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How To Think About B2B Search Marketing

Overview of B2B search marketing. Presentation created for MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer October, 2008.

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How To Think About B2B Search Marketing

  1. 1. How to Think About B2B Search Marketing Ben Hanna VP, Marketing Business.com bhanna@business.com MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer October 23, 2008
  2. 2. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Research Background • About Business.com – Leading B2B directory and PPC ad network – 6,000+ clients across PPC, directory inclusion and banner ad products • About the research – Surveyed search marketing agencies currently managing B2B clients • Key differences between B2B and B2C search marketing • Advice for improving B2B paid search and SEO ROI – Summarized insights from 144 participating agencies, including:
  3. 3. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Big Picture – What Makes Business Buying Different? Business Buying • More complex and costly products / services • “Rationalized” decision process • Multiple decision makers / influencers • Evaluating both solution and vendor • Time / role pressure Business Buying • More complex and costly products / services • “Rationalized” decision process • Multiple decision makers / influencers • Evaluating both solution and vendor • Time / role pressure Implications • Longer sales cycle • Phased purchasing process • Multiple “search” sessions, by different DMs & influencers, over time • Task oriented – Want to quickly find what you need, and get on to the next project Implications • Longer sales cycle • Phased purchasing process • Multiple “search” sessions, by different DMs & influencers, over time • Task oriented – Want to quickly find what you need, and get on to the next project
  4. 4. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. *Source: B2B Purchaser Study, Enquiro Search Solutions, May, 2007 Business Buyers Use Multiple Types of Sites When Purchasing • Over 85% of business buyers use “search” during the purchasing process – 49.3 million US internet users in August researched a business product or service online in the last 6 months (comScore Plan Metrix, August, 2008) • Use multiple types of sites, and starting point varies by phase* – General search engines – where start when first identify a need – Industry information site – supplemental research for niche products – B2B search sites – find clean list of vendors and cut down to a short list
  5. 5. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Business Search is Iterative • Marketers often think of the search process as… • But in reality it looks a lot more like this… Source: ”Into the Mind of the Searcher,” Enquiro Search Solutions, 2003 Times… • # of DMs • # of search sessions
  6. 6. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. • Needle in a haystack comes to mind…. • Must consider the following: – Who are you targeting? Industry, purchasing role, etc. – What sites will they visit as part of the purchasing process? – When will they visit those sites? *comScore – MediaMetrix January, 2008; PlanMetrix, Summer 2007 release 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 InternetUsers(MM) Count (MM) 184 70 54 7.5 0.9 US Total Employed Full-Time Use Internet at Work Work in Manufacturing Mfg Online Decision Maker 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 InternetUsers(MM) Count (MM) 184 70 54 7.5 0.9 US Total Employed Full-Time Use Internet at Work Work in Manufacturing Mfg Online Decision Maker 100% 38% 32% 4% 0.5% Reaching Your Target Business Buyers is a Challenge
  7. 7. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Does B2B Search Marketing Differ from B2C? Yes • Longer sales cycle – Product/service complexity & cost – Multiple decision makers – “Rational” decision process – Evaluate both solution and vendor • Unique audience – Limited number of buyers – More experience – Different tolerance for search • Search marketing challenges – Multiple keyword meanings – Audience targeting capabilities – Multiple touch points across many sites over time Yes • Longer sales cycle – Product/service complexity & cost – Multiple decision makers – “Rational” decision process – Evaluate both solution and vendor • Unique audience – Limited number of buyers – More experience – Different tolerance for search • Search marketing challenges – Multiple keyword meanings – Audience targeting capabilities – Multiple touch points across many sites over time No • Its still all about… – Right audience – Right message – Right offer – Positive ROI • Tactical approach is the same – Selecting keywords – Developing ads and offers – Creating landing pages – Optimizing pages for search engines – Etc. • General search engines play a key role (but not the only role) No • Its still all about… – Right audience – Right message – Right offer – Positive ROI • Tactical approach is the same – Selecting keywords – Developing ads and offers – Creating landing pages – Optimizing pages for search engines – Etc. • General search engines play a key role (but not the only role)
  8. 8. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. 5 Key Rules for B2B Search Marketing 1. Cover the entire buying cycle 2. Focus on traffic quality 3. Drive visitors to action so you can play to your marketing strong points 4. Measure what you can & acknowledge limits 5. Start targeted, then expand
  9. 9. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. “B2B search marketers need to move past advertising exclusively on the Big Three and advertise on niche and vertical sites that are relevant to their business model. That is where they are going to be able to stand out.” – Danielle Leitch “B2B search marketers need to move past advertising exclusively on the Big Three and advertise on niche and vertical sites that are relevant to their business model. That is where they are going to be able to stand out.” – Danielle Leitch Rule #1: Cover the Entire Buying Cycle • “Everyone uses Google” is reasonably true – 67% of US internet users use Google Search* – Google is a key part of virtually any paid search program • “Everyone uses only Google” is not true – General search engines are starting points that connect business buyers to other types of sites – Of Google search users:* • 41% use Yahoo! search • 35% use Ask.com search • 29% use MSN-Windows Live search – Business buyers visit a huge range of sites • Business buyers make up more than a quarter of total site visitors for 17% of sites tracked by comScore PlanMetrix (732 of 4,256 domains) • Different decision makers require different types of information – User vs. CFO vs. IT *Source: comScore Media Metrix, August, 2008
  10. 10. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Rule #1: Cover the Entire Buying Cycle • Establish campaigns on the following types of sites – 1st tier general search engines – where people start early in process – B2B general search – strong presence on 1st tier engines and support research/negotiation – B2B niche search – attract a very specific type of user who knows what they want – 2nd tier general search engines – optional Vs.Awareness Negotiation
  11. 11. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. “[B2B] PPC costs are often escalated by advertisers pursuing B2C clients. For example, a B2B advertiser might bid on the term “pumps” with the intent of targeting engineers searching for an industrial pump. Similarly, a B2C advertiser might bid on the same term targeting women shopping for high heel shoes. Because the B2C market for women’s shoes is much more competitive (in terms of the number of potential suppliers) than the B2B market, B2C advertisers will tend to pay more for top placement.” – Amy Pastorella “[B2B] PPC costs are often escalated by advertisers pursuing B2C clients. For example, a B2B advertiser might bid on the term “pumps” with the intent of targeting engineers searching for an industrial pump. Similarly, a B2C advertiser might bid on the same term targeting women shopping for high heel shoes. Because the B2C market for women’s shoes is much more competitive (in terms of the number of potential suppliers) than the B2B market, B2C advertisers will tend to pay more for top placement.” – Amy Pastorella Rule #2: Focus on Traffic Quality
  12. 12. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Rule #2: Focus on Traffic Quality • Poor quality traffic costs you money • Use targeting tactics to improve traffic quality and overall ROI – Add B2B sites to your program • Deliver more targeted customer “out of the box” but at lower volume – Tune your campaigns on general search engines • Avoid keywords that overlap significantly with consumer terms • Avoid worthless clicks – make sure ads speak to your target audience • Build out keyword list with long-tail terms • Utilize site and demographic targeting “B2B businesses need to be very concise in messaging and advertising to ensure targeted traffic and corresponding leads. The volume of accidental or non-targeted traffic can be very large and eat away budgets and ROI for B2B. Qualifying with keywords, ad text or site demographics will help eliminate wasteful spending.” – Kevin Heun “B2B businesses need to be very concise in messaging and advertising to ensure targeted traffic and corresponding leads. The volume of accidental or non-targeted traffic can be very large and eat away budgets and ROI for B2B. Qualifying with keywords, ad text or site demographics will help eliminate wasteful spending.” – Kevin Heun
  13. 13. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Rule #3: Drive Visitors to Action • Target key audience(s) and list specific offers in your ads (see rule #1) • Design simple landing pages to focus visitors on the offer – Exchanging basic contact info for valuable content is a fair trade for interested business buyers • Utilize same qualification rules for search visitors & leads from other channels – Search visitors may be earlier in the buying process – Giving these leads directly to Sales could result in complaints about poor lead quality • Establish and/or improve your lead nurture programs – Develop your own – Consider automated solutions from Eloqua, Market2Lead, Manticore, Marketo, Pardot or other vendors “B2B needs an email nurturing program for opt-ins so that you don't find yourself creating interest and contact information without following-up – ROI is really hurt by this as well as poor integration with sales.” – Karen Breen Vogel “B2B needs an email nurturing program for opt-ins so that you don't find yourself creating interest and contact information without following-up – ROI is really hurt by this as well as poor integration with sales.” – Karen Breen Vogel
  14. 14. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Rule #4: Measure What You Can & Acknowledge Limits • Time available for search marketing impacts B2B search metrics* – Tend to focus on what’s easily observable • Develop your program in simple, prioritized steps – Give yourself a break – you don’t have to be a metrics pro overnight • Accept the value of different metrics • Avoid substituting guesses for real insights *Source: Business.com Search Marketer Study January, 2008. Percentages are for B2B direct search marketer respondents (non- agency, 50%+ of revenue from sales to other businesses) Activity Average % of Time Spent per Week Online Marketing Overall 67% Paid Search 19% SEO 18% Email Marketing 13% Social Media Programs 7% Managing Affiliate Programs 5% Banner Advertising 3% Managing eCommerce Listings 2% Submitting to Shopping Engines 2% Top 5 metrics tracked: 1. Cost per click (69%) 2. Online conversions (62%) 3. Click through rate (53%) 4. Traffic volume (53%) 5. Total clicks (43%) Top 5 metrics tracked: 1. Cost per click (69%) 2. Online conversions (62%) 3. Click through rate (53%) 4. Traffic volume (53%) 5. Total clicks (43%)
  15. 15. © 2008, Business.com, Inc. Rule #5: Start Targeted, Then Expand • An interesting contrast…. • Typical way to launch a new marketing channel: – Identify opportunities – Develop messaging and audience test plan – Launch small scale campaigns – Identify the winning approach – Scale up the campaign • Typical way to launch search marketing: – Start with one or more of the “Big 3” – Drive a ton of traffic – Work hard to improve targeting through better keywords, ad copy, site exclusions, etc. – Scale down the campaign Time Targeted Broad Time TargetedBroad

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