Facebook is only good for B2C advertisers, right?

Wrong.

If your business is B2B (“business-to-business”) and you want to engage in social media advertising to target more business owners/decision-makers, then you should definitely consider using Facebook. There are just so many options now that enables you to target (and then re-target) your prospect-clients.

Follow some of the tips below and you will be well on your way. Or, of course, you could always call us and we can support you with the same.

Ad Objectives.

Choosing the Right Ad Objective

Before you create an ad, first consider what your business goals are. It’s important to know what you want to achieve in order to choose the right objective. Your advertising objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads. For example, if you want to show your website to people interested in your business, you can create ads that encourage people to visit your website.

Below are the three broader categories, or goals, that your objectives may fall under.

Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service. Increasing brand awareness is about telling people what makes your business valuable.

Consideration: Objectives that get people to think about your business and seek more information.

Conversions: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to buy or use your product or service.

Catalogue sales and Store visits are, most probably, useless for B2B advertisers. Reach campaigns can be really effective for getting content in front of prospects, but this would need a robust content program and some serious re-marketing in place, so without this, these sort of campaigns can be tough to tie back to revenue. And while you might be able to find some use for them, the “Engagement”, “App installs” and “Video views” objectives – as expected – would only work if there were relevant “collateral” (i.e. an App, video etc) running alongside them.

We, therefore, suspect that the “Brand awareness”, “Traffic”, “Lead generation”, and “Conversions” objectives are the areas in which you should focus on if you want advertising to really help push your products and/or services to other businesses on Facebook.

 

So what do these types of ads do?

Brand awareness.

The brand awareness objective is for advertisers who want to show ads to people who are more likely to remember them. These sort of campaigns are unlikely to lead directly to a sale and to this end we’d suggest that the audiences you decide to target within brand awareness campaigns should be broad and made up of a number of different characteristics that your prospects might possess.

Traffic.

As expected, this objective is designed to drive people to a certain destination, mainly your Facebook page or your website. We would – broadly speaking – generally (and thinking of conversions) suggest that you send traffic to your website.  These campaigns are particularly good at helping build specific re-marketing lists.

Conversions.

The conversions objective is designed to drive valuable actions on your website, in your app or in messenger. It requires the Facebook Pixel for websites (and App Events for apps) which we will tell you more about in our tips below. These can tend to be expensive so probably best to be “supported” by sending traffic to specific landing pages designed to deliver real conversion opportunities.

Lead generation.

We are a massive fan of this objective. It is a super-cost-effective way of collecting your prospect’s information directly via lead generation instant forms. This information can then be used to build email lists, add prospects to your email marketing journeys, or for your sales team to use as warm leads.

 

So, once you know what your objective is, it’s then vital that you set up your campaigns effectively.

Your Facebook ad needs 3 “parts” completing to run effectively. All these parts make up what’s called the campaign structure. Knowing how they work together will help your ads run the way you want, and reach the right people.
 
A campaign.
 
You set the advertising objective at the campaign level. Here you decide the end goal for your ads, like driving more likes to your Page.
 
Ad set.
 
At the ad set level, you define your targeting strategy by setting up parameters like targeting, budget and schedule.
 
The ad. 
 
Finally, your ads are creative visuals, like pictures or videos, that drive the audience to what you are trying to promote.
 

Now we have reminded ourselves of the basics, let’s look where the “real magic” happens.

 

Budget & Scheduling

 

In Facebook, you can assign each ad set a daily or lifetime budget.

 

Daily budgets will probably feel more familiar to many, you simply assign a maximum daily spend and then specify a start and end date. We recommend experimenting with budgets initially with B2B advertisers, leaning towards allocating smaller daily budgets to allow you to figure out what works before really committing any serious spend to a campaign. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently blow the budget. Pretty obvious, but certainly something that can happen quickly if the basics aren’t followed.

There is an option, which can be super-effective, of working with a lifetime budget. Don’t get scared by the word “lifetime” as you can still use relatively short “lifetimes” (i.e. 3-5 days) and the platform will spread the budget across this period in a way that should help you achieve your campaign goals easier.

This might help you squeeze a little more value out of budgets as you’re telling Facebook that you’d like it to determine when to serve your ads within a given period whilst forcing the algorithm to ignore time slots during which your prospects aren’t likely to convert.

 

Ad Placement

All the above hard work can be undone by poorly chosen placements, especially given that Facebook ads are eligible to show up in lots of very different sections of the internet and given the B2B focus, some of these will need to be ignored.

Whilst some of these options above are useful to B2B advertisers (probably leaning towards “News Feed” and “Right Column” options here) the others could potentially decrease opportunities for conversion. Using the “automatic placements” option sounds like the safety net you’d always want to use, but to really ensure that your ads are showing up in the right places – especially given the fact that you’re a B2B business – we would suggest that you seriously consider opting out of automatic placements.

 

Now you have an idea of what you want your ad to achieve, how you are going to spend the budget, and where you’re going to place your campaigns, you now need to ensure that these ads are reaching the correct audience. Getting this right is key to Facebook Ad success.

 

Audiences.

Facebook’s suite of targeting options makes creating effective B2C campaigns straightforward.

If your restaurant serves awesome real ale, bakes a cracking sausage roll, and shows the football, then it’s incredibly easy to target a group of people in your local area that might be keen on your offering.

Targeting a business’ primary decision-maker, on the other hand, could potentially prove to be a little more tricky but you can definitely do this.

The options around the location, age, gender etc. will allow you to start to define your audience and “ignore” anyone who simply wouldn’t be a fit. This is the first step towards saving your budget for the people who can actually become customers.

The “Detailed Targeting” section allows you then to include and exclude prospects with specific characteristics. This is a really effective way to ensure your ads are being delivered to the right people, hopefully making it easier for your ads to perform.

 

 

The above audience, for instance, could work for those businesses looking to sell insurance to owners of beauty salons, with the “Suggestions” option providing recommendations for further ways of enhancing the target audience:

 

 

Custom Audiences

The use of these can also be super-effective for B2B advertisers.

These can be created using five different methods, but we would say that there are only two that you should really focus on as a B2B advertiser:

 

 

And these methods are those based on data that you would already have:

  • either email addresses that you can upload, or
  • website traffic data collected from your Facebook pixel.

The first option allows you to use your list of email addresses to find your existing leads on the Facebook platform and offer them alternative services, whilst the second allows you to “re-target” those potential customers that have already visited your website.  The latter is super-effective as it allows you to create custom audiences made up of prospects familiar with your business, with some real value being found in being able to target those “people who have visited specific web pages”.

 

Using a combination of the above audience targeting options (Core and Custom Audiences) would certainly help you find relevant B2B prospects. But there is another audience-creation tool that Facebook provides that you definitely should consider.

 

Lookalike Audiences

These are a real secret weapon for B2B advertisers on Facebook.

Once you have chosen your source audience (in the above case the visitors to our website), and then choose a location, you can then ask Facebook to “work out” a lookalike audience.

 

 

As you’ll see from the above,  this new audience consists of 1% of Facebook users in our chosen location that most closely resembles our source audience. Combined with the interest, behavioural, and demographic targeting we touched on earlier, this audience would allow you to reach brand new prospects that would more than likely be interested in what you do.

 

Over to you……

 

If you want to talk to us about how we could support you on your mission contact us here.

 

**Whilst on, and having spoken about Pixels, you shouldn’t be ignoring the following tips**

 

Pixel

Facebook makes this pretty easy to set up and you need to set it up sooner rather than later if you want to do things like run with retargeting campaigns and/or collect the data you need to build lookalike audiences.

It is done by heading to the Business Tools section and going into the Events Manager section.

 

Here you are able to set up your pixel. The Facebook pixel is basically a piece code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

 
You will see that you can set up “events” to track. These allow you to see the actions that your site visitors take when on your website.
 
A/B testing
 
Another important tool to consider. A/B testing is a very popular marketing method because it gives B2B marketers an idea of what types of ads or UX visuals earn the highest conversion rates.
 
Select the campaigns you want to use in the split test.
 
 
Select A/B test, the duration and Facebook do the rest. A winner is delivered, and a list of data around how effective each ad was is provided. in this instance, Facebook was confident that the more impactful ad had 95% chances of delivering the same sort of outcomes if ran again.
 
 
All this data is delivered on a link which can easily be sent to a client/third party.
 
 
Dynamic Creative option when creating ads.
 
Dynamic creative takes multiple ad components (such as images, videos, titles, descriptions and CTAs) and then optimises them to deliver efficient results for each impression served. These help you create personalised creative variations for each person viewing your ad, with performance that scales.
 
The option to do this is when you are setting up the ad-set of a campaign and it’s really effective if you have quality images and/or you want to split-test a variety of ads with a similar objective.
 
 
 
 
We hope this helps and goes some way to convincing you that Facebook can still be an advertising platform for B2B businesses.
 
We have unlocked thousands of new prospects for our B2B clients via this social network and would be more than happy to tell you more if you wanted to give us a call.
 
We are also currently offering FREE fast-forward workshops to businesses that are looking to rapidly design, develop and launch its digital strategy. Click here to book a workshop.
 

To those B2B businesses that still think that Facebook is only for B2C businesses, you are missing out on a massive business growth opportunity.