For any B2B looking to run paid ads, you can pretty much guarantee that the immediate destination will be LinkedIn. It’s the most popular platform for B2B marketers, with over 774M members worldwide across 55M companies.
Whilst LinkedIn’s targeting options are some of the most powerful when it comes to B2Bs, over recent years the platform has become increasingly saturated with brands all pushing similar messages to the same audiences.
Not only this, LinkedIn advertising is notoriously expensive when compared to other channels.
Whilst the cost may be sustainable for some, certain types of B2Bs can often find that they are able to generate better performance from other channels at a much more economical rate.
Just because you’re a B2B doesn’t mean you can’t make use of other channels. We market to humans – not businesses.
Other channels may be more suitable for you depending on the sector you operate in and your target audience’s online behaviour patterns and habits.
Here are just some of the other ways in which you could promote your B2B through paid ads beyond LinkedIn.
There probably isn’t a sector or industry that couldn’t make use of paid search. In most cases it tends to be one of the highest lead generators due to the level of intent with users.
For those working in B2B sectors, the average user will conduct 12 online searches before engaging with a company (Think With Google).
Whilst Google is the go to for most of the population, Bing advertising also holds value when it comes to B2Bs with most professional devices running on Windows operating systems. The platform also allows you to incorporate LinkedIn Insights allowing you to upweight bids based on the types that are clicking on your ads. For example, you could increase bids for those that are in more senior positions as opposed to those that are juniors.
Whilst display is normally reserved for more top of the funnel awareness tactics, it can still be a powerful channel in re-engaging with past users.
For B2Bs, there is also an opportunity to refine the types of placements you are serving your ads on. Think about where your target audience spends their time online. Are there any publications that are frequently visited by your customer base?
An example of a B2B display ad on the Financial Times website.
Long gone are the days when YouTube was home to just funny cat videos! 71% of B2B users use video as part of their marketing mix (Opt In Monster).
Similarly to display, YouTube ads could be used to target previous visitors of your website or reach new ones based on the type of content they are watching. Within YouTube’s targeting options, you also have the ability to target viewers of competitor channels or specific videos that may be related to your product or service.
An example of a YouTube ad being served on a related video.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, usership across Spotify has increased significantly especially with those of us that were forced to work from home. To keep us company during this time, many of us engaged with podcasts.
Spotify’s advertising platform allows you to target these individuals and also further refine the targeting by the types of content people listen to. For example, targeting people that regularly listen to business related podcasts.
With the boundaries between work and home life becoming increasingly unclear, traditional B2C channels such as Facebook are becoming increasingly powerful for B2Bs.
Again, not only can we use Facebook advertising to re-engage with past web visitors or prospective leads, you also have the capacity to target users based on job titles, industries and in some cases employer company names.
With platforms such as Facebook, it’s worth considering the types of content you push out through your advertising, keeping in mind the user’s mindset. Ads that provide the user with something that supports their day-to-day working life such as a whitepaper or free trial, can often be a much more effective way of collecting their data rather than a pushy sales message.
An example of a B2B using softer call to actions in order to engage with potential customers.
Certain industries such as marketing, have well established communities on Twitter, making it a great place for B2Bs to promote themselves. You can target users based on specific conversation topics, particular keywords people search for or lookalikes of competitor twitter profiles.
Quora is a community based platform, allowing users to share and gain knowledge. The platform gives B2Bs the opportunity to engage with potential customers directly and showcase their expertise in their field.
Whilst Quora isn’t as big as some of the other advertising networks, the targeting is still pretty sophisticated. For example, you can target users based on specific topics, interests, keywords or questions.
An example of an ad on Quora within a related content feed.
Hear me out on this one! Whilst Pinterest may only be applicable for a small minority of B2Bs, it could be incredibly powerful for some. For example, any B2B operating within the education sector should definitely consider it with teachers increasingly turning to platforms for classroom inspiration.
You don’t have to be on the platform for very long to see where other B2Bs are leveraging promoted pins.
Examples of promoted pins on Pinterest being used by B2B companies.
Whilst not all of these channels may be appropriate for your B2B, it does showcase the advertising potential beyond LinkedIn. Just because you’re a B2B doesn’t mean that you can’t consider how to reach people beyond their 9-5 working life.
If you’re interested in exploring how you could grow your B2B marketing strategy beyond LinkedIn, our Paid Media team would love to speak to you! Get in touch with us today.