What B2B Companies Need to Know About Facebook Marketing
You’ve been totally inundated with everything Facebook advertising. Best practices, how-tos, the perpetual algorithm changes, and constant feature upgrades – it’s difficult to wrap your mind around anything other than Facebook. After all, Twitter has plateaued, Snapchat advertising is still foreign, and Instagram advertising seems to be the rising star. (An ode to Facebook!) But what about B2B companies? You don’t sell directly to consumers, nor do you have impulsive buyers at 9PM on a Friday night. Is Facebook advertising really the best way to spend your precious marketing dollars?
I’m all about Facebook advertising – it’s no longer optional in today’s world. If you want to get in front of your target audience, you’ve got to be where they consume information – and most people are actively using Facebook on a daily basis.
As a B2B company, you won’t generate thousands of dollars in sales immediately. Facebook is merely a touch point in the decision makers’ lives. Think of Facebook as more of a trackable and measurable billboard for your company. You know that you won’t get direct sales from it right away, but you’re making an impression and reaching your target audiences in a meaningful way. These people are seeing your brand, may peruse your website, but will more than likely bookmark your site, and revisit at a later time. Say, when they’re not lying in bed at 10pm. Facebook is, after all, used for connecting with friends and family in their spare time. It’s foolish to think they’re going to conduct extensive research immediately, send your information to other key decision makers in their company, and fill out a contact form from a single ad. You’re a B2B company. You know relationships are the backbone of your company – and relationships start with trust. Trust starts with building a connection. These connections are made various ways – in this instance, social media.
Based on my experience with B2B digital marketing, I can attest to these 5 golden rules when it comes to Facebook advertising for B2B companies today:
- Understand the Role of Facebook in Your Overall Sales Funnel
In a previous blog, we showed you how to align your sales funnel with your digital marketing strategy. Understanding what role social media plays in your sales funnel will help develop a clear set of expectations, and gain a deeper insight of how social media helps drive your overall business goals. Take a peek at it when you’ve got 10 minutes. It’ll help you tremendously!
First, map out your sales funnel. I’m willing to bet that Facebook is at the top of your sales funnel. You’re using Facebook to generate awareness and drive targeted interest to your website. Secondarily, you probably want to capture leads out of it. As we said before, you probably won’t close a multi-million dollar deal off a single ad, but you can definitely generate leads using lead magnets such as: eBooks, webinars, whitepapers, checklists, guides, or offers and promotions.
- Have a Well Defined Target Audience
Time to whip out those buyer personas, baby! Facebook allows you to get pretty granular in your targeting, so take advantage of it! You can define audience criteria such as age, location, gender, interests, online behaviors, and more. Take a look at your buyer personas again, and pinpoint characteristics, behaviors, or other demographic information. You can plug this into your Facebook audience targeting.
When you begin to average 1,000 website visitors (make sure you’ve got the Facebook pixel setup correctly or it won’t work), you’re able to remarket to people who have visited your website in the last 30 or 60 days. This is invaluable, so it’s important to get the right ads in front of the right people so you can continue to market to them with different offers, promotions, and content.
For example, say you’ve got a brand new service you just added to your company’s menu, and you’re offering a 10% discount to new customers. Create an ad campaign around it and target those people who have shown interest in your company and your products/services. This will help generate a higher click-through-rate, at a lower cost per conversion. This is a great way to start generating leads for your company. Think eBooks, offers, promotions, discounts – anything of value to your buyer persona.
- Tell a Compelling Story
The biggest challenge for most B2B companies is not being interesting enough. How do you make an otherwise boring business look sexy? By finding the right angle.
My advice is always to stop selling your service. Stop selling your products. Focus on what you’re really selling. Put an emphasis on the people you’re helping. How do you help make their lives easier? What are some of their pain points and challenges? Or perhaps your company has an interesting backstory worth the spotlight. Find a way to position these in a marketing campaign. It may take some outside forces to help get your creative wheels turning, but it’s worth it. Successful marketing is simply creative storytelling executed well.
- Get Creative With Your Content!
Social media is supposed to be social. Bring out your brand’s tone and personality in your social media content. No one wants to be sold to in their free time. It’s important to keep your cool online so people will actually want to interact with your content.
If you’re sharing your blog articles, eBooks, whitepapers or webinars, find a fun way to promote it other than a Shutterstock image. Enlist the help of a designer to create a slew of fun graphics for it, or grab your mobile phone to have someone tell people why they need to download or read your stuff.
If you’re promoting a service or product, it’s important to get creative and use lots of visuals. From video to graphic design to photography, make sure you capture the compelling story, clearly communicate what you want from your target audience, and tie it neatly to your goals to drive the results you’re looking for.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Fail – Multiple Times.
Facebook is constantly evolving – and at a rapid rate. When a new feature rolls out, give it a try! Test several different messages, creative, call-to-actions, ad types, and so on. If you really want to succeed, you’ve got to be willing to fail. The worst you get out of your ads is brand awareness – and is that really so bad?