How to Make Advertising More Effective
Advertising has changed a lot in recent times; and not wholly for the better. Today's techniques are extremely technology-heavy, and it's all too easy for businesses to become overwhelmed when setting up campaigns, particularly those that don't have an in-house specialist and can't afford to outsource the process.
Then there's the issue of value for money; display ads can be expensive and often don't provide a satisfying ROI, which could account for why only 35% of B2B marketers are planning to use them more in the next year, according to DemandWave 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report. Other types of advertising also have these pitfalls; so how can businesses ensure they make the most out of their leads and ad campaigns?
The Problem with Ads
Before we get to the solution, let's take a more in-depth look at the problem. Why are so many ad campaigns offering disappointing results? This is even more evident when this happens in a small company, or start-up. Here are the main reasons why effective ad campaigns are becoming harder and harder to put together:
- Expensive - Perhaps the most glaringly obvious downside to the majority of ad campaigns is the expense involved. PPC campaigns require teams of specialists, display ads can result in terrible ROIs and traditional ads like magazines and TV are simply out of budget for a lot of smaller companies.
- Time-Consuming - Coming up with winning ad campaigns can definitely take up a lot of time; you need to conduct research, for example keywords, write great copy, and design attention-grabbing images, and then there's the potentially long wait for new leads to come across your ad and click.
- Competitive - Fighting to try and make sure your ad stands out from the large amount of competition is made all the more difficult by tight character limits and a lack of creative design options.
- Bad for Mobile - Advertising still have a long way to go when it comes to becoming mobile responsive; they're often slow to load and visually unappealing. Google's AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) recently added the possibility to feature ads in its pages, but given how new it is it's hard to gauge how effective the platform will be.
- Blanket Audience – Given that a lot of businesses use their advertising campaigns to try and attract a wide audience, the result is often failing to get in front of people who would actually be interested in your product. People are fed up of being targeted with irrelevant ads - as is evidenced by the huge increase in the use of AdBlock software, shown in the graphic below taken from PageFair's 2017 Global Adblock Report.
The Solution – Use a Paid Directory
The solution here is to use databases, instead of paying for lead generation ads. It's a more cost-effective and straight-to-the-point solution, especially if you're at the early stages of setting up a business or are having some cashflow issues. There are plenty of reasons why you should consider gaining access to a reputable database such as Global Database, including:
- It's Immediate - By using a B2B database you'll be able to view prospects from a list of potentially millions of contacts. These can then be downloaded straight away; in the case of Global Database we offer free and unlimited Excel exports to make the process even easier.
- Straight to the Point - No salesperson likes the thought of waiting around when they could be working on closing a deal. With a B2B directory you'll be able to reach right out to decision makers to tell them about your product and schedule a meeting. At Global Database all of our records contain direct email addresses and phone numbers, so you can avoid the hassle of gatekeepers.
- Cost-Efficient - At Global Database we provide our users with access to the directory for a whole year included as standard, giving a constant stream of new leads with our regular additions, meaning great value for money.
- Relevant Leads - As is shown in the graph below taken from the DemandWave 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report, businesses are wising up to the fact that it is imperative to have leads that are relevant. Global Database has more filter options than any other similar product on the market, so you can quickly and easily narrow your search based on a range of demographic details.
Using Ads with a B2B Database
If you do want to invest in advertising, there are ways to do so efficiently. One of these is account based marketing; an effective technique that enables you to use the detailed data you've collected on a business and use it to your advantage.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM), is basically the process of targeting a specific set of accounts by creating a campaign that is tailored to their needs and preferences. B2B marketing is undoubtedly better when the audience is more considered and narrow, and yet too many businesses still try to reach as many prospects as possible with the same content. In short, ABM is a solution that focuses much more on the quality of leads as opposed to the quantity.
In order to use it effectively, you'll need a good amount of knowledge about each of the accounts that you've chosen to target. This is where the contact database comes in extremely useful; you can find out key information about a company and use it to drive your campaigns. This solves two of the biggest challenges facing B2B marketers, as is shown in the image below from EMedia's B2B Lead Generation Trends Report.
These details - also known as firmographics - can take many forms, but are essentially a collection of attributes that each business has that can be used to determine a target market. This could include things like: industry, location, size, annual revenue, employee numbers, office locations, job title, seniority level, use of technology, structure, and years in operation -- all of which are included in Global Database's filter options.
If you've found that your advertising efforts are going unrewarded, you're definitely not alone. Many companies are finding it harder than ever to achieve decent results, despite the often-large costs incurred in their campaigns. All is not lost, though; if you do still want to invest in ads then techniques such as account-based marketing provide a more targeted, and therefore more likely to be successful, alternative to more traditional methods.
Using a paid directory is the perfect way to gain the firmographic details needed to craft a successful ABM campaign, and also means you can conduct email marketing alongside it for maximum efficiency. The Global Database B2B directory is used by market-leaders across all industries and provides over 64 million contacts across 190 countries, all with direct contact details and one of the highest data accuracy ratings in the industry.