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Reclaiming B2B advertisers from Google and social media

What if you could turn your B2B digital advertising options into an intent-fueled lead generation engine that shows attribution across the entire buyer’s journey using digital transformation? It’s possible, here’s how.

Google and Facebook hold the largest share of total US digital ad spend at 38.6 per cent and 19.9 per cent respectively (Wordstream, 2020). Those numbers are comparable across the globe, and it means that before you even jump into the advertising pool, you’re competing against giants.  

Your first impulsive response may be to assume that the majority of that spend is from B2C advertisers – and you aren’t necessarily wrong. However, they’re still big competition for B2B publishers, and that’s without including other social media channels, like LinkedIn, who account for roughly one-fifth of all US B2B digital ad dollars (Emarketer, 2019). 

A lot of these statistics probably don’t come as a huge surprise. Publishers have been aware of increasingly losing advertisers to search engines and social media over the past decade, and most still haven’t found a sure-fire way to win those sponsors back. 

Why do advertisers choose Google and social media? 

The first step in reclaiming advertisers from these pay-per-click giants is to assess why so many businesses choose to spend their marketing dollars with them. 

There are a few things that Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and their like offer their clients that many publishers do not; and all are a must-have to compete today:

  1. Targeted to a specific audience that can show intent
  2. Continual measurability with live reports 
  3. Pay for results (clicks and impressions). 

How can you make your publication even more appealing than Google and friends? 

Digital transformation. It’s the buzz word on everybody’s lips, but what does it really mean for the world of publishing?

Digital transformation means adding technology where there wasn’t any before or dramatically improving an existing digital process. But we’re here to talk about true disruption using technology – doing something that changes the game for publishers and advertisers alike (just like Google did when they introduced AdWords, or DoubleClick when they introduced remarketing ads). 

A good place to start your transformation journey is looking at what your customers want and need. Lead generation and proving ROI are the top two most important things for B2B advertisers today.

So, how do you make sure you’re providing those things to your advertisers and sponsors?

Lead generation

Digital B2B publishers have gradually been finding ways to add lead generation to their advertising offerings. The most common ways are using gated content or static reports of email clicks, but these aren’t digital transformative solutions. 

They also come with their fair share of issues, many readers (and potential leads) won’t bother filling a form out for content. Static reports on clicks can get more ‘leads’, but these lists can be long, unqualified and inaccurate and therefore not used. Or just as often, not automatically carried over into the sponsor’s database and therefore neglected by their sales teams. 

So, what if you could take it a step further than static lead lists and analytics? What if you could turn your advertising into an intent-fueled lead generation engine that shows attribution across the entire buyer’s journey using digital transformation? That would be a game-changer.

ActiveConversion, a leading provider of conversion software for B2B publishers, offers a unique advantage to publishers as it empowers their advertisers to not only identify leads but also follow them as they travel across domains from the publication to their own website. It also lets them know when a lead from a publication returns to them in the future, making it far easier to understand attribution during extended sales cycles (which are typical in B2B). 

Proving ROI 

For too long, companies have been left to guess the true value they’re getting from their ad spend. With reports limited to impressions and clicks, they don’t know if their ads are being viewed by CEOs in their target market or students. This means they’re expected to place blind faith in the publications they advertise with – and more and more businesses are deciding faith just isn’t enough, especially when compared to Google and social media advertising.

In fact, most advertisers cite difficulties in accurately measuring ROI as their biggest source of frustration. Fortunately, beyond lead generation, conversion software can help to dramatically improve a sponsor’s ability to see ROI. 

If you could offer your advertisers advanced analytics in your ads – including which leads came from which campaigns, and which ultimately turned into sales – it would provide unparalleled attribution that even Google can’t provide in a long sales cycle. 

Is this enough to compete with the PPC giants? 

The short answer – yes. Add in having identities and the intent from the ad/content, and you have an advertising solution that provides B2B companies with branding, qualifiable lead generation, and seamless nurturing – with scale. Why would advertisers settle for five leads per month with PPC when they can get 10x that from your content? When using the right strategies and tools, advertising in publications can be more effective and drive a much better ROI than search engines and social media. 

Recall the benefits of advertising on Google? Targeting, measurability, and paying for results. In addition to lead generation and ROI, B2B publishers have the power to offer advertisers the same benefits and more. 

✔ Targeted to a specific audience

Straight off the bat, being a B2B niche publication means you’re already reaching a very specific target market. Better than Google, LinkedIn or Facebook in fact. You can become even more targeted using audience segmentation tools and providing specialised content of interest.

✔ Continual measurability

Beyond clicks and impressions, the primary things advertisers want to measure are leads and sales. Using conversion software, you can provide clear attribution to your advertisers so they can be confident that their campaigns are working to not only generate awareness but to also drive revenue. Conversion software is also capable of sharing live results, so transparency of valuable data is available immediately – which is key to digital transformation.

✔ Pay for real results, not just clicks

While you may not offer this yet, it’s not a difficult thing to set up. In fact, with ActiveConversion, you can set up your own pay for lead system (with no up-front cost) that charges your advertisers based on the number of actual leads generated from your content. This goes beyond pay per click, to pay per identified and scored leads – which is even more preferable for a sponsor.

In summary, the solutions are out there to help you reclaim advertisers from the digital giants – all you need to do is to embrace digital transformation.

For more information about ActiveConversion, visit activeconversion.com




Written by Gail Moch, Director of Marketing, ActiveConversion

Gail Moch is a marketing professional with a background in B2B technology. She has a keen understanding of marketing strategy, and the technical skills to execute ideas. Gail is Director of Marketing at ActiveConversion.

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