Essentials of B2B Digital Advertising: Strategies for Success

The Essentials of B2B Digital Advertising: Strategies for Success

Not all that long ago, most successful B2B sales required face-to-face interaction. Today, 50-90% of B2B purchasing decisions are made before business owners or corporate decision-makers connect with a sales representative. Since 95% of buyers aren’t actively looking to purchase specific products and services at any given time, the primary focus of B2B digital advertising centers around brand awareness, lead generation, and building positive associations.

With multiple sources stressing the importance of revamping outdated “linear” practices, advertisers and sales teams alike are adapting their strategies. Some of today’s most successful agencies are influencing the purchasing decisions of business owners, gatekeepers, and corporate decision-makers in new ways.

How are they doing it?  Via highly targeted ad placement in a contextually relevant digital environment—namely, the screens installed in the elevators, lobbies, and common areas of premium commercial properties. With the right network provider, this strategy offers a cost-effective B2B media channel that merges the advantages of several strategic essentials.  

Why Agencies Are Revising Their B2B Digital Advertising Strategies  

B2B purchasing habits are evolving. Today’s business buyers spend only 17% of their purchasing journey with sales representatives. That leaves product manufacturers, distributors, and service providers increasingly reliant on e-commerce. They’re shifting away from outbound strategies like cold-calling and direct mail in favor of creating a strong digital presence that differentiates their brand from the competition while nurturing long-term relationships through data-driven insights.

Related: Modernizing  B2B Marketing to Connect with Hard-to-Reach Professionals

As brands reconsider the way they’re connecting with consumers, advertisers must also adapt to evolving preferences and behaviors. They must focus on delivering a personalized, relevant, and engaging consumer experience to build favorable brand associations and memorable interactions. 

To this end, many are utilizing the latest advances in digital technology to leverage complex algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of their media strategies with precision targeting.

Why Precision Targeting Capabilities Are Essential for Effective B2B Digital Advertising 

In the past, advertisers relied on basic demographic data to get their ads in front of the people most likely to purchase their client’s products and services. Although most agencies have been using process automation to reach key demographics for years, the targeting technology leveraged today does a lot more. 

Not only are advertisers using programmatic ad placement to ensure their ad creatives are broadcasting on screens in the best locations for each B2B client, but they’re also taking advantage of the technology’s data consolidation capabilities to gather information and group B2B buyers according to their similarities and interests.

The end result is exactly what you might expect: ad placement for products and services that are audience-relevant. Unlike the mass marketing approach adopted in the early days of digital advertising, agencies are investing in the type of targeting that ensures the best return possible within the confines of a limited budget by making every impression count. When you’re basing your targeting decisions on any combination of the following “firmographic” parameters, your ad creatives are viewed in locations that make the most sense for each of your clients.

Tenant Data Targeting

In premium commercial properties nationwide, multiple companies work within a single location. Tenant data provides valuable insights used to identify each business by industry, company size, number of employees, customer base, revenue, and more. It’s information an agency can use to identify precise properties that over-index for their key target audience of decision-makers.

Industry-Specific Targeting

Ideally, B2B ad creatives present a brand as the ideal problem-solver for a specific need or concern of their buyers. With targeted ad placement, brands advertise only in specific locations where companies in their target industries are present. Or can tailor ad creative to the building level based upon tenants to increase the relevance of the ad they will be served. 

Targeting By Company Size

B2B advertisers often use company size to assess purchasing power. There may be value in offering more cost-effective solutions to small business owners while promoting more resource-intensive investments to larger organizations in other locations. Although their decision-makers often spend less on business solutions, smaller companies tend to make faster purchasing decisions.

Job Title Targeting

Agencies often target specific job titles within an organization to ensure their ad creatives are capturing the attention of influential decision-makers and business professionals with purchasing power. Although the titles vary between companies, agencies tend to find that targeting screens in locations with procurement directors, commodity managers, and purchasing clerks shifts the odds in their favor.

Targeting Based on Geography

Geographic segmentation gives advertisers the ability to adjust their messaging according to the trends dominant in specific regions of the country. The segment can be as broad as an entire region or as specific as a postal code. Geographic targeting can help you tailor creative messaging or hone in on target markets to grow share or an awareness play in new markets. 

Time-Based Ad Targeting

There’s also a lot to be said for impression proximity, particularly when ad triggers are determined by time of day or day of the week. B2B creatives broadcast during business hours build name recognition, brand awareness, and positive associations with decision-makers where and when their most impactful purchases are discussed and finalized.

Why Successful Strategists Also Prioritize Contextual Relevance

Ad targeting ensures you’re making the best use of your budget by effectively reaching the target audience with as little waste as possible. But whether you’re implementing an ongoing defining and refining of your parameters, there’s still no guarantee of consumer engagement. Of the many millions of impressions targeting specific audiences daily, only about four of every 100 get more than a single second of attention.

Related: Ad Age Webcast: Marketer Perceptions Vs. Reality

According to the data published by NBC Universal, advertisers need to hold viewer attention for at least 2.5 seconds to leave a lasting impression. That’s where contextual relevance factors into the equation. Consumers are more likely to engage with impressions made more relevant through content alignments, environment, time of day, data-triggered ad creative and more.  

Given the way the shift in focus is improving the overall quality of the user experience, analysts are predicting that the contextual advertising market will be valued at more than $376 billion by 2027.

How Contextually Relevant Screens Optimize B2B Digital Advertising Strategies

Marketing spend in digital spaces has doubled since 2018. Although analysts anticipate another 8% spending increase in 2024, many advertisers find that “older” digital channels are generating inconsistent results. In response, they’re protecting their ROI by diversifying their media channels, casting a wider net. 

Agencies invested in the success of B2B clients find the screens installed in the elevators and common areas of premium commercial properties relevant, efficient, and highly effective, provided they’re working with a media channel offering professionally curated programming selected to optimize engagement.

That’s not something you’ll get from companies with a limited number of screens displaying uploaded ads alongside generic RSS feeds. Without current, carefully curated content, people stop paying attention. 

The screens amplifying brand awareness and influencing purchasing decisions in premium business locations broadcast B2B creatives alongside contextually relevant programming, a mix of easy-to-digest global and national news, business reports, sports scores, weather reports, real-time transit updates, and more. With the right media network partner, you’ll also have the option of investing in services that amplify the impact of your advertising strategies, like the following key options.  

Custom Collaborations & Alignments

True media network partners help their advertisers expand their horizons through an impressive number of collaborative services—options that include everything from customized brand alignments and weather triggers to gamification and campaign effectiveness studies. You may also have the option of leveraging content spotlights that align brand messaging with specific causes.  

Full-Screen Integrations

When every B2B ad on a network screen appears in the same format, there’s less room for creativity. Experienced network providers offer multiple options, like full-screen integration, for example. A lead-in screen displays a video or static image for several seconds, then transitions into a dual-screen display on an adjacent screen. It’s a formatting option that delivers an immersive, memorable viewing experience.

Native Integrations

Native advertising engages prospects by integrating their message onto screens that fit seamlessly into the digital environment. The goal is to provide valuable content relevant to viewers in a way that builds positive brand associations without disrupting their programming. It’s a strategy that requires matching the tone and general style to the non-advertising content displayed on the screen.

Performance Tracking

Advertising on digital out-of-home screens shouldn’t be difficult. Look for a content partner who can determine which screens in their network are the best fit for your B2B clients. They should also provide the resources you need to measure the performance of each campaign and track your ROI through optional services like brand tracking, A/B creative testing, or test control studies.  

Could a Vast Screen Network Be an Essential Part of Your Strategy for B2B Advertising Success?

In commercial properties nationwide, the display screens installed in elevators, lobbies, and common areas are a valued source of information and entertainment. Agencies looking for a cost-effective way to optimize their B2B digital advertising strategies are partnering with Captivate to get their client’s ads displayed in premium locations, on screens their prospects engage with multiple times each day.At Captivate, we specialize in delivering an engaging viewer experience by working with our agency partners to display ad creatives alongside contextually relevant, brand-safe programming in premium locations across North America and Canada. To learn more about our expansive network of digital screens, custom executions, and expertly curated, contextually relevant content, contact us today to book a demonstration.

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