Digital Strategy

4 common reasons paid search might not be working for your B2B company

by Tiffany Lok | February 2, 2021

Paid search just makes sense. Someone types in a keyword representing what they’re interested in, and then your ad shows up. It works great for retail—whether someone is looking for online fitness classes or a new karaoke microphone—but it just isn’t converting for your B2B company.

You’ve got the right keywords that describe your product, but you’re getting conversions from consumers (not helpful!), small companies, or prospects that are bigger/smaller than your target prospect. You’re having trouble scaling your spend—people aren’t looking for your product or service. You’re spending a significant portion of your marketing budget on paid search, but it’s just not getting you the right quality leads. Sound familiar? We’re exploring some of the most common issues we’ve helped B2B companies resolve when it comes to paid search and building a solid digital marketing approach for long-lead organizations. 

B2B paid search common problem #1: You have leads… of dubious quality

While you’re able to generate leads from whitepaper submissions, webinars, free trials, or the like, you’re unable to identify whether these leads will actually turn into sales. This can be as simple as an analytics issue. If your analytics pixel is firing incorrectly, then you can’t see the total number of leads generated by your organization’s marketing efforts. If you’re unable to see total leads, then you may be under-counting and unable to identify if they were good-quality and generating revenue.

Another possible scenario with your leads: You may know how many you’re generating, but you didn’t capture data in fields that enable you to validate whether a lead is good quality or not. For example, if your lead form only captured first name, last name, and personal email address, you aren’t going to be able to validate if the lead works at a target company or industry, what their years of experience are, or their job title.

B2B paid search common problem #2: You invested in digital marketing, but skipped investing in content

So, you’ve made a small recurring investment in digital marketing, either in paid social or Google Ads. You’re getting some leads, but you can’t seem to scale efficiently. You’re hesitant about investing in other digital infrastructure such as analytics or content programs.

A really common mistake in B2B marketing is to have sales-run webinars. While sales does a great job running demos, actually having sales engineers or product engineers build valuable content on how to best use your product or service to solve the customer’s problem can be much more valuable and effective.

B2B paid search common problem #3: Marketing and Sales have different ideas about how to do things

You’ve got media running and your website is generating leads. The problem? John Doe on the sales team is in charge of following up on these leads, and has his own criteria and does things his way. What your marketing folks set up may generate 100 leads, but depending on the filtering criteria, he may only deem 2 worthy of a follow-up. It’s important to ensure there’s some way to nurture all leads and a criteria to disqualify leads. Otherwise, there won’t be any data on how to improve lead quality!

B2B paid search common problem #4: Your product or service is a bit lackluster

Your product may be your infrastructure problem. Perhaps you’re a SaaS company running on an obsolete platform or have an amazing new product, but people can’t figure out pricing because your website isn’t very user-friendly. 

While the marketing team is busy trying to A/B test everything, remember there’s always one variable that’s the same—what you’re selling! Keep in mind how mature your product is and be honest about its potential. Even if you make a significant investment in digital marketing, you may receive lackluster results because your product or even just the process of signing up for your product is not clear.

A solid B2B marketing foundation leads to solid paid search performance

Ideally, you want to do an honest assessment of your marketing and sales infrastructure before investing paid media dollars—but we understand “ideally” and reality don’t always align. Over the next few installments of this series (subscribe here so you don’t miss anything!), we’ll help you build a roadmap for fixing B2B infrastructure issues to get your paid search campaign going.

Apiary is here to help!
Need help with your B2B marketing challenges right away? Apiary Digital has experienced digital marketing consultants who have seen and heard it all in the B2B realm and we’re ready to jump in and help! Contact us today.