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The Complete 2023 Guide to B2B PPC Audience Targeting

The main benefit of Google Ads PPC advertising is its ability to optimize your marketing spend only to reach your target audience

Paid-per-click advertising (PPC) is a popular digital marketing strategy where brands can engage their target audience through various online ad mediums like digital displays, search ads, and video ads. While PPC advertising is popular for DTC and Retail brands, B2B companies can leverage the same strategies to engage customers and reach new markets.

Many digital marketers use PPC advertising because it’s an efficient way to use your ad spend budget. Through PPC advertising tools, brands can identify and target specific customers based on demographics, location, consumer behaviors, and more. Because companies only pay for advertising that users click on, every marketing dollar spent on PPC advertising guarantees engagement from your target audience.

With consumers spending almost 7 hours online daily, B2B brands must implement digital marketing strategies like PPC advertising to remain competitive.

What is PPC Audience Targeting?

The main benefit of Google Ads PPC advertising is its ability to optimize your marketing spend only to reach your target audience. Audience targeting involves separating consumers into various segments based on demographic and other data such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income Level
  • Parental Status
  • Location
  • Education
  • Buying behaviors

B2B brands can define their target audience by segmenting consumers into various groups based on their demographic and behavioral data. Through a data-driven paid search audience targeting strategy, B2B brands will ensure they’re engaging with the right customers.  

Why Identifying Target Audiences is Key to the Success of a PPC Campaign

Perfecting your paid search audience targeting strategy is crucial in a successful PPC campaign. 

Tools like Google Ads will ensure your marketing content reaches the target audience you define in your campaign. However, if you misidentify your target audience, you will likely have little ROI from your PPC campaigns. 

Defining your target audience is vital to your PPC campaign’s success. If your PPC advertising only reaches unlikely customers, you will quickly drain your marketing budget. By understanding your target audience, you can increase engagement and get the best ROI on your marketing spend. 

Investing time and money in understanding the various consumer segments that make up your target audience is the best way to optimize your marketing budget.  

How to Identify & Target the Right Audiences

Learning how to identify and target the right consumers will help you improve your marketing content and boost the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns. 

Data-Driven Audience Targeting

When defining your target audience, there are two main data types to work with:

First-party Data:

This is customer data your business already has access to through customer analytics, cookies, surveys, sales trends, engagement trends, and more. First-party information is cheap to obtain and analyze because it comes from in-house operations. However, this data can be skewed and usually provides a limited marketplace view. 

Third-party Data:

This data includes information from outside sources such as news, research articles, market research companies, and more. Third-party data can be costly but can provide an objective view of the competitive landscape. This data is perfect for identifying competitors, understanding industry trends, and defining the industry’s target customers. 

B2B brands should aim to utilize both forms of data when creating a paid search audience targeting strategy. By combining data sets and analyzing previous PPC campaigns, B2B marketers can optimize their target audience parameters and boost their marketing efficiency.

How to Reach Your Target Audience Through PPC Advertising

PPC advertising encompasses many digital mediums to reach your target audience. B2B brands should diversify their Google search ads targeting options to reach viewers across various online activities.

1. Search Ads

Search Ads are advertisements that appear at the top of search engine result pages. For instance, when you google anything, the first ads that appear are paid-for advertisements that include the word “Ad” next to the URL. 

2. Display Ads

PPC agencies can also create Display Ads that appear on websites in the form of text, images, and videos that can be targeted to any audience. 

3. Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads are used for products sold through e-commerce. They can appear on both search engine result pages and in Google’s shopping tab. 

4. Video & YouTube Ads

PPC agencies can create ads with video, text, or display ads that will appear during videos played on sites like YouTube.

How to Select the Right Audience for Google Ads

Google Ads is the most popular PPC advertising tool and is a great way to test your target audience parameters. Within Google Ads, users can select from different audience segment types for each PPC campaign, such as:

  • Affinity segments: a user’s passions, habits, and interests
  • Custom segments: reaching users based on their popular keywords, URLs, and apps.
  • Demographics: user age, sex, race, ethnicity, income, etc.
  • Life events: engage users based on current, recent, or upcoming life milestones.
  • In-market: identify users based on recent purchase intent.
  • Brand Engagement: Reach users that have interacted with your business, competitors, or similar products.

By selecting target audiences within each segment type, your business can ensure its marketing materials reach its most likely customers. Further, marketers can create PPC campaigns that target smaller segments within their target audience to engage customer groups like new customers, repeat buyers, competitor customers, or by product or service. 

How to Exclude Certain Audiences in PPC Advertising

Part of understanding your target audience is understanding who isn’t in your target audience. While PPC campaigns may reach customers outside your target audience, there are always customer segments that will not be interested in your product or service. 

Brands may want to exclude the following customer segments to optimize their PPC campaigns:

  • Current Customers
  • Employees
  • Partners & Competitors
  • Unqualified Leads
  • Users with low engagement with your Brand/Website

Because these users are unlikely to engage with your brand, it’s best to avoid them when possible. 

How to Measure the Success of PPC Audience Targeting

Measuring the success of your PPC audience targeting strategy is the only way to ensure you’re gaining ROI from your marketing spend. There are metrics brands should analyze to prove the effectiveness of their PPC strategy. 

1. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Your campaign’s CTR measures users’ probability of clicking on your PPC advertisement when it’s displayed to them. Brands should compare CTRs across different audience targeting parameters and content pieces to improve future strategies. 

2. Average Cost Per Click (CPC)

CPC measures the average cost of each interaction with your ads. Brands should always strive for the lowest CPC, but this can change for different products, regions, and times of the year.

3. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate measures how effective your PPC campaign is at creating sales. While many PPC campaigns engage interested parties, brands should focus on targeting users that are most likely to buy your product or service.

Every B2B Brand Should Invest in their PPC Audience Targeting Strategy

PPC Advertising is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies available. With the ability to target highly customizable consumer segments, brands can optimize their marketing strategies to gain the best ROI. 
If you’re looking to leverage PPC Audience Targeting Strategies to grow your business and boost profitability, we would love to connect and learn more about your marketing goals.

About the author

Yoel Israel is the founder of WadiDigital, a global leader in marketing and media. Yoel is a LinkedIn Advertising Expert and the global leader in cybersecurity marketing and lead generation. He resides in Israel with his wife and two daughters.

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