Individuals are prone to buying things on a whim; we’re impulsive by nature. When something about a product speaks to us, we simply have to have it. Businesses, however, aren’t like people in this respect — their purchasing decisions are meticulously thought out. Accordingly, though they may look similar on the surface, B2B and B2C advertising are quite different behind the scenes; you’re dealing with an entirely different audience, which requires an entirely different strategy. While B2C marketing is all about transactional relationships, emotional appeal and marketing to the masses, B2B marketing is about building personal relationships, logic and speaking to your niche. These are the B2B media buying channels that will help you do just that.
The Best B2B Media Buying Channels
Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model where the advertiser places their ad on a platform (such as Google) and pays when someone clicks on it. The goal is to increase the amount of high-quality website traffic a company receives. So, how does PPC work? Advertisers start by creating an ad, setting a daily budget, and choosing keywords to target. Then, the ad auction automatically decides if the ad will run based on the budget, bid and the ad’s relevancy to a search. If the ad runs and the searcher doesn’t click on it, the advertiser pays nothing. However, if the searcher does click on the ad, the advertiser will pay. This process repeats itself until the daily ad budget is met.
PPC is one of the most effective B2B media buying strategies for a number of reasons, one of the greatest being that it allows you to utilize SEO. By targeting keywords and phrases, advertisers can make sure that the people who see their ads are the people most likely to purchase their product: decision-makers within their niche.
Radio and podcasts can also be extremely effective B2B media buying channels. Radio is relatively inexpensive, can reach people at all times of day, and (despite popular misconceptions) is still widely popular. Radio.co found that 92% of the US population, 272 million people, listen to radio every week, and such a large audience is certain to include company decision-makers. Plus, with podcasts entering the playing field, audio is reaching more Americans than ever. Insider Intelligence found that the number of monthly US podcast listeners will increase by 10.1% year-over-year in 2021 to 117.8 million, a massive increase from just a few years ago.
Radio and podcasts are uniquely beneficial for B2B advertisers, as you can find channels dedicated to your specific niche — there is quite literally a radio station or industry podcast for anyone. Also, if you’re looking for a wider audience, there are a plethora of podcasts dedicated to entrepreneurship, running a business and leadership.
We typically think of out-of-home (OOH) advertising strictly as a B2C marketing tactic, but when done right, OOH can also be a highly effective B2B media buying channel. OOH advertising reaches the masses, captures people’s attention, and best of all, allows advertisers to target specific locations. B2B advertisers could place transit shelter displays along commuter routes, billboards near office buildings, or even place ads in other businesses their target audience frequents, such as golf clubs and coffee shops. You could even target specific cities and regions. For example, if you serve companies in the petroleum industry, you could look at OOH placements in Texas or North Dakota. The point is: with OOH, you can take your message directly to the decision-makers.
One area where B2B and B2C differ most is in the types of relationships you’re building. B2C is all about transactional relationships; you have a product or service, and the customer is willing to pay up to a certain amount for it. B2B relationships, on the other hand, are more personal. B2B advertisers have to prove that they care about their clients’ long-term success, and will go great lengths to guarantee it.
One way to do this is to nurture the relationships you’re building through email marketing. Email marketing allows you to regularly update clients on new features, offer special deals and keep your brand on their minds. In addition to furthering existing relationships, emails are also an incredibly effective way to reach new businesses, as they cost only a few cents per message to send out.
Another B2B media buying channel that can be used to attract new business is email’s much older sibling, direct mail. The “Father of Advertising”, David Ogilvy, even referred to this tactic as the “secret weapon in the avalanche of new business acquisitions.” Now, you might be thinking that direct mail is a tool from a previous time, something that holds no value in the modern world, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Turns out, people like opening a tangible piece of mail. In fact, PostGrid found that targeted B2B direct mail has a response rate of 4%, while email has a response rate of less than 1%.
While print has somewhat fallen out of fashion due to the rise of digital ads, it is still a B2B media buying strategy to consider, as print offers a host of benefits that are hard to come by elsewhere. To start, unlike mobile or web ads, when people read printed material, they tend to give it their full attention. And since print ads often appear in magazines, brochures, newspapers and catalogs, they have a longer lifespan than most other ad formats (think of the stack of magazines in your dentist’s office; no one is weeding out the old content). The best part is, print is highly targetable. You can publish ads in materials your niche would be interested in, such as business journals, and distribute the materials where your niche will be, such as trade shows and conferences.
If you’re looking to get creative with your advertising efforts, alternative marketing is a great place to start. Sponsorships, referral campaigns, experiential marketing, and other less common formats can be extremely effective at grabbing potential clients’ attention. With B2B advertising, every customer counts, and while these advertising efforts aren’t necessarily the most scalable, they can make quite an impact on results. Take referral campaigns, for instance. You may only get a handful of referrals, but those leads will be extremely valuable. People are far more likely to go with a company they can trust, and they’re far more likely to trust a company that’s trusted by people they know.
Let Us Handle Your B2B Media Buying And Planning
With businesses bouncing back, effectively advertising to these entities has never been more important, and our team at The Ward Group will help you do exactly that. Our experienced media buyers will find you prime placements in the best B2B advertising channels for your business, ensuring that every dollar of your ad budget is used wisely. Thinking of investing in advertising for the first time, trying out a new channel, or simply want to get a bigger bang for your advertising buck? Contact The Ward Group today! We’re always happy to help.