While feasible paid media tactics that could effectively reach our vertical B2B audiences were once confined by select audience targeting options, the days of significant limitations are quickly dwindling.
In the past B2B campaigns reached only as far as vertical print titles and their corresponding websites, email lists and direct mail recipients, but with the development of and access to digital and machine learning a world of unlimited reach has opened. Data audience targeting allows for targeted and customized consumer findings that have created a world of possibility in the media landscape for B2B clients that would traditionally cling to trade print publications, industry newsletters and direct mail.
These tech-backed targeting tactics now allow us to reach our B2B audiences as they organically engage with media tactics as a consumer. Data about when, where and with what frequency consumers are accessing entertainment inform marketing decisions on the best, most effective ways to reach them.
The impact of COVID-19 was widespread and digital media spend was no exception. Consumers who once primarily accessed information via traditional media pivoted to digital content consumption. As the world looked to digital platforms to stay updated on developing news, they also become more reliant on digital resources for remote work, connection to friends and family, and ways to connect with content for entertainment and new learnings during such a unique time in history. To get the eyes of a hyper tech-focused audience, the marketing industry had to make a major pivot. Availability to, and engagement with, webinars and industry content increased while B2B audiences stayed connected and informed.
As we look toward 2022, we’re excited to continue expanding the digital footprint of our B2B clients with some “newer” strategies that are merging the benefits of traditional awareness tactics with digital targeting to laser-focus in on our professional audiences.
Here are a few tactics we have found success with amongst our client partners:
OTT or Over-the-Top is essentially the ability to stream video content via an internet connection on any device (e.g. mobile, tablet, gaming console, etc.), while CTV (Connected TV) is more isolated and only refers to streaming video on an actual television.
OTT and CTV are similar to broadcast TV in the sense that both are focused on driving broad awareness for a specific brand or product. The true difference lies in the ability to layer on targeting parameters such as demographics, geography and device type. Unlike broadcast, OTT reporting can denote top video publishers, video completion rates, device breakouts and clicks (when applicable), measuring impression delivery with more precision. As B2B marketers, these targeting capabilities expand our opportunity to reach niche audiences.
While broadcast TV maintains its presence, OTT/CTV usage continues to grow exponentially. eMarketer even predicts that one-third of U.S. households will cut the cord by 2024. These statistics demand a more strategic approach when planning future campaigns, especially when it comes to B2B audiences.
Programmatic DOOH with Mobile Retargeting
Programmatic Digital OOH (Out-of-Home) is characterized by the ability to strategically place messaging on digital screens by targeting local device IDs that fit within the audience parameters. Media screens include but are not limited to billboards, convenience stores, transit, malls, grocery stores, kiosks, gas stations, gyms, etc. Once the audience passes by one of these screens they can then be retargeted via mobile, thus expanding reach.
It’s no secret that mobile is the biggest driver of offline-to-online consumer behavior. But as OOH’s mass reach has become more personalized, so too has an appreciation for OOH’s ability to drive purchases and socialization in real time. According to a 2019 Nielsen Study, 66 percent of smartphone users have taken action after seeing an OOH ad.
With the utilization of digital screens rather than traditional billboards marketers are able to update creative in an instant, making this traditionally favored B2C tactic a viable option for B2B campaigns. This helps drive intent and consideration among key decision makers and is especially effective when there is a need to adjust CTAs in a specific DMA/region. In the context of B2B marketing, it’s crucial to understand the importance of driving our audiences further down the funnel. While OOH is a high-level awareness tactic, testing CTAs/messaging allows us to monitor fluctuations in search volume to determine creative effectiveness.
Streaming Audio – Branded Stations
Branded Stations are curated music playlists built by a specific brand or company. They are promoted in-app via audio ads served to that brand’s target audience to drive them to follow the station. The stations allow for ample opportunities to combine paid efforts with owned and earned.
After a user follows that particular station, it remains in their app, even after the paid promotion ends, unless it’s specifically deleted. This results in consistent impressions from the target audience, thus building brand familiarity. In addition to driving awareness for a particular station on social channels, companies can work with B2B influencers to engage their audiences by having them select the songs. This interactive component builds consumer trust and incentivizes long-term usage of the station.
Not only is a Branded Station an unexpected medium, but it allows the listener to engage with the brand during their workday. Regardless of industry or vertical, music consumption is universal. As B2B marketers, it’s essential to strategize ways to remind our audience about the brand and then align that awareness within the context of their day-to-day responsibilities.
If there’s one thing we know about paid media strategy, it’s that the landscape is constantly evolving. Digital opportunities will continue to shape the future of content, and there’s no reason why B2B brands shouldn’t be at the forefront of those changes.
Looking for unique ways to effectively reach your audience? Let’s talk strategy. Get in touch with our teams here.