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What’s More Important for a B2B Site: Audience Size or Impact?

CIG-Jan29-Blog

While B2C websites come in many varieties, and may have different purposes, B2B websites generally have one goal in mind, and that is to target businesses and attempt to persuade them to purchase a service or product. To that end, there has been surprisingly few industry benchmarks for web analytics that are applicable to B2B marketing.

Of course, this lack of data makes B2B marketing over the internet more challenging than might otherwise be the case. One of the most obvious questions is age-old and simple. Does a marketing team prioritize audience size or impact?

The Best Tools for the Job

One of the first tasks that must be undertaken for any successful internet marketing campaign is to understand what tools are available for the team to use. In order to determine clickthrough rates (which would indicate the success of the campaign), the easiest way is to create an AdWords account.

With an AdWords account, the marketing team will be able to measure exactly how many people click through the online advertisement to check out the product, in other words the clickthrough rate for B2B websites. Whether promoting a B2B site or a B2C site, this tool will come in handy to measure success.

By the way, what percentage of “click-throughs” should be successful for a mature company with a competent marketing campaign? According to AIMG, the clickthrough rates for a mature company with a successful campaign should be approximately 2.55%. For younger companies, this percentage can be as low as 1%. These CTR benchmarks should be useful for measuring the success of a marketing campaign.

Another, and arguably more important, tool that determines how successful an online ad placement or blog for a B2B site is would be the quality of the leads provided by the client. If the client only provides a five-year-old e-mail list which hasn't been vetted for a number of years, naturally any campaign based on that list will most likely be less successful than a campaign based on an up-to-date list. The quality of the client's leads is paramount to achieving success.

Argument for Audience Size

However, what if the client's business simply is too new to achieve any sort of data on audience composition and no customer list exists? In these rare cases, the best move may simply be to create a campaign that reaches as many businesses (and potential customers) as possible.

If the client truly is uncertain as to what demographic his or her company is targeting, this choice seems logical. Even if the campaign fails to achieve many clickthroughs, at least there should be some demographic data gleaned from it, which should help the company in the future.

Argument Against Audience Size

However, in nearly any other case, attempting simply to reach the most eyeballs would be ill-advised. Advertising, even online, is expensive, and it makes no sense for anyone to throw away money needlessly. Even if the client's business is brand-new, case studies of other companies in the same field can be used to evaluate which demographic may be interested in the company's product or service.

While impressions in digital marketing are important, CTR in digital marketing is far more important, so why not choose a strategy that has the potential to give more clickthrough rates? The Content Marketing Institute discusses why this strategy may not be best.

Argument for Impact

Successful campaigns with impact will have higher clickthrough rates than simply focusing on audience size. Audience size is not very important, considering that only a fraction of businesses exposed to a B2B's website will seek out more information.

Instead, it makes more sense to commission case studies that expose the key demographics for the company and then focus all attention on those companies. Prioritizing a large audience may waste valuable time and resources.

Argument Against Impact

Prioritizing impact may have a larger clickthrough rate than prioritizing audience. However, there is risk involved.

Suppose a company relies on a case study to determine their key demographic, and the study is flawed or the market suddenly shifts. Then, the company relying on the case study may find themselves burdened with an ineffectual campaign, which is a waste of money at best.

Also, the success of the campaign relies on impact, which is the responsibility of the marketing team. If the marketing team misfires, and a campaign is created that doesn't interest the key demographic, the campaign may turn out to be a wasted effort.

How to Promote Your Site

As can be noted above, there are compelling arguments to focus on either audience size or impact when considering how to promote a B2B site. Of course, different situations call for different solutions and a number of factors should be considered when making this decision. With all data available, it should be obvious which solution to choose.

For more information on impact vs. audience size, please contact us today!

Author: Aaron Dyck - SVP Clover Services Group

I am focused on helping companies in Canada and the United States grow their businesses through digital marketing and working with their sales teams to ensure they bring incredible value to each conversation.

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