Acquiring high quality B2B leads through PPC

If you are a Marketing Manager in a B2B publisher and have been tasked with generating high quality leads, you must think about how you are going to attract the right people, how you will get them to part with their contact details, and then what you do after acquiring your leads.


PPC search is a great way to generate warm leads, far warmer than those you or your sales team might find through desk or online research or from bought in lists. Anyone using search engines to find content has an immediate, often urgent, information need. So by landing on your site, seeing what you have to offer, and signing up, they are likely to be receptive to any follow up call or email.


But managing your PPC campaign, your website landing pages and your follow up marketing and sales efforts as a consistent – and tracked - journey is crucial to the success of your overall campaign. And not every lead is going to turn into a sale immediately. But just because your sales team can’t convert them straight away doesn’t mean your non-converting leads don’t have value. They may just not be ready to buy - yet. So ensure you have follow up marketing plan in place for your non-converting leads too.


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Before you launch your campaign, consider:

  • What is the profile of your potential prospect? What are they interested in? Where will you find them? How will you entice them to sign up?
  • Can you ‘rate’ your leads so you know which are worth sending to your sales team straight away, and which might need to be put into a follow up marketing communications plan?
  • Trying to sell a high priced corporate subscription deal upfront might be tough, especially if the new lead has only just come across your product. Could you offer an easier, maybe lower priced, initial entry point?
  • How are you going to track their ‘journey’ post signing up as lead? How long does it typically take from capturing a new lead before they convert into a paying customer? And how many times do they need to be contacted?
  • What are your KPIs going to be for your campaign?


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Here are a few hints and tips to help you set up your online campaign:


1. Who are you going to target?

What is the profile of a new prospect? Ask yourself:

  • What topics or content might they be searching for?
  • Where in the world/country are they likely to be based?
  • What language and tone of voice will appeal to them?


2. Where do you find them?

You can have a great PPC ad, but if it’s not displayed to the right people in the right places then you could be wasting a chunk of your marketing budget. So if you have an international product, set up geo-targeting in your PPC campaign so that you, for example, direct people based in Canada to a specific landing page which has content relevant to Canadian visitors in the copy on that page. Or if your sales team is based in London, start by targeting just London and the South East so your sales team can easily set up their follow up face-to-face meetings.


3. How are you going to encourage your prospect to sign up as a ‘lead’?

Offering free content of high perceived value - or more importantly content relevant to your prospect’s original search - will encourage people to provide their contact details in return for getting free (and fast) access to it.

Many publishers offer free trials, giving access to their full range of content for a few days or weeks. When running PPC led lead-generation, instead we recommend offering a specific selection of free reports, each of which covers a key topic or content area covered by your brand. You don’t necessarily need to create new content. You can:

  • give away white papers or special supplements you have already produced which still have relevancy
  • package up the past 10 articles from your magazine/website on a particular topic into a ‘special’ report.


4. How do your optimise your prospect’s digital journey?

Your PPC ad is only the start of your prospect’s journey. Your ad must convey an appropriate message, which reflects the prospect’s original search (ensure you include the specific terms they entered). But you must then direct them from the ad to a relevant landing page. And your call-to-action on the landing page should entice them to sign up to get the (relevant) free report.


For example:

  • If a prospect types in the search term ‘property investment'
  • Your ad copy should use text to reflect their search:

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  • You should then direct them to a specific landing page which has ‘property investment’ in the headline. This page would feature text about how your brand/product covers ‘property investment’ regularly, as well as details of your ‘property investment’ report they can get from you, for free.
  • The call to action leads them through to your sign up page, which makes it clear they have to complete the sign up form so you can send them the free ‘property investment’ report.

This relevancy not only ensures your prospect is more likely to sign up, but it also helps keep your marketing costs down as you’ll avoid irrelevant clicks on your ad and Google will reward the ad with a higher Quality Score.


4. What information should you ask for on the sign-up form?

If you have decided to follow up your new leads via email, ensure it is clear that your prospect knows they will receive the free report via email when signing up – that way they provide you with a valid email address. And, as your prospect will want their free report immediately, make sure you have an automated email follow up in place.


Or if you decide to follow up via phone, similarly ensure that your prospect knows that they can’t receive the free report unless they have provided a valid phone number on the sign up form. You may get less people signing up if you only ask for telephone numbers, but if you have a sales team ready and briefed to make a follow up call, your conversation rate is likely be better. But do make sure your follow up process is quick and slick. A new prospect receiving a call from you within a few minutes of signing up will be very receptive to hearing all about your products and services. Those receiving a call a week after signing up are likely to be grumpy as you’ve taken too long to get back to them, and you will have missed your opportunity to upsell anything.


When designing your sign up form, think about whether you really do need to ask for someone’s job title, company name, full postal address, specific interest areas etc (something we see all too often on lead generation forms). If you have targeted someone via a specific content keyword, and they signed up to get the relevant free report, you know they are interested in the content covered by your product so they’ve ‘qualified’ themselves already. So focus only gathering the essentials: name, email address and/or phone number. Once you have these, you can contact them and get the rest later. Don’t lose a potentially valuable lead by insisting on too much information too soon.


5. How do you improve your conversion to sale %?

If you decide to follow up via phone, your sales people will be able to gather reasons for non-conversion. This information is hugely valuable to feedback into your lead generation marketing campaign so make sure you have a process to collect this feedback from your sales team (a simple form for them to complete and send you each week will usually suffice). Then use this to help you decide what new keywords, ads, landing pages or free reports are worth testing in your campaign.


But don’t test too many things at once. Have a clear testing plan – we’d advise A/B split tests – and then by steady optimisation you can either reduce your costs, or improve your conversion – or both!


6. What do you do with the leads that don’t convert?

Given your non-converting leads have shown strong interest in your content, they are still a valuable lead, even if they don’t convert to a sale immediately. It may be that they are not the key decision maker within their business, or it might be that they don’t have budget available to buy your products or services at the time they signed up. But they might in future. So make sure you have a marketing communication plan to keep all your non-converting leads in touch with your brand – as some will definitely turn into paying customers in time.


7. What tracking should you put in place?

Decide what your KPIs are for your campaign – before you launch. Then ensure you set up your tracking and reporting with this in mind. You can track new leads back to individual keywords in your PPC campaign (easily done through AdWords). Then make sure you track what happens to your leads post sign up. If you don’t have an automated way of doing this already, you could simply give groups of leads (those coming from particular content keyword areas) promotion codes - and then track conversion for each group. This will then inform your future keyword strategies.


Want to find out more? Get in touch to find out how Jellyfish CoNNect can help.


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