How to advertise in B2B

Article Summary: How to do B2B advertising

  1. Why advertise on a B2B basis
  2. What is the process to put in place
  3. Which media to use and/or to focus on and the budget 
  4. Examples of successful B2B advertising 

Promoting your company is a crucial step in your communication plan. Advertising allows you to control this communication by choosing different channels, messages, or by choosing the audience you want to reach. 

B2B advertising allows you to fulfill various objectives: 

  • improving the notoriety of the company and its brand image
  • generate traffic to a website 
  • sell a product/service
  • generate leads
  • increase the conversion rate (which can be translated into event registrations or appointments, for example) 
  • increase your customer portfolio

Improving your visibility contributes greatly to improving the conversion rate and therefore the company's revenue. 

What is the process to put in place 

To do B2B advertising, it is first essential to define your objectives. This step is important because it allows you to create the strategy and the message you want to convey. 

Once the objectives are set, you need to determine your target. This can be done using marketing tools such as personas. The persona represents the ideal customer of your company, therefore the prospect that should be reached with your B2B advertising campaign

>>> See our article on How to identify your marketing target

It is also for this reason that it is useful to choose media that allow a very precise targeting. This way, your ad will reach the right target with the right message at the right time. For example, one of the media used in B2B advertising is the social network Linkedin. 

The temporality and the communication period are very important in your strategic thinking, they can have an impact on the budget of your campaign. For example, depending on the service or product you offer, you should avoid or on the contrary, launch campaigns during school vacations, or periods likely to vacations. 

Our advice: adopt an Agile behavior, i.e. monitor the influence of the advertisement(s) on the KPIS (such as lead generation, number of appointments taken, conversion rate, etc.). This allows you to adjust and optimize the campaign. You can also do A/B testing, to see what works in the campaign before putting more budget.

Which media to use and/or prioritize and the budget 

For B2B advertising to work, it is wise to choose the right media. To do this, you need to agree on traditional and digital media. Traditional media are the preferred communication levers to create a link, a trust with the customer. Digital media are important to establish a presence on the web. 

Our Adintime specialists recommend different media, ideal for a B2B campaign

  • B2B specialized press
  • Display
  • Billboards (especially near the clients' offices)
  • DOOH (taking care to choose the right display hours)
  • Social paid: favour Linkedin (because it is a professional social network with an audience that can be relevant) 
  • For a B2B advertising campaign to generate leads, it must highlight its useful function.

Clients must be able to learn something concrete, which they can then apply to their own organization.

One technique that works well in digital is to offer something to the target audience, such as a white paper or a downloadable ebook. In the jargon, we call this a "lead magnet". In this way, you can collect the contact information of the prospect in your database and thus, better target your communications.

A few words about display media 

This media is very popular in B2B and B2C advertising. It allows you to meet the main objectives mentioned earlier in the article. It is notably thanks to an increased targeting capacity, based on criteria (such as professional status, company size, keywords, etc.) that display allows you to reach a precise audience. Moreover, this medium is more easily measurable thanks to the tracking of the campaign performance with various tools like Google Analytics. 

Display advertising in B2B can be done in two ways. The first one consists in the choice of the sites on which the advertisement will appear. Often, the advertiser has to choose affinity sites for the target, in connection with the advertiser's sector. For that, he goes to advertising agencies and sites specialized for B2B. This type of campaign on identified sites is called in the jargon "mutual agreement". 

The second type of display campaign is the programmatic display. This type of campaign is automated, it allows the targeting of the audience to be reached, by different means: 

By buying data: it is possible to use advertising agencies that buy data and have a large inventory of prospects. In this way, it is possible to have access to precise audience segments that you wish to target, for example, the heads of companies in the SME sector. 

By semantics: here, the targeting is done by the keywords generally present in the articles and websites of companies. It will therefore be possible to broadcast the ad in all the sites (of the inventory of the chosen advertising network), presenting one or several precise keywords. You will also have the possibility to add broadcasting frames, that is to say, to target sites by themes for example business sites, finances in order to target more B2B sites. 

By contextual: in this case, the targeting will be done on the basis of the search history of the Internet users collected by the advertising network. Thus, the ad will be broadcast according to the subsequent searches, in connection with the advertiser's sector.  

What is the budget?

For your information, the average price of B2B advertising campaigns that we have observed at Adintime by major media category:

Media Average budget € HT
Display  9 269,89€
Digital 2 283,33€
Press 3 348,29€

If you want to know more about Display advertising and its cost, please visit this article.

>>> What is display advertising?

Billboards advertising is a communication medium on which an advertising message is broadcast. It is generally placed in strategic places with high traffic. Its format is variable and can meet different needs. 

To learn more about the different options in displays and their prices, go to this article; 

>>>Billboards: prices and formats

The DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) is a digital outdoor advertising space. These panels, illuminated by LEDs, are generally a little over 2m, and meet the same main objectives as billboards. 

To know more about DOOH and its price, go to this article ;

>>>What is the difference between ooh and dooh?

The specialized press often refers to the written press. This category in press, gathers periodical publications such as newspapers and magazines which approach specific subjects. The specialized press is intended for a targeted public, depending on its age or its interests. 

To learn more about the trade press, consult this article

>>>Specialized press and professional press

Linkedin is the most relevant social network to promote your campaign. But be careful, relevance does not guarantee efficiency. It is important to know that on Linkedin, a targeting is equivalent to a campaign. This unique targeting per campaign is therefore expensive, especially since Linkedin imposes a minimum investment of 10€ per day for a campaign. For a campaign with a little more reach on this network, you need to count a minimum of 1000 or even 2000€ per month. 

Note that the Cost per Lead of a campaign will cost more if the company's service is more expensive. 

Example of B2B ads that have worked well: 

Here are some examples of B2B ads that have worked thanks to the implementation of precise objectives and a targeted audience. 

Nescafé chose a personality test to attract new partners.

This advertisement for other companies is a perfect example of effectiveness. Nescafé created its own personality test entitled "what is the right coffee for your organization" on a website created for the occasion. At the end of this personality test, an opportunity to win a coffee tasting according to their test results. Obviously, the stake here was marketing, since to obtain the results of this test, they had to fill out a form with contact information, as well as indicate if they agreed to be contacted for professional purposes. 

A good way to build loyalty or to make your company known to others, while collecting interesting data. 

B2B advertising campaign Nescafe

Campaigns that our experts have conducted at Adintime: 

SCC and its OOH campaign

SCC is an agency that supports its clients in their digital transformation. The company launched an outdoor poster campaign to wish its customers a happy new year. The campaign took place in the train stations of Lyon and Lille, and lasted one week from 19/01 to 25/01 2022. 

B2B advertising campaign scc

Wisper : DOOH display

The company Wisper offers innovative business telephony services, and supports companies in their digitalization. The company launched a DOOH campaign in Paris Gare de Lyon to promote its new product and target commuters. The campaign ran from 19/09/22 to 07/10/22. 

B2B advertising campaign wisper

Digidrive : Press B2B Artisan Magazine (page 40)

Digidrive is a company that creates professional applications and websites. They launched a press campaign to target small business owners, especially craftsmen and tradesmen. The campaign was launched in the magazine n°153 in September 2021. 

B2B advertising campaign digidrive

Modyf and its TV Sponsoring campaign

The company Modyf is specialized in safety clothing and shoes. The company has launched an advert to promote its products by targeting the bosses or purchasing managers. Modyf speaks every month on TV, its latest campaign dates from 26/09/22 to 16/10/22 on the channel TMC. 

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