How to Set Up Your B2B Paid Media and Crush Your Goals Today

Here’s the easiest walkthrough online or offline for B2B Google ads, B2B Facebook ads, and B2B LinkedIn ads.

In this section, we’re going to walk you through the steps to create paid ads on the most valuable ad networks for B2B lead generation:

  • Google.
  • Facebook.
  • Linkedin.

And we’re going to tell you to the best of our ability what makes a good one, and what makes a bad one. 

We say to the best of our ability because there are always anomalies. Outliers that defy common sense. And it’s always good to experiment to see if you can uncover one such lead generating anomalie. 

But it’s also good to make sure you have a solid, reliably performing baseline. And that’s what we want to help you get. 

But before that…

This blog is part of an extensive series on B2B lead generation and revenue growth (and salary growth - the thing that really matters to you). 

The B2B paid media you’re going to set up will all point to the landing page where leads can exchange their contact information for your permission asset, or lead magnet.

We showed you step-by-step how to create the content for your permission asset in the following blogs:

If you’re reading this and you want paid ads that drive traffic to your product and category pages and generate direct profits, you can enlist our 20+ years experience with B2B paid media here.

What we’re laying out below is part of a larger B2B lead generation strategy. The kind that transforms a business forever and fastforwards a career.

If you’re interested in that, you’re in the right place! You can start with any of the blogs linked above.


Or you can download the blog you’re reading and safe it for later


In this blog, you’ll learn how to set your B2B paid media up successfully and quickly. 


You’ll be able to find prospects who are in-market for your products or service and turn them into lifetime customers. 

That gives you more ammo when it comes time to talk about your salary increase with your boss.

In the other blogs you read on our website, we outline how people in different roles in your business can complete the various lead-generating tasks in this large workflow. Simple steps based on who you are.

But we don’t suggest fiddling with B2B paid media to everybody in the business.

This is only for people in your marketing department or your favorite marketing agency.

If you’re the right person for the job, let’s start by setting up your Google ads account and building a basic campaign.


How to get Google Ads up and running

Your customers are on Google dozens of times daily. Searching for things related to your business, related to their personal life, related to nothing at all. 

They’re there. It’s why paid ads on Google are standard for lead generation (and lots of other objectives). 

But, like the Youtube when we talked about it in B2B YouTube strategy blog we wrote, it’s intimidating. The interface seems large and technical. Daunting to use. 

And it IS large and technical, because there’s a lot that can be done with it. 

Lucily, there’s no reason for you to dive into everything it can do. For right now, you just need to do one thing - prepare a paid ads campaign on Google that drives traffic to your permission asset landing page. 

And it’s not only the leads that come in from your paid ads on Google. It’s the fact that your prospects see your brand name when they perform relevant searches. It’s an intangible benefit. We often see an ad through the day and go straight to the website without clicking the ad. It happens way more than you realize. So being visible on Google, providing free information to your customers, is about as valuable a thing as you can do.

Here’s exactly how you set up your first permission asset lead generating campaign.

Step 1. Set up your account:

If you don’t already have one, sign up for a Google Ads account at ads.google.com by clicking on Start now. You'll need to provide some basic information about your business and billing details.

Step 2. Set up your first campaign:

In your Google Ads account, click on the big blue + New campaign button to create a new campaign. It’s in the left corner of your ads home page. 

Then choose Sales as the campaign goal, then Leads as the campaign type. This will optimize for people signing up and downloading your permission asset.

Step 3. Choose your location targeting:

You don’t need this explained.

Step 4. Choose your language targeting:

You don’t need this explained either.

Step 5. Set your daily budget:

This needs a bit of explaining. 

Your daily budget is the maximum amount you're willing to spend per day on your campaign. If you hit your budget, Google stops showing your ads, and the ads resume at midnight, when Google’s day resets.

Budget doesn’t carry over. So if you only consumed $10 of your daily $20 budget on Monday, you don’t now have a budget of $30 on Tuesday. 

In fact, if you see a string of days where you only consume half of your daily budget, you should just decrease your daily budget to match the trend you see.

You aren’t charged the full daily budget if your campaign only spends $10. You’re only charged for the clicks/impressions you get.

We recommend you start with a daily budget of $10 and see how you want to adjust after a few weeks there.

Step 6. Create your ad group:

An ad group organizes together similar ads under a common theme. You can name it something related to your permission asset.


But if I’m just making ads for my permission asset, why should I create an ad group?


Because one day you’ll be running ads for more than just this permission asset. And being organized from the start will make your job easier down the road. It’s like eating well when you’re 40 so you don’t have health problems at 60.


Every ad group you create can have different targeting, budgeting, independent reporting, and a few other useful items. Speaking of which…

Step 7. Set up targeting:

This is how you tell Google who you want seeing your ads. 

There are 12 targeting options as of June 2023, including:

  • Keyword. The most common form of targeting, where your ads show up based on searches related to your identified keywords.
  • Placement. You can pick specific sites, pages, mobile apps.
  • Audience. You can suss out users by demographics, interests, behaviors.
  • Geography. Get your ads to show in specific countries, regions, cities.
  • Device. Choose to display on desktop vs mobile vs tablet.
  • Ad schedule. Control when your ads are shown by day and time (so you can capture more prospects during business hours).
  • Location. Target ads to users in specific locations based on their physical location.
  • Remarketing. Target previous visitors to your website.
  • Similar audiences. You can find new audiences, similar to your existing audience.
  • Affinity audiences. Go after users based on their affinity for interests and lifestyles.
  • In-market audiences. Reach people actively searching for products/services.
  • Custom affinity audiences. You can create custom combinations of interests to target.

For your first go at this, start with keyword, geographic, and device targeting to reach your core audience. When you’re more comfortable experimenting you can layer on additional targeting like interests, demographics, remarketing to further refine your campaign.

This is how you tell Google who you want seeing your ads. 

There are 12 targeting options as of June 2023, including:

  • Keyword. The most common form of targeting, where your ads show up based on searches related to your identified keywords.
  • Placement. You can pick specific sites, pages, mobile apps.
  • Audience. You can suss out users by demographics, interests, behaviors.
  • Geography. Get your ads to show in specific countries, regions, cities.
  • Device. Choose to display on desktop vs mobile vs tablet.
  • Ad schedule. Control when your ads are shown by day and time (so you can capture more prospects during business hours).
  • Location. Target ads to users in specific locations based on their physical location.
  • Remarketing. Target previous visitors to your website.
  • Similar audiences. You can find new audiences, similar to your existing audience.
  • Affinity audiences. Go after users based on their affinity for interests and lifestyles.
  • In-market audiences. Reach people actively searching for products/services.
  • Custom affinity audiences. You can create custom combinations of interests to target.

For your first go at this, start with keyword, geographic, and device targeting to reach your core audience. When you’re more comfortable experimenting you can layer on additional targeting like interests, demographics, remarketing to further refine your campaign.

Google Ads has a built-in keyword research tool you can use to find relevant keywords to target for your campaigns.

To access it:

  1. Log in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the Tools icon.
  3. Click Keyword Planner.
  4. Enter your landing page URL and desired countries to get keyword ideas. You can also enter seed keywords (keywords you think users might be typing related to your permission asset product category) to generate more ideas.
  5. If you want, you can use the filters and settings to narrow down keywords by monthly searches, competition, suggested bid, and more.
  6. Save any keyword lists you make, because you can directly import them into your account for targeting.

Step 8. Set your bid strategy:

There are a few options, but the only one that matters to you is Maximize Conversions. 

Google will automatically set bids to maximize the number of conversions for your campaign while spending your daily budget. 

To select Maximize Conversions:

  1. Edit your campaign or ad group settings.
  2. Under Bidding choose Maximize Conversions.
  3. Make sure conversion tracking is implemented on your site to measure conversions accurately (instructions in the box after this list).
  4. Let the bid strategy run for a while and monitor performance.

How do I make sure conversion tracking is setup?

  • In your Google Ads account, under the Tools tab, click on Conversions.
  • Click +Add Conversion and choose the type of conversion you want to track (you want to track leads right now).
  • Give the conversion a name, like PA - Mercury Analzyers.
  • Click Add tag and copy the tracking code snippet.
  • Go to your website and paste the code you just copied on the thank you page from your permission asset landing page form. Put it right before the </head> tag.
  • Submit a conversion yourself to make sure it's being tracked accurately.
  • Conversion data will start populating in your Google Ads account within 24-48 hours.

Step 9. Write your ads!:


Here are a few simple examples:

Headline:
Your Free Mercury Analyzer Buying Guide

Description:
This Free Guide Simplifies Mercury Analyzer Research So You Can Buy With Confidence. Get The Details Now.

Display URL:
www.yourcompany.com/mercury-analyzers

Headline:
Compare Mercury Analyzers Easily


Description:
Your Free Guide Has Everything You Need To Evaluate And Choose New Mercury Testing Equipment Fast. 2023 Edition Available Now.

Display URL:
www.yourcompany.com/analyzers-2023

Headline:
Mercury Analyzer Buying Simplified


Description:
Struggling To Research Mercury Analyzers? This Free Ebook Makes It Easy To Pick The Right Equipment Today.

Display URL:
www.yourcompany.com/mercury-analysis

Headline:
Stop Wasting Time - Get Your Mercury Analyzer Ebook


Description:
Cut Hours From Your Research Time With This Detailed Mercury Analyzer Guide. All The Data You Need In One Place.

Display URL:
www.yourcompany.com/mercury-ebook

These are simplified examples. But you can follow the fields included in your Google ads account.


The main things to remember are: 


Simplicity rules. These are short ads, so there’s no time to be fancy. Tell it like it is.

Title case rules. Start every word with a capital letter. It produces better results in every case study, so it works.

Step 10. Get approval:

Now you just submit your ad to Google for approval. This usually takes 1-2 days. 


Fix any issues if the ad is disapproved.


Then feel proud that you just did something that’s going to make you look really good to your manager, and you can tell your family about it after work.


Want to print these pages and tack them to your wall to reference? Click here

How to get Facebook ads up and running

Facebook ads are never as successful at direct lead generation as LinkedIn ads. 


But they perform another important role.


They keep you in your prospect’s mind. 


They remind your prospects about you even when they aren’t thinking about work. 


And, occasionally, they even capture new leads. But again, this is not their greatest power. The intangible effect of your presence in the feed of targeted prospects is what makes Facebook ads worth using.


So here’s how you do it.


Step 1. Set up a Facebook Business Manager account:

Start by setting up a Facebook Business Manager account, if you don’t already have one. Here, you'll manage all your Facebook advertising. Go to business.facebook.com and follow the prompts. It’s as easy as anything you do online.

Step 2. Go to Ads Manager:

Once your Business Manager account is set up, go to Ads Manager. You can find it in the Business Manager dropdown menu at the top left of your Business Manager homepage.

Step 3. Create a new campaign:

In Ads Manager, click on the green + Create button. This will bring you to a page where you can choose the objective for your campaign. Facebook has a handful of default objectives -  Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Your goal is to direct users to the landing page where they can download your killer permission asset, so you’re going to choose Conversion as your objective.


Feeling overwhelmed?

We do this every day. Put us on your team and never worry about it again

Step 4. Choose your Ad Set:

After picking your campaign objective (Conversion, remember), the next step is to set up an Ad Set. Here, you lay out your target audience, placement, budget, and schedule.


  • Audience: You can target based on location, age, gender, language, interests, behaviors, and connections. You can also create a Custom Audience (based on your email list or website visitors, which we gave you instructions for back in chapter 9) or a Lookalike Audience (based on similarity to your existing customers or leads).
  • Placement: Decide where you want your ad to be shown. This can include Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger. We suggest you stick with Facebook. Generally, your demographic isn’t heavily invested in Instagram, and the other placements just don’t get traction in our experience.
  • Budget & Schedule: Decide how much you're willing to spend on your ad campaign and when you want your ads to appear. Want a spend recommendation? Start with $10 per day and see what happens.

Step 5. Choose your ad format:

Next, you'll create your actual ad. You can choose from several different ad formats, including single image, video, carousel (multiple images or videos in a single ad), slideshow, and collection. You’re going to use a single image ad.


The best Facebook ad format to use for B2B permission asset lead generation is by far the single image

Here’s why:

  • Single image ads are the most common type of Facebook ad. People expect to see them, and indeed Facebook has spent a ton of time and energy optimizing the way they appear in the user’s daily scroll. They're simple, but that’s what works for them. They look great on both mobile and desktop. You already have several images that portray the value of your permission asset, so you don’t have to do any challenging work to generate a new image. You just use what you already have. The text for your ad can come straight from your landing page, since you already communicated the best value proposition for the permission asset there.

Step 6. Create your ad:

Now you'll add the content for your ad. The requirements for this will depend on the ad format you've chosen. If you follow our recommendation with the single image ad, you’ll have to upload your image and your text. 


Canva has a template for Facebook ads. When you click Create a design in Canva, a search bar pops up. You can type in Facebook and your first option will be Facebook ad, which is 1200 x 628 pixels).

Step 7. Conversion tracking with Facebook Pixel:

Facebook Pixel is a piece of code you place on your website to track conversions, optimize ads, build targeted audiences, and remarket to people who have taken some kind of action on your website. To create a Pixel so you can track these things, go to your Business Manager, click on Events Manager, then click on the green + Connect Data Sources button and follow the prompts.


It’s just like the tracking you set up for your Google ads.

Step 8. Review and be done with it!:

Review all your ad settings and make sure everything is correct. If it all looks good, submit your ad. Facebook will review your ad and it will start running on the date you decided.


Keep an eye on your conversion data. You won’t get as many conversions with Facebook as you will with your LinkedIn ads (next up). But you will still get some. And remember that the intangible prospect awareness is what really matters here.


Want to print these pages and tack them to your wall to reference? Click here

How to get LinkedIn ads up and running

In many cases, paid ads for a permission asset on LinkedIn generate more leads than all other channels combined. 

Specifically, it’s the sponsored posts. 

With all things being equal, and sponsored posts setup on all major social networks, LinkedIn sponsored posts directing traffic back to your blog or permission asset landing page can bring in 50-60% of your total paid advertising leads.

So if you’re deciding which ad network to prioritize for this type of lead generation, prioritize this one.

Here’s how you get yours up and running:

Step 1. Set up a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account:

If you don't already have a LinkedIn Campaign Manager account, you'll need to set one up. This is where you'll manage all your LinkedIn advertising. You can set up a new account by going to www.linkedin.com/ad/start. Follow the prompts to set up your account.

Step 2. Pick your LinkedIn ad objective:

Once you set up your Campaign Manager account, the next step is to create a new ad campaign. Start by clicking on the Create Campaign button.

This will bring you to a page where you can pick the objective for your campaign. There are a bunch of options, including: 

  • Awareness (Brand Awareness).
  • Consideration (Website Visits, Engagement, Video Views).
  • Conversion (Lead Generation, Website Conversions, Job Applicants).


In the context of this book, you’re going after Lead Generation.

Step 3. Choose your target audience:

After picking your campaign objective, you’re going to define your target audience. LinkedIn allows targeting based on characteristics like location, company size, industry, job title, job function, skills, education, interests and so on. Be as specific as possible to ensure your ad is shown to people who are most likely to be interested in the permission asset.


Not sure about choosing your audience? Get us to do it for you

Step 4. Pick your ad format:

You can choose from a handful of ad formats, like Sponsored Content, Message Ads, Dynamic Ads, Text Ads, and Video Ads. Each format has its own advantages and is suited to different types of campaigns.

  • Sponsored Content: These ads appear directly in the LinkedIn feeds of the professionals you're trying to reach. This is what you should do.
  • Message Ads: You can send direct messages to your prospects with personalization. Hey Ben… type messages. These can also work to generate leads with your permission asset. 
  • Dynamic Ads: Don’t bother.
  • Text Ads: These are simple, and we like simple. But we’ve seen limited success using these to generate leads with a permission asset.
  • Video Ads: Most small to medium sized B2Bs think they don’t have the resources to create these. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. You could find a video in Envato Elements if you opted to sign up in one of our previous blogs. You could place some simple text over the video using Canva, and you could post that as your video ad, linking to your permission asset landing page. Or you could use one of the short social media clips from your permission asset video if you already prepared those (as simple as a click using Pictory). Think of how cool that would be.

Step 5. Set your ad placement:

You can choose whether you want your ad to appear only on LinkedIn (this is the default option), or also on LinkedIn Audience Network, which are partner apps and websites where LinkedIn ads can appear. With your first permission asset, there’s no reason you can’t test the audience network. But we have seen limited results from it.

Step 6. Set your budget and schedule:

You probably already decided how much you want to spend on your campaign. Now you can choose to set a daily budget, or a total budget for the life of the campaign. You also need to choose your bid type (cost per click - it only costs budget when a user clicks - cost per impression - a lower cost, but it’s incurred every time your ad appears on a screen - or automated bidding - which mixes the two in an attempt to get you the best value) and set your bid. The higher your bid, the more likely prospects are to see your ad over competitors’. 


Like your other paid ads, start with something like $10 per day and see what happens.


Here is where you also set a schedule for your campaign. You can start your campaign immediately or schedule it to start next week, or next year. You can also set an end date or let it run until you manually stop it.

Step 7. Create your ad:

Now it's time to actually create the ad. This process will vary slightly depending on the ad format you picked earlier. In general, you need to create compelling ad copy and include a strong call to action - which you already did several times before now with your permission asset. You’re an old hand at this. Use some of your preexisting messaging and pat yourself on the back for doing such an awesome job a week ago. Your sponsored content will look just like the social media posts you created earlier in this permission asset merchandising process. So use the post you think is your best.

Step 8. Review and launch your campaign:

Give your campaign a once-over. Make sure everything you set up makes sense. If everything looks good, click on the Launch Campaign button to start your campaign. It will be reviewed by LinkedIn and, assuming it meets the company’s ad policies, it will start running on the date you specified.

Step 9. The optional-but-not-really-optional step. Conversion tracking:

If you want to track conversions (like you are for your other paid campaigns), you'll need to set up conversion tracking. This involves adding a LinkedIn Insight Tag to your website. Here’s how you do that.

The tag is a piece of JavaScript code you add to your website to enable conversion tracking and website retargeting.

Start at your LinkedIn Campaign Manager and click on the Account Assets dropdown. Then choose Insight Tag.

Follow the prompts to set up your tag. You'll be asked to name your tag and add your website domain.

Once you’re done with the prompts, LinkedIn will generate some code for you. The Insight Tag code.

This code needs to be added to the thank you page for your permission asset download, ideally before the end of the </head> section.

Most website builders now have a section in the settings where you can easily add the code. If you aren’t comfortable with this, find yourself someone who is.

To verify your tag has been installed correctly, you can use LinkedIn's Insight Tag Helper browser extension. You install the extension in your browser before visiting the page where your tag is set up. The extension will indicate whether it’s working or not. 

Once the Insight Tag is added to your site, you can set up conversions.

In the LinkedIn Campaign Manager, click on the Account Assets dropdown again, but this time pick Conversions.

Click on the Create a conversion button.

Name your conversion and define the conversion action (PA - Mercury Analyzers makes sense for you), and specify the conversion method - choose Event-Specific Pixel. The other option needs more work, and this works just as well.

Assign your conversion window. This determines the timeframe LinkedIn uses to track conversions after someone clicked or viewed your ad. You can choose a window anywhere from 1 to 30 days for post-click conversions and 1 to 7 days for post-view conversions.

Choose your attribution model. LinkedIn lets you select the attribution model that best suits your campaign. We like linear. It’s simple and easy to interpret. 

Click save! And give the thumbs up to your closest colleague.


And there you have it. You’re now running LinkedIn paid ads. And yours are better organized than every one of your competitors. Way to go!


With the combined forces of all your new paid ads, you will be generating more leads weekly than you did last month, and that will continue to drive increased revenue for the next decade.

Ready to move to the final step in your B2B lead generating campaign?

We mentioned at the top of this blog that these paid ads are part of a much larger lead generating system.


If you’ve worked your way through from the start, great. You’re almost at the finish line.


All you have to do now is nurture these leads into a purchase or a request for quote. 


You can click here for the step-by-step walkthrough on B2B lead nurturing.

How to Set Up Your B2B Paid Media and Crush Your Goals Today
Journey, John Buie March 5, 2024
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