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Greetings Happy Readers! During this week’s PPCChat session, host Julie F Bacchini & PPCers discussed the platforms on which experts are advertising for their B2B clients, what is working well, and what are experts’ biggest frustrations in B2B PPC. Here is a screencap of the entire discussion.

Q1: If you are working in B2B PPC, for which industries/categories are you managing advertising? And are you doing search, social or both?

SaaS, FinServ, tech mostly, a little healthcare. Enterprise clients for the most part. @beyondthepaid

I’m doing business services right now, search only. @NeptuneMoon

Yes, and both! We’ve had a few B2B clients through our team, and my public sector clients need to reach businesses regularly. @JuliaVyse

Predominately SaaS brands offering Enterprise solutions. We usually offer a mix of search, social, and display. @marketingsoph

Oh and I’m just searching right now but have done social as well. @beyondthepaid

SaaS, Services, and industrial equipment. Search, Social, and even SEO. @armondhammer

SaaS and services. Both search and social. @robert_brady

Mostly SaaS. Specifically staffing, recruiting, fintech, real estate, wholesale electronics, and enterprise IT services currently. @timmhalloran

A whole bunch! Financial services, SaaS, food/beverage ingredients, construction, and more. Primarily running Search campaigns with some Display (including remarketing); we advertise on social for some of our B2C clients, but not as much for B2B. @adclarke10

Sorry late (calls). Yes, medical, auto, property, and industrial. I am doing both paid search and social for them. @lchasse

Oh and search, social, and programmatic (podcasts, OTT, video). Paid Social B2B has changed/evolved a lot of the past 13 months, much different than what I was doing even 2 quarters ago. @timmhalloran

Yes, I will be shortly working with a consumer product that is also sold commercially. @runnerkik

Business Insurance, Reputation Management, Waste Management, Drayage, 3PL Fulfillment, Retail Store Fixtures Primarily search with some bottom-funnel social campaigns. @MenachemAni

We do a bit of corporate insurance, consulting services, B2B education, and recruitment. We do a search, social usually stops at LinkedIn. @JonKagan

Q2: Which platforms are you advertising on for your B2B clients or brands?

Search – Microsoft first, Google second – LinkedIn, Twitter, Apple News, Display. @JuliaVyse

Google, Bing, FB, LI, Twitter, programmatic, content syndication, traditional… I run Google and Bing. @beyondthepaid

I cover Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (which is doing very well for some of our clients recently. Depending on the client I also manage SaaS-specific platforms including Capterra and G2. @marketingsoph

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Spotify mostly. @lchasse

Mainly Google Ads and LinkedIn, with some Microsoft Advertising, mixed in as well. @adclarke10

Right now just doing search (including display) – Google and Microsoft. Trying to get back onto social platforms again…@NeptuneMoon

Mainly Google (search, display, video), Microsoft, LinkedIn, Twitter, and individual publishers or programmatic bundles. Sometimes FB/IG for retargeting shared audiences, or 3rd party data layers. @timmhalloran

Oh, and if I am being honest, we are also doing postcards, catalogs, and other transitional media. But I know this is mostly a digital discussion. @lchasse

Full suite of Google products, LinkedIn, Twitter. Pulling back from FB for B2B. It’s hasn’t performed lately. @armondhammer

Mainly Google Search and sometimes Display. @StephsNextPage

I can’t wait to find out as this is going to be a new client but I assume mostly Google, Bing, LinkedIn, etc @runnerkik

Google Ads + Facebook Ads @MenachemAni

B2B ad platforms I use (or did in the past) Google Ads with its challenges LinkedIn with cost control problems A bit of Reddit but didn’t make it Even tried Quora but didn’t scale Facebook with a focus on boosting. @soanders

The Goog, LinkedIn, and Bing work well for B2B for us. @JonKagan

One I also forgot to put out there was Amazon. Amazon does work well if you are selling products to businesses as well as consumers. It deserves some attention as well. @lchasse

Q3: What, if anything, is working well for you right now for B2B PPC in search advertising?

We are having good luck with using broad match combined with audiences and smart bidding. Never thought I’d see the day. Also, Discovery campaigns are doing well for those clients who can use them (many can’t due to compliance concerns) @beyondthepaid

We’ve had success using mostly phrase & exact match keywords. Terms like “commercial”, “wholesale”, “supplier” have all been really helpful in cutting out searches made by regular consumers, so we’re able to better target our audience at a lower cost @adclarke10

It varies a little by the client. For some, it’s a very direct action bottom of the funnel selection. For other jobs to be done problem-solving works to the dreaded white paper or similar, especially if sales cycle is long. And love webinar pushes. @armondhammer

Spoiler alert for MNSearch Summit this week: awareness! small businesses have too much on their plates right now for hyper-targeting. Focus on raising awareness of what you have to offer and build a broad themed search from there. @JuliaVyse

Maximizing clicks on high-intent, non-brand phrase and exact terms. Downside: competing with the giants for ad space and auction costs. Upside: a few good leads and it pays for the month. Caveat: doesn’t always work with smaller B2B clients. Other tactics are used. @timmhalloran

In the past I think really getting to know the client’s business has done wonders, when do people search, where and why, and who makes decisions- you need to ask a significant number of questions and listen for b2b. @runnerkik

Microsoft Advertising has always worked well as a secondary platform for most of our B2B clients, but over the past few months, it has been outperforming Google Ads. Much cheaper CPAs, so clients have been very happy! @marketingsoph

I think search is getting harder for lower conversion volume (B2B or B2C for that matter) accounts. Automation is not for these types of accounts and yet it is becoming all we’ve got…@NeptuneMoon

Using audiences where available are working well. I wish Google’s match rate for uploaded audiences was better, but it is terrible. Match types vary quite a bit from broad to phrase/exact on their performance. Messaging and the audience are the keys. @lchasse

Continued LinkedIn, call extensions and ads and reviewing search terms as well are great starting points. @runnerkik

Unless we have offline conversions in place, we’re typically using Phrase/Exact match keywords with a separate testing campaign for Dynamic Search Ads on a smaller budget. @MenachemAni

A lot of audience segmentation and remarketing. Terrible for volume, great for performance. @JonKagan

What works for me in B2B PPC Brand defense on Google Ads Boosting on Facebook Ads Rest is organic for me.  @soanders

Q4: What, if anything, is working well for you right now for B2B PPC in social advertising?

Twitter. if you aim at the right conversations, you get really interested people in the right roles looking for just what you have to offer. You also get some trolls but, that’s the internet for you. @JuliaVyse

The creative matters and understanding where your audience is viewing the material. In social where you interrupt their social scrolling, you want to have a very different feel/message. Good audiences also matter. @lchasse

Twitterrrrrrrr…usually. @timmhalloran

It’s pretty varied there. Some do great with Twitter, others horribly. If there are active conversations and it’s kind of cutting edge it seems to be the key. More routine (I’m looking at your restaurants) doesn’t seem to do well. @armondhammer

@em_victress has had some great success with LinkedIn campaigns where the offer is an exclusive eBook. Starting that nurturing process with a strong offer has been a key driver for overall performance.@marketingsoph

• Customer Lookalikes • First-Party Email Lists @MenachemAni

It is expensive, so it is not for everyone, but essentially promoting content on LinkedIn can be great for building your email lists, which we all know is getting more and more important for actual PPC advertising (ahem, FIRST PARTY DATA). @NeptuneMoon

Honestly, not a lot. But Linkedin works well-ish. @JonKagan

I literally am having a harder time than usual answering this because it’s so different than those standard answers I used to give because they worked for so long. Twitter and YT shorts is where I’ve been experimenting more and more lately. FB less and less. @timmhalloran

We’ve seen decent success with LinkedIn, mostly from Remarketing campaigns. Awareness campaigns have been hit or miss, so we mostly focus on CTR, CPM & CPC @adclarke10

Q5: What is your biggest frustration in B2B PPC?

Where do I begin? Lack of search query visibility. Terrible match rates for DMP/uploaded audiences. Poor query matching/relevance. Forced RSAs (a compliance nightmare for some clients). Automated extensions (also a compliance issue). PMax. @beyondthepaid

LI is an audience I’ve used lately to retarget toward later. I used to love to lead ads, but I HATE THE SALES PEOPLE THAT FILL THEM OUT. STOP THAT. @armondhammer

The lack of platform features and developments being released which are targeting towards lead gen campaigns. @marketingsoph

I am really frustrated at SO MANY THINGS. Some have been going on forever, others are newer with automation taking over… Lack of lead gen features is one. Even acknowledgment of B2B for that matter! Automation does not work well for low/long conversion accts. @NeptuneMoon

Finding something that works consistently industry-agnostic. And getting creative that works with the multiple native formats available + translating those placements in ways that work for B2B. @timmhalloran

Okay, Melissa just said all of it, so I won’t reinvent the wheel here. I will just say X2. @lchasse

The complete lack of attention it gets from every company not named LinkedIn. @armondhammer

The matching for keywords for B2B consistently makes me crazy. The lack of understanding of intent and the difference in words that Google thinks are similar which WE know really ARE NOT. And competitors now matching to brand is also a giant PITA. @NeptuneMoon

Where do I even begin? platforms, low-vol is ignored, regionalization is usually required and platforms aren’t built for it. Ultimately, business leaders are people. Treat them like a key target audience, and not some weird species. @JuliaVyse

Google’s offline conversion import (OCI) only takes conversion value updates for 60 days. I know lots of B2B that has a sale cycle longer than 60 days. Other platforms have similar issues. Machine learning isn’t built right now to handle long sales cycles. @robert_brady

The biggest frustration in B2B PPC Always the problem of targeting narrow with long decision cycles. You build up data too slow making it difficult to optimize. @soanders

To echo what others are saying, the lack of features for lead gen is a real pain. Especially when Google is shifting more & more to automation & taking away other features that are crucial to B2B (like exclusions for PMax or limiting insight into STRs) @adclarke10

I’ve mentioned this before, but we were working with a client that was a SaaS for restaurants. They matched to “Mexican Restaurants Near Me” So far off base it was in another stadium. It’s that type of stuff that makes me distrust the intent matching. @armondhammer

Insufficient volume to make automation work. @JonKagan

Hidden search terms. Especially when the CPC is like $15+ @MenachemAni

Q6: If the platforms were listening to this chat, what would you request of them to make the B2B advertising experience better?

Give us more control over where our ads serve. Show us more of our search queries. Don’t force us into automation – it’s great in some cases but DOES NOT WORK in many. Fix your audience matching or give us more ways to match people. Work with the DMPs. @beyondthepaid

Hire someone that is actually focused on B2B and the concerns there. LI is huge and just does that market. It’s there for the taking but needs some hand holding. And as I’ve said before that’s one of few jobs I’d shutter RH for. @armondhammer

Use some of that engineering genius to make long sales cycles viable. 2: make better biz audiences (beyond ‘finance news’) 3: create more ad unit options, not just RSAs. It’s business, so keep it simple. @JuliaVyse

Specific to @MSFTAdvertising, please make all LinkedIn targeting available in your platform. @robert_brady

Acknowledge that a lot of the automation does not work nearly as well for B2B with longer sales cycles/low conversion volume. Make exact and phrase match exact and phrase again or at least less broad than they are now. Merge LinkedIn and Microsoft Ads platforms. @NeptuneMoon

Stop forcing automation when it’s not always a viable solution for many B2B accounts. You’re risking B2B companies losing faith in PPC when their performance declines. @marketingsoph

Think about regulatory concerns which would require us to have more control. Sales cycles are not all the same. Since they keep saying transparency, provide it instead of just saying it for the sound bites. Audience matches are terrible. @lchasse

B2B advertisers are so very tired of being either ignored or gaslit about our very real concerns. Show every single converting query term. If you want to be an ecomm advertising-focused platform, own that. @NeptuneMoon

Amazon, you’d do well to stop undercutting smbs on your platform. I said what I said. @JuliaVyse

Etsy – you are on THIN ice y’all. Cut it out and leave the platform fees alone. Shopify WILL swoop in if this continues. @JuliaVyse

I’d also like to hear from platforms what their answer is for the poor matching of B2B customer lists when the focus certainly seems to be making the automation work better by supplementing with YOUR data. Well, if our data can’t be matched well, then what??? @NeptuneMoon

Better integration with various B2B platforms (i.e. LinkedIn and Bing). Much bigger opportunity. @JonKagan

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