When it comes to business-to-business marketing and advertising, many business owners make the mistake of only advertising on LinkedIn. They often think that the professional audience they want to reach can’t be found on other social sites, like Facebook. In reality, choosing not to advertise your business on Facebook could be costing you plenty of new business opportunities.
Anyone you want to reach can be found on Facebook– even other business owners. Facebook has more than a billion active users, but that doesn’t mean you’re casting a huge net and throwing your marketing dollars to the wind.
Unlike other advertising platforms, Facebook gives you the capability to specifically pick and choose exactly who you want to market to. So while the number of users is expansive, using a few specific terms, you’ll be able to choose exactly who you want to see your ads, making it arguably one of the most targeted ways to advertise—and therefore saving you many marketing dollars.
It’s another common misconception that Facebook advertising best serves B2C business because of its large audience, when in actuality, because of its advanced targeting capabilities, Facebook advertising can be even more effective in the B2B realm.
The Benefits of Facebook Advertising For B2B
Facebook advertising, when done correctly, can achieve a number of goals: generate new leads, nurture existing ones and increase your websites conversions. It does this by driving both new and existing leads back to your website, and consistently reminding users about your business.
If you target your audience appropriately, you could see a quick increase in your website traffic, and possibly in your website conversions as well. If you don’t see a noticeable increase, use Facebook’s instant reporting abilities to adjust your campaigns in real time. This advertising platform can also lead to web traffic in ways you might not expect, like increasing your SEO and boosting referrals, so pay close attention to some of your other marketing metrics.
Advertising on Facebook also often comes at a better price than other traditional or digital advertising platforms. You are able to set your spend limits to wherever you want them, making it realistic for any size budget.
With Facebook advertising, you’ll be able to generate new leads by targeting individual users by their characteristics or behaviors, like location, demographics such as age and gender, interests, online behaviors and a number of other elements. The wide expanse of targeting possibilities could make your advertising extremely effective, or could make things very confusing. In order to effectively target your audience, you must have a complete understanding of who they are, and their wants and needs.
This is where being a business owner works to your advantage. You are already thinking like a business owner because, well, you are one! Think about the things that mark you as a business owner – your interests, job title, online behaviors, etc. And, think about the things that are important to you as an owner – like your non-monetary assets, information, knowledge and finances. These are the things to keep in mind when deciding how you will target your advertisements. Rather than narrowing down your audience using demographics and locations, search for characteristics like job titles, companies, and life events such as job promotions.
Compared to B2C marketing, there is a more significant focus on nurturing current leads in B2B advertising. Chances are, you probably have a list of emails either in your CRM or your email marketing platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact that you use to contact your current leads. This list of emails can be imported into Facebook so if any accounts exist based on these emails, your ads will appear to those users.
Facebook also gives you the ability to target “Lookalikes” – people who have similar characteristics to the people who are already in your lead base. Facebook is able to use its algorithms to find people with similar interests, job titles, and online behaviors, increasing the likelihood that those individuals will convert to leads.
When analyzing the results of your B2B Facebook advertising campaigns, it’s important to keep in mind that you may see a lower number of impressions and clicks when compared to B2C benchmarks. This is because of the narrow scope of users you’re targeting, as opposed to the broad number of people who would see a blanketed ad campaign.
Boost Brand Awareness
Another benefit of Facebook advertising in B2B is the boost in brand awareness for your business. It keeps your brand top of mind by remarketing to people who have already visited your website, or are already leads. By using banner ads that contain your logo, colors and fonts, leads will be regularly reminded of your business whenever they log into Facebook.
Social media marketing also offers the ability to steer the online conversations about your business through the encouragement of online reviews, post engagement and shares, and check-ins. While many people think these are only ways to engage B2C customers, they are also crucial in engaging B2B customers. Just like in B2C, B2B customers have a tendency to do their research and read online reviews, especially the ones on Facebook. With the internet, people are able to do more research before purchasing, so be sure they’ll find a positive conversation about you online.
Encourage your current, satisfied customers to leave online reviews for your business on your Facebook page. That way, people who visit your Facebook page after seeing an ad, will have plenty of positive reviews to read about your business.
Creating Compelling Content
Creating ads for B2B is a bit different than your typical B2C digital advertisement. With most B2C advertising, marketers aim to invoke emotion or offer entertainment. Each of us can probably recall an ad that made us belly laugh, or one that touched our souls. But, business owners aren’t looking to be entertained. Like everything else they look for in their businesses, they’re searching for information, quality and value.
Educate and Inform
Rather than focusing solely on selling or entertaining, the main focus of your advertising campaigns should be to educate and inform. Focusing on these two things will position your business as a resource, meaning leads will visit your website time and time again, especially when they have a problem they need solving. You can do this by providing valuable information to your digital leads, such as white papers, eBooks, videos, guides, webinars, podcasts and more, sometimes in exchange for their valuable information – name, company and email address—or even for nothing in return. Doing so helps gain credibility and trust.
When asking for information, you’ll want to be sure that the hurdle is low, or else your conversion rate will likely be lower. Your form can include additional information fields, but by not making these fields mandatory, you’re increasing the likelihood that the form will be completed. Another factor that impacts form completion rates is whether or not you have a responsive website, and the overall length of the form. Don’t make anyone have to work to fill it out.
The Bigger Picture
Keep in mind that Facebook advertising is one piece of the overall marketing mix puzzle, and should fit into the bigger picture of your marketing plan. This means making sure your overall strategic plan continuously propels leads into taking the next step in the sales pipeline. Whether it’s through social media, a blog, a drip campaign, or a call, each touch point should be a strategic effort towards the end goal.
It’s also important to be aware of creating consistent messaging and branding across all of your marketing channels, including your social media advertising. It’s helpful to keep a brand strategy or platform nearby when creating content. The last thing you want is conflicting messages getting to the same lead.
Because Facebook provides instant reporting, you can adjust your campaigns in real time to make your marketing dollars the most effective. But, if you’re not already familiar with the platform, getting your Facebook adverting campaigns right could take additional time, money and practice–and doing it yourself, or hiring a new employee, may mean not seeing instant results.
To see results from the start, and to maximize your ROI, consider hiring someone who is already skilled in B2B Facebook advertising. This takes out the guesswork and up-front investment, and is more likely to get you better results, sooner. Additionally, if you choose a marketing firm, as opposed to a social media specialist, they will help ensure that each piece of the marketing puzzle fits together strategically.
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