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B2B Advertising Tactics for Industry IT Sites

Today we’re going to talk about some of the most popular B2B advertising  tactics offered by leading industry IT sites, including:

B2B advertising - syndicated content

Content Syndication

Content Syndication is the flagship vessel for B2B advertising. Vendors like the IDG and TechTarget networks host the content you produce, like white papers, technology briefs, infographics and so on. They require registration for their site visitors to see those assets and forward the registration results to you. They can customize the required fields so that you get the data necessary to route leads in your CRM.

The coolest part of content syndication is that, because these sites are so big and have so many viewers, the vendors can guarantee a certain number of registrations. Provided you have the Cost Per Lead (CPL) budget to afford them, that could be just what you want. Guaranteed leads are great for new products with sales teams willing to work the funnel.

Like most paid sources though, you have to be patient and work the results in order to receive a positive ROI. As mentioned in an earlier post, we found that paid efforts if they really work well have a 1:1 ROI in the last touch view and 2:1 in the multitouch view. In other words, a great paid campaign gives you your money back in last touch, but gives you $2 for every $1 you invested if you look at the multi-touch model.

A great way to handle leads gained through content syndication is through nurturing. The big nurturing platforms, like Eloqua and Marketo, allow you to tailor an asset offering to stages in the buyer lifecycle.

So for example, you could take your content syndication leads and send them an email about two weeks after their registration, asking if they wanted to join a live webcast. If they attend, you can set up scoring rules such that the prospect’s info is sent to Sales for follow-up. If they don’t respond, maybe you don’t send that lead to Sales for a while but instead wait 30 days and invite them to another webcast.

Highly Qualified Lead Programs

Building out on the syndicated content offering, the bigger sites also offer more highly qualified lead programs. The vendors know that most people browsing their sites aren’t close to making buying decisions but that a small subset of them are close to buying and they can identify those people by browsing patterns.

TechTarget offers the IT Deal Alert, where providers of B2B advertising look for patterns of prospect activity that indicate they’re working an active project. If someone downloads everything they’ve got on backing up SQL Server databases, chances are pretty good that person is working on a SQL Server backup project.

IDG also has a highly qualified lead program where they offer multiple (minimum of 6) assets over a 3-month run time. This program makes sense if you don’t have your own nurturing program or if you want to boost the one you currently have.

Other sites offer related programs where the prospect is put through a series of qualifying questions before they’re allowed to download the asset. If a prospect is willing to provide extended information about themselves in order to download a white paper or e-book, you may have a prospect who wouldn’t mind hearing from a sales person.

All of these programs have the same desired end state. One way or another, each vendor is looking for patterns that indicate a more heightened interest in buying. When they isolate the prospects with those characteristics, they can sell you that lead at a premium because of the qualification they’ve done to identify customers who are further down the funnel.

Custom Content Creation

Because the leading technology sites employ highly qualified content creators, they can also offer custom content development services , including concept development, execution and delivery. Infographics are very popular. Infographics are visually engaging graphics with multiple data points inserted in bite-sized chunks.

B2B advertising - custom content - infographic

Vendors typically offer the option of co-branding. If you want your logo on the infographic, they’ll put it there for you. If you prefer a more hands-off approach, they’ll give the custom content the appearance of editorial independence by leaving your brand out of the picture.

Typically, at the end of the engagement the custom content piece is yours to re-market as you see fit. You should check with your publisher before making that assumption. There may be fees associated with the content’s release.

Like syndicated content, custom content targets prospects higher up the sales funnel, where they’re still building awareness of the products and solutions available to help the pain point they’re researching.

Lead guarantees may be available with custom concept development. Again, your best bet is to contact your publisher for details.

Run of Site

One highly visible tactic for capturing attention and raising awareness of your product offering is the Run of Site model. In this B2B advertising tactic, your banner(s) appear on every page over a site or section. On a busy site, the Run of Site model can be very effective.

The following illustration shows how one banner benefits from the ROS treatment at TechTarget and Redmond. The highly contrasted ad in the Dell blue really pops off the page and attracts attention.

B2B advertising - Run of Site 

B2B Advertising Tactics – Conclusion

Content syndication, highly qualified lead programs, custom content and run-of-site are just a few of the tactics employed by B2B advertisers on industry IT sites. There are great articles out there on how to develop a B2B marketing strategy, including:

Good luck with your campaigns! B2B advertising is a complex field, so please leave comments that expand upon the subject or update my information. As always, thank you for sharing.

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