B2B Search Tips: Writing Killer Ads
I’ve found that writing great ads really comes down to five simple principles:
It’s the copy… stupid
Many B2B advertisers are so busy analyzing Quality Score algorithms, testing new targeting methods, and implementing advanced management techniques, that they have lost sight of the most basic yet powerful tool in their arsenal -writing a killer ad!
For search marketers, creating effective ads can be a real challenge. It’s not easy to convey a highly-targeted, compelling message in 90 characters.
This column focuses on the principles of Uniqueness and Relevancy. In my next article, I’ll provide tips related to Focus, Action and Intrigue.
Stand out from the crowd
In my opinion, too few B2B advertisers pay attention to what their competitors are doing online. How long has it been since you’ve reviewed the search ads served for your most important keywords?
It’s amazing how often all the ads are alike. This is especially true in smaller niche markets with specific customer needs and common selling points. The only way to stand out from the competition is—say something different!
Focus on your unique points of differentiation. If you serve a specific geographic region, or sell a hard to find or superior brand, or have a unique methodology—state this in your ad copy.
Similarly, if everyone in your space is offering the same thing—maybe a white paper—provide a different call to action. Promote a virtual tour, a demo, or a trial instead.
Write ads that are relevant to the searcher
Typically, ads with the highest response rates aren’t self-serving messages focusing on the advertiser, but rather ads that focus on the searcher. Which statement do you find more compelling:
Accounting software firm in business since 1985 or
Reduce accounting costs by 40% in 60 days
If you do nothing else, implement the #1 tactic proven to improve relevancy and boost response rate. You’ve heard it before—and I’ll say it again: Repeat the keyword in your ad title, and again in the description if possible.
Of course, this approach means that advertisers must set-up and manage multiple, granular ad groups. It’s impossible to lump many different words and phrases into a single group and write relevant ad copy for the entire lot.
In fact, having reviewed many B2B campaigns, I’d say this is the single biggest problem I’ve see—the use of very broad ad groups with too many dissimilar keywords. This can be a real problem, and experienced competitors will eat your lunch with their tightly aligned campaign structure and superior quality scores.
For really popular or important keywords, consider putting only the single keyword into an ad group so you can manage and measure it precisely. You might include the keyword three different ways: exact match, phrase match and broad match. This enables you to really analyze the way people search and further expand/improve the words offering the biggest opportunity.
Relevancy includes landing pages too. Searchers love it when there is a tight correlation between the words they enter into the search engine, the words they see in an ad, and the words on the landing page. BINGO! Connection made.
Relevancy is also dependent on truly understanding your audience. Various types of prospects search for different information as they move through the buying cycle. Using a personna analysis tool can be helpful when determining types of searchers and their needs and pain points. Make sure your ad copy specifically addresses their needs.
Review your ads for uniqueness and relevancy
I encourage B2B search advertisers to review your ad copy with a fresh eye toward uniqueness and relevancy, and review your competitors’ ads as well. Do your ads stand out in the crowd? Does the message speak to the specific needs and problems of your target audience?
If not, test some additional copy points that are both unique and relevant. I suspect you’ll see a significant increase in both click-through and conversion.
Next, I’ll offer tips on writing ad copy that is focused, actionable and compelling.
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