Our paper, Online Paid Advertising, an Executive Primer for Industrial B2B, covers four categories for paid digital advertising in detail. For each, we provide an overview of the category, evidence (or lack thereof) of its efficacy, and our take on whether you should consider it. The categories are:
Traditional Display — These are the common leaderboards, banners, skyscrapers and rich media ads one places directly with online publications. Traditional display ads normally employ images, video and even audio to deliver a message. Just like traditional print, placement costs are negotiated with the website’s owner.
Quick Take: With 0.04 percent click-thru rates, it’s hard to get excited, but digital publishers have become very creative at developing targeted programs for audiences. Download the paper, Online Paid Advertising, an Executive Primer for Industrial B2B, for more analysis and recommendations.
Display Network — This type of advertising uses a network that connects the businesses that want to run ads with the websites that want to host them. Ad networks buy unsold ad space from online publishers and act as brokers, packaging them to sell to advertisers. This is a complex space with a lot of players and technologies. Google and Facebook rule. The industry uses programmatic techniques to automate the buying and selling process. The paper covers two types of programmatic methods: retargeting and account-based marketing.
Quick Take: Broadly speaking, we see two scenarios that merit consideration for B2B industrial marketers: retargeting for e-commerce or transactional products; and account-based approaches for high-value clients. We’re not sold on chasing a generic website visitor with an informational banner on msnbc.com. At least not yet. Download the paper for stats, analysis and recommendations.
Paid Search — This form of digital advertising describes the practice of placing sponsored ads in a search engine by bidding for placement on search engine results pages (SERP) and paying when your ad is clicked (aka PPC). Ads usually appear at the top and bottom of the SERP. Google is, of course, the most common platform; advertisers manage their campaigns on its AdWords platform. An average click-through rate of 2.41 percent in B2B doesn’t sound all that bad, but there are still questions about quality. Also, only 15 percent of the clicks go to ads, so organic results still rule the roost.
Quick Take: PPC is a quick fix that allows you to bid your way to the top of the SERP. Scenarios where it makes the most sense include situations where timing matters: product launches, special events, limited-time offers, and bridging the gap until you’ve developed an organic presence. You can find a lot more information on this category here.
Paid Social — Marketers can target audiences with advertising on social media platforms by taking advantage of user and company profiles. Social media platforms use different types of targeting options, such as: geotargeting, demographics, psychographics and other attributes. Our paper covers LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in some detail.
Quick Take? Most social media conversions in B2B come from LinkedIn. Thus, advertising on the site is very viable. The platform offers numerous options, which our paper covers at a high level. We also share some insights and trepidations about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.