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Facebook Business Advertising in B2B Lead Generation: Magic or Madness?Dorien Jorissen
Social advertising… sounds so B2C-oriented, right?
Businesses should probably play safe when it comes to B2B lead generation and stick to a Facebook or LinkedIn page, while not getting involved too much into the end user dialogue on these social platforms. Besides, advertising with social media is only beneficial for retailers and your local swimming pool or movie theater.
Is social advertising in B2B really so strange?
Is social advertising really the odd one out when it comes to B2B lead generation and communication? Would it be the same as stepping into a trading market and screaming to look at you, love your brand and give it lots of hugs instead of investing based on facts?
Probably not. There are good and bad sides when it comes to social advertising in B2B, but that goes for every marketing channel. The important thing is that you keep looking at the facts and social advertising is hot (oh dear, I used a consumer-oriented trend word)! Not only in B2C, but it is becoming increasingly popular in B2B markets as well. And you might think you know what social advertising is all about, but believe me, you really don’t. Even I still get surprised on a daily basis.
The good old times where only B2C marketers and e-commerce brands conquered the fields of social advertising are long gone. The limits of social advertising are evolving and the possibilities are just like a stream of never-ending targeting options. Something new to explore, to target and to focus on every day.
B2B Lead Generation with social advertising
It’s no secret that businesses can drive their B2B lead generation pipeline with social platforms and social advertising with an overall positive impact on their sales / marketing cycles and ROI. Social ads can even make a significant change in all stages of the lead funnel.
Facebook Ads work both for B2C and B2B companies. There are so many success stories that show more than 5x increases in marketing results after advertising on Facebook. AdEspresso
The real problem with social ads in B2B lead generation doesn’t lie in the platform itself or in its effectiveness. The only true issue in the market is the lack of knowledge on which platforms to use and how / when to use them.
But let us zoom in on a specific platform for a second to make clear what you can do with social advertising and what the advantages could mean for your business. I will start with Facebook Business Manager for today, because I believe that it’s one of the most underestimated platforms for social advertising in B2B. But don’t worry, in my next blog I will show you an overview of all the different social platforms and their pros & cons.
You can target Facebook users for WHAT ?
Facebook Advertising is one of the examples of social advertising. It’s part of Facebook Business Manager (what is Facebook Business Manager?) and does NOT just involve posting chaotic and noisy banners on your Facebook timeline. Facebook Advertising achieves a harmonious balance between facts & selection, strategy and awareness.
Facebook Advertising allows you to create targeted and customized campaigns for an extremely specific and calculated target audience over a chosen time frame. These ads can be targeted towards Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and the Audience Network. Dorien J.
Lead Generation with remarkable Audience Targeting
The face on the left is the face I usually get from people that give me 10 minutes to explain what Facebook Business Advertising is all about and why it goes so much further than only your Facebook feed.
I’m talking about a whole other set of advantages than marketers have ever seen in any other channel…
What could you target your viewers / audience for? Well, think of criteria such as:
- User activity (website visits, Instagram interaction, purchases, …)
- Demographics (age, gender, relationship status, job title, …)
- Location & Language
- Interests (hobbies, favorite bands, brands, food, …)
These criteria include information from user behaviour and data inside, but also OUTSIDE of Facebook. You can use the data to include an audience and / or exclude an audience with certain criteria. You can also narrow the selection of your target audience or create an audience based on your very own database.
Let me give you an example of a possible targeted audience:
- Dutch-speaking, married women
- between the age of 25 – 40
- living in city X, Belgium
- from the upper middle class
- with small children
- a university degree in communications
- a position as Sales Manager in the energy sector
- an interest in content marketing, sales and SEO
It would also be possible to exclude certain criteria. We would for example not want to target the women in this selection that:
- have already visited our website
- do not live in city X
- recently started a new job
And this is just one example of the wide range of opportunities that Facebook offers to marketers. Just keep in mind that the most important thing is that you know what you are doing. The main reason why ads can be annoying sometimes is a lack of end user & platform knowledge.
Why you should advertise with Facebook Ads Manager
So, why would I advise a business to advertise with Facebook Ads Manager, while keeping the bigger picture of B2B lead generation in mind? Because I believe that the platform offers many benefits, such as:
- a really present & reachable audience
- integration with Instagram, Messenger & the Audience Network
- amazing audience targeting options that include AI (Artificial Intelligence)
- A/B testing possibilities for all ads
- low advertising costs that will make you want to dance
- highly effective ads (if you know what you’re doing)
- manageable display/ view options (unique reach, when to display ad, how many times a day, …)
- a clear view on conversion measurement (Facebook Pixel integration with a website)
When not to advertise with Facebook?
- If you don’t have a clear marketing strategy
- If you don’t have a clear marketing plan & budget
- When you do not completely understand the platform
- When you do not have the time to check and analyze your ads
You need to have a clear marketing strategy & plan and a good understanding of the platform when you start advertising on Facebook. Do not just randomly start creating advertisements and boosting your posts. Businesses really don’t want to burn their prospects and customers like that. Another disadvantage is that all advantages of Facebook Advertising disappear when you don’t have a clear view of the platform.
Ready, Set, GO!
To wrap it all up: I would advise any company (B2C or B2B) to start exploring and testing with Facebook Ads Manager, especially when it comes to B2B lead generation. Of course I would never advise to only focus on Facebook Ads Manager, but the other social advertisement platforms such as LinkedIn are a topic for my next blog 😉
If I didn’t convince you today or if you still have a lot of questions on how to get started with social advertising, then just ping me and let me show you with personalized examples for your enterprise!
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