A successful bid management strategy for low traffic & low converting B2B campaigns can be a challenge to deliver and will require a bit more of your attention. Here are some recommendations and ideas to improve your bid management strategies for low traffic and high margin niche products.
1) Revenue is key to your bid management strategy.
Make sure to implement revenue within your conversion tags or Google Analytics Goals when you set your conversions. Even though conversions are not necessarily sales in a B2B campaign environment, it helps to measure potential profit margins and lead valuation.
When you ask your client their closing rate and margin per closed lead, follow this rule:
If the client tells you that a closed lead generates $10,000 in profit over a 12 month period and their effective closing rate is 10%, your effective revenue per conversion should be set to $1,000 and not $10,000. You can use this revenue percentage instead of profit margin, depending on the client’s PPC accounting measurement. Using this quick easy measurement in your bid management campaign can help you set bids and monitor CPA properly.
2) Higher bids means higher CPA
In general, B2B has been known to have large margins and recurring revenues over medium to long term time frames. This affects bid strategy because the break-even CPA is often high. Rather than focus on a low CPC at the beginning of the campaign to save money, with this type of B2B it is better to invest more in CPC in order to get the #1 position in search engines and dominate the niche industry. Hence a higher CPC, or higher bid, will get more exposure and a higher CPA that the niche client needs.
This campaign strategy is quite different from highly optimized low CPC/CPA business-to-consumer campaigns. With B2B and low traffic niche clients the campaign manager has plenty of ad dollars to reach the conversion, so why not go for the big fish?
3) Make use of the Display Network
Should very niche B2B products take advantage of the display network even though their target audience is smaller? The answer is Yes! Build nice graphic ads with a strong call to action, as well as text ads, and build custom audience targeting . I usually recommend starting with at least 3 to 4 different type of display campaigns:
1 – Placements + Keywords
2 – Topics + Keywords
3 – Similar to Remarketing list + Keywords
4 – Placements + Topics + Keywords.
Use CPC bidding and bid high to start, then enlarge or refine your target based on the metrics. The Display network is definitely a channel you want to use, whether you are niche or not.
4) Use local Bidding
Even though B2B products or services are more “national” like SaaS Companies, it’s best to divide your campaign into sales territories. The client’s sales data can help you when building your geo strategy. You can increase or decrease bid based on the lead generation volume of each sales territory. If the profit margin is high, do not be shy using large incremental percentage, such as 50% to 75%.
5) Build a predicted Bid Strategy with your client
We always pride ourselves as being top of the line in the field of optimization (we lower CPC or CPA and increase Conv. Rate). For B2B campaigns with high margins and low traffic, this optimization concept remains true, however the time to success might be different than the B2C campaign for an Online Financial Service for example. Under promise, over deliver! Set your client’s expectations using this example of a predicted bid strategy graph.
Notes: This is an example of Conversions & CPA projections. You can see the bid management is aggressive at the beginning and as we move along the graph, it becomes slightly less aggressive. It is also assumed that the average position is 1.00. CPA is slightly below the objective threshold at the first conversion point and goes down for the second one with regular optimization.
(Your clients’ campaigns may differ from this example depending on the product or service complexity, the niche market, the profit margin, the sales volume andother factors.)
In summary, the essential points to keep in mind for your bid management approach are:
- Go big to get the first conversion and set a solid footprint in the client’s industry PPC environment.
- Then use the data to exceed the client’s objective. Remember to build this model with your client’s participation as they have a lot of sales data and projections.
- Lastly, remember to under promise and over deliver.