Facebook is the place where people share their recent travel photographs, connect with friends, and post funny dog videos. Therefore, some marketers believe that Facebook ads are useless for B2B companies.
But they couldn’t be more wrong. Companies are made of people, most of whom use Facebook and its large network of third-party advertising platforms actively.
With Facebook, you can target users through an incredibly vast array of criteria including the companies that the users work at and their job titles.
In this article, we will be discussing how you can create effective B2B ads that have the ability to help drive sales for your company
Change your approach to Facebook ads for B2B
One of the biggest differences between B2B and B2C Facebook ads is the target audience. Unlike B2C brands, B2B companies need to directly target other businesses.
To get a better understanding of the businesses that might be interested in your offerings, you need to identify the following:
– What industries use your products or services?
– How big is the average company where people use your services?
– What kind of companies are actually paying for similar offerings?
– What are the positions of the people who make decisions for their company regarding these products or services?
While you can make wild guesses or predictions to get the answer to the above questions, a more accurate way to go about it is by creating a survey.
LinkedIn is always the best bet for sharing your survey. You can also put a link to the survey on your company’s website and email the link to your existing contacts as well.
Processing the data from the completed surveys can help uncover valuable insights which you can use to create a more optimized and effective advertising strategy.
Picking the right marketing objective
Facebook has three different ad campaign objective categories – Awareness, consideration, and conversion. While each of these has a legit use case, for B2B Facebook ad campaigns, not all marketing objectives are worth deploying on a regular basis.
Looking at the list of objectives, you’ll notice that more than half of them aren’t useful for B2B advertisers starting with product catalog and store visits. While Reach campaigns can help in getting the top level content of your company in front of prospective clients, without a good content strategy and remarketing, it cannot help drive revenue.
The other three objectives under Consideration can help with mid-funnel value, but only when your business already has requisite collateral.
The four remaining objectives are what you need to focus on to create successful B2B Facebook ads:
The goal of brand awareness campaigns is to pique interest of prospective clients. Since these ads may not directly lead to a sale, the audience that you target should be broad, made up of characteristics that your ideal clients may possess.
Square’s target audience includes small businesses and to increase their brand awareness, they created a simple, yet effective ad that clearly explains the services that the company offers.
With traffic ad campaigns, you can either direct traffic to your company’s Facebook page or the website. For B2B companies, sending traffic to the Facebook page is of no use because that would only increase friction and the number of touch points. That is why you should focus on driving traffic to your website.
Also, instead of linking the ad to your website’s homepage, send the traffic to a high-value landing page on your website, which will most likely lead to more conversions. You can also use traffic campaigns for remarketing your products or services to customers who might have previously shown interest and visited your website.
Instead of blatantly advertising their products, Tableau Software created this ad to capture the interest of its users and establish the company as a thought leader in the industry. They directly linked the ad to a blog post on the company’s website.
Facebook’s lead generation ads are one of the best bets for B2B advertisers because they allow you to directly collect information from people, which you can directly hand to your sales team.
You can lure users by offering something valuable for free, like an informational blog post or a report related to their industry that they can download.
Conversions with lead generation ads are higher because you remove another potential point of friction and touch point — Your website.
Customers only need to click a single button when they are interested in your Facebook ads and you would automatically have their personal details, as opposed to them entering all the information manually.
Zillow, a real estate database company, offered a free business plan template in their lead generation ads to lure more users.
With conversion campaigns, you pay for every click, which means you have to be extra careful about your target audience to ensure you are not losing money. To maximize the value of every click, send the users to targeted landing pages or funnel prospects by offering discounts or free trials.
Hootsuite, a social media management tool, used Facebook ads to promote the 30-day free trials of its paid version.
Creating the ads
Facebook knows everything about its users, and as advertisers you can use this information to create targeted ads that reach people who are indeed interested in the products or services that your company offers.
For B2B marketing to be successful, you need to pair the right audience with the right offer consistently. The target audience you create on Facebook can be as broad or as detailed audience as you want.
There are three ways to create a targeted audience in Facebook, all of which can be highly beneficial for B2B advertisers.
With this option, you can completely customize your target audience, right from their age to their location, employer, and online behavior.
The insights you collect through the business surveys mentioned above can be effectively applied in this stage.
Apart from the general demographics, you can target your audience according to several business-oriented parameters, including:
– Employer: In case you already know the specific companies that might be interested in your business offerings, then you can easily select them all as ‘employers’
– Job title: Depending on the position of decision makers in your industry, you can choose the specific job titles of your target audience
– Interests: You can reach users based on the pages they have liked, posts they have shared, or the ads they have previously clicked on Facebook. A great way to take advantage of this option is by listing your competitors as interests to reach users who have already shown interest in your competitors’ products or services
– Behavior: You can target small business owners by their digital activities
– Company size: you can select the average size of the company that your target customers own or work at
Custom audience is created based on the information you provide Facebook about your customers, including email lists and website visitors. While there are five ways to create custom audiences, B2B marketers should focus on the three options — Customer file, website traffic, and engagement.
With the customer file option, you can upload the email addresses of people in your network to find existing leads on Facebook, and target them with compelling ads and offers.
You can target users who have previously visited your company’s website according to the time they spent on the website, number of site visits, event completion, and the specific web pages that they viewed.
For instance, if you offer different products on your company website, then you can create custom ads for every product to target people who have previously visited a particular product page.
You can create a new audience based on the user engagement in previous ads. For instance, if someone opened a lead generation ad, but didn’t submit the form, then you can retarget them with a more enticing offer.
Similarly, you can also target customers who did fill the lead ad form to serve lower funnel offers like free trials or product demos.
Lookalike audience allows you to create a brand new audience that is similar to an existing core audience in terms of demographics, interests, and other factors. The source audience can be an existing custom audience or a Facebook Page.
To get the high conversion, its best to select the source audience from a previous ad that performed well, in terms of engagement and conversion. It is a great way to target new customers when you have already run a few ad campaigns.
Budget and scheduling
You can either set a daily or a lifetime budget for your Facebook ad campaign. When you are just starting a new campaign, it’s better to utilize daily budgets to get an idea of your campaign’s performance and profitability. Once you are confident about the ad, you can set a lifetime budget for a specific number of days.
Facebook also allows you to decide on the average cost per conversion (with or without bid cap).
By scheduling your ads, you can be assured that your ads will not show up during the time of the day that isn’t valuable to your business. For instance, showing ads on national holidays or weekends may not be as useful because most of your customers might not be working on those days.
Designing the ad creative
Your Facebook ad design and caption can make or break your advertising campaign. After all, even if you are targeting your ideal customers, if they don’t find your ad interesting enough, then they will never engage with it. That is why, it’s important to pay attention to every part of the ad designing process. For B2B ads, there are three ways you can go about:
On every social media platform, video consumption continues to rise by every year, and if you are not implementing video ads on Facebook, then you might be missing out on a lot. (Add some video stats)
While creating video ads, here are the best practices you should keep in mind:
– The video shouldn’t be longer than 30 seconds. Its best to keep it under 15 seconds for maximum engagement
– Over 85% of Facebook users watch videos on the platform with sound off. That is why, you should create videos in a way that it even makes sense on mute. You should add captions, if necessary
– Either pick the 1:1 or 9:16 ratio for videos to capture as much real estate as possible
Lead generation ads
The lead generation ads have a completely different purpose than the other ads and that is why they require a different approach. You not only need to reduce friction and touch points, but you also need to gain the user’s trust so that they are convinced enough to share their personal information with you.
While creating lead ads, make sure of the following:
– Only ask for the information that you require
– Add a customized thank you page
– Offer free reports or content that your target audience might find useful
Carousel and single image ads
With single image ads, you can add only one image per ad along with a caption. Whereas, a carousel ad can have up to 5 images and captions that the users can scroll through.
Carousel ads have ten times more engagement than single image ads, which is why they are preferred over single image ads.
These ads are also a great way to see how your ad creatives and target audience fairs before you go full throttle with lead generation or video ads.
Here are a few other things that you should keep in mind while designing B2B Facebook ads:
– Create separate ad sets for mobile and desktop placements so that it’s easier for you to track the CTR
– Experiment with different bidding strategies to see which method provides the best results with the lowest CPC
– Test different scheduling times to identify which time of the day is the most beneficial
Are you ready to make the most of Facebook Ads and get more leads for your B2B company?