Display Ads Can Serve Multiple Goals
Traditionally, marketers have focused on display advertising’s value as a brand awareness tool. And it can certainly be useful in that regard, by keeping your company and its message prominent in buyers’ minds at a time when they need that information and are ready to take action.
What some marketers may overlook, though, is how display ads can serve as a valuable tool in the lead conversion process. This is especially true because smart ad placement can help you time the appearance of your ad to coincide with where particular users are in the buying or decision-making cycle.
No matter what your specific goal(s), the key with display ads is to be strategic and (if possible) creative. Use tactics such as managed placements and contextual targeting to ensure that the people seeing your ads are those in your target audience groups. At the same time, the context and messaging should be carefully tailored to fit the interests of those who will be viewing the ads.
In the business-to-business world, major buying decisions are often made by committee, so there may be a diverse group of people in different roles who actually make up your target audience. That’s why B2B marketers should create separate versions of their ads specifically designed with the particular motivations and priorities of those different groups in kind. For example, financial decision-makers will be mainly concerned with ROI and cost issues, whereas those on the IT team will want to know how difficult it will be to get new services or products to play nicely with their existing systems.
This combination of targeting both the user’s role and their location in the buying cycle lets smart marketers strategically create and deliver their ads for the maximum chance of success.
It’s also important to remember that to fully realize the payoff from a display ad campaign, you must think long-term. The B2B buying cycle tends to be more extended and move slower than that of the consumer sector. This means B2B marketers need to invest more time and energy into nurturing and converting a lead. Display ads are a great option to support this approach, because you can create a comprehensive, extended campaign with a continuing series of messages that evolve over a period of time to coincide with the conversion journey. On the other hand, when executed well, a display ad campaign can often speed up the conversion cycle, allowing you to see the rewards sooner than you might expect.