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Paid Media: How to Capture Viable B2B Leads on the Cheap

Posted by Wendy Marx

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When Google recently changed its ad structure to eliminate right-side text ads, many small-to-medium-sized businesses figured this was the end of their Google advertising experience. After all, with only seven text-based ads showing at a time, aren't the little guys being priced out? 

Google and its reps insist this isn't true. Their research has shown that the new structure hasn't affected click rates at all because the right-rail ads weren't getting that much attention anyway. Plus, they figure, since more users are using mobile devices (where ads are never shown on the side and are limited to seven per page) to perform searches, it makes sense to keep the number of display ads consistent.

 

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Well, Google... maybe we're not buying all of this talk about how higher-priced ads are better for us. But, the good news is that there are many media opportunities (paid and otherwise) that still drive results -- including Google. 

Let's talk about some ways you can capture viable B2B leads through paid or purchased media.

Paid Media Option #1: Retargeting

Retargeting isn't only for display anymore. You can use retargeting on social media platforms, such as Facebook. How does this work?

In a nutshell, you place a Facebook tracking code in your website. When leads visit your site, a cookie will track them and place retargeting ads on their Facebook page. It's one of the least expensive ways to advertise to your audience. You already know they have an interest in your brand, and you can even target them with specific products. 

Paid Media Option #2: Google Adwords

Here at Marx Communications, we're big fans of Hubspot. That's why we were so excited to find out that Hubspot has now integrated Google Adwords into its platform so that you never even have to leave your CRM to optimize your content for an Adwords campaign.

The Hubspot Academy even provides free instruction on how to set up your Google Adwords campaign. 

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Don't use generalized keywords to drive traffic to your home page. Instead, use very specific keywords to drive traffic to a landing page.
  • Create A/B test ads so you know which one drives the most traffic.
  • Run a test of your ad for a few days to a week.
  • Analyze your data after several days to see what needs improvement. 
  • Create content and social posts that support your keyword campaign.

Paid Media Option #3: Native Advertising

"In native advertising, you are renting someone else’s content distribution platform." - Joe Pulizzi CLICK_TO_TWEET.png

If you're not totally in the loop about native advertising, you're in good company. In fact, one poll revealed that 49% of participants didn't know what native advertising is all about. 

Let's see if we can shed some light on the subject. Do you remember a time when you were reading a magazine article, only to come across an article that had the words "advertisement" in small print at the top of the page? That's native advertising. It blends in with the surrounding content so that the advertising experience is subtle. Native advertising is often informative and may even have a slight editorial feel to it. 

How can your business get in on the native advertising game? Sites like Buzzfeed and even LinkedIn offer opportunities for businesses to reach leads at varying costs. 

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Paid Media Option #3: Promoted Social Posts

As with many other paid opportunities, you are able to preset your budget for promoted social posts, making it a desirable option for smaller B2B companies and startups with a tight marketing budget.

LinkedIn is a huge lead generating machine for B2B businesses, with many reporting up to 80% of leads coming from the networking platform. It makes sense, then, to take advantage of promoting your posts in LinkedIn. 

Facebook promoted posts work in a very similar manner. Facebook will even notify you when one of your organic posts is performing well, so that you can decide if you want to amplify it with a paid campaign. 

Certainly, taking advantage of these important (paid) media opportunities doesn't have to put you in the poorhouse. In fact, they can be a fantastic way to grow your audience as your marketing budget gains traction. 

Need a few more tips on stretching your marketing and PR budget? Check out our FREE downloadable checklist: 10 Simple Ways to Boost Your B2B PR Campaign. You'll learn how to make the most of your PR by repurposing it and boosting your exposure. 

Grab your copy on us today!

 

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May 19, 2016
 
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Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx