As we’re well into month two of our 2021 journey we’re seeing incredible shifts to digital channels as ways to reach customers through our marketing efforts. Let’s continue to re-evaluate our marketing approaches in this all-new pandemic world.
One way to join the digital shift is by leveraging the power of Google.
It’s widely acknowledged that Google is the best and biggest search engine in the world and it could hence write its own book on creating and managing paid digital ad programs. As such, the fact remains that digital ads can be a major force in creating differentiation – especially in an environment where an online presence is paramount in lieu of in-person events.
We’ve already touched on getting started with Google search ads (formerly known as “AdWords”) – and these ads should, without a doubt, be included in today’s mix to create exposure for your business-to-business company. A mix that further includes many other vehicles in your ad spend, social media and of course email marketing.
As a reminder, Google search ads are text-based and appear above the organic listings on the search engine results page when you search for specific terms in the Google.com search window. Here’s an example of what a paid Google search ad looks like after typing in “office chair” into the search box:
In a nutshell, the organic search results are the naturally occurring listings served-up by an online vehicle’s content and SEO optimization (think your website) and are not paid placements.
Introducing the Display Ad
Another type of Google ad is the display ad, and that’s what we’ll look at now.
Google display ads are graphics that show up on websites in its network. They will appear while you’re on your bank’s website, for instance, to increase awareness of a product that Google believes you’ll be interested in.
Here’s what a display ad can look like, in a billboard style:
Google tries to determine which sites are most relevant to your audience. It does this based on what it knows about an individual’s profile, search history, and what the ad creators have submitted for examples of sites they believe your demographic would be interested in or have already searched for in the past.
The technology is complicated. However, if we take a step back and realize that just ten years ago many considered this type of “matching” technology to be relatively new, Google has committed every year since to consistently improve the targeting technology.
As such, this is where the power of display ads can be seen. These ads can offer a much cheaper CPC (or cost-per-click) than search ads. And, if you have a goal to build awareness for your brand, these ads can reach prospects as they travel around the web and will keep you – not your competitors – top of mind.
Tip: An example from one our clients shows a Google display ad last quarter in a particular category had a CPC that was five times less than the CPC of the Google search ad.
When creating a display ad, set some time aside. Google requires four graphic images, and text for a short headline (up to five versions), a long headline, and descriptions (up to five versions). All of these elements depend upon what your ad is offering. For example, are you offering a white paper download, or a free product trial, or a way to contact a representative for a conversation?
Here’s another example of a Google display ad, in a box style:
Tip: To see many more samples, try Googling “examples of Google display ads” and comb through a few to get an idea for what your ads should look like. Make sure the look and feel match your organization’s overall branding guidelines to create a more seamless experience for the user.
Selecting the Audience
For the audience, you input key terms (formerly “keywords”) that describe topics you believe your prospects are interested in or have purchase intentions around, and you can even list other websites you believe they would be likely to visit.
Tips: For help with determining what key terms to input, research terms that are popular with visitors and that are being used by your competitors. One tool to use for this is SpyFu, which has a free option. Just sign-up, put in a website, and take a look at its available ad data. Another tool is Google’s own keyword planner – which can even estimate what the historic search volume is for a term.
What Am I Supposed to Do?
While you’re creating your ad, it’s also time to think about what you want your prospect to do when they click on your ad – your call-to-action (CTA). This will depend upon the thinking you did a few paragraphs back, where you determined what you’re going to offer in the ad.
At Brandwidth Solutions we most often create Google display ads for companies that offer an exclusive piece of content, like a white paper download. We take them to a landing page in their marketing automation system, and they can complete a form on that landing page to download the white paper (a PDF document). In the process, we track them in their marketing automation system as a lead and the information can be uploaded automatically into the client’s CRM.
Your CTA may differ if your ad is about registering for an event, for instance. In that case, your ad may take a prospective attendee to an event registration page.
Time to Bid
As we mentioned above, Google Ads are based on a CPC model. This means you only pay for each click on your ad.
You can start your bidding by selecting a bid strategy that is based upon your campaign objectives. Your goals might be to garner impressions or to simply get web visitors. While bidding consists of some mix of trial and error, analysis, and constant adjustment, a good place to start is with the “maximize conversions” strategy. Google will help you constantly adjust to the best maximum bid automatically by leveraging its growing machine learning engine.
You can learn more about bidding here.
Ready to try the display ads? Let us know how it’s going. If you’d like us to help you out and devise a strategy for your B2B goals, contact us now.
Author – Scott Fuhr
Scott is a marketer with concentrations on lead generation campaigns, marketing automation programs (Marketo, SharpSpring), Google search and display ads (PPC), social media strategies, and business writing.
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – that want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.