Four B2B Display Advertising Mistakes and How to Fix Them

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Display advertising is one of the most overlooked tools in the B2B digital marketing toolbox. When you advertise on websites, mobile apps, or social media networks, you appeal to those who are more likely to need your products or services. Compared to search advertising, this method also allows for more targeted and flexible advertising. You can reel in more prospects even with a limited budget.

Unfortunately, many B2B companies fail to use display advertising properly. Not choosing the right network or failing to create an effective landing page limits your ROI.

To ensure that you make the most of your campaign, review the top four B2B display advertising mistakes and learn how to fix them.

1. Not Selecting the Right Display Network

It is easy to assume that the Google Display Network is the best source for high-quality B2B traffic. Google is a brand that every B2B digital marketing expert is familiar with. However, GDN is not your only option.

In fact, GDN may not deliver the results that you want. According to Wordstream, the average click-through rate for display networks ads is just 0.46% and the average conversion rate is just 0.77%.

Additionally, Google has the strictest requirements compared to other display networks. The content on your landing page needs to exactly match the claims in your ads. As the most-used display network, GDN also increases your competition.

Instead of choosing the most-used GDN, look for other programmatic advertising sources, such as:

  • Bing Ads
  • Outbrain
  • Taboola

Bing Ads is second after Google for B2B display advertising traffic volume. As with Google, you can ensure that your ads appear on websites belonging to high-quality publishers.

Outbrain and Taboola are native ad networks. These networks are responsible for the “recommended” ads that you often see at the bottom of news articles on large publishers such as Forbes or any major news site.

2. Not Using Retargeting/Remarketing

Retargeting is a powerful B2B marketing tool and many B2B companies fail to use it. It is one of the best solutions for getting more out of your B2B digital marketing efforts.

According to a Wordstream report, the average conversion rate for PPC campaigns across all display networks is just 2.35%. If 1000 visitors arrive on your landing pages, only 23 fill out your form.

The remaining 977 visitors are gone for good unless you can bring them back. This is where retargeting, also called remarketing, becomes essential for increasing your ROI.

With remarketing, you add a small snippet of code to your landing pages. After a visitor arrives, his or her browser stores a cookie. The display network then continues to display your ads as the visitor browses the web.

An increasing number of B2B buyers search the Internet for solutions to their problems. According to a recent study, 89% of B2B buyers use the Internet to help with the B2B research process. Using retargeting, you can lead them back to your landing pages.

If you choose to include this method in your B2B digital marketing campaign, swap out your remarketing advertisements each month or every two weeks. This keeps visitors from continually seeing the same advertisements, which results in ad fatigue.

3. Not Delivering a Clear Value Proposition

The landing pages that you use for your B2B display advertising are just as important as the settings and ad copy that you use to attract visitors.

Many B2B companies fail to create landing pages with a clear value proposition that connects with the ad copy.

Consumers rarely make a purchase on their first visit. For B2B purchases, the process takes even longer, mostly due to the number of decision-makers involved in the buying process.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the average number of people involved in the B2B buying process has increased to 6.8. Instead of trying to close on the first visit, you need to try to capture their contact information or email address.

Without an effective landing page, you waste your paid search dollars. Create custom landing pages for each paid advertisement and ensure that each page has a clear value proposition.

Visitors should immediately understand what you are offering and how your products or services help address their problems. The content of the page should also match the claim presented in your ad.

If the content on the landing page is not completely relevant to the ad copy, you confuse your visitors and experience fewer conversions.

4. Not Implementing Conversion Tracking or A/B Testing

Paid advertising platforms such as Google Ads offer several useful features to help you track your B2B display advertising efforts. These features include conversion tracking and A/B split testing.

As with remarketing, conversion tracking requires the use of a small snippet of code placed on the landing page. It allows you to easily track the number of conversions compared to the number of visitors. It is one of the most useful methods for obtaining a true measurement of your B2B display advertising ROI.

With A/B split testing, you have a solution for testing multiple versions of the same ad or landing page. While many B2B businesses use this feature, many fail to monitor the results.

Use A/B testing to test different variables within your campaign, such as:

  • The headlines and descriptions in your ad copy
  • The images used in display advertisements
  • The text used for your calls to action (CTAs)
  • The size of the display ads

Regularly monitor the performance of your A/B split testing to determine which version delivers the best conversion rates.

These are just a few of the most common B2B display advertising mistakes. Failing to use keyword match types properly, focusing on CTRs instead of your ROI, and ignoring the various campaign settings limit the effectiveness of your ads.

Continue to track your results and optimize your campaigns while looking for additional mistakes or consider working with an experienced B2B marketing agency.


Austin Cline is the founder and CEO of ASUN Digital. He frequently writes about brand strategy and digital marketing with expertise in B2B marketing. He has served as a senior director of marketing and director of digital and web for previous marketing agencies and has over 10 years of marketing experience. You can follow him on Twitter at @_austincline or connect with him on LinkedIn by visiting his profile.