[Infographic] 5 Reasons LinkedIn Advertising is Great for B2B

Infographic LinkedIn Advertising Stats

41% of marketers in B2B put LinkedIn ahead of Facebook as their #1 choice here’s why:

B2B Heavyweight

  • Users engage on LinkedIn for professional networking purposes over social connections
  • 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on LinkedIn
  • 332 million users: 30% log in every day and 48% are decision makers

Top 5 Social Channesl for B2B: Effectiveness Rating

  • LinkedIn 66%
  • Twitter 55%
  • YouTube 51%
  • Slideshare 41%
  • Facebook 30%

Seniority

  • Owner 9%
  • Partner 1%
  • CXO 4%
  • VP 4%
  • Director 6%
  • Senior 24%

Sources

B2B Marketers Choose LinkedIn Over Facebook, Felix Richter, Statistica, May 29 (2015) https://www.statista.com/chart/3509/b2b-marketers-choose-linkedin-over-facebook/

Facebook vs. LinkedIn: Which is Best for B2B Marketing? Kim McNeil, Lead Agency, July 1 (2015) http://www.leadagency.com.au/facebook-vs-linkedin-which-is-best-for-b2b-marketing/

Do You Do B2B Social Media? Phil Gerbyshak, philgerbyshak.com, May 15 (2104) http://www.philgerbyshak.com/haveyouheard/

A Guide to the Demographics of LinkedIn Users, Marketingmojo.com (2016) http://www.marketing-mojo.com/infographic/infographic-guide-demographics-linkedin-users/

Want to learn more about B2B Marketing? Download our latest white paper: Your Guide to Successful Digital B2B Marketing 

 

Easy Ways to Implement Paid Search Call Tracking for B2B Businesses

Phone calls remain an important facet of B2B marketing today. Even in this digital age where many people turn to their mobile or computer for information, shoppers still like to ask detailed questions over the phone to start the purchase process, or to ascertain important facts that will assist them in making a final decision. Callers are usually further down the sales funnel versus users who have filled out a form online.

Often businesses face the problem of how to track these calls accurately and how to integrate the information into a viable paid search strategy. Not having a method for tracking calls can be detrimental to business revenue. This is because you may be disabling keywords that you believe are having little effect but ultimately lead to offline interactions.

So, in a time when advertisers should be focusing their energy on fully understanding the effect of each of their marketing channels, it is crucial to have a method of tracking not only across digital activity, but how digital activity effects offline activity.

We understand cross channel attribution and tracking can be a complicated process, but there are easy alternatives for tracking calls influenced by digital activity. Whilst there are numerous options available, this blog post will focus specifically on the paid search activity and the technology available for tracking calls online.

Call Extensions

Offered by both Google and Bing, call extensions are ad extensions that allow users to contact a business directly from the ad via a clickable “Call” button on mobile, tablet or desktop. On desktop, the full number is shown so that the user can pick up their phone and call or in some cases, click on it and be re-directed to a Skype call.

 


Bing offers two types of call extensions and reporting:

All Devices: Bing generates a call number for you to place in your ads (local or toll-free). Call tracking is automatically activated and the advertiser is provided with in-depth call analytics such as: call type, call duration, and area code. On desktops, and tablets, clicking on the call immediately re-routes it to Skype. Unfortunately, this granular type of call-data analysis is only available to US and UK customers at the moment.

Mobile Only: The advertiser provides their own number for the ad. This method is limited to regular click-reporting only.

BA_CONC_Web_BingExtension_Call

Costs: Whether it’s via mobile, desktop or tablet, standard CPC charges apply. (Note: You can only add one call extension per campaign.)

Location Extensions: Bing also offers brands the option of using a location extension with their call campaigns. Your phone number, address, website link, and a clickable link of directions to your store are provided within the ad. If an advertiser happens to have multiple locations, Bing permits the use of two addresses within the location extension and intelligently selects the relevant store based on their current location. This helps potential customers find you. The cost is the same for location extensions as it is for clicking on the advertiser’s text ad.

To add a clickable number to Bing, follow these steps:

Adding Call Extensions to Bing Campaigns

  1. On the Campaigns page, click Ad Extensions.
  2. Click Call Extensions from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Create ad extension.
  4. Select the appropriate Campaign and Country/Region.
  5. Enter your phone number.
  6. Select On all devices using a Bing Ads forwarding number or On smartphones using my own phone number. If you choose to display your call extension on all devices, select if you want to Show a toll-free number or Show a local number.
  7. Select the links you want to display: Both my website and the phone number or Just the phone number.
  8. Click Save. *courtesy of Bing Ad Extensions

Google Call Extensions 

Control Advantages: Google has some nice features that give advertisers more control over the call extension process. Advertisers can set “call-only” campaigns where ads aren’t wasted by being shown to people without a mobile device. Advertisers using Google Call Extensions can also control when ads appear to keep wasted spend minimal. Ads can be set to only appear when your business is open, and advertisers can also share phone numbers across campaigns and ad groups.

Calls as Conversions: Google offers call forwarding where the advertiser can see where the call is coming from, their area code, and the call duration, all via an assigned, unique Google phone number. Even with a Google number, calls get re-routed to the business’ local phone number and caller ID still works normally.

phone-call-only

Costs: The same cost as a standard Google headline click (standard CPC rates apply).

To add a clickable number to Google, follow these steps:

Find the call extensions window

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Select the campaign or ad group for which you’d like to add call extensions.
  3. Go to the Ad extensions. If you can’t see this tab, find out how to enable the tab.
  4. In the top corner, choose Call extensions from the View
  5. Enter your phone number
    1. Click on + Extension.
    2. You’ll see a list of phone numbers that you’ve already set up. You can choose one of these or create a new one by clicking on the grey + New phone number The following steps take you through how to add this new number.
    3. Choose the country where your business phone number is based and enter your number in the box next to the country menu.
    4. If you’re in an eligible country, you can choose to display your ad with a Google forwarding phone number in order to access advanced call reporting. If you don’t want to use a Google forwarding phone number, choose “My own phone number”.
  6. Choose optional settings and save
    1. If you’re using a Google forwarding phone number and want to track your mobile phone calls as conversions, tick the box next to “Report phone call conversions”. Specify how long a call should last for it to be reported as a conversion.
    2. You can choose to have this call extension preferred over other call extensions when people see your ad on mobile devices. To do this, select the box for “Mobile” next to “Device preference”.
  7. If you’d like to limit when the phone number will be eligible to appear in your ad (such as during your opening hours), click on Start/end dates, scheduling and choose your hours.
  8. Click on Save.

You can repeat the steps above to add up to 20 call extensions to each campaign or ad group.

Want to learn more about B2B Marketing? Download our white paper: Your Guide to Successful Digital B2B Marketing 

B2B Marketing Expo Round Up

Last week, the annual B2B Marketing Expo was held at the ExCel centre in London. Two packed days, hundreds of exhibitors, and dozens of fascinating seminars. On top of being able to see the latest and most innovative brands, the expo hosted brief half hour talks by subject matter experts. I attended three sessions. The first talk given by Luke Quilter, was entitled: Search Marketing and the Importance of Social Media. Quilter spoke about an integrated approach to SEO and social media.

Luke Quilter of Sleeping GiantQuilter emphasised the importance of reevaluating how much content brands have in the early stages of the sales funnel. By sharing experiences via social channels, it puts brands back in the awareness stage. Different channels evolve in different sections of the funnel but unfortunately, many marketers only care about the “DO” or conversion phase and the resulting ROI.

As marketers, we need to think about the different phases and channels throughout the consideration process. Quilter moved on to look at “micro moments” and how consumers make decisions. He offered some quick tips for marketers:

  • Don’t focus on particular keywords. Focus on longer tail search terms.
  • Focus on context and ascertain where a consumer is in the funnel.
  • Google doesn’t look at social sharing for its algorithm. It doesn’t appear to help your SEO, because it’s not causation, but correlation, i.e., if you do good work, write interesting and engaging content, you will notice better SEO performance because more people will be sharing it.
  • Don’t forget to leverage your content. Many marketers create content but forget to leverage it, they forget who they are targeting and just write content for content sake.

Quilter also shared some interesting social media facts with the audience:

  • Social profiles don’t rank within search results. Many social channels want to be search engines themselves; Facebook is moving in this direction. Bing, however, does rank social profiles.
  • People check their phones approximately 150 time per day! This immediate access to information has changed our purchase process. Are we doing enough at the top part of the funnel?
  • British users spend 1:20 mins per day on social media!

He finished off his presentation by offering some hope for those who are struggling: “The great thing about digital is that you can fail and switch gears quickly and not have to commit for a long time. Digital is a great place to experiment and try new things.”

IMG_0837The second session was entitled: How to Use Video Content Effectively for Social Media, by AdTube’s Utam Bhutia and was aimed at helping B2B marketers navigate the do’s and don’ts of creating effective videos to share across social channels. Bhudia has been producing videos for five years and saw the benefits of using video for social media to increase engagement and ROI.

What makes a video effective?

  • Tell a story
  • Be authentic, be yourself

Those two points may seem obvious, but they are not often followed by marketers. Bhudia’s sage advice to the audience was, “You shouldn’t do it for the sales, you should do it for the ‘feels’”. He stressed that an emotional connection is vital for video success. Case studies and CSR videos are good ways to show people how your brand is helping. Bhutia also talked about the importance of educating the viewer and to always remember who is the focus of the video content, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. It’s not about you, it’s about them.” What can videos offer your audience? They can be used to answer brand FAQs, give audiences industry news updates, share info with your customers, and most importantly, put yourself in the position of being industry expert.

Bhutia offered some tips for brands wading into video for the first time:

  • Don’t upload videos that won’t engage. If the video is boring, your audience will find it boring and you are wasting their time and your time. Upload original content.
  • Don’t upload one video and expect immediate success. You need to continually engage and update your customers.
  • Don’t put out content with the sole intention of it going viral. Consistency is key, the internet likes consistency, set a schedule and stick to it.
  • Don’t just share to Facebook. Share across newsletters and other social channels.
  • Don’t upload click-bait. People don’t like being tricked into watching videos that aren’t what they appear to be.

IMG_0843The final session of the day was entitled: Understand How to Unlock Your Call Data and Measure Your Marketing Spend by Infinity Tracking’s David Cornelius and Ben Goward.

Their talk tackled several questions and challenges brands have when embarking on call tracking, such as: Are you wasting your marketing budget because you can’t track your calls and leads? Do I really need call tracking? What is it? How much does it cost?

Today brands are faced with tighter budgets and more pressure to prove results in order to prevent future budgets cuts due to improper tracking. Many businesses struggle to track their calls and track their spend, or understand where their leads and opportunities originated.

This is especially important for paid search because tracking allows marketers to understand how their interactions were generated. Cornelius and Goward walked the audience through a typical customer journey and demonstrated how a call tracking system can track a phone call made against a customer journey (in their example, for a holiday search). They demonstrated how to assign special tracking identification, such as numbers that generated a unique code assigned to that particular caller. That ID was then able to indicate how far they went in the journey and if they converted. These insights allow brands to tweak their campaigns to ensure a higher likelihood of conversion.

While Goward and Cornelius showcased their own call tracking tool, Bing and Google have these tools available for marketers with easy to follow instructions, if they do not have a ready-made system in place. With the trend towards a mainly mobile environment firmly established, and the addition of “call now” buttons to many mobile websites, accurate call tracking becomes an invaluable tool for improving conversion and customer satifaction rates.

Closing Comments

The seminars were informative and enjoyable breaks from circling the stalls, with good take aways for B2B marketers on social, mobile, sales, call tracking, paid search and analytics. B2B often gets pushed aside for B2C marketing but it was good to connect and engage with industry experts and show that B2B is alive and well.

Want to learn more about B2B Marketing? Download our white paper: Your Guide to Successful Digital B2B Marketing

The Shift in Facebook Sharing

Media sites have been abuzz the past few days with news that Facebook’s heyday has passed; announcing that it’s a waning social media player, eclipsed by Millennial upstarts like Snapchat. What’s caused all this noise?

Recent investigations into Facebook user habits have indicated that the majority of people on the platform have seriously curbed their social sharing – meaning personal posts like photos, status updates, and milestone announcements. Instead, Facebook users have been sharing news articles, weblinks, and videos. Innocuous, and impersonal. Just how deep is the drop? According to Business Insider, personal social sharing fell by as much as 15% over the last  year and Inc. reported an even steeper drop the preceding year of 21% for the 2014-2015 period.

Once the go-to place to share personal life events for many users, Facebook was their photo album, contact list, job board, events hub, and way to keep family and friends connected. So the question remains why the sudden shift and hesitation towards personal sharing?

  • Privacy Concerns: While Facebook does have improved privacy settings, they are difficult to navigate and locate for most users, and are onerous to apply for every single “friend” on your page. In addition, Facebook friend lists themselves no longer feel personal, where they were once the domain of close family members and friends. Fast forward a few years, and people will add you as a “ friend” if they have met you once at a bar, or you may find half-remembered coworkers from three jobs ago counting themselves amongst your 350 “friends”, and one-off acquaintances you made over a long weekend in Miami buried in that list. This expansion of what the term “friend” actually means has caused people to be more careful about what they post.
  • Facebook is about Facebook: Users have also been quick to catch onto the fact that Facebook is now about Facebook, not the user experience, no matter how much they claim to be constantly trying to improve feeds and content. It has become a home for brand content and users don’t feel the relationship is reciprocal, they are not getting a good deal. Inc’s Bureau Chief, Jeff Bercovici recently said,“The massive decline in personal sharing is a sign that large numbers of people have started to figure out that the value they get out of Facebook is a lot less than the value they put in.” 

This could sound off putting to advertisers, but this is only one side of a two headed coin. Facebook users are now more likely to share branded content than personal posts in the form of news articles, videos, and informative links. With this being the case, the shift is something brands can capitalise on so long as it is non-intrusive and provides value-added information. Publishers can also ensure that content is professional and of good quality; i.e., post your best pieces, share your most popular and engaging stories. Facebook has been prioritising quality over quantity for some time now, penalising click-bait posts and rewarding brands that give something back to the user in the form of relevant, interesting and engaging material.

Furthermore, in addition to the shrinking personal profile information, Facebook primarily uses to channels for advertisement targeting: online search behaviour, and third party data. This leaves advertisers with incredibly accurate, granular data targeting options outside of being solely reliant on what users are willing to post to their pages.

Ultimately, a reduction in personal social sharing does not mean the end of Facebook, in fact user numbers have been increasing inspite of the noise around the platform saying it is past its prime. At the end of January 2016, Tech Crunch reported that Facebook had hit 1.59 billion users and growing. 80% of their revenue now is via mobile advertising, and mobile-only users have shot up by 13.2% from last quarter. These are respectable results indicating that it’s far from over for Facebook.