One of the fundamentals of effective marketing for an emerging B2B tech company is knowing your target market.
Why is this important? Because by definition you have a limited marketing budget. Then, accepting that the only function of marketing (in an emerging B2B tech company) is to generate qualified leads, you have to apply that limited budget as effectively as possible to generate as many qualified leads as possible.
If you haven’t identified your target market then you’re going to be wasting a lot of your marketing budget trying to attract companies who are not a good fit for you, and why would you do that? Remember, if you target everybody, you target nobody.
What’s this got to do with pay per click?
We’ve advocated for action-based advertising in previous posts, i.e. only paying when your targeted prospect takes action (clicks on your ad). We’ve then set competing platforms within a framework of Buyer Status (are they out looking for a solution to a problem you can solve, or are you interrupting their daily activities) versus how well can you target them.
Google Ads is the best platform for many of our clients with LinkedIn a decent second (again on a PPC basis). But what happens when your target market is highly competitive and the cost per click in Google Ads is ridiculously expensive?
We had a recent example where the cost per click was £75-100!
A decent click to lead conversion rate is 4-5% which, if you do the maths at the midpoint of PPC cost and conversion rate, equates to a cost per lead of £1,944!!
We normally expect to see a steady-state cost per lead of c£50 so the heartburn quotient has us heading for the Zantac (other heartburn reducing drugs are available apparently).
Given that not every lead becomes an opportunity for the business, and not every opportunity closes, we’re heading towards a very expensive acquisition cost for the business. One that may be prohibitive for an emerging tech company even where the customer lifetime value may justify the investment.
So, what can be done? There are really two options.
Firstly, look for long-tail keywords in Google Ads that are less competitive and, therefore, less expensive to bid for. For example, if you’ve developed a twist on CRM that enables companies to connect with their products in the field, thereby, allowing them to identify faults before their customers do, then trying to compete on “CRM” as a keyword will be expensive because of the Goliaths also bidding (Salesforce, Microsoft etc.).
However, there will be lower volume, less expensive, keywords that are much specific to the problem you solve. Possibly, “how do I connect my CRM to the fridge?” or [more likely] “which CRM systems support IoT?” Competing for multiple of these lower volume, less competitive, cheaper long-tail keywords will be much more successful than chasing “CRM”.
The second option is to see if LinkedIn can provide a better PPC price. Accepting that the Buyer Status is on “interrupt” but welcoming the tremendous demographic targeting available in LinkedIn, we’ve found LinkedIn to be an excellent alternative/complement to Google Ads when PPC is excessive. Most recently, those £75-100 clicks in Google Ads were costing £10 in LinkedIn and were much better targeted.
That’s not to say that LinkedIn is not a good alternative at lower PPC costs, it’s just impossible to know the Buyer’s intent and best to assume they’re early in their buying process (if ‘buying’ at all) and drive them to early-stage content. That is, don’t drive them to a landing page where the call-to-action is “talk to someone” or “arrange a demo”. That won’t convert well.
What is converting well in LinkedIn Advertising today is an invite to an upcoming webinar. Not a recording of an old webinar (even one from last week), but a live event they can sign up to. We’re finding those convert at up to 20% (click to sign-up) at present.
Hopefully, this post has provided some hope when you do your keyword research and ask, “How much per click?” We’re here to help too if you need professional support in running these types of campaigns. You can reach us here.