Customers are making the most of their purchasing decisions online. For B2B brands, businesses are Googling, browsing, and comparing products and services that might help them solve a problem, drive growth, or gain a competitive advantage.

To stand out from your own competitors, paid media is vital to growth and success, whether it’s SEM (search engine marketing), remarketing, social media advertising, programmatic or other paid models. Read on for insight into the best paid media strategies for today’s digital-first world.

B2B SEM Marketing: What to Know

SEM uses paid ads to promote your brand and increase visibility in search engines. While you might think this strategy is reserved for B2C companies, it can be extremely beneficial for B2B businesses. After all, nearly 90% of business-to-business research starts with an online inquiry.

So, how should you spend your marketing budget this year? Search engine marketing can involve paying to be featured in popular searches, running PPC campaigns, and buying social media ads. Here’s what you should know.

Paid SEM 

The B2B ecommerce industry is predicted to be valued at $1.8 trillion by 2023. With this in mind, many B2B businesses are paying to have their websites featured in the top few results for relevant search terms. This strategy relies on your potential customers to search for the keywords you paid to be featured for, so honing in on the right words and phrases is crucial in making it work.

Since the most common phrases are often used by numerous businesses, you may want to bid on closely related terms to give yourself a competitive advantage. The key to success here is well-developed paid advertising strategies, regular management, and an eye for incremental adjustments to get the most of every potential opportunity. 

The best B2B PPC strategies for your business depend on your industry and your overall marketing strategy. However, many companies are successful in building campaigns around the needs and behaviors of their audiences, as well as targeting acronyms and shorthand phrases to expand their reach. In 2021, Google accounts for over 90% of the search engine market, so you’ll likely get the most bang for your buck there.

Dynamic Search Ads

B2B businesses are implementing Dynamic Search Ads into their paid media strategies more. The tool allows you to create supplemental targeted ads that fill in the gaps for your other keyword-focused campaigns. You choose which categories or web pages you want to highlight, and Google will generate dynamic search ads to draw potential customers to your site. For B2B companies, this strategy can be a low cost way of keeping your name and product value top of mind for potential customers. 

Paid Social Media Ads

Using social media not only at work but for work is all but expected in the modern world. And it’s not just B2C companies leveraging social media to engage with their current customers and appeal to a broader demographic. Almost 95% of B2B marketers use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to showcase their offerings.

All these platforms can be immensely useful for businesses, but LinkedIn has shown to be a dark horse. Advertising on the business-oriented social media site allows you to reach upwards of 400 million professionals. Not only that, but your B2B company can run targeted ads based on things like location, industry, company, and job title.

Programmatic Advertising 

B2B advertising is mostly focused on generating leads and clients. One of the biggest obstacles marketers face is reaching the right audiences. Because of this, programmatic advertising is growing in popularity and usage for B2B advertisers. According to eMarketer, 88% percent of all U.S. digital display ad dollars will be programmatic by the end of 2021. The targeting capabilities through programmatic DSPs (Demand Side Platforms) allow for marketers to reach audiences at scale and in a more innovative way. 

For B2B, we leverage data providers and build custom audience segments composed of enterprise decision-makers and influencers to reach the audience and generate leads.

Paid Voice Advertising

Paid advertising spots on podcasts and news networks is a growing opportunity for B2B companies, especially those with large user potential like Salesforce, Asana, and Zoom. More and more B2B marketing companies are taking their paid advertising messages to voice platforms to test out potential new marketing channels. Success is mixed but there is no doubt that brand awareness plays a key role in large-scale product adoption. 

How to Get Started with Your B2B Paid Media Strategy

There’s a wide range of CRM (customer relationship management) and CMS (content management system) platforms to help you get started. This includes Salesforce, Hubspot, Apptivo, Insightly, and Pipedrive, among others. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or aren’t sure how to begin, you might consider outsourcing your B2B paid media efforts with a digital marketing company like Mad Fish Digital.

We offer PPC, SEO (search engine optimization), social media marketing, design strategy, and digital marketing consulting for companies of all shapes and sizes. Contact us to connect with a team member.