5 Common Mistakes in B2B Digital Ad Campaigns

Posted on by Jeremy Durant

Empty, modern, futuristic command center interiorA successful B2B digital marketing strategy has a lot of moving parts, including an engaging website, search engine optimization, blogging, advertising, email marketing, content offers and much more. All these channels and avenues need to be carefully managed to ensure maximum return on investment.

Avoid these five common mistakes that can directly impact your B2B digital ROI.

  1. Broad Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns that run through platforms like Google AdWords are an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. However, they can also deplete a budget very quickly if they aren’t set up correctly. Often these campaigns are too broad. In addition to running through a budget quickly, AdWords campaigns that are too broad also drive the wrong kind of traffic.

There are two major issues with broad campaigns. There aren’t enough negative keywords and usage of broad match often produces irrelevant results.

Negative keywords are important because they allow you to exclude search queries that aren’t from your target market (and will save you money). For example, if your SaaS company is looking to target users searching for “healthcare software,” you likely don’t want to attract people who are looking for jobs. As such you would list terms like jobs, careers and hiring as negative keywords or words that you do not want to target with your ads. That way when someone types in “healthcare software jobs,” they won’t see your ad.

Many firms use the default “broad match” setting for their AdWords campaigns, which then allows Google to determine when your ads are the best fit for a search. The problem is that Google doesn’t know your business. I always recommend that B2B companies change the AdWords setting to exact, phrase and modified broad match so the phrase “healthcare software” must be an exact phrase match. This way, your ads aren’t showing up for simple “healthcare” or “software” searches that aren’t relevant to your business.

2. Lack of a Strategy for Non-Converting Website Visitors

B2B companies spend a good amount of money paying to drive relevant leads to their websites. While a percentage of those leads will convert once on the website, a large chunk of them won’t convert.

Not having a strategy to follow-up with users who didn’t convert is the equivalent of leaving hard-earned money on the table. Marketers must monitor all website visitors and follow up with those who did not convert. If you have Google Analytics or lead tracking software, identifying the companies of the users who visited your site is a snap. For example, in Google Analytics, under the Audience section, you can look at the Networks used by visitors to your website and identify any that belong to companies (which will be obvious in the name of the network).

Once you have identified the companies of visitors who didn’t convert, email the most likely suspect in that company with a personal greeting and relevant content. For example, in the healthcare software example above, the ideal target at the company may be a CTO, engineer, or product manager. Identify who these people are at the companies who visited your website by doing research on LinkedIn or the company’s website. Send a follow-up email with helpful content like white papers, guides or case studies. Continue nurturing these leads until you convert them or they are disqualified as leads.

Also, using an ad retargeting platform like AdRoll will help re-engage website visitors. Ad retargeting is an effective way to stay top of mind with website visitors as they visit other websites.

3. Impatience with Driving Organic Leads

For a B2B marketing strategy to be successful, there should be short-term and long-term goals in place. A strategy to drive organic traffic is a long-term strategy that takes time to implement and see results. This is why pay-per-click and digital advertising strategies are a great complement to attracting organic traffic. PPC and digital ads drive traffic now, while your website and content start to earn organic traffic.

A common mistake that B2B companies make is allowing their impatience with driving organic leads to dictate their strategy. When companies don’t see immediate increases in organic traffic, they get antsy and change strategies before the initial strategy had enough time to produce results. It’s important to stay committed to the organic SEO strategy, continue blogging, creating great content, and promoting that content. Marketers often make the mistake of taking their focus off organic and focusing all their efforts on paid campaigns because they are seeing better results with paid ads. This may work in the short-run, but is not sustainable for long-term growth.

4. Lack of Discipline with Email Marketing

Email marketing continues to be a tried and true method for nurturing leads and retaining existing clients. Yet, there is often a lack of discipline with email marketing for B2B firms. The least you can do from a lead nurturing standpoint is to send a regular email newsletter. It should be sent out monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly in order to be effective. Email marketing is a great channel for nurturing leads because it is more of a soft sell than typical ads. By including helpful articles in your email newsletter, you are showing prospects that not only are you the authority in your industry, you are a true partner in helping them do their jobs better.

  1. Thinking About Ads in a Silo

Digital advertising is about promotion: promoting your company, promoting your products or services, and promoting the benefits of working with your firm. Many B2B run their ads in a silo and forget about all the great content they have created. Instead of thinking of ads and content separately, businesses should start thinking of how they can use content to generate more leads through advertising. Often, the highest lead generating B2B ad campaigns involve giving away content that is useful to your target audience.

For example, if your marketing team has just completed a great guide for evaluating healthcare software, don’t just post it on your website. Start using paid ads to get your guide in front of the right people and use it as a lead nurturing. Run sponsored updates on LinkedIn or use Facebook ads to target your ideal client. Create a retargeting ad campaign to offer the guide to visitors who have been to your website but haven’t converted. Launch an AdWords campaign that targets searches like “healthcare software comparison” or “best healthcare software.”

It’s a waste of your time and resources if you create a great piece of content and fail to advertise it to your target market.

Whether a B2B digital ad campaign is comprehensive and complex or targeted and specific, it needs to be properly managed. By avoiding these five common mistakes, you can increase your lead generation, control ad spends, and maximize the ROI of your marketing efforts.

Jeremy Durant is business principal at Bop Design.


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