Many B2C marketers have a difficult relationship with premium display advertising. Tracking ROI isn't a straightforward proposition, which makes justifying this expenditure challenging. The task is even more daunting for B2B marketers, who operate in a very different landscape with a longer, more multifaceted buy cycle. But you don't need to jettison the display-ad component of your marketing strategy — you just need to learn how to make display ads work for you.
Commit to the Long Haul
B2B marketing is a long-term commitment. Prospects can take months to nurture and convert, so don't think of display as a quick fix. Don't expect a single campaign to produce results. Instead, run a consistent program over the course of several months.
Pay Attention to Influencers
Different players in your target company have different priorities: finance directors care about ROI, operations about efficiency and IT about integration. Make sure your display ads address these priorities by delivering relevant messages to each decision maker.
Display and Brand Awareness
Many marketers believe that display ads are only good for building brand awareness, but brand awareness ultimately leads customers towards conversion. Where sales teams build rapport, display ads build trust — and in the information age, prospects have opportunities to research the answers for themselves without speaking to sales teams. This makes display more important than ever for brand awareness and expertise.
It's Not About the Click
It's about the message, and display gives you the opportunity to present and refine your message based on where in the sales process your prospective customers are. Some may click right away; others may do some research before returning via other channels. Consider how your prospects interact aside from clicks, such as newsletter sign-ups, white paper downloads and webcast logins.
Display ad strategy for B2B marketing can be far more complex than for B2C, so having solid analytics and measurement methods is key. Review the way target accounts are navigating and engaging with your site. You'll be able to identify accounts that are moving closer to the bottom of the funnel. You can then change your message to more proactively nurture these accounts to a conversion.
Handled correctly, premium display advertising is an important component of your digital marketing campaign and can help you build an ongoing, cohesive and successful strategy.