Maxed out on LinkedIn? Don’t find success on Facebook with get your B2B ads. There is a new, or maybe old, kid on the block doing B2B marketing. We call them Google and they are testing out a new option to target B2B audiences on the ad platform.

Lets talk about B2B marketing and where to go if you have maxed out LinkedIn and are not finding great success on Facebook. After more than 12 years in this industry, it’s great to finally see Google acknowledge B2B marketings and try to create a set of features and targeting options for them.

Even though I have been doing B2B marketing on Google for the better part of the last decade, it has not always been easy to promote a B2B product or service on the platform. There have been a few reasons for this:

  1. Hard to separate consumer vs business searches when they use similar words to buy a single item or do a bulk order. People don’t always include wholesale or bulk order in their search
  2. No B2B audiences within Google Analytics that you can target. We have affinity, in-market, and interest targeting on Google, but no such equivalent exists for those in B2B
  3. Even if the two items above didn’t exist, there has never been a way to say you want SMB B2B brands vs enterprise when targeting your ads online

These are just a few of the issues marketers have faced over the years. Now, Google’s new B2B options are not going to change things overnight, but we certainly are moving in the right direction. Just be aware that a beta feature means that Google can remove it tomorrow or do a 180 and change how this feature works if they want to.

One thing to note is how Google places people in different boxes. They say it’s through a combination of surveys run on YouTube (& other platforms), signals based off Google Maps, Shopping, and lastly good old machine learning. As with all data, take it with a grain of salt.

B2B Targeting Options

Similar to Bing’s LinkedIn Profile Targeting, you are only able to target by a few options. Let’s look at each targeting option and see what’s under the hood. 

Company Size
  • Small (1-249 employees)
  • Medium (250 – 999 employees)
  • Large (1000 – 10000 employees)
  • Very Large (10000+ employees)

Sadly company size is very broad and does not give you the same level of granularity that we have come to expect from LinkedIn, which has 7 tiers to their company size targeting:

LinkedIn Company Size
  • 1-10
  • 11-50
  • 51-200
  • 201-500
  • 501-1,000
  • 1,001-5,000
  • 5,000+

This level of tight target means you can really go after the size of SMBs that you want and make sure you are not wasting spend targeting a brand that is too big or too small for your services. I imagine the reason LinedIn can do this over Google is that they have a better data set when it comes to company size and where you work. LinkedIn is the social network for work.

Moving over to industry does continue the trend of Google only slightly opening the door for B2B marketers. We have 8 industries to pick from the list below.

  • Construction
  • Financial
  • Hospitality
  • Real Estate
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology

How To Access B2B Targeting Within Google Ads

Once you are accepted into the beta, using the targeting options above is as easy as picking audience targeting for a search campaign.

  1. Pick a campaign you want to use B2B targeting
  2. Navigate to Audiences
  3. Click on Pencil in the blue circle
  4. Hit Browse
  5. Click on Who they are (Detailed Demographics)
  6. Click on Employment
  7. This is where you will find Industry and Company Size targeting
  8. Pick your targeting combination
  9. Click on Save to finish adding it to your campaign

If you are just starting out, I would look at picking a tight target by going with one industry and with 1 or 2 company size options. The reason for this is to not have Google go crazy on your budget and waste spend in the early days.

Always make sure your ads match the audience you are targeting and make sure you send them to the right page on your site. As always, this is a beta feature and it can change without notice. It’s all very exciting but that is it for this week. See you next time.