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In the B2B market, an efficient PPC campaign needs to capture and motivate prospects throughout the decision-making and sales cycles; while always understanding that intent and CTR are not always uniquely matched with either the research or buying phase.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Content Match in Long Consideration Phases

Lately, I have been testing the value of content matching for a B2B client with a very long consideration phase - in excess of one year - and with a product\solution valued deep within the six figures. What I am finding is that content match is generating far more leads than traditional SERP advertising.


My theory is that PPC ads are perceived as more relevant and trustworthy when embedded in the content of a relevant website.

It seems to make sense.

The user is already in a research frame of mind as they are looking through forums and other content when they see your ad. From a branding perspective, the peripheral ad is linked to the relevant content, and even though your company may not be officially sponsoring the forum, there is a natural affinity between your brand and the content the user is engaged with. What this translates into is a higher CTR, but more importantly, a significantly higher conversion rate.

The test continues...

But there is a vast difference between a lead and a sale - this is why I am taking my tests another step forward to identify that content conversion and continue to watch it through to a final sale. This means taking the analytics offline and integrating online marketing with sales - seems like a no brainer, but this doesn't happen very often. More than likely it is because of the scope in question, but I think the lessons learned from watching a few sponsored leads will be worth the extra effort - the client thinks so too.

As well, we need to determine what it is in the content ad that anchors a user - what draws the eye away from the website and towards the embedded ad? Is it because the placement of the ad is not as determined as it is in a SERP? Is it the messaging and the factor of relevancy to the website the ad is displayed on? Or is content matching better at capturing those early stages of the buying funnel that SERP ads, or even better than leader boards and banners? These are questions that deserve some further research, and ones that we at Enquiro will be putting on the docket very soon.

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