One of the biggest challenges in B2B advertising is finding your audience. Because so many B2B products or services are ubiquitous, it can feel like your audience is everywhere, so targeting the right people can be challenging. While some B2Bs offer niche services and those marketing strategies are easier to target, other B2B strategies require a deeper understanding of how to cast a vast net.
So where is this B2B audience? Online, all day from 9-5. The people who make B2B decisions are searching for your solution while they are working. While they are researching, they jump from Facebook to LinkedIn to a site to a blog back to LinkedIn – so finding who you are looking for is not as difficult as you might think.
Let’s take a look at how you can get the attention of the potential quality lead audience that you desire.
1. Target those already looking for you, at all stages of their journey
Most people when researching for a solution will enter their question in a search engine. So SEO targeting keywords that describe your product or service is essential.
However, the buyer journey includes all sorts of phases. The important question you need to answer is what are the elements that make up each part of the buyer journey for your solution and how can you answer these rather than focus on the very bottom of the funnel?
Let’s take a common B2C scenario as an example: Your internet service is terrible. Here are a few types of keywords you could be testing:
- Problem Based: “very slow internet,” “internet keeps going out”
- Solution Focused: “new internet provider,” “transfer internet service”
- Informational: “how to transfer internet services,” “how to fix improve internet speed”
- Features: “high-speed internet,” “60mbs download internet speed”
- Benefits: “reliable internet provider,” “internet with the lowest outages”
- Comparative: “which internet provider is best,” “internet provider companies”
Now, think of these search questions in terms of your business and your customer. How can you use these search enquiries to ensure that your business provides solutions every time?
Your content and blogs are largely going to help you be a contender when optimised correctly, so a focus on informative and professional writing on your website is a must.
2. Make LinkedIn Work for You
LinkedIn is unparalleled when it comes to B2B contacts and high CPC returns. The platform offers so many opportunities to connect with target groups, from jobs to blogs. Job ads cost the most, however, customising unique combinations of other targeting options will help you to reach your target market at much lower costs. Beware, the smaller the audience, the higher the CPCs, so cast that net wide.
3. Learn to Use Audience Insights tools
These tools can be invaluable to understand what targeting categories your ideal audience actually falls into.
Your data can give you answers using smart tools that would be impossible for the most advanced analyst on your marketing team to perform. Tracking and linking information is shared through these insight tools so you can see how your traffic flows and what is the best solution to focusing on promoting and at which point in your sales funnel.
4. Test Far and Wide
No platform is perfect when it comes to targeting. There are always going to be things that fall outside of the ‘norm’ or which can skew data so that you actually miss your targets inadvertently.
You need to test your approach and keep track of performance. If something looks off, redirect and maybe trust your instincts. Sometimes an idea is better than any data, and you might find that you reach a target group that your data had missed because of simple algorithm bias.
5. Know Your Lookalike Audience
Lookalikes are an audience identified by social media platforms who behave the same way that you say your audience does. Advertisers upload “root” audiences for the platform to analyze. Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn will then create a “persona” for the group of users within that list and search for other people who behave in similar ways on the platform. In essence, they look like the audience you gave them.
Lookalikes are a great way to find new users based on algorithmic learning rather than individual targeting options. If you have a broad B2B solution, this is a great way to get the attention of people who are already using similar products or services to those that you offer, but who might be looking for alternatives.
Finding your B2B audience is more complex than selling. You need to ask questions and provide answers. Your value-added content needs to be leveraged so that you become an industry leader. You need to understand relationships, develop trust and have transparency about your processes so that other industry leaders will want to invest in your solutions. To do that, you need to communicate with your audience with confidence and respect. To do that, simply curate your social media data to find your customers, then start sharing.
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