With all marketing channels, identifying the high-performing and lower-performing variables of your efforts is crucial for success and growth. This is especially true (and a bit trickier) for B2B companies with smaller budgets and longer sales funnels.

B2B companies with smaller budgets can maximize spend by utilizing creative methods backed by account learnings. In this post, I’ll outline several strategies to up your B2B search marketing game.

Segment, Segment, Segment

Are there particular geographic areas that drive better efficiency for your business? Or are there perhaps geographic areas that drive significant lead volume but at a less efficient rate? Take your geographic strategy a step further than typical geographic bid adjustments and segment your campaigns by location performance.

You will often find that keyword, day of week, hour of day, household income, and various demographic measures perform completely differently when segmented in this fashion. Prior to segmenting geo campaigns, ensure that these top-performing locations align with the top-performing locations in your back-end data. This will allow you to tailor your optimizations to the users in that particular area and to allocate budget more efficiently.

Use Age Exclusions

When faced with a smaller budget, your main focus should be identifying areas where excess spend can be eliminated. One way to do this is to analyze age demographic data – not only in your media accounts but in the back end as well. Do these converters fall within a certain age range? Identify this trend and optimize accordingly.

In the example below, ages 18-24 had a significantly higher CPA and less volume when compared to older age ranges. Since this trend was also apparent on the back end, we excluded ages 18-24 from all search advertising. As a result, we saw a subtle lift in performance, even ranging to a 15% CPA improvement in a few higher-volume campaigns. The more refined you are in your demographic targeting strategy, the more you can maximize your budget.

Align Assets and Devices

Device segmentation can be utilized to push users down the sales funnel at a more efficient rate.  It is often the case that B2B companies drive users to download whitepapers in their lower-funnel retargeting campaigns. Although there is value in mobile advertising, whitepapers will generally not be downloaded on a phone. This should change the way you look at your retargeting strategy.

Along with excluding or bidding down on mobile, you can leverage device by creating a mobile-only campaign. Utilize a mobile-friendly asset and a unique URL to create a specific mobile-only user audience. This audience can then be retargeted on desktop to drive the whitepaper download.

Respect the funnel and use retargeting

One of the main reasons SEM is one of the most popular types of advertising for B2B companies is the audience capabilities available. Identifying the touch points that lead to sale is essentially part of the secret sauce of your marketing.

Staying top of mind is crucial for B2B companies with long latency. This can be done through retargeting, which you should design to push the user down the sales funnel to an eventual purchase with tailored messaging and assets at every stage.

Identify the average latency period for each step of the funnel and develop a strategy to help nurture your leads. When creating initiatives, think about what messaging, asset, landing page, etc., would best serve users at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel.

 

None of these strategies will make B2B marketing easy, but they’re all crucial. If I haven’t been clear enough, two final points: make sure to tie your back-end data to any campaigns you’re running (you want to make sure you’re prioritizing your highest-value audiences), and plan multiple touchpoints to nudge users along the long process to sale.

Good luck!

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Kaitlyn Couture
Kaitlyn joined 3Q Digital in 2016 after receiving a master’s degree in Digital Social Media from the University of Southern California. Kaitlyn played Division I lacrosse at USC. Aside from digital marketing, her interests include yoga, cycling and trying new restaurants. Kaitlyn was born and raised in San Diego.