Do you remember the last time you saw a memorable B2B ad on Facebook?
It’s difficult, isn’t it? Facebook has long been considered the platform to master for e-commerce companies, games, mobile apps, and brands alike. But for B2B business, it’s been treacherous territory.
We’ve seen many B2B companies try Facebook, get disappointed with their results, and avoid the platform altogether. If you’re running a B2B business and considering running a Facebook campaign, don’t be scared just yet.
We have worked with several B2B companies. Every single one of the companies that succeeded to market their products successfully on Facebook shared a few tactics. Here are the 5 MUST DOs you should employ in your Facebook ads.
1. Natural and relevant images
What makes Facebook different from other advertising platforms? Take a second and think about it.
Yes, it’s their visual content! Facebook is littered with visually stimulating content and advertisers clamoring to get the attention of visual hungry users. All of this means that your number one priority should be to try to get as many eyeballs to your ad as possible.
But not just catchy images. Your images should be connected to your product somehow. You don’t want to lose all the potential customers after luring them with an image of a tropical paradise when you’re advertising a software product...unless you can find a connection somehow (more on that later).
Moving on to number one mistake that we see B2B companies make all the time.
Just because your company caters to business customers doesn’t mean that your image has to be boring either. In their quest to pick the most professional looking image, they end up choosing one that looks so… fake. Or too put-together. Images featuring a woman in a business attire flashing a fake smile directly to her non-existent customer.
In short, you do NOT want to use stock photos that look clearly staged. Why? Because Facebook users are highly sensitive to visual content and more often than not choose to ignore staged looking photos altogether.
One technique that worked really well for our clients is playing around with images. Add a border to your image. Make your image pop out more by adding a red, yellow, or green border. Be creative and Facebook users will reward you by clicking through your ads.
A good example of realistic picture from our friend at Time Doctor
Facebook offers a wealth of options for targeting. With options as varied as targeting based on interests, website traffic, and existing customer list, this is great news for B2B companies.
Here are a few targeting examples that have worked especially well for our B2B clients:
- Paring ‘interests’ with ‘job titles’.
As you can see in the screenshot below, you can target ‘small business owners’ both as a behavior trait - users Facebook identified as small business users - and as an interest group. Targeting both will enhance your reach. Alternatively, if your reach is already big you can create an ad set targeting only one of them and another targeting the other and see which one performs better.
- Lookalike & Custom Audiences
This is our favorite way to target potential customers. In this case, we created a lookalike audience of all our “premium users” for our B2B client. Since it’s a lookalike audience, we can be assured that we’re targeting a brand new set of users Facebook deemed similar enough to the client’s premium users.
How do you create a list of premium users in the first place? Facebook allows you to upload a list of emails, phone numbers, or Facebook user IDs. You can upload your existing customer information with one of these data points and you can either choose to target similar users, retarget them, or exclude them. There is a myriad of possibilities.
We briefly touched upon retargeting in the above example. Retargeting has been one of the most, if not the most, powerful ways to re-engage customers for our clients.
In addition to utilizing the ‘customer list’ customer audience, we highly recommend creating a list of users based on ‘website traffic’. By creating a list of users who visit specific web pages, you can send them specific promotions just for them or provide further incentives to come back to your website and purchase.
For example, you can target people who’ve seen your landing page and product page but not your purchase confirmation page. It’s clear that they showed initial interest in your product, but they didn’t fully commit for some reason. You can target these more intent-driven cart abandoners with tailored messaging and offer.
3. Simple and coherent landing page
No matter how good your Facebook ads are, if your landing page doesn’t deliver a seamless experience, you’re bound to lose your potential customers who initially got intrigued by your clever positioning. A lot of B2B businesses we’ve come across simply use their existing landing page littered with long texts and incoherent messaging. Don’t do this. On this point, Unbounce provides an unparalleled source of expertise and knowledge about landing pages
Our clients that successfully ran profitable Facebook marketing campaigns all had landing pages that were easy to navigate and consistent with the messages they had in their Facebook ads. Even if you have multiple product offerings, stay away from bombarding your users with all the options at this point. Instead, focus on either your most well-converting product or just capturing their initial interest.
4. Work on your Facebook page and engage users with high quality content
This is by far the most overlooked yet vital strategy for your B2B Facebook marketing campaign. A lot of B2B businesses are focused on hard selling their products right away. Avoid this temptation. Instead, make sure you post high quality and visually rich content (articles, videos, etc) on your Facebook page.
MyThemeShop helps their customers with some precious tips to launch a blog
Allocate a decent amount of budget on building your brand awareness. For each post you add to your Facebook page, try to address a specific problem that your potential customers are likely encounter or try to answer at least one question your potential customer has (i.e. what are some of the best productivity hacks out there?).
This way, you’re actually spending money to attract new users. And your advertising dollar will go to more intent-driven users when you retarget them with your landing page and more targeted offer.
5. Ruthless A/B testing
This is an extremely important mindset to have when it comes to Facebook advertising. Facebook offers lots of targeting, bidding, and campaign objective options. When you do your research on the internet, you’ll find people saying things like “CPC bidding option is not for B2B companies. OCPM is the way to go.” Avoid the herd mentality. While there could be general tendencies, do understand that your product and customers are unique.
Even if it’s a small amount, test the different bidding and targeting options that make sense. We have been surprised many times by how well some of the overlooked options work well for our clients.
Test at least a few images, headlines, and body texts. Just because the ‘women’ segment has a lower CTR, that doesn’t mean that this segment will underperform its male counterpart in terms of conversion rate. Before you arrive at definitive conclusions, test them out yourself and prove your theories!
Feel free to contact us anytime for a free audit here, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.