Mastering Paid Advertising: A Guide to Running Effective Ads For B2B Businesses

March 17, 2023
An illustration of a person popping out of a phone screen. They are holding a megaphone and surrounded by positive emojis.


For B2B businesses, paid advertising is a powerful tool to engage their target audience, measure the success of campaigns, and target specific demographics.

For B2B businesses, paid advertising can be a powerful tool to reach and engage their target audience. Paid ads allow you to measure the success of your campaigns easily, target specific demographics, and broadcast your message across multiple channels.

When done right, these ads have the potential to generate significant returns on investments (ROIs). However, running effective campaigns requires knowledge of the different types of ads, understanding which platforms are best suited to your business needs, and effectively crafting messages that capture the attention of potential customers.

This guide will provide valuable insights into how you can successfully run paid ads, when you should invest, and why. We'll also discuss the importance of targeting specific parts of the sales funnel, identifying diminishing returns on investments, and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). By following these tips, you can ensure that your campaigns generate maximum investment returns.

An illustration of a smart phone surrounded by a messaging icon, an online search bar icon, and an online ad icon.

What is Paid Advertising?

Paid advertising is an umbrella term that encompasses any promotion where the advertiser pays for their ad to be seen by potential customers. This includes search engine marketing (SEM), social media ads, display and video ads, and native advertising.

The goal of paid ads is to attract new leads interested in your product or service, increase sales, and build brand awareness. All of these activities are geared towards driving more revenue for your business.

The Benefits of Paid Advertising for B2B Companies

Measurable Results

Paid ads are a great way for businesses to track the success of their campaigns, as any investment can be seen in tangible, measurable results generated through these advertisements. Paid ads offer insights beyond click-through rates, leading to comprehensive data sets that can analyze ROI results and customer behavior and preferences. With powerful data analysis software available to help optimize your ad investment and performance in real-time, you can see exactly which parts of your campaigns are working out well and where there is room for improvement.

Targeted Reach

When expanding your business reach, paid ads offer unparalleled accuracy in targeting potential customers. By utilizing demographics like age, location, or gender and refining them with interests and behavior patterns, you can ensure that your campaign reaches the people most likely to convert into paying customers. With the right audience in your sights, you can maximize the potential of your campaigns.

Wider Reach

Paid ads offer a powerful opportunity to connect with potential customers and clients. With the right targeting, you can reach people who would never have seen your message otherwise. At the same time, by taking your ads across multiple platforms, you can reach an even larger audience and make sure that it resonates with as many people as possible. This kind of reach helps amplify the effectiveness of any marketing campaign and ensures the message gets heard.

SEO vs Paid Ads

The answer to this question depends on your budget and the goals of your business.

If you have a limited budget, then it is probably best to invest in SEO. With a small budget, running paid ads might get you a few clicks per day, but the volume will be too low for you to measure and optimize your campaigns. SEO will take longer to yield results but can provide long-term benefits that paid advertising may not be able to offer.

On the other hand, if you have a larger budget and want to generate quick results, then paid advertising is the way to go. Paid ads allow you to target specific audiences and measure their success more quickly than SEO. However, it is important to remember that it will require ongoing optimization and attention to ensure that your campaigns are successful.

No matter which route you decide to take, understanding the different types of ads and their impact on your business is essential to ensure the success of your campaigns. At Steel Croissant, we offer

SEO services to help you get the most out of your campaigns. Our team of experts can help you identify the best strategies for your business and provide guidance on optimizing your campaigns for maximum returns.

Paid Ads in The Marketing Funnel

An illustration of The Marketing Funnel. The top of the funnel is labeled "Awareness," the middle of the funnel is labeled "Consideration," and the bottom of the funnel is labeled "Decision.

The marketing funnel, or customer journey, represents the stages a customer goes through when engaging with a brand. The top of the funnel represents the earliest stages when a customer first becomes aware of your brand and begins considering your product or service. The bottom of the funnel represents the final stages when a customer is ready to make a purchase.

Your budget will play a significant role in determining which part of the funnel you should target with your paid ads. If you have a limited budget, you may only be able to target the bottom of the funnel with retargeting campaigns, which show ads to people who have already visited your website. This can be a cost-effective way to drive sales and convert visitors into customers. However, it's important to note that by only targeting the bottom of the funnel, you are missing out on the opportunity to reach customers earlier in the journey and build brand awareness.

On the other hand, if you have a larger budget, you can target all parts of the funnel, from top to bottom. This allows you to reach customers at every stage of their journey, from initial awareness to final purchase. This can help you build brand awareness, generate leads, and convert customers, all with a single, comprehensive advertising strategy.

When targeting the top of the funnel, you should focus on building brand awareness and generating leads. This may involve running brand awareness campaigns on social media or display networks or targeting specific keywords on search engines. The goal here is to get your brand in front of as many people as possible, with the hope that some will become leads.

As you move down the funnel, you can shift your focus to lead generation and conversion. This may involve running targeted campaigns targeting people who have shown an interest in your product or service or retargeting campaigns that show ads to people who have already visited your website. These campaigns can effectively convert leads into customers and are an important component of any comprehensive paid advertising strategy.

Investing in Branded Keywords

Investing in branded keywords is a key part of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, as it helps your brand appear at the top of search engine results when customers search for your products or services. However, the importance of investing in branded keywords can vary greatly depending on your business and its specific needs.

One of the main factors that affect the importance of investing in branded keywords is your budget. If you have a large budget, you may be able to bid on highly competitive keywords and still get a good return on investment (ROI). On the other hand, if you have a limited budget, it may not make sense to bid on highly competitive keywords, as the cost can be prohibitively high.

Another factor to consider is your organic ranking. If your brand ranks organically at the top of search engine results, investing in branded keywords may not be necessary. Some experts argue that there is no need to bid on brand keywords if you already have a strong organic presence, as this will give you the top priority in search results.

To determine your organic ranking, you can check how much your competitors appear in search results. This can be done by looking at the impression share, which is the number of impressions your ads received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. Based on your impression share, you can decide whether or not it's worth continuing to bid on your brand name.

If you find that a competitor is bidding on your branded keywords, try reaching out to their team and come to an agreement. For example, you could agree that you won't bid on their keywords if they don't bid on yours. While this may work in some cases, it may not be effective in others, so it's important to be flexible and open to finding alternative solutions.

Overall, investing in branded keywords can greatly increase visibility and boost your brand's search engine presence. However, it's important to consider the factors mentioned above and ensure that your investment is worth the cost.

KPIs You Should Be Tracking With Paid Ads

An illustration of an analytics screen with KPIs, graphs, and charts

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential metrics for measuring the success of any marketing campaign, including paid advertising. KPIs give you insight into what's working and what's not, allowing you to adjust your strategy to optimize your results. When it comes to paid advertising, several KPIs are especially relevant to B2B businesses.

One of the most important KPIs for B2B businesses is cost per customer acquisition (CPA). CPA is calculated by dividing the total cost of a marketing campaign by the number of new customers acquired as a result of that campaign. CPA is a critical metric because it allows B2B businesses to understand the cost of acquiring a new customer, which can help them determine the viability of their marketing strategies and set budgets.

However, tracking CPA can be challenging for B2B businesses because tracking lead generation from paid ads is difficult. This is because many B2B companies receive leads from phone calls or through a CRM, which can be difficult to track. Additionally, the sales team may not be trained in classifying leads to determine where they are in the buying process, making it difficult to track CPA accurately.

In these situations, B2B businesses may opt to optimize for cost per lead (CPL) instead of CPA. CPL is calculated by dividing the total cost of a marketing campaign by the number of leads generated as a result of that campaign. CPL is a useful metric for B2B businesses because it provides insight into the cost of generating a lead, which can help them optimize their marketing strategies to generate more leads at a lower cost.

For eCommerce businesses, return on ad spend (ROAS) is a critical KPI. ROAS measures the return on investment for a marketing campaign by calculating the revenue generated as a result of the campaign divided by the cost of the campaign. ROAS is a key metric for eCommerce businesses because it allows them to understand the relationship between what they are spending on ads and what they are getting in return, enabling them to make informed decisions about their marketing strategies.

How To Identify Diminishing Returns and What To Do

Paid advertising can be a highly effective tool for businesses looking to reach and engage their target audience. However, it's essential to be aware of the potential for diminishing returns and to take steps to mitigate it. When it comes to paid advertising, businesses often start with a set budget and aim to get the most out of it. While this is a common approach, it's not necessarily the best way to approach advertising.

One of the key indicators of diminishing returns in paid advertising is a decrease in return on ad spend (ROAS). ROAS is a metric used to track an advertising campaign's return on investment (ROI). It's calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the advertising spend. The ideal scenario for a business is to scale and grow its advertising budget over time, but this is not always possible. When the ad spend increases, but the ROAS decreases, it's a sign that the advertising strategy may need to be adjusted.

To prevent diminishing returns, businesses should focus on allocating more budget to top-of-funnel advertising. Top-of-funnel advertising is focused on attracting new customers and creating awareness about the brand. This type of advertising is typically less focused on generating immediate sales and more focused on building brand recognition and establishing a relationship with potential customers. When businesses allocate more budget to top-of-funnel advertising, they can ensure they attract new customers and build their audience.

When targeting the middle and bottom of the funnel, businesses can track and monitor their ROAS closely. This will help them determine if they are getting the most out of their advertising budget and if any changes need to be made. For example, if a business is seeing a decrease in ROAS, it may need to adjust its targeting or messaging to ensure that it's reaching the right audience.

One way to ensure that businesses get the most out of their advertising budget is to focus on metrics that matter. For example, click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate can help businesses determine if their advertising strategy is working. If these metrics are low, it may be time to change the advertising strategy, such as adjusting the targeting or messaging.

Another way to prevent diminishing returns is to continually test and iterate. Businesses should continuously experiment with different targeting, messaging, and creative elements to determine what works best. For example, a business may try different ad formats, such as video or carousel ads, to see which ad resonates best with its target audience. By continually testing and iterating, businesses can ensure they get the most out of their advertising budget and maximize their ROAS.

By tracking ROAS closely, allocating more budget to top-of-funnel advertising, focusing on metrics that matter, and testing different approaches, businesses can ensure they get the most out of their advertising budget. Doing this will enable them to maximize their return on investment and increase their overall profitability.

Implementing Paid Ads

Finding the right balance between SEO and paid advertising is crucial for businesses looking to reach and engage their target audience. SEO and paid advertising have unique strengths and weaknesses, and businesses need to understand the role each plays in their overall marketing strategy. By carefully tracking and monitoring their ROAS, businesses can ensure that they get the most out of their advertising budget and maximize their ROI.

By focusing on metrics that matter, such as CTR and conversion rate, businesses can better understand what's working and what's not. This will allow them to make informed decisions about allocating their budget and adjusting their advertising strategy as needed. By testing different approaches and continually iterating, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and effectively reach more potential customers.

At Steel Croissant, we know that optimizing your advertising budget is essential for increasing profitability and achieving business growth. That's why we're committed to providing you with the tools and strategies you need to get the most out of your ad spend. By leveraging our comprehensive suite of online marketing solutions, you can monitor ROAS closely, allocate budget to top-of-funnel advertising, and focus on metrics that matter. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the most out of your advertising budget and maximize your ROI.


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