While search engine optimization is still one of the most important disciplines to master, pay-per-click advertising is equally essential as a skill.
No matter if a brand is looking to attract B2B or B2C prospects, PPC is one of the most effective means of achieving this goal. That said, there is a vast chasm that separates the tactics employed for optimizing each type of campaign.
Understanding these differences, as well as the necessary PPC audience targeting strategies, is what will enable sellers to reach the right consumers.
To help delineate the necessary knowledge around the differences in B2B and B2C advertisements, today, we will explore the disparities, similarities and relevant tactics for using PPC ads to connect with buyers on both ends of the spectrum.
When initiating an advertising campaign, one of the primary considerations is how to reach the right consumers. After all, if a brand is selling homeowner’s insurance, targeting those in the 18-24 age bracket is likely to produce paltry results.
Take a look at the targeting categories in Google Ads:
Speaking to B2B advertisers, a prime tactic for ensuring that the right individuals are reached is to use social media ads to target by company position. Instead of targeting users by their age or interests as a B2C campaign might, a better route would be to target users based on their job title or industry via LinkedIn or Facebook.
However, where some overlap exists is that utilizing features like Lookalike Audiences can help both B2B and B2C brands find new users who are potentially interested in what the company offers.
No matter if targeting the average consumer or business leaders, brands should create buyer personas to better understand who they are trying to reach.
Here is an example buyer persona from Buffer:
Consider the clock
Another of the main differences in B2B and B2C advertising is that B2C sellers are trying to gain purchases as quickly as possible. However, with B2B, advertisers are attempting to generate business leads and ensure their product is considered in the prolonged purchase cycle.
To achieve this goal, brands must consider the timing of their adverts.
In B2B advertising, businesses are trying to reach the key players within a company, those who make decisions or are closely connected to those with such power. This means that running ads within the nine-to-five timeframe is critical as this is when these individuals are actively engaged and show the highest intent to click-through.
While B2C consumers can potentially be targeted around the clock, the same is not true for B2B prospects. Instead, ads intended to reach business prospects should only run during business hours, not only for the aforementioned reason but also because this will help to conserve the business’s PPC budget.
Given this framework, brands should employ ad scheduling and bid modifications to alter bids for certain days of the week (Monday through Friday) and times of the day. For example, if advertisers notice that they receive the highest amount of click-throughs on Tuesday mornings, it is wise to increase the cost-per-click during this window.
To do this in Google Ads simply go to Ad schedule and click Bid adjustment for whichever time frame you want to increase or decrease:
While some sellers might feel equipped to manage such tasks, most will see more benefit from partnering with an e-commerce PPC management firm that can maximize potential impressions, clicks and conversions.
Much like targeting and timing, there are substantial differences in how advertisers will speak to B2B and B2C audiences.
The fact is that B2B buyers want to engage with brands that have evident expertise and knowledge of a given industry. This means that advertisers must showcase their acumen through relevant terminology, awareness of processes and similar traits that prospects will be interested in seeing.
For instance, if a CRM software provider is looking to reel in new users, but utilizes fluffy, emotionally-driven copy to do so, there is a significant chance that they will not engage the folks they are truly after. Instead, it is necessary to build confidence in potential users with more formal, fact-based messaging that has clear implications of how a product can improve business performance.
Take a look at how Intel communicates with its audience: