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B2B Marketers Are Pulling Away From Social Advertising — And That Creates an Opportunity

3 min

According to Mobile Marketing magazine, more than half of B2B marketing teams have frozen their Facebook ad spending. Forty-two percent have paused LinkedIn ads. 

Part of this is because of the anticipated recession. But another part is because B2B marketers often struggle to achieve strong ROI on social channels:

  • Facebook isn’t really built for B2B marketing, so reaching buyers without casting too wide a net is a challenge. This leads to a lot of wasted spend and low quality MQLs
  • LinkedIn advertising is relatively expensive, with a CPM average of nearly $34. It’s much easier to define and target ideal buyer personas — but unless those people are ready to buy, the high CPM can quickly sink ROI.

Tighten Your Belt Without Choking Off Opportunities

Many companies are tightening their spending on advertising and marketing because they’re worried about the impact of a lousy economy on their sales numbers. Fortunately for marketers, there are some ways they can adjust their budget and still achieve their goals even during a recession.

The pool of potential buyers may shrink over the next few months, but tools are available to help you find buyers and keep your growth pipeline strong. For revenue teams that are able to proceed with confidence, the next few months will bring opportunities.   

Why Facebook and LinkedIn are Often a Challenge

Facebook has more users and more usage, but it’s not built for B2B. It lacks targeting criteria that would help you hone in on a B2B audience. Still, its massive audience base makes it a great place to advertise if you can overcome the targeting challenges

LinkedIn, on the other hand, was built specifically to help professionals do business with one another. It also enables users to create lists based on industry or job titles; these lists can then be used to track potential buyers. The challenge of B2B advertising on LinkedIn is two-fold:

  • LinkedIn charges premium rates, so you need a strong conversion rate to make the ads pay off.
  • LinkedIn can help you with targeting, but not with timing. You may be able to target an ICP well, but you don’t have data about which companies might be interested in what you have to sell, or when they may be ready to buy. If they aren’t ready to buy, those costly ad placements won’t lead to deals. 

The First Key to Unlocking ROI: Intent Data

If you target a broad and unfocused audience, your sales team will spend lots of time chasing leads with no real intent to buy. Also, you’ll spend more on each lead than if you’d narrowed your focus down to those customers who truly want to buy.

To find the right customers, your marketers need a platform that collects clues about which of your target accounts are in-market, including:

  • Search queries that show who is researching you, your solutions, and your competitors
  • Data about accounts that are visiting trade publication websites and which pages (and keywords) they are consuming
  • Anonymous visitors on your own site 

The right platform will also: 

  • Organize that data into one singular profile for each of your target accounts
  • Alert you to which accounts are currently in-market
  • Recognize research patterns that indicate where an account is in its purchase cycle

Once you understand which accounts are most likely to buy, you can begin targeting with greater precision — unlocking higher ROI through narrower ad spend, higher lead quality, and higher lead-to-deal rates.

The Second Key to Unlocking ROI: Third-Party Targeting

One of the most important keys to unlocking your ROI with social advertising is to use third-party targeting. 

6sense, for instance, has an embedded CDP that integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn and Facebook. This means that as we gather intent data and identify your most likely buyers, we are also able to create customer profiles that can be shared with other marketing platforms.

In practice, this means that we can tell Facebook and LinkedIn exactly whom to target with ads, and when. 

This laser focus on the best audience allows you to get the best ROI from both platforms, build brand awareness, and draw potential buyers into your funnel without the need for them to fill out a form on your site. It allows you to reach buyers that weren’t on your radar, and to ensure that you are firmly on the radar of those who are ready to buy.

The Third Key to Unlocking ROI: Confidently Claim the Bargains Left by Others’ Fear

Reduced Facebook and LinkedIn spending from competitors creates an opportunity for you. Reduced competition means: 

  • Fewer bidders in ad auctions, which should lead to lower ad placement costs
  • It will be easier to dominate impressions and mindshare 

You have an opportunity to capture outsized attention from the B2B buyers who remain in-market — and to build brand awareness among the target accounts that will be ready to spend once the economy looks strong again.

6sense Helps You Maximize the Impact of Facebook and LinkedIn Ads

6sense can unlock your ability to generate strong ROI on Facebook, LinkedIn — and many other platforms. We integrate with leading marketing and sales tools to provide powerful intent data that helps customers grow their businesses. 

Check out Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Study to see how we delivered 454% ROI to customers. Book a demo or dive into our Resource Library to learn more.

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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