One question that I keep getting asked by readers of the blog is, how do I generate B2B leads using Adwords? So I have decided to write this in-depth article on how to create an integrated B2B Lead generation campaign that compliments your other marketing channels.
This article is going to cover the two main Adwords B2B lead generation strategies based on the position of the buyer within the buying cycle. I am then firstly going to explain how you can generate cash out ready leads using the Google search network and secondly how you can use techniques such as remarketing and advertising on the Google Display Network to amplify your content marketing and generate more leads.
Two Adwords B2B lead generation strategies
To fully understand how to craft a winning B2B Adwords campaign you need to understand the position of the customer within the buying cycle. There are two main types of leads that you will be aiming to generate using a B2B Adwords campaign. The first are people who are looking to buy right now and the second are people who are not ready to buy from you yet but may buy from you in the future.
Adwords allows you to attract people who are later on in the buying cycle who will enquire and then want to speak to a sales representative straight away, by bidding on keywords that have high commercial intent. So for example if you were selling dedicated hosting then you could display adverts for people who are searching for “buy dedicated hosting”, “dedicated hosting reviews”. This types of enquiry would fall into the “lead” category in the diagram below.
Adwords also allows you to attract people who are in the awareness / friend stage or people who are even unaware of your brand and convert them into “known names” by driving people to what is known as a lead magnet. This could be a ebook for example where uses must enter their details. and opt in. As you will see from the diagram above known names are near the top of the funnel and are therefore not ready to buy yet. This is where you will need to have some form of lead nurturing system in place which I will discuss later in the article.
Why you might ask do you want to generate leads towards the top of the funnel as opposed to people who have their cash out and are ready to buy? Well there are three good reasons. Firstly Companies that excel at lead nurturing and attract for top of funnel leads generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. Secondly all of your competitors are going after the few percent that are looking to buy right now so there is fierce competition which results in higher costs per new client.
Thirdly you get to reach a much larger market, around 3% of people are ready to purchase. If you only target this audience you are leaving out 67% of the market that can be reached through the Google display network or by remarketing to people that have visited your blog. These users may already be using your competitors service and might not be directly looking or not even know that they need dedicated hosting yet to fix one of their problems such as a slow website. With a well thought out and optimised lead nurturing system you can convert these leads into sales.
Generating direct sales leads using Adwords
One of the easiest way to generate cash out ready B2B leads is to set up an Adwords campaign on the search network which focuses on keywords with a high level of commercial intent. So using the example from earlier if you were selling dedicated hosting then you could display adverts for people who are searching for “buy dedicated hosting”, “dedicated hosting reviews”.
Probably the easiest way to gauge the amount of commercial intent for a keyword is by looking at the keyword competition. If competition is high then it is likely to be a good candidate for your search campaign as lots of your competitors are bidding on it.
Once you have chosen an appropriate set of keywords and grouped them effectively so that you can write highly specific adverts (one per ad group is best) you want to send users to the most relevant landing page on your website. The aim of this page should be to generate the maximum number of sales enquires as possible by making it easy for users to contact you either by filling out a contact form online or by calling you.
Going along with the dedicated hosting example here is a good landing page from Backspace. Notice how they include strong clear calls to actions so that users can contact their sales department.
Track which lead convert into sales by Integrating Adwords with your CRM system
If you are generating leads using Adwords it is very important to integrate Adwords with your CRM system so that you can track which keywords generate leads that convert into contracts being signed offline. What most marketers do is they work out the average number of leads that it takes to generate a sale, but what this fails to take into account is that different leads convert better than others.
Take this example
If you were only tracking leads you would only get half the picture. You would see that you have generated 39 leads, 3 sales and £104,000 in revenue, but would not know which keywords actually generated the leads.
Furthermore you are likely to start distributing more budget towards the keyword “PPC Management” as it is generating the most leads and take budget away from the keywords “enterprise PPC agency” which is actually generating the most revenue because in your Adwords account it appears to be performing poorly.
By integrating Adwords with your CRM you will be able to see the full customer journey from start to finish. So you will be able to see that even though the keyword “PPC Management” is generating by far the most leads, the revenue per lead (RPL) is just £500 compared to the keyword “Enterprise PPC Agency”, where the RPL is £13,140.
To learn how to integrate Adwords with your CRM you can read my article on SEJ – “improve your Adwords leads with offline tracking“.
Using Adwords to amplify your content marketing strategy
Adwords can be very effective for amplifying your content marketing strategy and generating leads that will eventually purchase from you. In this section I will be explaining how you can use Adwords to promote content giveaways (lead magnets) such as ebooks and webinars that will help you capture leads that you can nurture that may eventually purchase from you.
One thing to bear in mind if you are using Adwords to amplify your content marketing is that you should always be sending the traffic to a landing page where users must opt in to download something or watch something like an ebook or a webinar. This way you will convert 20-60% of the traffic into new leads. As opposed to if you sent them to a blog post where you may only convert 1-2% into leads. Here is a great example of a B2B landing page
Before you apply this strategy to your campaign you need to make sure that you have:
- A good lead nurturing system in place so that you can convert people who have downloaded your opt in such as an ebook into paying customers.
- A strong set of opt in offers / lead magnets such as ebooks, webinars or tools
I will not cover how to set up a lead nurturing system here, but if you are interested in learning more about lead nurturing I would suggest reading “What is lead nurturing” by Marketo. If you would like to learn more about creating great opt in offers then I would suggest reading “9 Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples (And ONE That Generated 35,859 Leads In 60 Days for DigitalMarketer” by Ryan Diess.
Okay so provided that you have these two things in place I am going to show you three strategies that can help you generate more B2b Leads.
Promoting your lead magnet on the search network
An effective way to promote your lead magnet to generate more leads is to use the Google Search network. A good example of this comes from Wordstream that promote their free PPC grader tool to generate leads for their PPC software. If you search on Google for the term “Adwords help” you will see their advert that looks like this:
They then take users to a page that looks like this where they can use their tool described within the advert. Once you enter your details you will then be sent a series of emails and if you take certain pre defined actions such as opening 5 emails you will then be connected by their sales team who will aim to set up a demo of their software with you. At this point you would transfer from marketing to sales as a sales qualified lead.
To implement this strategy into your own campaigns you need to do the following things. Firstly you need to find informational keywords that are closely related to your niche using the Adwords keyword planner. These are keywords where people are looking for information, not to purchase yet. Examples might be “how to” keywords such as “how to improve my credit rating”.
Once you have done this organise the keywords by the largest number of searchers first and then create lead magnets that relate to your top 5 keywords that help people solve these problems they are facing. For example if the keywords is “how to I improve my quality score” then the lead magnet should be about improving your quality score.
Once you have done this create highly specific adverts for each of these keywords and then drive users to a landing page where they can enter their details to download your lead magnet.
Promote your lead magnet using the Google Display Network
One of the most effective methods to generate a large number of cheap leads is to remarket to users who have previously read content on your blog. According to recent studies remarketing has a 25% lower cost per conversion than standard display network campaigns.
When we have ran remarketing campings to the users that have read articles on our blog we have found that 0.81% of users converted into a lead. Although this is likely to be higher if you have several opt ins running at once that address different problems your users will be facing (we only had a single opt in that covers generating more leads from Adwords).
If your blog gets a large amount of traffic you will want to craft several offers depending on what pages users have visited to get the best results. For example if you had a blog that covers online marketing you may want to create a different remarketing advert for the different categories. So people who have visited pages relating to search engine optimisation would see remarketing ads for a lead magnet about how to improve SEO rankings for example.
I will not cover how to setup Adwords remarketing here as we have covered it before in a very in-depth post which will explain to you all of the steps that you need to take to create remarketing lists, create ads and the optimal format to generate the highest ROI.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just targeting people who have visited your website before, we would suggest that you expand your reach by targeting people who are relevant and may be interested in your lead magnet using the GDN targeting options. I will not go into the different targeting options here as they have been covered before.
In conclusion there are two types of leads that you want to be generating using your B2B Adwords campings. Firstly cash out ready leads that are ready to speak to sales right away that are in the later stages of the buying cycle and secondly leads that are closer to the top of the funnel but can be converted into sales though lead nurturing.
Although targeting users that are ready to purchase using the search network will generate sales in the short term it will undoubtably be more costly as there is more competition. It is essential therefore to track which of these leads convert into sales by integrating your Adwords account with your CRM software so you can buy more of the types of leads that generate the most revenue.
One of the most effective ways to generate top of funnel leads is to remarket to users that have already visited your website using the Google display network, however targeting cold users using the GDN is also an effective way to generate leads and reach your target market.
If you have any questions about this article please feel free to comment below and I will do my best to answer your queries.