Online Advertising for B2B

At our agency, we do a lot of work for B2B (define) companies that look want to reach people by job title or function. Especially today, advertisers want to hone in their targeting as accurately as possible to reach the right people who can buy or influence the purchase of their products and services. So I worked with Bianca Garcia, one of our media planners who does a fair amount of B2B online advertising, to list a few options — and she came up with these great ideas.

Here are six approaches or places to target people online by job function or title.

Facebook

This social media network lets advertisers target by certain parameters and keywords in users’ profiles. Targeting parameters include interests, activities, education, college, major, workplace, and, best of all, specific keywords. For instance, if you want to target “marketing managers” using Facebook ads, you’ll see that there are 18,340 users who are 18 or older living in the United States who have that term somewhere in their profile. Facebook offers the engagement ads on the home page that companies can use for showing video, gifting, inviting users to become fans, and even polling.

LinkedIn

This network lets advertisers target by industry (e.g., information services, market research, publishing) or job functions (e.g., accounting, buyer, consultant, legal, sales). You can do boxes, leaderboards, skyscrapers, and text links on LinkedIn.

Career Sites

Monster and CareerBuilder.com are two of the most popular ones. Advertisers can target display ads to users based on their profile information and job-search categories. So you can choose which job categories you want the ads to show up against.

Specialty Sites

This category includes IT Toolbox, InformationWeek, and Intelligent Enterprise for IT professionals and ClickZ, MarketingVOX, eMarketer, and DM News for marketing professionals. Likewise, if you want to target people who work with or are interested in service providers, Wireless Week would be a good fit because 64 percent of its audience is in the wireless carriers/network service providers industry.

Specialty sites can offer custom packages and diverse targeting abilities for display ads, such as making sure your ads only show up on certain sections or only in certain categories.

They also offer newsletter sponsorships, and the newsletters are usually targeted toward members within a given industry or job title. So advertisers can choose newsletters based on the actual publication, by topic, and by audience.

Last but not least, these sites offer dedicated e-mail blasts, meaning they will basically lend you their subscriber list and you can send out an e-mail to their members (via their e-mail services). Advertisers can take advantage of these options and reach their desired target audience.

Behavioral Targeting

Though not as specific as targeting users by specific job titles, behavioral targeting can be a good way to reach professionals via their online behavior and activities. This is done through ad networks, which basically track the behavior of users who visit their site network, then catalogs a user’s behavior based on site content. The next time a user returns to one of the network’s partner sites, that user may be served a behaviorally targeted ad. For instance, if a user is visiting CIO Today and CIO, you can deduce that user is probably a CIO or someone with a similar job function.

Blogs

Similar to specialty sites, blogs can be perfect for niche advertising. Companies can even work with blog ad networks like Federated Media, Blogads, and b5media and choose blogs by categories and audience composition. For instance, if you want to target people working in graphic arts and design, Federated Media has a graphic arts category that features popular graphic design blogs.

Of course, there are more ways to reach people online based on job title or function. I’d be interested to hear from you on what they are and what your experience has been with them. Please share!

Meet Harry at Search Engine Strategies New York March 23-27 at the Hilton New York. The only major search marketing conference and expo on the East Coast, SES New York will be packed with more than 70 sessions, including a ClickZ track, plus networking events, parties, training days, and more than 150 exhibitors.

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