Posted by Pamela Swift in Social Marketing
Unlike Google Adwords, Facebook lets you target advertisements based on demographics. It is possible to target your ads based on factors like the age, location and gender of the user. This makes it an attractive medium for B2C businesses to promote their wares. Things are slightly different for B2B where you do not target consumers by their demographics. In this article, we will take a look at the several parameters to consider while using Facebook as an advertising medium for your B2B product.
Identifying the Target
In a B2B setup, the age or gender of the target is irrelevant. What however is relevant is the industry that a person works in, and their designation. A business that manufactures ball bearings might want to reach out to the procurement managers at companies that make products like blenders, washing machines, bicycles and pumps. Facebook permits such precise targeting through the ‘Detailed Targeting’ feature. This feature lets advertisers pick their audience based on a multitude of factors such as their education, relationships, job profile, and hobbies. A B2B advertiser may be interested in navigating to Demographics -> Work and targeting the recipient by their employer, job title and industry.
Designing the Landing Page
Marketers often make the mistake of focusing primarily on the targeting and spending little time tweaking the landing page to fit the medium you are advertising on. A procurement manager searching for ‘ball bearing suppliers’ on Google has an intent. The landing page for your Adwords ad would need to focus on capturing the lead by demonstrating your authority in the ball bearing industry. On Facebook however, marketers do not have the benefit of receiving such ‘pre-warmed’ leads. The landing page here should thus focus on building a relationship for future engagement.
Let us take the example of a ball bearing supplier reaching out to procurement manager at a bicycle manufacturer. A Facebook ad here would focus on rich media content that would focus on bicycles and their reliance on ball bearings. The idea is to make them aware of your brand and what you do for their industry. Capturing a lead at this stage is ideal, but the conversions are going to be typically lower than what you would find on Adwords.
Retargeting is an extremely crucial part of Facebook advertising. It lets marketers target the audience with more branding down the line. Since Facebook does not have the advantage of getting pre-warmed audiences, retargeting helps tackle this problem through branding. This will get your recipients warm up to your brand and offering. Facebook lets you to set up dynamic ads that render retargeting messages based on what action you previously took. This guide on Shopify provides a detailed tutorial on how to achieve this.
Setting Up Call To Action
Call-to-Actions (CTA) are a critical component of digital advertising. On Facebook, it is possible to choose from a variety of various options like ‘Apply Now’, ‘Book Now’, ‘Contact Us’, ‘Download’, ‘Learn More’, ‘Request Time’, ‘See Menu’, ‘Shop Now’, ‘Sign Up’ and ‘Watch More’. A lot of these CTAs are targeted at consumer-facing businesses in the ecommerce, travel and food industry and may thus not be relevant to a B2B marketer. The options that work the best for B2B marketers are however ‘Download’, ‘Learn More’ and ‘Watch More’.
‘Watch More’ is used for rich media advertisements that are specifically targeted to spread awareness of your brand using videos. Marketers are more often inclined to build interest through survey reports, whitepapers and by building useful software tools to bait the target. For such campaigns, ‘Download’ and ‘Learn More’ are quite effective.
It may be tempting to measure the performance of your ad campaigns in terms of the number of clicks or leads generated. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of Facebook advertising for B2B is not captured well by either of these metrics. As noted earlier, the objective for a B2B marketer is to build awareness and warm the leads over time.
The performance needs to be thus studied over two steps. In the first step, measure your engagement through metrics like Post Reactions (that includes likes, clicks, shares, etc.) that is offered on your Facebook Reports dashboard. In the second step, measure the performance of your retargeting campaigns through the number of leads generated.
The B2B sales and marketing cycle can often be excruciatingly long and it is very unlikely for a target to respond to a ‘Buy now’ button. Your ad campaign needs to acknowledge this reality and warm up to the target over a period of time instead of working on instant results.