Facebook is the most popular social network in the world with over 15 million active users per month in Australia alone! With statistics like that, there is no surprise that Facebook is a leader in the game when it comes to online marketing. Facebook has a range of tools, services and campaign objectives that can greatly increase your brand awareness, website traffic and lead generation.
It can be a common misconception that Facebook ads are only effective for B2C marketing. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Once you understand how to create an effective B2B Facebook campaign and see the results for yourself, you’ll wish you started sooner!
So, how can you utilise Facebook ads for effective B2B marketing in 2020?
1. Design Your Conversion Funnel
At the very start of creating your new B2B Facebook campaign you will be asked to select an objective from 1 of 3 categories: awareness, consideration and conversion. These 3 categories represent different stages of your conversion funnel. Similar to B2C Facebook campaigns, creating a successful conversion funnel is essential to your advertising success.
What exactly is a conversion funnel?
A conversion funnel is the term used to describe the flow of steps a potential customer takes before they reach a conversion.
Designing your content to attract brands at each stage of the funnel is critically important. Successful campaigns will be able to attract cold audiences through the funnel and transform them into paying clients.
The first stage of the funnel is awareness. Think of this stage as a large fishing net dropped into the ocean. You lay your net wide to maximise your chances of catching a ‘fish’. Ads created during this stage should aim to increase brand awareness and generate interest in your products and services. It is best to target your audience by location, demographics, interests and behaviours. This is known as a core audience. Using lookalike audiences can also be very successful at this stage. Data collected here is then used to determine who is interested in your brand so you are able to retarget them later in the funnel. Ad copy in this stage should focus on introducing your brand and it’s products and/or services, it should not contain a heavy sales pitch. During the awareness stage it is important to direct traffic to your website, not your Facebook page. Traffic directed to your Facebook page is essentially a waste of ad spend. Sure, they might have a look around your page and like a couple posts but unfortunately this won’t do anything besides boosting your page engagement.
Consideration is the next section of your funnel. This stage allows you to retarget brands who have expressed interest in your products and services and may want to discover more information. We will discuss the benefits and possibilities available through use of retargeting audiences in more detail later on. Ad copy in this stage should include testimonials from happy clients, more detail on your offering and a call to action. This call to action usually falls under “learn more” or “sign up”, not “buy now”. You are still enticing users to find out more about your brand and need to present information which will help them make their decision. Consider directing traffic to relevant blog posts or dedicated landing pages on your website.
The final stage of the funnel is conversion. This stage is focussed on turning potential Facebook leads into paying customers. Retargeting is crucial at this stage and your ad copy should include a strong offer and call to action. Your offer and call to action will depend on your brand offering and whether you sell products or services to other companies. During this stage it is essential for any business to collect leads including the email addresses of any prospects. This will allow you to use this information for other content marketing in the future.
It is important to note, campaigns targeting all stages of the conversion funnel can run simultaneously. Recent statistics have shown that it takes an average of 8 touch points to reach a conversion. With this in mind, take note of your ad frequency for each campaign. Considering you will be targeting a potential client through 3 separate campaigns, aim to keep your ad frequency to a score of 2-3. If you find your ad frequency is much higher, consider expanding your target audience as studies show that ads with a high frequency lose effectiveness and ad spend may be wasted.
2. Utilise Audience Targeting
It’s no secret, people love sharing their life online. Facebook users are no exception. Facebook stores an incredible amount of valuable data about its users. Everything from location, demographics, interests, hobbies, online behaviours and even details on who has interacted with your business in the past is stored. There are 3 audience types available to target with Facebook ads: core, custom and lookalike.
Core audiences are one of the most useful features when it comes to B2B marketing on Facebook. You are able to easily target audiences based on their demographics, job titles, employers, office types and industries. This feature takes the guesswork out of your Facebook ads and is most effective when optimising your awareness campaigns. Chances are you already have a pretty solid understanding of your ideal client. Perhaps they work in the construction industry and will have expressed interest in personal protective equipment. Use this information and core audiences to specify exactly what users you are after to ensure you get the most potential out of your ad spend.
Custom audiences fall into the retargeting category. These audiences allow brands to get back in touch with people who have interacted with their business in the past, both online and off. This can be achieved through either uploading customer lists or tracking site visitors using Facebook Pixel. Facebook Pixel is a piece of code installed into your website which allows Facebook to track and retarget users who have visited your website in the past, whether they just had a browse, added something to their cart or completed a purchase. If you do not have Facebook Pixel installed in your website for your B2B marketing, set it up… yesterday!
The third and final audience type is lookalike audiences. This audience type is one of the reasons Facebook is effective when it comes to B2B advertising. Lookalike audiences take an existing source audience and generate a new list of users who have common interests and traits. This can be a great way to reach a wider audience who may be interested in your brand. Lookalike audiences are effective to use during all stages of your conversion funnel as you can use a different source audience for each stage. When creating a lookalike audience you are able to select how closely the new audience generated will match your existing users. This is selected by using a similarity percentage. The lower the percentage, the smaller the group but the more similar they will be.
3. Focus on Lead Generation and Offering Incentives
A key difference between B2C and B2B marketing is the offer presented and type of conversion you are seeking. B2C campaigns usually focus on enticing users to click and buy their products straight from Facebook. B2B campaigns are different, focussing more on lead generation than direct sales. This of course differs brand to brand depending on their unique offering. Whether your brand sells products or services will greatly impact your marketing strategy.
If your brand sells products, consider including a limited-time discount in your ads. Depending on the value of your products, you may be able to entice users to purchase directly through Facebook. If your brand sells products at a high price point, consider creating a lead generation form where you are then able to follow up prospects and discuss your products in further detail. Even if the lead does not result in a sale, you can utilise the information gained to create a lookalike audience of users most likely to engage with your brand.
If your brand offers a range of services, consider offering a free trial in your ads to entice potential buyers. In order for users to redeem this offer they must submit a lead form, in turn providing you with a growing database of interested users. In this case, it can be more beneficial to generate leads rather than focus on achieving an instant purchase. Be sure to follow up on the leads generated in a timely manner to maximise your chance of achieving a conversion. The most common way to generate leads on Facebook is through the lead generation objective. What many brands don’t know however, is that leads can also be generated through the messenger ad objective, often at a lower cost than traditional leads! Messenger ads can either be completed manually or through use of a messenger bot. Messenger bots are a time-effective way of gathering useful information from potential leads. If you choose the messenger objective for your next campaign and use a messenger bot, consider utilizing a software such as Zapier to inform you of all leads generated.
Regardless of what your brand sells, providing users with value and offering a solution to a problem they may be facing is extremely beneficial in online marketing. This is perhaps even more important in B2B marketing than B2C. Consider creating a free PDF document with valuable tips and information for your audience. In exchange for receiving this free document, users simply fill out a form containing their name, email address, phone number and company name. For many B2B businesses, this lead is hugely important and will likely lead to a sale down the line.
It is evident that Facebook ads have the potential to create wildly successful B2B campaigns. Utilise the above information into your next Facebook B2B campaign and notice the difference in results! If you’re still not convinced that Facebook marketing will work for your B2B company, get in touch with our Facebook experts here at Australian Internet Advertising. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have and explain how we can help increase your return on ad spend investment!
Give us a call today on 1300 304 640 or book a strategy session through the link below.