B2B PPC Strategy: 2024 Tips for Digital Marketers

b2b ppc strategy

All too often in B2B digital marketing, people overlook the value of PPC. That’s because, for some reason, many marketers see PPC as something that’s only effective among consumer markets (B2C). This couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re targeting lower funnel prospects or driving brand awareness by collecting email addresses, a cohesive B2B PPC strategy is critical to your success. 

Consider some of the stats: 

  • 81% of buyers research online before making a purchase. (Source) 
  • People who click on search ads are more likely to make a purchase than those who see organic ads. (Source) 
  • Search ads can boost brand awareness by up to 80%. (Source) 
  • Businesses earn an average of $2 for every $1 spent on PPC (Source) 


Of course, PPC for B2B is not something you can just pick up and run with. That’s why we put together a few tips that will help you accelerate efforts around PPC for SaaS. 


1. Understand Your PPC Marketing Landscape

Let’s say you sell software to real estate agents that helps them manage their social media presence. You understand that market extremely well but, when it comes time to create and implement a B2B PPC strategy, your existing knowledge may not be enough. This is especially true if buyers don’t know your product by name. So you still need to do research to find out how your buyers are searching for your products. 

Let’s take the real estate software example a step further. Many real estate agents may not even know that they can buy software to help them manage their social media presence. Rather than focusing on queries like “social media software” you’ll want to do some investigation to understand which search terms agents use when they want to improve their social presence. 

If you’re marketing a product or service that solves a common problem, but the product name is mostly unknown, focus on keywords related to the problem and its solution. 


2. Prioritize Relevance over Volume

Now let’s move to another example. Let’s say that you are part of a company that provides cybersecurity solutions for businesses. Everyone with a computer needs to be mindful of cybersecurity, so there are a huge number of buyers, yet most (but not all) of them are not the buyers you want to target. Since you’re in the B2B arena, your advertising should target businesses rather than individual consumers. 

With that in mind, we can see how important it is to emphasize relevance of keywords over volume. Consider this short list of keywords: 


Now compare it to the following lists:


If you’re new to B2B PPC strategy, it’s easy to be misled into chasing the keywords in the first list. After all, every single one of the keywords in the first list has many monthly searches, while the second and third list includes several keywords that barely break 100 monthly searches. 

But this is why many people say PPC for B2B is as much art as it’s science. By looking at the keywords in this second list, despite the low volume, you can see that these terms are highly relevant. While there is a multitude of people who might be searching for “cybersecurity software” they could need just about anything. There’s a far higher likelihood that someone searching for “zero trust network security” or “manufacturing network security” has a problem for which they need your immediate solution. That person is more likely to match your solution and have higher intent. 


3. Spy on (and Steal Traffic From!) the Competition

Your competitors are a great source for keyword ideas and ad copy inspiration. You can check out your competitor’s ads (and your own) using the tools below. 

  • You can use the Google Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool to view your own ads as they appear in real Google search results. While the tool has been designed for previewing your ads, it indirectly helps you understand market trends and keyword competitiveness. By entering keywords relevant to your industry, you can observe which competitors appear in the ad space, the types of messages they use, and how they position their offerings. 
  • Like Google’s Preview Tool, platforms like SEMRush or SpyFu are great options to help you get a better understanding of what your competitors are doing. With a little research into your PPC marketplace, you’ll be more informed about where to start or which direction to take your B2B PPC strategy. For example, That research will help you narrow your focus and find a less competitive niche within your space. 



4. Use Negative Keywords

PPC is an investment and, as you would for any other investment, you should reduce any unnecessary expense. One way to do that is with negative keywords. Google says, “Negative keywords let you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers.” 

By being intentional about the negative keywords you use, you ensure that you’re not spending any money that you shouldn’t be. 


Let’s return to our cybersecurity example and apply the concept of negative keywords. Think of it like this: Every company needs to harden their network, but not every one of those organizations is a bank. If your product were built to meet the specific needs of financial service providers, you’d want to rule out buyers who were searching for a cybersecurity solution built for the manufacturing or insurance industries. 

By building out a negative keyword list, you’ll save yourself money while also driving relevant traffic that is more likely to convert with a more effective B2B PPC strategy. 


5. Incorporate Social Media into Your B2B PPC Strategy to Go Beyond Search Ads

Google and Bing Ads can be very expensive. While search queries do correlate to purchasing intent, the people doing those online searches are frequently still very early in the consideration process. Few are ready to commit to a demo or 30–minute meeting – particularly for B2B searches where multiple decision-makers and a longer sales cycle typically come into play. These are good reasons to consider incorporating social PPC into your B2B PPC strategy. Even better, social media is an inexpensive way to drive brand awareness and leverage content to educate prospects. 

  • The LinkedIn Ad Library is a feature that allows users to see other companies’ advertising on LinkedIn. You can search for your competitors’ profiles within the library to study their ad campaigns, including messaging, targeting, and engagement tactics. Use what you learn to identify industry trends and refine your own B2B PPC strategy. 
  • Similarly, the Facebook Ad Library is a great way to see every active ad running on Facebook and Meta’s other platforms. Do some searches to gain insights into advertising trends and understand your competition’s creative approaches, target audiences, and campaign strategies. 


Follow the PPC tips we’ve given you for social PPC as well – check out the competitive landscape, make sure to use positive and negative targeting for tight audiences, and prioritize relevance. Understand where your target market is and how they behave online, as well as the channel demographics. Look beyond LinkedIn for B2B advertising and consider other platforms like Meta, Instagram, Threads, TikTok, WhatsApp, Reddit or X if that’s where your audience is. 


A Final Word on B2B PPC Strategy

As we mentioned, being successful with PPC for B2B is as much an art as it is a science. No matter how well thought out your campaigns are, they’ll require some future tweaks. The greatest favor you can do yourself as a digital marketer making your way with PPC is to keep an open mind and learn from everything you do by continuing to monitor your campaigns, compare your results to SaaS marketing benchmarks, and then optimize your campaigns based on what you learn. 

Are you looking for a marketing partner with the skills to create and implement a comprehensive B2B PPC strategy? Bay Leaf Digital’s team of experienced professionals includes experts in PPC, SEO, content marketing, and much more. Contact us and schedule a conversation to learn how we can help your business thrive, often for less than the cost of adding just a single marketer to your staff. 

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Author Profile
ashley monismith
Ashley Monismith
Ashley Monismith is a client strategist at Bay Leaf Digital, where she helps SaaS companies achieve and surpass their lead generation and brand awareness goals. In her free time, you can find Ashley hiking on nearby trails with her dog and working on various sustainability projects within her community.