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Digital B2B Advertising Platforms: Which Ones are Right for Your Business?

With Americans spending an average of 10+ hours a day logging screen time (4+ hours of that on a mobile device), savvy marketers have increased digital marketing tactics, serving their messages to prospective and current customers on those screens. As pay-per-click (PPC) advertising grows, your strategy not only needs compelling messages and stand-out visuals that grab attention, but thoughtful decisions about when and where those ads should appear. With several B2B advertising platforms to choose from, you may be wondering which networks will best fulfill your marketing goals.

Let’s explore the most popular B2B advertising platforms and their benefits:

Google Ads®

Without a doubt, Google is the most popular search engine in the world, making it a likely choice among B2B advertising platforms to include in your overall PPC strategy. Google offers a large range of targeting options to help ensure you’re reaching your right audience, including, but not limited to:

· Demographics
· Search history
· Interests
· Life events

Along with these targeting options come types of ad choices as well. Depending on your business’ overall goals, either of these ad types (or a combination of both) can be beneficial:

Google Search Network serves text advertisements that include a URL link, title and description at the top or bottom of search engine result pages (SERP) based on the keywords of a user’s query. For instance, a Google search of “online car sales” displayed this ad for Carvana® at the top of SERP results.

Ads can appear across multiple Google sites, including Google Play, Google Shopping, Google Images and more. Utilizing Google Search Partners, your ad can also show on a number of Google/Alphabet-owned websites when a user conducts a related search. It’s important to note that these ads only show to users who are searching for a particular product/service or looking for an answer to a specific question.

Google Display Network showcases visual “display” ads as opposed to text-only advertisements. Unlike search ads that only show on SERP, display ads can be served across Google sites, on social media, within email and on millions of webpages. When working with a skilled agency partner like Stifel Marcin, you will know your display ads are highly targeted, based on parameters mentioned above, serving to target audience personas more effectively.

While running an ad on Google can seem simple, effectively advertising and monitoring campaigns, optimizing results and ensuring ROI is not. B2B advertising platforms like Google benefit (i.e. profit from) increasing advertisers, and driving up a company’s spend. Making it seem simple to set up a digital PPC campaign launch is in Google’s interests.

As a certified Google Ads agency, our team has expertise in Google Ads marketing for the B2B market. See how our Google ads management service experts can craft a strategy for your business that meets your goals and maximizes ROI.

Microsoft Advertising® (formerly Bing Ads®)

With the visibility of Google, some marketers have overlooked Microsoft Advertising. While each business has unique needs and goals, we believe that in many instances, the thinking shouldn’t be “Google OR Bing,” but rather “Google AND Bing.”

As a typical rule of thumb, B2B customers are on Bing. Consider that most employees use a company-issued PC that uses MS operating systems (including Bing as the default search engine). If your targets are people at these companies, you may find this search engine is a smart place to make an investment.

Major benefits of Bing/Microsoft Ads include:

· The ability to run a campaign not only on Bing, but on other Microsoft owned
properties like AOL and Yahoo
· Many targeting options, including location, demographics, time of day and
device type
· Less keyword competition, typically making the platform a more budget-
friendly choice
· Remarketing messaging to drive potential customers back to your website
· A variety of advertising formats, including expanded text ads, multimedia ads
and product ads
· Leveraging LinkedIn data to help with targeting (Microsoft owns LinkedIn)

If it aligns with your business goals, our Bing Ads management service can help you reach more users. Also, check out our article “Five Considerations for B2B Marketers Debating “Bing Ads vs Google Ads” for more information.

Native Ads

Think of native ads as “non-disruptive” advertisements that blend in with the flow of the website page on which they appear. Often they have a more organic feel in the overall space, vs a traditional display ad that would appear at the top of a search or in a sidebar. In many cases the ad may look like editorial content. On a social feed, that may look like a sponsored carousel post. If you notice content that states it is “recommended” for you, you’re likely looking at a native ad.

Native ads are a hot topic as marketers prepare for a cookieless world. B2B advertising platforms offering native advertising promote the ability to target audiences based on subject matter. Simply put, this approach would serv an ad with content related to the article. So, in the above example, if Carvana wanted to serve native ads, they might select a series of articles related to automotive topics.

Social Media B2B Advertising Platforms

Social media is increasingly critical to an integrated marketing plan. When used as part of a holistic, strategic plan, social media advertising can reap rewards in increased brand awareness, web traffic and leads and is a proven part of the B2B buyer journey. The ability to A/B test ads also offers insights into customer needs and wants.

Of note – 75 percent of B2B buyers and 84 percent of C-level executives are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions. Targeted social media advertising can position the right messages to the right audience at the right time.

The B2B advertising platforms offered by social media sites are robust. And as we prepare for a cookieless future, they also provide marketers with a variety of valuable interest and profile data that can be used in targeting.

Facebook®

Facebook is one of the most widely used social media platforms, with an estimated 89 percent of U.S. B2B marketers using it for brand awareness, lead generation and more. With 48 percent of business decision-makers using Facebook to research products, services and/or companies, Facebook ads can reach your desired audience through a variety of ad formats, including images, videos and carousels.

Our Facebook ads management services can leverage the platforms’ ad technologies and data at scale for your B2B business by:

· Targeting your prospects efficiently by location, interests, professions and
more
· Creating “lookalike” audiences to reach new prospects whose interests and/or
demographics are similar to your current customers
· Developing content and designs that encourage your targets to click, driving
traffic to your company Facebook page or website
· Retargeting the people who have engaged with your brand but have yet to
convert on a desired action

Keep in mind, Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Meta, and highly-connected. So deploying ads on Facebook AND Instagram is often efficient and effective.

LinkedIn®

With its millions of C-suite, executives and decision-maker users, LinkedIn advertising can be very successful at increasing brand awareness and generating high-quality leads and account-based marketing results. Like Facebook, LinkedIn offers the ability to develop “lookalike” audiences and remarketing messages. Perhaps LinkedIn’s largest advantage is its niche targeting data, including degrees, job titles, professional seniority and more. On LinkedIn, you can even target specific companies (account based marketing). While there are some options to target companies and accounts on other social media platforms, LinkedIn is typically the most beneficial for B2B organizations, with more specific and unique company profiling.

LinkedIn also offers many ad formats, including:

· Sponsored content (ads that appear directly in the LinkedIn feed)
· Sponsored InMail (personal/targeted messaging via the inbox)
· Text ads
· Dynamic ads (personalized to the user)

Our LinkedIn marketing services can help determine if LinkedIn advertising is right for you, as well as develop a budget and plan that works for your organization. This is very important as it’s worth noting that CPC (costs-per-click) on LinkedIn can be much higher than other social media platforms. If LinkedIn is among the right B2B advertising platforms for you, we’ll present data and KPIs so you’ll always understand how your campaign is performing and how we’re best optimizing your spend.

Other Social Platforms

While Facebook/Instagram and LinkedIn are the advertising frontrunners for B2B marketers, other social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube and TikTok shouldn’t be discounted. Any or all of their B2B advertising platforms and services may be a viable option for your B2B organization. Each platform has its own audience and targeting options, so deciding which site is best depends on your business goals, audience targets and budget. Our agency understands how to maximize your B2B social media opportunities to increase traffic, conversions and brand loyalty and will create a strategy unique to you.

Customer Relationship Management

Once you use a selection of B2B advertising platforms to drive traffic to your website via pay-per-click methods outlines above, there are a variety of ways to leverage B2B ad platforms to continue that sales journey. Beyond optimization of your user experience and website sales funnel, different CRMs can be utilized to send emails and relevant communications, working to drive that contact back into your marketing funnel. Managing and leveraging the valuable “first party data” that you own is a key benefit to sales and growth.

Optimizing B2B Advertising Platforms to Generate Leads

When you work with Stifel Marcin, we will work with you to define your marketing goals, audience personas and business objectives to craft the best PPC ads strategy and marketing plans for your organization. Before we select ad platforms or launch any campaigns, we conduct a discovery process in which we collaborate with your team to learn about your products, services, plans and KPIs. We’ll then utilize that understanding to develop a plan to communicate your brand’s uniqueness to the marketplace and compel your audiences to act.

If you want to find the best B2B advertising platforms for your business, or have questions about PPC advertising, we’re here for you. Contact us today and a member of our team will be in touch. 

Stifel Marcin – The B2B Marketing Agency 

Unlike many advertising and marketing agencies, B2B isn’t just something that we do, it’s all we do. We’ll work to help your brand achieve its goals through the strategic combination of creativity, communication and technology. Our focused client intake processes give us the ability to thoroughly understand your business, products and objectives, working to identify the competitive advantages and opportunities that will grow awareness, leads and sales. We develop innovative marketing plans with strategic, data-driven processes, presenting complex ideas and compelling messages that position your business ahead of the competition. As your cooperative partner, our integrated B2B marketing agency is dedicated to your success. If you’re looking for a partner to help expertly guide your digital marketing services, we’d like to talk. Reach out today.

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