Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a great place to start if you’re trying to accelerate business growth. It’s versatile and effective. Brands that leverage it get double their investment back, on average, TechJury reports. But, there’s one thing you won’t hear in most PPC help guides: B2B and B2C different strategies to be effective.
B2B vs. B2C in a Nutshell
B2B and B2C companies are different because of the people they serve, so their approach must be different, too.
- Business-to-business (B2B): The company has other businesses as customers.
- Business-to-consumer (B2C): The company’s customers are individual people.
B2B vs. B2C Marketing
We start seeing differences in how B2B and B2C companies approach marketing based on the budgets they set. B2C companies invest more, with product-based businesses allocating more than 15 percent of their revenue for marketing and their B2B counterparts investing around eight percent, HubSpot reports. However, there’s less than a one-percent gap in the service industry.
B2B vs. B2C Digital Marketing
Even still, B2B and B2C brands leverage many of the same tools and techniques when it comes to digital marketing. PPC, SEO, social media, email, and other common channels are effective for both, though the difference in customer base affects how to reach customers effectively.
5 Ways B2B PPC is Different Than B2C PPC
Most things that set B2B PPC apart from B2C PPC are universal, so you can apply what you learn to other marketing initiatives.
1. The Customer Journeys Are Distinct
When you’re managing PPC for a B2C brand, you’re usually trying to reach the primary decision-maker or someone who shares decision-making power, such as a spouse. That means you’re only responsible for carrying one person through the customer journey.
When you’re managing PPC for a B2B brand, you may be connecting with someone who has decision-making power, but it’s often shared by one or more people. That means they’ll almost certainly pause at each stage of the customer journey to get feedback from others in the decision-making process.
Both parties will probably perform some type of research. However, the B2C buyer is more likely to do some quick comparison shopping and read reviews, then make a purchase. The B2B buyer is more likely to do a deep dive and report their findings back to someone else.
Because of these differences, B2C PPC can be geared toward a quick sale. B2B PPC, on the other hand, must be supplemented with nurturing campaigns.
2. One-on-One Relationships Matter More with B2B PPC
B2B buyers are in it for the long haul. They know that their decision will impact the company as a whole and its employees. A decision won’t be made lightly when implementing something new, and whichever option they select will likely be with the company for many years, if not the brand’s lifetime.
Because of this, they need more educational materials as they move through the process. Whitepapers, comparison guides, and other assets can all become part of your PPC strategy as you address people toward the middle of the journey and in retargeting campaigns.
Instead of being ready to buy right away and possibly going through the entire sales process without ever talking to a person, as you’ll see with many B2C PPC campaigns, a B2B buyer needs a relationship. They may engage with a brand and sales team for weeks or months before moving forward.
This means B2B PPC ads should be geared more towards carrying someone to the next stage and building a relationship. Demos, consultations, and quotes are powerful assets in the B2B marketer’s toolkit. It also means that your marketing technology must be on-point to ensure you can track prospects over time and provide the sales team with insights. For instance, you’ll need a CRM to track all your connections at a company and be able to link all your contacts together.
3. B2B PPC Advertising Requires Different Audience Targeting
Both B2B and B2C brands should leverage personas to ensure they’re connecting with their audience. However, B2C brands often have a vast pool of potential matches, while B2B brands have just a few.
B2C companies can typically let their ads run constantly when refining PPC campaigns. People operate on different schedules, so there may be no difference in the conversion rate of a visitor who sees your ad on a PC in the middle of the day and one who sees your ad from their mobile device in the evening.
B2B PPC isn’t the same. Although there may be exceptions, your audience is far more likely to engage with your brand during regular business hours from a desktop PC. Because of this, many B2B brands boost their desktop budgets and shut off or reduce spending outside of regular business hours.
4. B2C PPC Ad Copy Can Be More Emotional and Casual
B2B and B2C buyers come to you from different places and have different goals, so your ad copy needs to reflect that. With B2C, you can often evoke more emotion with your ad copy. It’s generally better to speak more plainly and keep things short.
With B2B markets, your buyer expects you to be the master of your domain. Including industry jargon is sometimes advantageous because it shows you understand and speak their language. You may also want to develop longer landing pages to break down their barriers and provide them with more information to share with other decision-makers.
5. B2B PPC Volume is Lower, and Costs Are Higher
Most B2C companies cater to a broad audience, so you may have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of prospective customers to reach. B2B companies are usually trying to reach a very specific audience or persona. Your potential audience may shrink even more if you only serve a handful of industries. Because of this, you and your competitors are fighting to be seen by the same small group of people every time. This drives up the cost.
Get Help Improving Your B2B PPC or B2C PPC
The five points covered here only scratch the surface when it comes to B2B vs B2C PPC. If you’re struggling to get results from your campaigns or think there’s room for improvement but aren’t sure where to start, an experienced PPC agency can help ensure you connect with prospective customers meaningfully and are primed for success. Request a complimentary consultation to explore your options.