Hackernoon logoHow to Do B2B Focused Advertising Without Creeping Out Your Targets During COVID-19 by@simran-malhotra

How to Do B2B Focused Advertising Without Creeping Out Your Targets During COVID-19

Simran Malhotra Hacker Noon profile picture

@simran-malhotraSimran Malhotra

Copywriter, Content Marketer & Consultant

Remember how annoying it is when you Google something and start seeing ads for it across all online platforms?

Now, imagine being the one who does that.

People think target ads are intrusive. They make them feel

But we’re living in a time where online ads are one of the most
important ways of reaching your audience. And with the coronavirus becoming increasingly relentless, the outdoor media has taken a big hit.

So, instead of waiting for people to come outdoors, brands have no choice but to infiltrate their devices. But people don’t like it.

Source: HubSpot

But target ads can have such a negative effect on your audience that it can irritate them and potentially drive them away from your brand.

So, how do you do focused advertising without creeping out your targets during COVID-19? 

To learn about that, let’s understand why people hate ads:

●      They increase page loading time

Generally, your site should load within 3 seconds. Anything more than that will increase your bounce rate by 32%. People think ads slow down
your site. And they aren’t wrong. Ads can increase the size of any page by up to 3 times.

●      Ads make people feel less in control of their devices

Since users find ads to be intrusive, they feel focused advertising takes away their freedom. That’s another reason why people would rather pay for an adblocker or a VPN than see target ads.

●      Some ads don’t look professional or polished enough

Most banner ads, for example, are poorly made and their flashiness or bad graphics can turn off a potential lead.

On the contrary, people like ads if they are,

●      Well-made and interesting

The keyword you are looking for is ‘engaging.’ Even if it’s a simple banner ad. As a brand, you must avoid making flashy or distracting animated ads because Google will ban them immediately. Also, go ahead and embed subtitles in your video ads and ensure to keep the content under 5 seconds.

●      Compelling and visually appealing

People click on ads they find provocative and creative. So, ad creators need to incorporate better-quality visuals and tools because a compelling copy is just not enough anymore.

B2B buyers are quite particular about their buying experience. If your marketing or advertising approach rubs them in the wrong way, you can bid adieu to generating leads, especially amid COVID-19.  

So, now that I’ve touched upon the basics, here are simple ways you can target your customers without creeping them out.

1.   Put a cap on the impressions

If you’ve ever searched for “Godaddy,” you’d know how their target ads annoy you for the next few days. Whether you’re on YouTube or Instagram, they’ll follow you wherever you go. 

Source: ClickZ

The problem of intrusive advertising is so grave that 27.5% of the world’s population has an adblocker installed in their devices. So, if businesses want to keep this figure from increasing, they have to limit the frequency of the ads.

I recommend using user cookies to cap the impressions. If you don’t convert within 3-4 tries, quit retargeting.

Usually, B2B buyers make well-thought-out and calculated buying decisions. So, if they aren’t clicking on your ad within the first couple of times, they’re probably not interested.  

2.   Spend time creating accurate buyer personas

LinkedIn is guilty of constantly retargeting ads even after the conversion. And whether it’s LinkedIn Jobs or Sales Solutions, they usually miss the target.

Most of the people who comment on/like these ads are promoting themselves or have nothing to do with either jobs or sales.

So, is LinkedIn wasting their ads on the wrong targets simply because they own the platform?


But mostly because they haven’t got their buyer personas right.

Creating the perfect buyer persona helps you avoid retargeting ads to the converted leads or those who don’t have any use for the ad.

As a result, you save money and target only those who are extremely interested, which increases your conversion rates.

3.   Save your target ads for the search engines

People hate it when they see ads related to their search history on social media. It creates security concerns.

But do you know what kind of ads people don’t mind?

Search ads.

Source: Blue Corona

They find them to be the most useful ads and would gladly click on them
over any other display or social media or even YouTube ads.

Also, channeling your ads to social media makes it creepier for the user and ruins the experience. So, restrict yourself to internet searches if you want to generate more leads. 

4.   Ask for feedback

Google’s “tell us why you don’t like this ad” initiative is exemplary for a B2C model.

It gives control to the users. They get to choose what they want to see. And that’s precisely what the internet is about.

As a business, you should also give your B2B targets the options to choose, approve, and reject ads without being too pushy.

A simple question like “How can we make our ads better?” can speak volumes about how considerate you are towards your audience.

Integrating feedback mechanisms into your ads can also help in gaining insights about how to make ads more effective and less creepy for the end consumer.

5.   Customers want personalized ads, so deliver them properly

Although online
advertising is becoming increasingly challenging, businesses shouldn’t forget
the fact that buyers will click on ads that interest them.

In fact, 71% of buyers want personalized ads. That’s an amazing number considering how many people resent ads. But this is exactly why you need to create accurate buyer personas if you want to continue selling during COVID-19.

Personalized ads allow you to be extremely specific in your targeting. And being specific helps you cater to your niches directly without spraying your ads all over the internet.

Here are three examples of perfect search ad targeting by LinkedIn.

Keyword – B2B Ads

Keyword – B2B leads

Keyword – B2B marketing

All the ads contain a very popular B2B search term in the headline. Each search ad uses terms like ‘2x engagement’ and ‘3.5x higher CVR’ (Conversion Rate), which is exactly what anybody looking for these keywords wants.

They also talk about raising awareness and easy lead generation, which identify with the buyers who are searching for these keywords/services.

So, LinkedIn’s indeed got it right this time.

To maintain your customers’ trust, consider sending a mass email explaining how you’re rewiring your promotional activities to improve their search experience amid COVID-19 and that you don’t intend to overstep their privacy in any way. Doing so will ensure that your customers have a heads-up on what’s to come.


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