The 5 key advertising channels every B2B startup should be using

The 5 key advertising channels every B2B startup should be using
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Advertising can be an intimidating prospect for a business owner whose area of specialism is completely unrelated.

But it needn’t be scary.

At the end of the day, if you didn’t have a product or service that you thought your customers would love…why would you have built it?

All you need to do now is make sure your potential customers know about your product or service right?

Well almost.

There are still a couple of additional factors you need to consider.

Be really clear on who your target customer is

Firstly, are you absolutely clear on who your target customer is?

If not, it’s worth spending some time thinking about this.

Anything you can do to narrow your focus onto people more likely to buy from you will help your advertising succeed.

Again, it doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Are your customers more likely to be male or female?
  • What age range are they more likely to be?
  • Where are they more likely to live in terms of countries and regions?
  • Are they likely to have specific job titles?
  • Are they likely to work for a certain type of business?

The list goes on, but even these basic ideas will get you ahead with your advertising.

Once you have this information, you need to think about your messaging.

Make sure that your messaging resonates with your target customer

Your advertising will fall flat if your product/service isn’t clearly described to potential customers.

It’s important to consider the problem that your product solves, and the emotions or discomfort that people feel when confronting this problem. 

This is known as the problem>solution technique. You will need to show the problem your product solves in a few words.

Also, you should look back at any conversations you had with potential customers or prospects. Think about how they talked about the problem you are solving. These are the key points to communicate in your ads. Use their language.

Once you have thought about your target customer and messaging, have a look at your website and landing page and make sure that the words and images you are using match up with what you have researched.

It’s crucial that the look and feel of your advertising lines up with the look and feel of the web page you will send people to when they click on your advert.

Now you are ready to start testing your advertising. It’s good to think about your first advertising efforts as tests.

It doesn’t matter if your thinking around target customer types and messaging is not perfect. Online advertising platforms make it easy for you to test and refine this with minimal risk and financial exposure.

Here are 5 channels that we recommend as a starting point:

  1. Google Ads

Google Ads are the king of online advertising as they enable you to display your advert at the exact moment someone is searching for the solution that you offer.

Most of us are familiar with the basic search ads that we see when we do a Google search. But there is a lot more that Google can do, such as display adverts to people that have previously visited your website.

Unfortunately because most companies use Google, it can be relatively expensive versus other digital channels. But it’s also very quick and easy to get started.

2. SEO

SEO is not an advertising platform but rather a technique that you use in order to make sure that your website ranks naturally (organically) in Google.

We always advocate a strategy that includes SEO as a major channel because although it can be slow and hard to implement, you will reap the rewards later.

Unlike when using advertising platforms where you tend to pay for each website visitor, once you are able to generate it, SEO traffic is free.

3. Facebook Ads

Facebook was not typically considered a B2B marketing channel, however nowadays Facebook is arguably more powerful than Google in terms of its targeting capabilities.

Unlike Google where you would typically target people based on the words they are tapping into Google, with Facebook you can target people based on various criteria such as where they live, what their job title is, which groups they are members of etc.

This and the fact that you are also able to target people over Instagram makes Facebook an extremely powerful advertising platform.

4. Linkedin Ads

When thinking about B2B advertising, Microsoft owned LinkedIn is often one of the favoured options. With over 31 million users in the UK alone and the ability to target by geography, job title, employer and various other things, this is an immensely powerful advertising platform.

In our experience, LinkedIn is one of the more expensive digital advertising platforms. However if you are able to find the sweet spot, it can become a very profitable and lucrative source of new customers.

5. Twitter Ads

You may be surprised to see Twitter in this list but there are some clever targeting capabilities in the Twitter platform.

For example if you are aware of some competitors or influencers who have followers that match your target customer, you will be able to expose them to your advertising using Twitter Ads platform.

There’s more, but this feature alone gets Twitter our vote when thinking about the best platforms to test your advertising on.

If you’re wondering how much advertising on these platforms costs, it’s generally free to get setup and then you just need to commit some level of daily spend on each platform.

This can be anything from £5 per day but we recommend starting with a few platforms and creatives so you should be looking at an advertising spend of a few hundred pounds to get your initial tests underway and get a feel for what level of return you should be able to see back from your advertising.

If you need help with your B2B advertising strategy, please get in touch for a free consultation where we will offer you plenty of free advice. We have done this many times for various businesses and are happy to help!

Faisal Mian - Entrepreneur - Freelancer

Written by Jonathan Hedger

Jonathan Hedger is a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM/FCIM) with over 15 years experience in B2B marketing & ecommerce having held senior positions for a number of market leading brands as well as VC backed startups.

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