web.
Getting more specific, how do these three factors – targeting, reach, and cost – help make native advertising so effective for B2B?
- Precise targeting: In addition to more standard targeting tactics (demographics, interests, lookalike targeting, etc.), certain native platforms allow advertisers to get very custom with contextual targeting, which we’ve found can be highly effective for B2B brands in particular. For example StackAdapt, a native-first DSP, allows the configuration of custom audiences using non-brand keywords; these keywords auto-generate a list of contextually-relevant articles your target audience is likely reading, which you can then serve native ads across (makes for an easy extension of top-performing Google campaigns). Going a step further, this platform allows users to set a custom lookback window as recently as 24 hours, meaning you can target decision makers who were reading contextually-relevant content as recently as the day before.
- Expansive reach: While native is highly targeted, it also reaches 95% of U.S. web traffic, as well as users in most international markets, across thousands of premium publishers like TechCrunch, Newsweek, and CIO.com (to name a few of many). For B2B brands looking to reach potential customers outside the walled gardens of Facebook and Google, native advertising presents a nearly endless amount of scalability.
- Highly-efficient costs: You would probably expect engagement from a precisely-targeted channel to come at a steep cost (LinkedIn ads are a common example of this). This isn’t the case with native, in large part because of how much non-social native ad inventory is available across the web. Another important variable that helps make the channel cost-efficient is pricing. While there are a number of ways to price native campaigns (CPC, CPM, CPV, etc.) the most advantageous model is CPE, or Cost Per Engagement. This is a pricing model specifically designed for the paid amplification of content, which allows brands to serve native ads and drive clicks, but only pay when a user spends 15+ seconds on post-click content. In some cases, native CPE can be as low as $2.50. This intent-based pricing helps improve the performance of important content engagement metrics like Time on Site and Bounce Rate, while making brands’ content amplification spend work significantly harder, which is crucially important for B2B.
If your organization relies on the development and amplification of strategic brand content in order to find, nurture, and convert customers, and you haven’t yet explored native advertising, there’s no better time than now. Marketers will spend $44 billion on native ads in 2019, 25% more than last year. With more of this spend shifting to Technology, SaaS, and related B2B verticals, chances are your competitors are already in the channel!
If you’d like to learn more about 3Q Digital’s content marketing and native advertising solutions, contact us here.