B2B and Paid Search: Is It Effective?

B2B And Paid Search: Is It Effective?

Does paid search, often referred to as SEM (search engine marketing) and PPC (pay-per-click) work for selling to other businesses? Should a B2B company invest in PPC and if so, what are the critical elements for PPC that are needed to generate an acceptable ROI?

PPC Is Effective In Generating Leads and Sales

In a recent large group study of both B2B and B2C companies, PPC was found to be a very effective lead generator. Additionally, the study reported that B2B firms are heavily invested in PPC marketing. The study found that, on average, B2B companies were investing up to one quarter of their total marketing budget on PPC. Also, the study showed that even when a firm had the top position in search results, users still clicked and converted on paid listings nearly 40% of the time.

While PPC Is Effective Organic Is Still Very Important

Organic Search did drive higher performance for branded terms than PPC, however, the opposite was found for non-branded terms (i.e. general keyword phrases used to describe the product without including the name of the product or company). PPC achieved a 78% click share versus the 22% for organic on non-branded terms.

But, Do People Really Click on The Ads?

Search Lab, a prominent search engine research firm, conducted a study and found that 28% of searchers clicked on a PPC listing. Also, they found that only 41% of people tested in the study actually realized they were clicking on an ad when they clicked on the PPC listing.

Another study showed that the click-through rate on PPC listings increased by 60% in 2012 when compared to the previous year. In 2011, the top 10 PPC listings used in the study received 17% of clicks in 2011. A year later, the same top 10 received 28% of clicks.

What Do I Need To Do To Make Paid Search Work for My B2B Business?

Many SEOs do believe that PPC works better for B2C than for B2B. However, if you’re a business seeking a solution to an issue within your company, you might be curious if the ad has compelling text that seems to answer your question. To make PPC effective for your business follow the quick bullet points below:

  • Focus on long-tail keyword phrases to avoid irrelevant clicks
  • Use “exact match” and “negative keywords” to avoid attracting the wrong kind of customer to your business
  • Make your paid search ad text appealing and credible (i.e. no “Buy NOW!!!” stuff)
  • Make sure your ad directly answers your typical customer’s problem or question
  • Make sure that the landing page on the other end of the ad is well designed and relates to the text in your ad
  • Make sure the landing page answers your prospective customer’s questions and offers a Call-To-Action that will generate sales leads.

Using paid ad space for B2B can be a bit more challenging than B2C. There is no one right way to go about it. Test, experiment with different combinations of text, landing pages, keywords to find what works best for you and what helps you bring in the most customers. Also, make sure to link your AdWords account with your Google Analytics so that you can have quantifiable data on what’s working and what isn’t. Do this, and you’ll find that paid search can help become a great lead generator for your business.

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Instagram The Holidays

instagram the holidays

With the holiday season knocking on our door, it’s not just holiday shoppers scrambling at the last minute this holiday. If you’re still looking for a last minute boost for your holiday rankings, you’re not out of luck yet, but your window of opportunity is closing quicker and quicker. One great and easy way to help with your holiday marketing is to use social media. Instagram is a great way to not only show off your products but also a great way to help engage potential and current customers. So without further ado, here are some of our last minute tips to give your holiday marketing a boost.

Holiday Themed Profile

One great and easy way to help your customers ring in the holidays is by updating your profile with a holiday theme to it. Check out how Ben and Jerrys did it. Three things to keep in mind with updating your instagram profile for the holidays: Update your company profile with holiday themed sentiment; but keep it short and sweet, Your bio is the most important part of your profile for your mobile viewers, and if you have a holiday landing page, update your profile link to point to it.

Any Questions?

Asking questions is always a great way to get people engaged on your pages. Throw in a dash of holiday themed questions to your Instagram posts. Make sure to include seasonal images that are cute, relevant to your customers, and, as always, make sure that it relates to your products or brand. Also, when asking the question, make sure to use a very personable tone to help deepen customer engagement.

Use Video

Instagram video is a great way to get your message across this holiday season. You can use them in a variety of ways too. Use them to cross-promote a contest, or just to advertise any sales or products that you’re featuring for the holiday season. Keep them brief though (10 seconds) most Instagram users aren’t looking for long videos while they’re on the app. To help, use stop-motion to help generate a fast-paced feel for the short video. For a good example, check out Target’s recent post for tree-trimming.

In-Store Photos

Because of the inherently mobile nature of Instagram, don’t be afraid to take candid shots to show off the inside of your store(s). You can post cool shots of your customers at in-store events, or photos of your staff getting ready for a big sale that you’re going to have. You can also post photos of specific stores, to make it so that your in-store customers will how what the photo is, but others might not. This can create a feeling of belonging with your followers who “get” the photo. Check out what Macy’s is doing with their Santaland announcements for different stores.

It’s not too late to still do some last minute holiday marketing for your business. Act on these great tips, and get a little extra in your holiday stocking this season.

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Pinterest for Ecommerce

So, if you haven’t heard, Pinterest is now featuring a buy button on product pins on its network. So what does that mean for you and your business? Well, before we get into that, let’s just go over some of the statistics around Pinterest and what has made this one of the most successful social commerce platforms in recent memory.

Not Just Etsy Shop Owners and Recipe Bloggers

In 2013, Piqora did a study analyzing the ROI of using Pinterest, their findings are just the tip of the pin. They found that on average a pin generated 78 cents in sales in addition to 2 site visits and 6 pageviews. Now, by themselves, this might not sound like a lot, but if you’ve got an active board, and your stuff is getting shared, the snowball affect starts very quickly. This is compounded by another survey in 2014 which found that Pinterest users’ average order value was $123.50, which is about 126% higher than the average order value of Facebook’s users. Those are some pretty staggering figures, and like the sub-heading says, it’s not just Etsy shop owners and foodies showing the most success where this is concerned. Big names like Nordstrom are well-known in the pinning-verse.

Pinterest For Your Business

So as you can see, Pinterest is important for e-commerce and is leading the charge in integration between social commerce and e-commerce in general. However, every e-commerce store is different, and they’ll need to find their own way to use Pinterest to its fullest extent effectively. But, here are a few ideas on how to get Pinterest to work for your business.

Tailor Made Boards

When first starting with Pinterest, there is an easy temptation to just create a single board label it, “my company’s board” and call it good. While this is the easy way out, it’s not going to help drive traffic to your board and ultimately your site. Instead of making only a single board, try making multiple boards focused on specific themes or products.

Also, you’re going to want to pin more than just the product photos off of your site. Pinners are looking for ideas or inspiration most of the time, not a specific product so you can’t treat this as just another sales funnel/channel. Additionally, make sure to pin pictures of your products in use along with complimentary photos such as photos that fit the feelings of what your customers feel when using your products.

Pin Optimization

Along with making boards that are tailored towards specific products or services, you’re also going to have to follow some best practices when it comes to setting up your pins. Here a few of them that will help boost your engagement on your Pinterest board.

Firstly, you’re going to want to include a link to the item you’re showcasing, this way, if your prospect wants to learn more, they aren’t just stuck looking at a pretty picture. Next, make sure to include the price of the item with the pin, this will help put them further along the buying process then if it’s just the featured product. Finally, you’re going to want to have between a 200-300 character description. Yes, characters not words, think like Twitter, brevity is King.

What To Include In Your Pin

 

 

 

Now that we’ve gone over what to include with your pin, lets go over what makes an effective image for a pin, seeing as this is the meat and potatoes of Pinterest. According to a study done by Ripen Ecommerce, lighter images are more than 20 times more likely to be pinned over dark images. Additionally, Tall images are shared 67% more often than short ones. Finally, brand images that don’t feature faces within the pin are 23% more likely to get repinned.

What To Include In Your Pin Image

 

Pinterest Optimization Doesn’t Stop At Pinterest

Like the heading says, optimizing your Pinterest boards is only half the battle. To truly capitalize on the referral traffic from Pinterest, you need to make sure your site is prepared for it. According to Pinterest, over three-quarters of their traffic comes from mobile or tablet. What that means, is that you need to make sure that your e-store has a mobile solution, whether that is a mobile site, or your store is responsive. If a pinner lands on a page on your site and it isn’t mobile optimized they’re most likely going to bounce right back to Pinterest.

Put A Pin In It

Social sharing buttons on product listings has become a industry recognized best practice across all social media. Pinterest is no different where this is concerned. “Pin It” buttons and widgets make it easy for customers to share what they like on their own boards. While having relevant pins on your company’s board is great, getting on customers’ boards is fantastic.

Pinterest Isn’t For Everybody

A lot of ecommerce sites have been seeing some amazing success on Pinterest. However, Pinterest isn’t for every ecommerce store. If you have a very visual industry like fashion or cosmetics then pinterest should definitely be part of your social strategy, but more demanding and physical industries like construction or IT should probably look elsewhere since the customer you’re trying to reach most likely isn’t on Pinterest.

For businesses using Pinterest and not seeing a good ROI, I hope these tips help boost your engagement and you see an increase in conversions from it. Curious to see what we can do to help? Give us a call or email us and we’ll see what we can do to help your social commerce flourish.

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