Like nearly everything else in the business world, the B2B buyer journey has gone increasingly digital in recent years. According to research from Forrester, nearly 75% of all B2B buyers conduct research online before investing in a product or service.
And the B2B buyer journey is more complex than selling to consumers. B2B purchases tend to take longer, and there are more decision-makers involved in the process.
But there are ways you can guide this process along, and it starts by coming up with a targeted online advertising strategy.
The 7 Best Targeted Online Advertising Strategies
If you’re just getting started, here are seven tips to help you implement a solid B2B advertising strategy. These tips should help you regardless of your industry or target customer.
1. Outline your goals and objectives
The first step to creating a targeted advertising plan is to outline your goals and objectives. Having a clearly defined plan will allow you to reach prospects more effectively. It will also make it easier for you to evaluate the success of your campaign down the road.
When you’re outlining your goals, always keep your target customer top of mind. You should also look at your current advertising performance. This will help you identify areas where you can improve.
2. Do a gap analysis
Outlining your goals and objectives will help you map out where you want to be. But it’s also important to identify any gaps in your current advertising strategy. And a gap analysis is also a good way to identify where you are compared to your competition.
To perform a gap analysis, you’ll start by assessing your company’s current situation. Start to identify where you are in comparison to where you want to be, and what it’s going to take to fill this gap. You may find that you’re not able to close certain gaps at the moment, and that’s okay.
3. Get even more personalized
Personalization is the key to any successful targeted online advertising strategy. And you probably need to get even more granular than you think you do.
If your targeting is too broad, this can limit the engagement from leads and prospects. That’s why it’s always helpful to start with an ideal customer profile before you begin a new advertising campaign.
If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to check out this ideal customer profile template.
4. Focus on long-term results
The B2B buyer’s journey is very different than it is for B2C customers. Consumers generally want immediate results, and they don’t have to confer with anyone else before they make a purchase.
In comparison, B2B buyers want to know how a solution is going to make their job easier, and what the return on investment is. This means you need to focus on the long-term results of your product or service.
You also need to be prepared to put in the time to build a long-term relationship with these buyers. B2B buyers typically have to confer with multiple people before they come to a decision.
5. Utilize content marketing
Implementing a B2B content marketing strategy is going to be one of the best tools at your disposal. In particular, you should focus on regularly publishing blog posts to increase the inbound traffic to your website.
According to HubSpot, B2B companies that regularly blog generate five times more traffic than those that don’t.
6. Use case studies and testimonials
A big part of the B2B buyer’s journey is doing research and comparing different products and services. So why not make it easy for your prospects by including case studies on your website and in your marketing content? Case studies can move your prospects along in the sales cycle.
Many companies overlook the power of testimonials, but they are the best form of social proof you have. Utilizing testimonials on your website and in your advertising helps you build trust and credibility with your prospects.
7. Create a sense of urgency with CTAs
If you want customers and leads to respond to your advertising efforts, then you need to create a sense of urgency. Tread lightly with this point because it’s easy to go overboard and create a false sense of urgency where your prospects feel like you’re trying to trick or manipulate them.
Creating a sense of urgency really just means you’re outlining the prospects challenges or problems, and showing them that you have the solution to fix it for them. Then you clearly outline the next steps they can take to work with you.
If you want to develop an effective B2B advertising strategy, you need to start with well-defined goals and objectives. From there, you can perform a gap analysis and evaluate where your business currently is in comparison to where you want to go.
From there, you can create content and messaging that speaks directly to your ideal customer’s pain points. If you need more help creating targeted online advertising, utilizing an account-based platform like RollWorks can help.
Ready to learn more? Discover what's really working in B2B advertising in our latest guide.