For many B2B ABM marketers, LinkedIn is the go-to social network for targeting and engaging buyers with digital advertising. But Facebook is increasingly becoming a viable B2B ad platform thanks in part to the company becoming more B2B-friendly:
- SAP attained an additional 90,000 visits to its product page, while boosting incremental whitepaper downloads, ad recall and brand awareness
- monday.com reduced its blended CPA by 20%
- Honeybook cut its cost of acquiring new paying customers by 50%
Is Facebook a relevant B2B ad platform for your revenue team? Let’s dive in and see.
Facebook Offers a Double-Edged Sword
Keep in mind that Facebook is, primarily, a consumer-based — not a corporate-based — social platform.
Consumers tend to make quick decisions about products and services, often based on price, the latest special offer, or a local event. Facebook’s algorithms link directly to monitoring consumer responses. Business decisions are more complex, more fragmented, and take longer to finalize.
If you focus on the kind of ad campaigns the Facebook algorithms encourage, you’ll likely stray from the B2B decision path and orientate campaigns toward the consumer decision path. That’s bad for your campaigns. They won’t achieve the expected ROI.
Making effective use of Facebook’s B2B advertising opportunities, therefore, demands a clear understanding of how to best use its tools while maintaining direct control of your advertising strategy.
B2B Facebook Advertising Strategies
The tools for B2C and B2B Facebook advertising are generally the same, though their application can vary depending on the target prospect or customer. Let’s take a quick look at the differences.
B2C Facebook Advertising Practices
B2C advertisers want quick conversions, so they keep their advertising structures simple. They identify their target audience based on Facebook geographics and demographics, past behavior, and profile-listed interests. This data is informed by past website visits, apps used, past purchases, and more.
B2B Advertising Strategies and Practices
Because B2B purchase decisions are more complex and take longer to make, using Facebook’s ad tools in conventional ways undermines your understanding of actual target behavior and loosens control over what you should do to engage your B2B target niche.
Basic demographic and geographic data is not detailed enough or targeted enough for B2B use.
The key difference between managing B2C and B2B ad campaigns is careful target selection. For B2B use, base your audience selection criteria on:
- Audience psychographics and job descriptions (which requires understanding of your target personas such as C-suite, line manager, subject stakeholder, team member, etc.)
- The stage in the sales funnel in which to connect with the target so the ad attracts and involves them
Some Facebook Tools to Use
While Facebook is a personal platform, your target audience — often B2B buyers — use the network to communicate news with family members, club members, volunteer group members, and more. Many will share information about their career to these allies, enabling you to assess psychographic and job personas.
Here are a few useful Facebook ad tools to reach these buyers:
- Learning Phase data for each ad set indicates how long it takes to move 50 targets to the next stage in the funnel
- App Event Optimization indicates which medium the target market prefers to use
- Dynamic Creative Testing focuses on the results that different copy alternatives achieve for the same ad
- Campaign Budget Optimization provides results data for the next iteration of the ad set
- Value-Based Lookalikes help to find similar personas to the most responsive ones currently being targeted
Link Facebook Ads to Personas
When you mine this type of data, appropriate ads will go to selected newsfeeds or reach targets as sponsored content. The ad type may be, for example:
- Highlighting the value of gaining industry news and views by subscribing to the company blog
- Offering ebooks, white papers, infographics, and cheat sheets
- Discussing and highlighting testimonials and user reviews
Involvement and Conversion
- Webinar, training course, trade show, survey, and business toolkit invitations
- Product demos, trials, consultations, and system audits
Reinforce and Delight
- Referral programs, early-release or new product news, and add-on purchase opportunities
Direct the Ad to Each Persona
Using Dynamic Language Optimization, the same ad can go to different jobholders using their preferred language or phrasing. A CEO will be attracted by a perspective that is slightly different from that of the CFO, CMO, or CTO.
A line manager or project manager may relate more closely to practical processes than strategic planning. The ad wording will attract the specific target. The offer may also have different aspects and content, but those differences will be minor variations and easy to create.
What is important is that the ad and the requested content will appeal directly to the targeted audience.
The requested contact details can go straight into your CRM for appropriate follow-up.
Using Facebook’s Other Tools in B2B Advertising
Consider these approaches and tips:
- The Custom Audience tool within the Facebook Campaigns tab enables the creation of targeted email lists and more
- The Employer tab enables the ad to target employees in specific companies
- Work Categories give insights into the specific message to use in the ad
- Many people include their job titles in their profile information
- Life Events can say who is newly promoted or recently employed as managers and execs
- Retarget lost targets or failed-to-close prospects who refused the CTA. Use the Custom Audience tab, which says who visited specific URLs but failed to act. They get reassigned within the CRM for appropriate follow-up and advertising action
The Takeaway for B2B Facebook Advertising
Facebook ads work. Facebook tools work. The secret to successfully use them is to appropriately target and monitor specific personas at each stage in their buyer journey.
It may be simpler to advertise using a B2C approach. But by focusing on B2B marketing and ad strategies, those same tools become refined and oriented to the business community. Facebook data ties in easily with a company’s CRM to support its ABM strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about how 6sense empowers customers to advertise on Facebook (and other networks) in ways that increase while decreasing spend, please contact us.