10 Perils of Paying a PPC Agency to Run Your B2B Pay-per-Click Campaigns
With 15 years of experience providing B2B marketing and consulting services, we are not timid in warning B2B clients of the risks of using a pay-per-click (PPC) agency to run ads on Google, Bing, LinkedIn Campaigns, and others.
While clients are often tempted – and sometimes will give them a try – at best, these campaigns generate a few leads but do not pay for themselves. At worst, they waste time and money in the process of producing no results at all.
Why do PPC agencies fail so often at B2B pay-per-click campaigns? Below are the top 10 reasons.
Lack of Strategy
Most PPC agencies focus on B2C clients. Your B2B business campaign is likely being managed by people who have never specialized in B2B marketing. B2B products and services need to be sold on value and articulated to influencers and decision-makers (personas) within your markets. This requires a deep understanding of your business and the value you provide to your served markets.
PPC agencies, which focus on paid advertising, don’t have the context for understanding how PPC fits into an overall marketing strategy and they won’t help you create one or show you how to improve the one you have.
Lack of Understanding Your Business
Though they may have good intentions, PPC agencies don’t spend time developing or incorporating your brand story into their efforts, so they can’t articulate the real value you provide to your served markets. If your campaign doesn’t clearly and concisely reflect the problems you solve and the value you offer, it won’t be effective at capturing new opportunities. As with all of your marketing, your PPC campaigns must be aligned with your customer’s path to purchase, including explicit and implicit motivations, doubts and decision drivers.
Weak Keyword Research
How can a PPC agency identify the most relevant and strategically important keyword phrases to bid on if they don’t thoroughly understand your business? They can’t, which is why there are so many campaigns built around irrelevant and expensive keywords. Even worse are campaigns where Google chooses the keywords automatically.
Missing Pieces of the Puzzle
PPC agencies don’t create marketing collateral, videos, offers, or landing pages crucial to successful Google Ads campaigns. As a result, crucial pieces of the demand generation puzzle can be missing.
They Don’t Verify Conversions
PPC agencies typically fail to triangulate conversion reported between PPC campaigns, Google Analytics and web form submissions. We’ve seen both over- and under-reporting within PPC platforms who are incented to show potentially inflated numbers – so trust but verify.
And if PPC campaigns are converting in high numbers but they’re not translating into leads or sales, there’s a lot more work to do…
Conflicts of Interest
To maintain their status, PPC agencies are compensated and incentivized by Google to maximize your spend. They charge you based on a percentage of that spend, so agency costs rise as your PPC spending increases, regardless of effectiveness.
PPC agencies also earn promotional credits for accepting more automatically generated Google recommendations (we dismiss over 90% of them), increasing your spending, and lining up more clients.
Costly Branded Campaigns
PPC agencies like to run branded keyword campaigns where your company name is the keyword focus.
Unless you have competitors coming up ahead of your company when you search for your company name, this is probably a waste of money as you typically earn those clicks for free.
Set & Forget
PPC agencies create numerous campaigns to drive up your spending but may only spend 1-2 hours (maybe) a month updating your campaigns – it’s mostly a set-and-forget effort.
PPC agencies typically only meet with you when you request – instead of meeting on a biweekly or monthly basis. Successful campaigns must be manually set and closely watched – letting Google automate your campaign or change your settings automatically is likely to lead to a higher, ineffective spend.
Wasting Money on Retargeting
PPC agencies like to run display ad campaigns and sell you on retargeting, but we often see clickthrough rates of 0.3% or less on these campaigns, which is usually a waste of money.
The actual display ads typically lack key brand story elements including calling out the “villain” (key source of disruption, anxiety or problems) in their brand story and promoting a compelling call to action (i.e. conversion point).
PPC agencies may run “smart campaigns,” which allow Google to automatically update the copy of your ads and bid on keywords. While this might make the agency’s work easier, Google’s algorithms don’t understand your business, which results in poorly worded and even nonsensical copy along with bidding on keywords that are irrelevant to your business.
Why Consider Innovaxis Marketing for PPC?
At Innovaxis, Google Ad campaigns are a carefully managed component of an overall B2B marketing strategy tailored to drive your business forward.
We have 15 years of Google Ads experience and Google Ads certified team members. We meet with Google every two weeks to keep up with the latest changes and stay on top of trends that enable us to deliver the highest value results to our clients. We manage Google Ads for roughly half of our client base with a total spend of approximately $100,000 per month.
Our success is built on your success. Our focus on understanding your business, your served markets and your goals is part of a comprehensive strategy that drives everything we do, including the use of PPC.