All too frequently in business-to-business accounts garnering leads is challenging. The marketplace is small and competitive and the business transactions are large and handled based on relationships, however, there is still a strong case for pay-per-click in these industries. Pay-per-click fits in to the marketing mix for several reasons.
1. Some companies do not have an existing relationship and turn to the internet when they need to find a vendor.
2. Sometimes the business need is infrequent and either the previous vendor is out of business or employee turnover has resulted in management looking for a new vendor.
3. Sometimes there is no vendor loyalty and a broken part needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
4. Lastly, if the company knows who they want to work with but does not have current contact information, brand searches are performed.
Needless to say, even though the case for having a PPC campaign is strong, as account managers we often face two main problems. The first problem is low search volume on keywords and the second is that there simply are not enough leads in the pipeline.
Using one of my current clients as an example I am going to show how I was able to turn an account with too few leads into an account with a large volume of leads without sacrificing quality.
The client I am using for this case study works in the manufacturing industry. The company fixes large industrial parts that are broken. They service many brands. If they cannot fix a piece of equipment they can sell the equipment remanufactured or new. Due to the nature of being able to repair, sell used, or sell new, the main goal is to get a lead on the phone with the sales team. Once the lead is on the phone the sales team can determine the optimal solution.
When it comes to knowledge about the lead, I know that when a large industrial part is broken a quick solution is needed. Working with the client I was able to determine two of the main ways potential leads search.
1. Brand Searches – These leads are searching for the branded term of the part that is broken. For example, “XYZ company”
2. Generic Searches – These leads simply search for the part name. For example, “widget” or “broken widget”
Build More Campaigns
In order to address the branded searches I built out 10 campaigns. Each campaign was built with brand specific keywords.
Based on those changes, I was able to tier budget and positioning around the priority of these brands for the client. I was also able to successfully appear whenever there was a search for that brand. If a lead is looking to buy a new part, my client shows up with ad copy that addresses their core product offering which is an offer to repair or refurbish parts.
Prior to splitting the brands out into their own campaigns the keywords were at the ad group level of one campaign that contained all the “other brands”. While this structure is still a valid organization the disadvantage was setting the budget, and the number of keywords in the ad group. Using the method of promoting each brand to individual campaigns I can set budget based on brand worth to the client. I also built out additional branded keywords as found in the search query reports.
Build Country Specific Campaigns
The rational and concept behind building out campaigns specific to independent countries is based on tight targeting. This concept is not as much about the keyword as it is about the net you are casting to get a top spot on the search page. When you think about how Google operates when serving ads consider what goes into your bid and position. It really amounts to bid and quality score. If you are targeting the entire world your ads are showing up many places where they are not getting clicked which in turn impacts your quality score. Taking the time to isolate top performing countries and building out campaigns for these countries is worth the effort.
For this particular client I have 3 campaigns for each brand. The first campaign targets the United States only. The second campaign is an international campaign excluding the United States and Canada, and the third campaign is targeted to Canada only. Here are the early results that I am seeing from this effort, which has been in play just over a month now.
Transfer Campaigns To Bing
While I always recommend having an independent strategy for each search engine, if a tactic is working well in Google it is worth the time and effort to transfer the effort into Bing. After seeing the success I had taking the time to promote the brand specific campaigns for this client to the campaign level, I determined that it was worth the time and effort to duplicate this effort in Bing. Bing is where I was able to realize the most gain in terms of conversions. The caveat here as always is to make sure to watch your Bing broad match carefully, as at times account managers have seen liberal broad match queries.
This post covered three ways I was able to grow leads for one of my clients.
- Add more campaigns to isolate budget and grow keyword coverage
- Build country specific campaigns
- Transfer tactics that work well in Google into Bing
Obviously each business is going to be unique but we know that if we can get impressions and clicks, and then ultimately convert the click to a lead we can add value for the client. If your ads are not resulting in leads move up the funnel and look at how the customer searches when they need the service your client offers. Once you have gained that momentum continue to expand the tactics that are working well. In the simplest terms this was what I did for my client and I firmly believe that by using this approach you can gain additional volume for your clients as well.