Getting your timing just right can lead to a lot of success. Good timing can help make a mediocre joke hilarious, and a chocolate soufflé, a delicious masterpiece. But what happens when you can’t predict when the ‘right’ time is? When it comes to B2B tech marketing, long and complicated buying cycles make it almost impossible to pinpoint the moment when decision makers are ready to buy. Having a consistent and ongoing digital advertising presence will help you stay top of mind with your target audience as they search for solutions and progress through the buyer’s journey. That way, when the time is right for them and they’re ready to reach out, they’re more likely to consider you as a viable option.
Why ‘One and Done’ Digital Ad Campaigns Don’t Work for Tech Marketing
In the B2B world, digital advertising has become “one of the most preferred marketing tools for lead generation" (Gartner). However, for it to be successful, digital advertising needs to be strategically executed. Designing sporadic, one-off digital ad campaigns can reduce your ability to effectively reach your target audience of IT buyers because:
- Technology products and solutions are complex. IT buyers need time to get to know and understand offered products/services.
- IT decision makers want to work with brands that they recognize as established, thought leaders in the industry.
- Tech companies need to have a continuous flow of leads in order to keep their sales pipeline full.
Benefits of Having an Ongoing Digital Advertising Strategy
Your technology business should have a continuous digital advertising strategy. Maintaining an ongoing digital presence will help you meet the needs of IT decision makers as they move through their buying journey because it:
- Aligns with the long buying cycle of technology products.
- Builds awareness and trust with buyers through repeated, ongoing exposure to your brand.
- Gives you the opportunity to test and adjust ads (i.e. copy, offer, frequency etc.) in order to increase their effectiveness and help buyers better understand the value of your products/services.
- Keeps your lead generation momentum going, ‘warming’ leads via continuous touch points, instead of having to start over each time you begin a new campaign.
Why Technology Supports Ongoing Digital Advertising
A continuous digital advertising strategy supports the technology used in online media platforms. It takes time for the AI technology used by platforms such as Google or LinkedIn to figure out the best people to serve your ads to – the ones that have the greatest probability of clicking on your ads and converting. If you are constantly starting and stopping campaigns, you’re not giving the technology enough time or data to make accurate forecasts about potential buyers. In addition, having a consistent digital presence gives platforms the ability to automatically retarget potential buyers who showed interest in your offer, but did not follow through. Retargeting someone who had initial interest in your offer is more likely to result in a conversion than someone who is seeing an ad from you for the first time.
Develop a Media Plan and Set Realistic Goals for Your Digital Advertising
No matter what media platforms you select for your digital advertising, it’s important to set realistic goals. Most digital advertising campaigns involve creating 3, 6, and 9 month media plans. Regularly monitoring campaign analytics and measuring performance against planned goals or key performance indicators (KPIs) will help determine the need for any adjustments. There are three categories of KPIs for pay-per-click (PPC) digital ad campaigns:
- Traffic-focused KPIs: Analyzing metrics such as impressions, click-through rate, and impression share will give you a good idea about your success in building brand awareness and thought leadership.
- Conversion-focused KPIs: The conversion rate will help you understand whether the clicks on your ads are turning into valuable leads. A conversion could mean filling out a contact form, downloading a white paper, or signing up for an e-newsletter.
- Revenue-focused KPIs: Metrics such as cost per click, cost per acquisition, and revenue on ad spend can help you measure the success of your campaigns in driving revenue and generating profit. These metrics can often be more difficult to measure because of the long sales cycle and complicated decision-making process associated with technology purchases.