Guide to Paid Advertising:
The FullFunnel Approach

Bottom-of-the-Funnel Lead Generation

Bottom-of-the-funnel lead generation refers to the acquisition of qualified prospects who are ready to buy and are requesting more information, a consultation, or a demo. Just about every business is anxious to get leads in the door who are ready to buy today, or, at the very least, are actively looking for solutions.

Guide to Paid Advertising Infographics 2024

Google Search Advertising

When it comes to driving bottom-of-the-funnel lead traffic, Google Search tends to be one of the most productive channels for many B2B organizations. Targeting “high-intent” keywords can be remarkably effective, as this ensures that your ad reaches your target persona at the exact moment they are searching for a solution. Strong ad copy and a smooth landing page experience combine to create a strong recipe for conversion (shoot for a conversion rate of 4% or higher), especially when mixed with the high-intent nature of Google searches.

Remember, digital marketing is about showing the right message to the right person at the right time. When it comes to bottom-of-the-funnel lead generation, search ads are the cream of the crop. It is important to note that search ads (either on Google or on Bing) are reliant on the volume of search traffic on your particular keywords. If your business is in a niche industry or offers a solution that addresses a latent need (one folks typically do not know they have, and in turn, do not search for), you may lack the search volume needed to run a successful campaign.

Social Media Advertising

FullFunnel-SocialBannerPaid ads on social media platforms are another great tool for reaching your target audience. LinkedIn in particular is quite useful in a B2B context, as it enables advertisers to leverage robust targeting capabilities that make it simple for your business to reach prospects based on job title, work experience, interest groups, and much more. Given the nature of the platform, most folks are thinking about work as they scroll through their feed, making it ideal for reaching leads when they are in the right headspace. LinkedIn also allows you to target ads based on company name, making it ideal for ABM-style campaigns focused on a specific set of target accounts.

Elsewhere in the social media world, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit are lower-cost lead drivers that can be productive with proper targeting (which can be a challenge if you are looking to reach a niche persona). For example, targeting ads to subreddits focused on industries can be an excellent way to get in front of your target persona, and ultimately drive more bottom-of-the-funnel lead traffic.

Directory Advertising

Many B2B Software providers also have the opportunity to drive considerable amounts of lead traffic through paid listings on directories such as Capterra and Software Advice (which are all managed through a single Gartner portal). Many organizations looking for software immediately head to these websites to see the best and brightest solutions, and if your business is not running a paid listing (and lacks a robust portfolio of reviews and star ratings), you risk missing out on potential high-intent leads.

Middle-of-the-Funnel Lead Generation

Middle-of-the-funnel advertising falls between top-of-the-funnel (more awareness and value-focused advertising) and bottom-of-the-funnel demo or consultation-oriented advertising. The goal of middle-of-the-funnel advertising is to continue to push those who already know about your brand closer to making a decision. A great example of middle-of-the-funnel advertising would be promoting a downloadable one-pager highlighting why a prospect should use your software solution. 

Channels we typically see thrive for middle-of-the-funnel lead generation include LinkedIn, Google Search Ads, and retargeting (across a plethora of channels). Although it can be more challenging for B2B organizations to reach their audience on platforms like Facebook, setting up a retargeting campaign pulling data from your website traffic is an excellent way to re-engage your website visitors and continue to nudge them further down the funnel. 

InvestiQuant-LongForm-MockUp-02

Remember, follow-up is key when pursuing a middle-of-the-funnel strategy. Your MoFu leads are not necessarily ready to buy today, but they are getting close. How you communicate with them can heavily influence their decision-making process and determine whether your business stands a chance of acquiring them as a customer.

Top-of-the-Funnel Lead Generation

Top-of-the-funnel advertising allows organizations to fill the top of their sales funnel with high-quality persona fits that have the potential to be nurtured into closed-won customers over time by providing valuable information and resources. Whether you’re promoting a downloadable eBook, one-pager, or webinar, providing valuable content is an excellent introduction to prospects who may not be ready to buy today, but fit the criteria of what you are looking for in a customer. 

LinkedIn is a powerful channel for top-of-the-funnel lead generation, especially in a B2B context where you can leverage its comprehensive targeting capabilities to reach specific layers of organizations, specific organizations in an ABM-style approach, or people with particular job titles. These targeting capabilities are of massive importance, as your business is wasting its time filling its funnel with low-quality leads that do not match your target persona. As we noted earlier, LinkedIn comes with the added advantage of reaching prospects while their mind is on work, making prospects a bit more likely to convert than on a platform like Facebook which is used more leisurely.

When pursuing a ToFu lead generation strategy on LinkedIn specifically, we recommend trying out Document Ads, which enable your business to gate a PDF while making the first few pages previewable. This provides your audience with the opportunity to get a sneak peek of what they are downloading. Document ads are outfitted with forms that automatically populate with existing LinkedIn profile information, making it as low-effort as possible for a prospect to download an asset.

 

Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit can also be great channels for disseminating your content to a wider audience. 

Many businesses also have success promoting downloadable assets or content with Google Search Ads. If you choose to pursue a ToFu strategy on Google Search, be sure that your ad copy makes it clear that your business is providing valuable content, as opposed to seeking a BoFu conversion (like many search ads are).

Much like MoFu advertising, the success of top-of-the-funnel advertising in driving revenue is heavily dependent on the quality of the follow-up communications. We recommend enrolling your ToFu leads into a dedicated nurture flow that provides leads with additional valuable content over an extended period of time (think several months), guiding them toward an eventual bottom-of-the-funnel conversion.

Brand Awareness/Website Traffic

Although lead generation is an incredibly important component of paid advertising, it benefits every organization to run campaigns focused on general brand awareness and qualified website traffic. Ultimately, folks in the marketplace need to know who your brand is to take a conversion action, and if they are already familiar with your brand as they start to research solutions, you have a leg up on your competition. The more you can get your brand out there, the stronger the foundation you are laying for future growth. 

Undoubtedly, running bottom-of-the-funnel search ads on Google or top-of-the-funnel ads on LinkedIn generates brand awareness. However, the primary goal of these campaigns is lead generation. 

At FullFunnel, we consider “brand awareness” focused advertising to consist of campaigns that place less focus on conversions and more focus on qualified clicks and website traffic.

Two of the strongest ways to build brand awareness are Google Display Ads and Google Video Ads (if you want to run both, a performance max or demand gen campaign in Google Ads may be the way to go)! 

Google Display is very low cost (typically about 10 to 50 cents per click) and enables your business to target its persona using Google’s robust pool of intent and demographic-based targeting. You can also integrate your campaigns with Google Analytics to retarget your website visitors with very minimal set-up required. Responsive display ads allow you to simply feed Google your logo, some square and rectangular imagery, and some ad copy, and reap the output of clean ad visuals that are optimized for all placements, meaning your ads will show more often and look better.

If your brand is looking to tell its story in a more long-form fashion, video ads on YouTube are an excellent choice. Although more expensive than display ads, a great video enables your brand to get into far more detail than a simple static image and some text. Even placing shorter video ads (6 seconds) before YouTube videos can provide more impactful insight into your brand and its core value proposition.

When running brand awareness-focused advertising, we don’t recommend getting too caught up on the number or quality of conversions your campaign is driving. Remember, the goal of this type of advertising is to spread your message, not drive high-quality leads. You are setting the table for future business, not expecting to eat right away. Let your BoFu and ToFu campaigns focus on lead generation, and your awareness campaigns focus on awareness. 

A best practice when running awareness-oriented advertising: set up a retargeting audience on relevant ad platforms to easily target BoFu ads to those who have already seen or interacted with your awareness-oriented ads. Given that this audience has previous exposure to your brand, they are more likely to convert than someone who has never interacted with your brand before.

Event Promotion/Sign Ups

Paid advertising can serve as an incredibly valuable component of event promotion and generating more sign-ups, whether your event is in-person, or online. Although retargeting and following up with attendees is incredibly important for ultimately driving revenue, getting folks in the door is the first step of any successful event.  Promoting events on LinkedIn is typically very valuable in a B2B context, and running search ads on relevant keywords related to an upcoming event can be quite useful as well. 

Remember, if your business doesn’t make an effort to promote its events, no one will find them. Although posting organically on your social media channels and putting a banner on your website are excellent ways to drive more sign-ups, paid advertising enables your business to amplify the visibility of your event in a manner that extends beyond your usual sphere of influence.

We recommend a cascading approach to driving sign-ups for an event. Start by promoting the event periodically a few months out (boosted organic posts on platforms like LinkedIn are a great tool). As you get closer to the event, prioritize ad campaigns on Google Search surrounding specific keywords, and on LinkedIn targeting specific job titles to drive more signups.

Geofencing

Most businesses attend their fair share of conferences and industry events in a given year. What if your business could place ads on the mobile devices of event visitors as they’re visiting an event? Geofencing can seem like magic to some, but in the digital marketing world, it's an incredibly powerful tool for making sure your brand is visible at key events. 

Setting up a booth and walking the tradeshow floor simply isn’t enough in 2024. For an inexpensive cost per click (well under a dollar), your business can geofence events and show display ads to people within a 1-mile radius (for example) of a convention center or event location. As folks periodically browse the web during the conference, they’ll be greeted with your logo and messaging. This is an excellent way to build brand awareness, drive more booth traffic, and ultimately drive more leads. Your messaging can also “follow” these attendees for the 30 days following the event, enabling your business to continue to build on the messaging shared at the event itself.

Our partner of choice for geofencing is Simpli.fi.

Highlighting Promotions and Special Offers

Unveiling a new sale, promotion, or special offer can be a tremendous way to generate more revenue for your organization. There are few better ways to maximize the impact of a sale or offer than to promote it via paid advertising.

Whether your business is noting “20% off” in a Google Search ad headline, or putting together a video for placement on YouTube, your business should seek to spread the word about its key promotions at every opportunity. 

Your promotions should take center stage on whatever platforms you tend to have the most success with from a bottom-of-the-funnel lead generation perspective. Building dedicated campaigns with dedicated ad copy and creatives is an excellent way to ensure your promotion is as visual as possible, while also keeping the data separate from your initial creatives, providing the opportunity for your business to more effectively analyze any 1:1 impact on conversion rate or revenue generation.

If you are looking for a lower-cost, higher-frequency way to promote your business’s next big offer, Google Display and Google Video are two great options. Although one should expect lower-quality conversions through these channels, their low cost makes them an excellent choice for spreading the word on promotions and building more awareness.

CreditPoint

FullFunnel Generates >$2 MM in Pipeline for CreditPoint

Case Study

CreditPoint came to FullFunnel in September 2019 with a need to build their sales pipeline and generate demand. Most of CreditPoint’s existing customers came from referrals and word of mouth.
About the Company

CreditPoint Software is an industry leader in credit risk and collections management software. With over $50 billion in trade revenue running through its software and serving users on 5 different continents, CreditPoint is truly a global company, working with companies that range from SMBs to Fortune 50.

DAWA

FullFunnel Increases New Client Sign-Up by 240%

Case Study

How to effectively compete in a tight market and generate qualified leads at a sustainable price point when the profit margin per successful case is low. 

About the Company

Disability Advocates For Working Americans (DAWA) provides assistance with signing up for social security disability insurance, and supplemental security income, and support for individuals who have been denied benefits. Individuals using an advocate are 50% more likely to be successful than those that file the paperwork on their own. 

DempseyRobertsSmith

FullFunnel Increases Leads 185% for Law Firm

Case Study

Dempsey, Roberts & Smith, Ltd. is a full-service law firm facing challenges with its online presence and advertising efforts, particularly with Google Ads. The firm's previous provider was producing a handful of calls each month, but only a small fraction of those leads were qualified potential new clients.

About the Company

Dempsey, Roberts & Smith, Ltd. embraces helping clients across personal injury, estate planning, family and  criminal law practice areas and works tirelessly to provide good service and quality advice. Their mission is to provide each client with realistic legal solutions while remaining sensitive to the client’s needs as an individual.

Conclusion

No matter your revenue operations goals, paid advertising, when done right, is an effective tool for achieving reach, engagement, and business growth. If you are interested in learning more about the work we do at FullFunnel and how you can start your paid advertising journey with us, request a free consultation below!
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