B-to-B marketers have unique search engine marketing (SEM) concerns, and those need to be singled out as a separate discipline. So says Lauren Vaccarello, director of search, display and social advertising for San Francisco-based customer relationship management software provider Salesforce.com.
In the likely event that keywords you meant to catch B-to-B traffic reel in B-to-C clicks, Vaccarello says one of the first SEO concerns for B-to-B search marketers becomes a reality. She provides two suggestions: marketers can either take the "quality score hit," or segment out the consumer traffic on the landing page and funnel those hits "somewhere else."
Vaccarello spoke during both SES New York 2011 B-to-B sessions, along with Eddie Choi, managing director of Hong Kong-based digital marketing agency Frontiers Digital Asia Limited; Marc Engelsman, vice president of client services and programs at Plainsboro, N.J.-based search engine and social media marketing consultancy and services firm Digital Brand Expressions; and Kevin Lee, CEO of New York-based search marketing agency DidIt.com.
Here are six tips from those sessions specifically for marketers engaging in B-to-B SEM:
1. Upper-funnel keywords are the most important ones for B-to-B buyers. Vaccarello says upper-funnel terms build trust and brand awareness. Trust is the most important factor for the relationship-driven B-to-B buying cycle.
"You need to be there in that early decision process," she says. Be perceived as a thought leader by being present on forums, on social media networks and in contextually targeted advertisements. Vaccarello suggests the Google Display Network as one contextual targeting avenue that allows businesses to be in front of buyers before they make their decisions. (It can even allow advertisers to be on a page where buyers are reading about the competition.)
Vaccarello says offering reviews and white papers at this time also helps as, for instance, "Eighty-eight percent of tech buyers research as much as possible" before buying. Start thinking of "view-through conversions" as contributing to sales. Just because viewers don't click on an ad the first time doesn't mean they won't remember it and visit it later, Vaccarello says. "You're just looking for a clear picture of where people consume your content."