How Conversational Marketing Can Help You Build A PPC Strategy That Converts

Conversational Marketing and PPC

The Problem:

  • B2B marketing organizations are throwing money away on PPC and advertising strategies that don’t convert
  • Tired inbound advertising methods are creating friction for prospects

The Solution:

  • Remove the number of touchpoints between first contact and meaningful conversation
  • Embrace conversational marketing to reduce abandonment, improve lead quality, and reduce time to close

The State of Digital Advertising

The Digital Advertising Model is Broken

Customer-Centric Advertising

Enter the Paid Ad Conversion Bot

The State Of Digital Advertising

You don’t have to be a marketer to know that billions of dollars are spent every year on advertising. Look at your phone. Look out the window. Look at the sponsored ads in your personal email.

Ads are ingrained in our every day.

But, if you really want to understand the impact of advertising in the United States, look no further than the money companies are investing.

In their recent study, eMarketer reported on the United States’ ad spend between 2016-2019, and projected into 2020. Across verticals and industries, advertising spend increased steadily year-after-year, well into the billions.

Beyond spending more over time, the United States also continues to outspend ALL other countries on advertising, with China not spending even half as much.

Despite the growing investment in PPC, marketers are seeing little return – especially in the B2B space. Research from the Conversational Marketing Blueprint found that B2B businesses spent over $5.12B to drive traffic to their websites in 2018 alone. Of those ad dollars spent, only 1-2% of that traffic converted.

B2B web traffic expense
Sources: $5.12B – US B2B Digital Ad Spending – eMarketer; 2.3% average landing page conversion rate from Search Engine Land

This year, eMarketer estimates that ad spend will increase to $6.08B for B2B businesses, with an 18.6% incremental increase year-over-year.

So, why is it that B2B marketing organizations continue to invest in avenues with little return?

Something’s gotta give.

The Digital Advertising Model Is Broken

Before we point fingers, many traditional advertising best practices – and for that matter inbound marketing best practices – are dated. Marketing and sales teams are still using inbound tools that remove personalization from interactions and introduce friction during the handover to sales.

We’re talking, of course, about the dreaded landing page form – and its slow, inevitable death as a primary lead generator.

For the purposes of this article, let’s look at a typical ad flow example for a demo.

Advertisement flow

In The MQL is Dead, Drift’s VP of Demand Generation, Kate Adams, laid out the key problems a process like this has on the marketing and sales funnel: It’s convoluted.

The above shows just how long a simple process like requesting a demo can take in traditional ad marketing flows. Almost 24 hours or more can pass between form submission to CRM routing to MQL follow-up from a salesperson for 👏a 👏 demo 👏

But 24 hours might even be too generous. In our 2018 Lead Response Time report, we wanted to check the response time on forms for 512 B2B companies. 42% of B2B companies didn’t responses to our contact form request within a five-day timeframe. 58% didn’t respond AT ALL.

Now, imagine compounding and attaching this process to all of your highest converting content. Imagine being the audience who clicks on your ad and realizes – despite having engaged with your brand before – that they still need to fill out a form to see your latest eBook. Brutal, right?

Customer-Centric Advertising

As marketers, we’ve stepped on our own feet when it comes to conversions:

  • We’ve made it difficult for customers to talk to us…by siloing them behind a marathon of touchpoints and tech before they can even talk to a human.
  • We’ve made it difficult for our salespeople to reach customers…by introducing automation that’s more cumbersome than pre-internet door-to-door sales.

But more than all of this, we’ve lost sight of a critical component in advertising: the emotion.

To get a person to click on your ad, you have to elicit some kind of emotional response. That emotion will vanish the moment they look at your convoluted form fill.

That’s why marketers need to begin transitioning to a more customer-centric approach in their outreach.

Customer-centricity demands more of businesses when it comes to interacting with their customers and future customers. In a customer-centric PPC strategy, marketers provide prospects with engagement that is relevant, authentic, and in real-time. After all, they already made the effort to click on your ad!

At Drift, we call this frictionless process conversational marketing.

Conversational Marketing Advertising

Conversational marketing is about getting the right customers in touch with the right people at your company, without all the days of follow-up and complicated automation.

The beauty of the above model is that it:

  • Removes the number of touchpoints to meaningful conversations
  • Reduces the time to convert
  • And introduces authenticity into the sales process from first contact

Most of all, this approach also plays into the customer-centric principles of conversational marketing and sales model laid out in the blueprint mentioned earlier.

Principles of Marketing and Sales_Drift

This push from business-centric to customer-centric is happening across industries. According to Gartner, one of the top three priorities for marketing leaders is investing in technologies that support the customer experience.

Source: “Customer Experience: Increase customer loyalty and advocacy with smart strategy and investment”, Gartner

At Drift, we’re huge proponents of ensuring a frictionless customer experience. From our conversational landing pages to chat to video to email – we’re dedicated to building products that move the needle forward and improve the interactions between customer and company.

One area we found particularly painful for marketers was the dropoff in PPC campaigns from ad to offer. So we decided to do something about it.

To make remove forms from the equation and customize messaging based on an ad campaign, we developed the Paid Ad Conversion bot

Source: Paid Ad Conversion Bot, Drift

This bot is ideal for marketing teams spending major bucks on advertising. It allows you to get granular in your communication with prospects and personal in your messaging. Using this tool, your marketing team can personalize a chat-based on an ad campaign, a keyword or the source your visitors are coming from.

Danielle Gonzales reported big wins with her customers at Hanapin Marketing when coupling conversational marketing with PPC initiatives, including an increase in demos: 72% of web users who submitted their contact details also booked a demo on the spot.

If someone comes to the site, they can learn if the product isn’t right for them within a few questions and likely won’t continue the conversation long enough to submit their contact info. The ones who do move forward with their contact info are better informed and are more likely to be a sales qualified lead. Since its inception on my client’s website, 72% of the website users who got to the point of submitting their contact info also booked a meeting for a demo on the spot. This is a tremendous success rate for qualified leads.

Danielle Gonzales, Account Manager, Hanapin Marketing

Your customers already made the effort. They clicked the ad. Why make it harder for them?

We hope you found this article helpful in tackling a more customer-centric friendly PPC strategy. To learn even more about how you can turn around your tired PPC strategy, check out this video from Sara Pion on Drift Insider here. If you’re looking for more inspiration, join us over at Drift Insider for a steady stream of inspiration.

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