• 6 Common B2B PPC Ad Blunders

    Does B2B PPC advertising have to be bland, wordy and bogged down in jargon?  No, says Shannon McCarty in a column for www.searchengineland.com, yet B2B marketers continue to fall prey to these common blunders.  The results are PPC ad initiatives that miss the mark when it comes to generating creative, current and well-tested PPC ad campaigns.  

    B2B advertisers, McCarty argues, too often fall back on the notion that B2B marketing is “unique,” and that it should be approached very differently from consumer-focused advertising.  McCarty offers six common ad blunders B2B PPC advertisers should avoid:

    1. Overusing jargon and acronyms.  B2B advertisers – especially in the Information Technology (IT) industry — often make assumptions about what their customers will understand, but this could have adverse effects for your ad campaign.  Spell out the names of technologies, organizations, conferences or other acronyms that may be unclear to some customers, at least in the first reference (for example, SNIA is the Storage Networking Industry Association).  Moreover, consult with search engine query reports to see how potential buyers are actually searching.

    2. Avoiding bidding on branded terms.  Branded terms should be covered in B2B PPC, regardless of small ad budgets.  Some brands may be new to customers, so even if affiliates are regulated and trusted, B2B advertisers should secure the “official” website’s distinction for the sake of users.

    3. Wordy, brochure-like ad copy.  Google only allots 95 characters for ads, so PPC ad text should be short, concise and descriptive.  Avoid corporate jargon and vague phrases.  Furthermore, recent studies have emphasized the importance of coordinating PPC ads with online channel messaging.

    4. Assuming Google will drive the most purchases. Although Google dominates the overall search environment, it could well be a mistake to consistently overlook other search engines.  B2B PPC advertisers should test other search engines, especially for products or services in a niche industry.  In some cases, a product or service may see a significant increase in sales driven by traffic on other search engines.

    5. No testing or evaluation.  B2B PPC advertisers sometimes assume that as long as a product stays the same, the messaging can also stay the same. However, there are several factors, including changing tastes, fluxes in the economy and changes in competitors that can affect the effectiveness of PPC advertising.  Regular testing and evaluation of PPC messaging ensures that ads remain fresh and relevant, and continue to resonate with potential  customers.

    6. Basic and boring PPC initiatives.  Boring products do not necessarily deserve boring PPC ad initiatives, McCarty notes.  B2B advertisers should experiment with creative messaging or colorful channels instead of settling for basic but boring PPC ad initiatives.  B2B advertisers have a number of tools they can leverage to produce creative and compelling ads that can reach potential customers.  PPC programs and features such as Yahoo Rich search ads and Google Local Business Extensions can be used to craft creative, attention-grabbing PPC ad initiatives.

    By avoiding these common PPC mistakes, B2B advertisers are better positioned to produce creative and strategic B2B PPC ad campaigns that can potentially drive traffic and increase sales.

    Read Shannon McCarty’s column at http://searchengineland.com/top-b2b-ppc-mistakes-33218

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