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The importance of ads in the search results of a B2B tech buyers’ journey

By Giles Shorthouse on 17th August 2020

I’m all for great SEO strategies, where you create well designed, carefully constructed pages and killer content that ranks organically. But quite often, pages that rank organically are those with very specific content. And sometimes, that means your content will get missed when your buyer is in the early, ‘having-a-browse-around-the-internet’ stage. After which point, it might be too late.

So, how can you get in the running from the start? How about a good-ole Google ad?

Recent research from Demand Gen’s 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Study reinforced that:

“online ads are playing an important role for B2B brands, forming favorable impressions on buyers during the early stage of the research process”

Web search is often the place buyers start their journey, and the research shows that most buyers get 50% of the way through their journey before they ever even contact a vendor. Getting in there early is crucial, so a well-placed and constructed ad could be a great investment.

The right ad-tention

From the same survey, more than 70% of respondents claim they noticed ads from the solution provider they chose during the research process, and 48% said those ads positively impacted their perception of the brand. Plus, web search came out top (53%) when asked about the first three resources that informed a buyer about the solution they are researching.

In our own research, Tech Heads 2019, 50% of buyers used Google search for learning about new tech products and suppliers. This was the third most used format after events and supplier websites (both 54%).

So, a Google Ad isn’t just a great way to gain a competitive advantage by bidding against your competitors’ keywords and getting the attention of their potential clients. It’s also a shrewd investment at the start of a buyer’s journey – just make sure you’re bidding for the right terms.

Set yourself apart

If you’re thinking to yourself:

“EVERYONE does Google Ads, how is that a competitive advantage?”

Then don’t be fooled. Only 48% of marketers use search marketing/PPC in a multichannel campaign according to the 2020 Multichannel Campaign Benchmark Study survey by PFL.

So you may well find this tactic could be a relatively simple fix. Just think of it as making your brand ‘always visible’ when the prospect is in market. After all, you don’t know when prospects will start the research into new products and suppliers – but with an always-on approach, you’ll be well placed to win their attention.

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