How to get ahead in narrow B2B niches when SEO is not enough
At the conference on promotion on international markets NaZapad 13, Roman Rybalchenko shared the agency’s experience with projects in the B2B segments.
There is often little traffic in B2B, but there are people who are willing to buy. SEO does not always work here or does not work at all, and one transaction can bring, for example, $30,000.
Below you will find an abstract from the speech. Let’s start!
The key B2B marketing principle is, first of all, connecting with the target audience. Working in this segment means a long sales cycle and an above-average check. There is no direct touting here. Users do not make decisions to buy here and now. You have to work with a target audience of hundreds or thousands of people in a narrow geographic market. Therefore, our task is to increase user exposure to a product or service. You must be represented both on search and social media and on other platforms to increase the frequency of contacting your potential customers.
Frameworks to be studied:
- «Zero moment of truth», Google
- «Point of contact», Igor Mann
- Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
In a B2C niche, one or two sources are enough. They will cover most of the market. What is special about B2B is that there are significantly more traffic sources.
In Google, low frequency queries are what presents interest in the first place. However, in a B2B niche, search traffic may be simply absent. Here one should remember about DSA — a Google Ads tool that allows to target advertising not by the key phrases, but by the website content. It saves the trouble of collecting key phrases manually, and automatically generates relevant ad titles. Using Bid modifiers, you can buy traffic with different indicators: gender, age, geo, etc. It is necessary to group countries — Country Tier 1-3. Say, No. 1: the USA, Canada and other rich countries with a high goods turnover. Group No. 2 includes rich countries, but with lower sales volumes: the Netherlands, France and other European countries. Country Tier No. 3: Thailand, India, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia. These countries should be better excluded from advertising. There are a lot of companies that failed here. They launch targeting all over the world, but the budget is pulled out by India and Brazil — countries with a very low purchasing power.
Facebook works well for mass-market B2B, when a deal costs relatively little. Bing is convenient for targeting through Linkedin. Despite a high cost per click, this social platform has an array of interesting working formats. For instance, you can create a sales email chain and send it to contacts within Linkedin. Yandex/Baidu are perfectly suited to work in the CIS market.
When working with B2B Clients we cover the maximum number of channels. Moreover, in each channel, it is very easy to hit the ceiling in terms of the number of target audience. One lead may cost from $50 to $1,500. Below you can see additional benchmarks for PPC in the search.
When writing ads, it is important to take into account the fact that they will be relevant not only for your target audience. For example, these may be students preparing for classes and noticing familiar terms from the niche you are working in. Program the ads accordingly to avoid odd expensive clicks.
Audiences for Remarketing
Remarketing is a must throughout the funnel. But it has to be split. Remember the 100-500+ rule. For example, if you don’t have a target audience of at least 100 people, and in some niches even 500+ users, ads for them will not work.
Examples of remarketing audiences that can be created:
- The user registered, but hasn’t made a purchase in 30 days;
- The user registered, but hasn’t made a purchase in 60 days;
- The user visited the website, but hasn’t registered;
- Users similar to those who have visited business cases;
- Users similar to those who have registered.
Thus, dozens of audiences are created. From time to time, they are relaunched and tested.
Audiences can also be created based on terms. For example, such groups as “those who visited 10 days ago” and “those who visited 5 days ago”. We exclude audiences and get a new group — users who visited the website 5 to 10 days ago. Similarly, you can show different messages to different audiences about why they should use our product or service during a month. Using this technique, different ads with the same message are broadcast to one user up to 80 times. And if this is a person who makes key decisions or influences making them? This can be considered as hitting the mark.
PPC in the search and remarketing work great. But they are not a magic pill. We should actively use contact scraping. LinkedIn Sales Navigator. is an excellent social selling tool that will help us here. You can use it to search for people and companies based on specified criteria: geography, industry, size, and others. You can also sort leads into specialized lists or create chains of sales emails. You can also work with contacts through Snov.io,which is SaaS for automating sales, searching for B2B contacts and creating cold mailings. And reply.io will help automate all the work.
The Rule of 3+ Touches
One more fundamental rule is having each user touched at least 3 times. When launching the Productive Roman podcast, we were sending chains of emails to the people we knew. That is, to the warm audience. Only 1 response was received to the first email, 6 responses to the second one, and 9 to the third one. Imagine if we only sent one email. To put it bluntly, you can get 1+ sales for 1,000 of collected emails.
ISP Data for Retargeting
Google Analytics has recently removed data about the service provider. Previously, they were clearly outlined for large companies. Suppose a person came to your website, the system could immediately determine that they are from a bank or a large industrial company. You analyzed the pages and content they were interested in, and added them to the audience for remarketing, handed them over to sales managers or looked for their LinkedIn profile. Today, you can determine the data of a service provider using special services: Albacross, Leadfeeder, LinkedIn pixel.
Click Retargeting Using Outlinks
Rocketlink service allows you to place CTA for free on any website. Using it, you can transfer traffic. For example, in your email chain, you can inform users about the news in your niche and put links to resources where it was posted. With this, you do not waste time optimizing and rewriting content, as well as placing it on your site. Next, a CTA appears in the corner of the third-party site reminding you to register on your site, attend a conference, or try a demo product. You can even lead users from the email chains about popular resources. For example, Amazon or Rozetka. In this case, everyone clicking on the link gets into the lists for retargeting — and makes for additional warm audiences for advertising.
Try to automate routine processes as much as possible. For example, you can use active pop ups to collect email addresses, plus systems that work with social proofs. For example, a pop-up window with a call and the text: “5 people have just subscribed to our newsletter.”
Automation also applies to the chain of emails. Let’s say a person has recently started using a product. For them, we create an individual email chain. You should keep testing. For example, using certain services, you can parse users who like certain posts on Facebook and try to find their contacts on LinkedIn or other social platforms.
Services to automate the routines:
Hyperlocal targeting works perfectly in B2B. Say, your audience is about to have an event. You know the place. You can launch targeting spanning 3 km around the place on the event days or set up advertising targeted at the offices of big companies.
Use contact repackaging. For example, we have found out that the Client can range the PDF file well, but Google gives back the full document. We cut the file, make a preview, add SEO description and CTA calling for downloading the second half for a subscription.
Use Tilda to test hypotheses quickly. Experiment with different headings, subheadings and geo, adapting them to the specific portraits of the target audience.
In the B2B niche, it is rational to use long registration forms. They allow you to personalize the user more accurately and cut off the extra audience, which can eat up half of the advertising budget.
Below, you can see the main touching points which you work with in the B2B segment:
B2B marketing is a story about multiple traffic sources, continuous testing, long sales cycles, multiple touches of the target audience and fighting for each customer. The path to profit may be long and thorny. But it’s worth it. Because in certain niches, one sale can bring as much as $30,000.