B2B creative can be difficult to produce. Typically, we aren’t promoting the – conventionally – sexy or trendy products you might see in the B2C or retail world, and can’t rely on attractive images of clothing or travel destinations to drive clicks.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t strategies B2B marketers can employ to increase click through rates (CTRs) and conversions. Specifically, having strong calls to action, promoting specific industry expert content, and creating ads that play to an emotional or personal level can help your ads connect with customers.

In this article, we look at some of the B2B creative best practices our clients have implemented to drive the strongest results, and explore how companies like AlienVault get more out of their creative.

1. Strong Call to Action

AlienVault - Detect Threats 300x250Having a strong call to action (CTA) is crucial and can drive significantly better performance. At AdRoll we see 23% more clicks and 1.6x more conversions from ads with calls to action that promote a free trial or content download.

A few examples of strong CTA with clear objective include: “Sign Up Now”, “Free Demo Request”, “14 Day Free Trial Here”, “Download Free Guide”, “Watch it Now”, and  “Download Report Now”.

2. Highlight Industry Expert Content

AlienVault - Ransomware 160x600At AdRoll, content marketing has been a great way for us to engage with our current clients as well as new prospects. Instead of just asking for the sale, content marketing adds value in the form of an informational whitepaper or webinar.

In B2B, where sales cycles tend to be longer, prospects are doing a lot more research before choosing a vendor. Content marketing allows brands to get in front of prospects multiple times, from multiple angles, over the course of their vendor research. We’ve seen lower CPAs, higher lead volume, and more positive customer feedback with content marketing campaigns compared to other calls to action, like demo requests. Similarly with our advertisers, we see that quality content always drives the strongest sales qualified leads.

Highlighting great content also positions your company as a thought leader, which helps with brand equity. If your prospect can familiarize themselves with your brand, strategy, and competitive differences prior to engaging with your sales team, it will only increase their likelihood of becoming a customer!

3. Align retargeting campaigns with your sales cycle

Make sure you’re targeting a relevant cookie duration user list that is in alignment with your sales cycle.

Some of our B2B advertisers have shorter sales cycles of 2-3 weeks, where targeting a 30-day cookie list makes sense. Other brands might have products with a 3- to 6-month sales cycle, where you’d want to continue nurturing these prospects throughout the process, and target a cookie duration of anywhere between 90-180 days.

When targeting longer cookie durations, make sure you’re spending your dollars wisely by segmenting your audience by level of intent, and focusing on converting users who have already demonstrated a high level of intent.

4. Personalized messaging for the full funnel

Target the right audience with the right creative. For homepage bouncers, you’ll want to serve ads with a lighter and more generic call to action. For users who’ve visited specific content and product pages, it would make sense to serve ads driving a more specific call to action, ie. download a product-specific white paper or webinar.

funnel-3 tiers

5. Combat Creative Fatigue

If you do have a longer sales cycle, make sure you’re introducing in fresh creative to combat fatigue. Rotate new ones into the mix every 60-90 days. Here at AdRoll, we see roughly a 30%-40% decrease in click through rates after the 90 day mark.

6. Optimize Landing Pages

Send users to a landing page that gives them the easiest conversion path possible. You don’t want your prospect to have to click on several other links just to get to the gated form necessary to convert.

7. Create ads that resonate with customers on different channels.

Alien Vault - FB AdLastly, it’s important to be mindful of which state of mind your prospect will be in while browsing inventory sources like Facebook. We’ve seen Facebook perform as a really strong channel for B2B advertisers – When layering on Facebook campaigns in addition to web retargeting, AlienVault saw 294% increased click through rate and 84.2% more conversions.

You’ll want to think about how you can bridge the gap between personal and work time to drive conversions. It’s vital that each ad stands out as you are competing against other inventory on the news feed such as comical videos, friends updates, baby photos etc.

Any questions on what you can do to start implementing these B2B creative best practices? Feel free to contact us to learn more ways that we can drive value to your advertising programs.

For more tips on what B2B marketers can do to build a successful demand generation machine, check out our free webinar: B2B Marketing Success.