b2b ppc agency

Step by Step Guide to Finding and Selecting a B2B PPC Agency

The digital marketing landscape changes very fast. You may already know the benefits of a good performing PPC campaign. But you have trouble keeping up with the policy changes and updates Google makes.

You might consider hiring outside experts for your PPC campaigns. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Find the Best B2B PPC Agency

Step 1. What Is The Ultimate Goal Of a PPC Campaign?

Your business is like a car without a steering wheel, if you don’t have clearly defined goals around what you want to achieve with your PPC campaign.

If you’re still figuring out an approach to building goals, a good way to do it is through the SMART goals system.

Well-defined SMART goals will help you steer clear of any red flags later in your campaign while also improving your ROI.

Here’s what SMART means:

  • Specific: a goal should be specific and tangible. Not vague and ambiguous.
  • Measurable: you should be able to measure your goals against a benchmark or over time.
  • Achievable: the campaign should have attainable KPIs within a given timeframe.
  • Realistic: be reasonable with your goals. Aiming high is good but not unrealistically high!
  • Timely: you have clearly defined milestones and checks to achieve your goals.

Planning well, in the beginning, can save your time manyfold during execution, and SMART goals help you do just that.

If possible, create a set of SMART goals for each of your PPC accounts. You can even set goal tiers to motivate your agency by giving them clearly defined targets.

The agency you’re evaluating should be able to share PPC campaign benchmarks for your industry, which then feeds into your goal plan.

Most people start their PPC agency search by typing into Google “Best B2B PPC Agency” or something similar.

But this isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it.

Before you consider hiring outside help, first you need to know what your goal is. The clearer you are with your goals, the more likely you’re going to achieve them.

For most businesses, the goals of their PPC campaigns fall under one of these reasons:

  • Increase awareness of their brand or a new product
  • Boost website traffic
  • Generate leads

But from what we’ve seen, what most businesses ultimately want is more sales. With that in mind, set a specific sales target and timeframe to achieve that target. Then decide how much of those sales you’d like to come from PPC.

For instance, your goal is to generate $480,000 of new sales in 1 year. That’s $40,000 per month. Let’s say you’d like 25% to come from the PPC campaign. That’s $10,000 of new sales per month from PPC.

If your product sells for $5,000, the PPC campaign needs to bring in 2 sales. And if it’s $1,000 for your typical package, then you need 10 sales.

To see the real value of your PPC efforts, another metric to consider is the lifetime value of each new customer.

Once you have these numbers figured out, share them with the PPC agency to see if they can help you hit them.

Step 2. What Is Your Budget?

The next step is to come up with a budget. This means figuring out how much you can spend to acquire one customer.

In order to do that, it’s helpful to know the typical PPC agency pricing structure.

Pay Per Lead

This is performance-based pricing. Initially, it may sound like a good deal because you’re only paying for results, they bring in. If there are no results, you don’t have to pay a single penny.

But here’s the catch. These agencies earn more when they deliver you more leads. It’s common to see them focus more on quantity instead of quality.

This could potentially hurt your business.

Having low-quality leads would mean that your sales team is speaking to leads who aren’t ready to buy yet. If you choose to go with this option, make sure you’ve clarified with the agency on what is considered a lead.

Flat Monthly Rate

This is a straight forward pricing model.

You pay a flat monthly fee for the agency to manage your PPC campaign.

Percentage Of Ad Spend

In this model, agencies charge based on your advertising spend. This is a transparent way of doing things. Larger ad budgets usually mean more work is required.

But the downside is the agency might be focused on having you spend more instead of driving down the cost.

So it’s important to be on the same page when it comes to the metrics you want to keep track of. For instance, some useful metrics are cost per acquisition and return on ad spend.

Hybrid

It’s also common to see a hybrid of 2 pricing structures. Typically, it’s flat monthly rate plus a percentage of ad spend.

As you can see, each pricing model has its advantages and disadvantages. By understanding them, you’ll be able to set your budget and be ready to discuss it with the B2B PPC agency.

Step 3. What Characteristics Should The Agency Have?

This step might just be the most important one when answering the question – how to choose a PPC agency? You should have a clear idea of what you’re looking for before speaking with an agency.

Think of your buyer persona and your marketing objectives. Then put some thought into areas of PPC you need help with.

Before speaking to any agencies, list out all the characteristics that your ideal PPC agency needs to have. Keep in mind that this is an ideal list.

The agency you end up working with may not fulfill all criteria. But it would certainly check off most of the characteristics on your list.

More specifically, here are some points you must consider seriously while evaluating an agency –

A data-backed approach

Any good PPC strategy will always be backed by sound data. This can be data coming in from your campaign performance metrics, competitor analysis, or keyword research.

Work with a PPC agency that understands these numbers and can come to you with logical action-based insights.

If you already have a current PPC account, let the agency look at it and audit it for improvements. This can help you build on your previous work or you can even start from scratch by taking the learnings from other accounts.

As with any online advertising strategy, a good PPC agency should take into consideration historical data and trends before coming up with a concrete strategy.

The end goal is to use this data to get better ROI and a more effective PPC campaign.

Inbound Marketing Expertise

The inbound marketing methodology of attract, convert, and delight is quite possibly the best way to generate leads without becoming overtly annoying to your prospects.

Landing pages that host lead magnets such as case studies and whitepapers are just one lever of the inbound marketing approach. Your PPC ads play a role in it too!

An account manager that is well-versed with the inbound approach will ensure that PPC is not just an add-on to your inbound marketing initiative but is a significant part of it.

This makes for more holistic campaigns. This then ensures that your PPC campaigns work well with email campaigns and the inbound content that you’re creating.

Solid Research Capabilities

PPC advertising isn’t just about running ads and driving conversions. You can have ancillary objectives too. Such as increasing brand awareness or building an email list.

The best B2B agencies have this forethought while building an ad campaign for you. Moreover, with the wealth of data available on Google AdWords and Google Analytics, you can easily track these objectives too.

It is important to remember that all of these capabilities are built on a solid foundation of research. This can be historical data research, trends research, and most importantly, keyword research.

You typically won’t be able to judge an agency’s research capabilities from their website. The best approach is to then ask them questions directly about the PPC tools that they use, and the research they’ve done for previous clients.

If you want a quick checklist, here are some characteristics you should look for in an agency:

  • Knowledge about your industry
  • Good understanding of your buyers
  • Have expertise in the different PPC platforms you want to advertise. There are Google search ads, display ads, social media ads, etc.
  • Long-term contract or month-to-month

Month-to-month may sound like a good idea since you can cancel anytime. But keep in mind that marketing campaigns can take months to see results, depending on your sales cycle.

Typically, 6 months to 1 year is a reasonable time frame to gauge the success of a campaign so a contract would be preferable. Also, by having a contract, the agency is focused on delivering results for you instead of doing admin work to get invoices paid.

Step 4. List Out B2B PPC Agency Options And Arrange A Call With Them

Now is the time to list your options.

If you prefer someone local to you, you can search in Google for “B2B PPC Agency [City Name]”.

However, since all the work is done online, it’s not necessary to engage a local agency. Anyone with good internet access can help with your campaigns as long as they’re competent and understand your industry.

So a better search will be “B2B PPC Agency for [Industry Name]”. This search gives you a list of specialists for your industry who already understands your market.

Then, arrange a call with them and discuss with them your findings from the first 3 steps.

  • Your goals
  • Your budget
  • The necessary characteristics you’re looking for

Step 5. Narrow down and choose the best one

After you have evaluated all the agencies, the final step is to narrow down your list. Shortlist the ones that meet your criteria. Don’t forget to check their testimonials and reviews.

If you still have a few great options and have difficulty deciding, here are some other criteria to consider:

  • Which one are you most comfortable communicating with?
  • Are they transparent with their process?
  • How fast will they respond to you?

Excellent communication is essential for a long-term working relationship with your chosen agency.

Conclusion

There is an abundance of PPC agencies in the market. It’s a good idea to invest the time and weigh your options to find the best fit for you.

In the meantime, you can also request a PPC proposal from us and see if we are a good fit to work together.