B2B Display Ads: 7 Best Practices to Ensure Success

25 June 2020

Use this guide to get the most out of your B2B display advertising.

Kompass International

By Kompass International

25 June 2020

Display advertising can seem futile.

Indeed, click rates for a typical campaign of this nature hover at around 0.1%. That’s 1 in every 1,000 ads that get clicked.

The same source states that 95% of Google’s revenue is derived from online advertising. Clearly, millions of dollars are spent by businesses every year on advertising that just doesn’t work. So much for return on investment…

It’s often even more difficult for B2B advertising. Here, the target market is generally smaller and more focused, buying cycles are longer, and relationships are key to generating business.

Thankfully, all is not lost. Online adverts remain central in generating leads and revenue. You just have to know how to do it properly. With that in mind, how do you design an ad that works?

Keep reading to discover the best practices for effective display advertising.

7 Best Practices for B2B Display Advertising

You can’t just slap an ad together and expect results.

Far from it. There’s a certain science to creating adverts that work. Here are 5 best practices to help you achieve the greatest ROI possible for your display ads.

1. Remember It Isn’t B2C

There are key differences between B2C and B2B advertising.

We’ve already alluded to a few of them. Essentially, as obvious as it sounds, the needs of businesses are different needs to those of consumers. And that has a direct impact on what they want to see.

For example, consumers react to emotional triggers. Businesses respond to values. It’s a relational transaction. The more reputable, trust-worthy and well-known you are, the better the relationship and higher the likelihood of doing business. They want to see evidence of expertise instead of general entertainment.

Keep your particular industry and ideal business customer in mind when designing your ads. Click here for more B2B digital marketing tips.

2. Think Long Term

One ramification of the aforementioned B2B ad differences are the time-scales involved.

Remember that the buying cycle in B2B is longer. A user is less likely to see an ad, click on it, come across a deal they want, and convert on it in a matter of seconds, as consumers can do.

Instead, they may see the ad, take note, and keep it in mind for when it’s useful to them. They might not even click at that time. However, in the future, when it’s relevant, they’ll come back to it and get in touch.

See your ad campaign as a long-standing deal. The ROI may not be immediate. But it’ll still be on its way. It’s useful to stay on top of other marketing channels. You’ll be able to track the origin of customer interest.

3. Keep it On Brand

All ad campaigns should be designed in-line with your overall brand image.

There should be consistency and relevance throughout. Logos, language, aesthetics, and general content should all match your individual brand identity.

Likewise, ensure the ad contributes to the perception of your brand in the industry. After all, you’re trying to generate business. Your reputation, driven by your brand, is essential to success. It’s no good encouraging a click but sacrificing your brand image in the process.

4. Ensure Impactful Designs

Design-work is central to an ad’s success.

It should grab the attention of anyone who sees it. Remember, many webpages already have a lot of information to digest. An ad can easily get lost amongst it.

Emotionally compelling design is more likely to resonate and trigger a click. That said, B2B ads must demonstrate expertise, cost-effectiveness, and quality over direct ‘click-to-buy’ style ads.

Don’t overcomplicate the design work either. It’s easy to cram too much into a small space. Simplicity is a better approach. It makes it easier to take in a message, digest the information, and respond to a call to action.

Here are some useful tips for designing display ads that work.

5. Get the Location Right

Think carefully about where you place your ads.

There’s no point being somewhere your audience isn’t.

Take time in the planning phase to assess where exactly they spend time online. The demographics of a website’s traffic should match up to your target audience’s.

For instance, if your business is based in France and provides domestic (rather than international) solutions, then look for sites with French business traffic.

6. Deliver On Promises

An ad is usually as effective as the quality of the website behind it.

See the ad as a doorway to value. Click upon it and you should find your way to a compelling, informative, brand-related, visually aesthetic page that convinces you of a product or service’s worth.

It’s no good promising the world and delivering a half-baked, poor-quality landing page. There’s no way to turn clicks into customers without high-quality on the other side.

The initial ad is the entrée. It tickles the taste-buds and whets the appetite of your audience. It’s a compelling and provocative teaser that demands attention and encourages a click. The landing page beyond must continue where the ad left off.

7. Be Analytical

Analytics is at the heart of all good advertising campaigns.

It’s absolutely essential that you test and measure your ads. That’s the only way to get an accurate impression of what works and what doesn’t.

Set up A/B tests to compare minor and/or major alterations between ads. Test alternative copy, fonts, colors, and offers. This way you’ll get to know your industry better. You’ll figure out, over time, what converts and what doesn’t.

Time to Wrap Up

There you have it: 7 best practices for B2B display advertising success.

Advertising is a vital source of lead generation and potential custom. However, it’s all too easy to misfire. The vast majority of online ads receive a paltry supply of clicks for the money that’s put behind them.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case. With the right approach, businesses can get their money’s worth and successfully attract new B2B customers to their doors.

Hopefully, the best practices we’ve highlighted here will ensure you do just that.

Did you like this piece? Are you looking for support with your B2B marketing or another aspect of business? Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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