B2B Ad Creative: What Works for Mid-Funnel Engagement

April 29, 2013

In my last post, “B2B Ad Creative: What Works for Top-Funnel Branding,” I explored how display advertising strategies differ depending on where you’re looking to make an impact within the marketing funnel. For example, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to fill the top of your marketing funnel with as many prospects within your target business audience as possible. To accomplish this with our own internal Bizo display ad campaign, we sought to use ad creative that was humorous and engaging, and showcased our company’s core messages. And our goal was not to generate leads necessarily, but rather to drive our target prospect audience to a Bizo landing page where they could further engage with our brand in a variety of ways.

But what happened after this?

We officially moved into “mid-funnel” territory.

What Is “Mid-Funnel” Marketing Anyway?
Mid-funnel marketing is comprised of strategies designed to further educate and engage your target prospects as they progress along the buyer’s journey. For email marketing, some mid-funnel strategies might include nurturing prospects through drip email campaigns using your marketing automation system. When it comes to display advertising, mid-funnel marketing takes the form of targeting approaches such as business demographic or “bizographic” targeting (targeting specific business segments) and social advertising (Facebook and LinkedIn ad targeting). The goal of mid-funnel display advertising is to keep in front of your key target audiences, and offer compelling content to educate and engage them, ideally prompting a conversion action (e.g. whitepaper download, webinar registration, etc.)

Mid-Funnel Ad Creative – Right Person, Right Content
During our branding campaign, we achieved our goal of getting the Bizo brand in front of the right people—we experienced 43% brand lift and a 77% lift in site traffic from our target audience. With these results in hand, we could tell that we were reaching our ideal prospects, and now it was just a matter of continuing to educate them with relevant content to start driving conversions.

At this point in the marketing funnel, we wanted to push content to users who were already familiar with Bizo (thanks to our branding campaign) with the goal of increasing their velocity through our marketing funnel. It was time to offer prospects a valuable whitepaper that would continue to educate them about the value of targeted display advertising. To support this stage of our overall display campaign, we created a guide entitled “Get to the Right People: 5 Steps to Finding and Converting Your Target Business Audience Online.” Using this as a primary content offer, we honed our targeting even further throughbizographic targeting on larger display networks as well as targeted social advertising through Facebook and LinkedIn. Using these strategies, we were able to target specific business segments and titles, and used this to inform the approach to our ad creative.

One of the challenges of social advertising is the limited space available, but we found that in the end, relevancy trumps real estate.


By targeting specific seniority and job titles with customized creative, we cost effectively delivered impressions via social advertising. In the end, Facebook and LinkedIn delivered a total of 85 million impressions generating 147 leads at a cost per lead on par with those achieved across the rest of our marketing mix. Also, page views increased by 49% within the functional area of “marketers” as users from our target audience explored more content on our website.

As you can see, mid-funnel display advertising strategies can play just as important of a role in your nurturing efforts as a drip email campaign. And by combining the right targeting approaches with engaging and relevant ad creative tailored to your specific business demographics, B2B marketers have a new way to stay in front of their audiences outside of their inboxes.

If you’re interested in learning more about the nuances of B2B ad creative, download “The Playbook to Great B2B Ad Creative: Elements of a Hit Campaign.”

This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.

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