As of now there are over 2.3 billion monthly active Facebook users, with an average of 1.49 billion people logging onto Facebook daily.
If your business-to-business (B2B) isn't currently utilizing an audience of this magnitude to your benefit, then you are missing out on some serious lead generation and customer acquisition.
By design, Facebook lends itself perfectly to inbound lead generation, even for B2Bs, as it offers the following benefits...
Table Of Contents:
- The Benefits Of Facebook
- Key Takeaways From Industry Leaders
- Organic Vs Paid
- Are Facebook Ads Worth The Cost?
- Facebook Ad Types By Benefit & Goal
- Emotion Boosts Performance
- Audience Targeting
- Capturing Leads
- How Facebook Simplified B2B eCommerce
- Getting Creative
B2B Facebook Lead Generation Benefits
- Clickable links that drive traffic to landing pages for lead conversion
- The capability to display multiple pictures with different layouts, animated gifs and videos
- A video upload feature that allows you to either create your own videos via Facebook or post videos from other sites such as YouTube and Vimeo
- Event posting with an integrated calendar feed
- The capability to create polls and surveys to capture information about leads
- Hashtags extend the reach of posts organically and help categorize them
- Call-to-action (CTA) buttons that drive conversion by pushing users to click, call, message or click
- The custom tabs feature, which creates web pages for your profile
- Many features that promote engagement including emojis, sharing posts and hiding posts
- iMessenger for customer service, inbox marketing and automation opportunities
- Paid advertising through Facebook Business offers the advantage of tracking pixels to lead users to a landing page or allow them to fill out a form without leaving Facebook
- Facebook ads can be launched on Instagram to save time and money
In order to take advantage of the aforementioned benefits, you need to be aware of the best B2B lead generation strategies to use on Facebook.
Runaway Social Media Success
While the potential of Facebook ads is certainly exciting, organic content strategy is still a critical lead generation driver. The content strategies used on Facebook by the top 20 B2B brands share certain commonalities that are important for companies and marketers to note. These powerhouse brands include FedEx, Wells Fargo, IBM, Exxon Mobil, GE, Intel, Shell, Siemens and UPS.
Key takeaways from B2B leaders about their social media success:
- Do not flood your page or followers’ news feeds with all your posts; quality over quantity is always the right way to go. For Facebook, you should only be posting twice per day. Twitter is four times a day, LinkedIn is once per day, and Instagram is up to 10 times a day.
- Include photos or videos with most - if not all - of your posts.
- Place links to external sources or your own webpages in a substantial number of your posts.
- The 10-4-1 rule. This is a healthy balance ratio guideline for the content you post on social media. For every 15 posts; ten should be of other people's content, four should be your own non-promotional content such as a blog, and one should be promotional post that links to a landing page of yours.
Taking a page from industry leaders that have capitalized on the advantages Facebook has to offer can serve as a valuable money saving guide for your B2B.
Organic Vs Paid Social Media
The difference between organic and paid social media is that organic is free and paid is not. Organic only reaches your followers and extends to a larger audience via hashtags or post shares. While paid social media extends your reach to targeted audiences of your choice for a paid duration of time.
“Organic” and “paid” are two terms that come up frequently in discussions about advertising, and Facebook is no different.
Organic reach is the number of people exposed to the content you post through unpaid distribution. While organic posts are obviously very budget friendly, it can be extremely difficult to cut through the loud noise of content that shows up on Facebook newsfeeds. Creativity and strategy are your best weapons for winning the organic reach war.
Paid advertising on Facebook is exactly what it sounds like - advertising space you purchase for a certain timeframe. When you choose this option, you can target your ads according to the demographics and interests relevant to your promoted content. Doing so allows you to expand the reach of your posts to a much larger audience who most likely would have never seen your post organically.
For example, when you use the boost post feature on Facebook, you choose the duration of the launch and the budget you wish to allocate for it, as well as the type of audience you want it to reach. Facebook will review the content after you click “Boost Post” and your content will go live as soon as it is approved. Results will be provided when ad expires.
Are Facebook Ads Worth the Cost?
Historically, inbound marketing has centered around the idea that sharing useful and compelling information online should be done organically. However, the landscape is changing, with Facebook giving posts from friends and family more real estate on newsfeeds than content from brands.
Never fear, you still have ample lead generation opportunities on the social media platform - for example, ads. Facebook ads allow B2B businesses to take their power back by marketing to and retargeting existing customers, and attracting and converting leads. And judging by the numbers, it is working.
The average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook ads across all industries is $1.72. Brands are spending a relatively low amount of money for effective lead generation. Below is the average CPC for a number of different industries:
- B2B - $2.52
- Auto - $2.24
- Finance and Insurance - $3.77
- Healthcare - $1.32
- Fitness - $1.90
- Education $1.06
- Technology - $1.27
- Travel and Hospitality $0.63
- Retail - $0.70
- Apparel - $0.45
There is even better news. The average conversion rate (CVR) for Facebook ads across all industries is 9.21%. The CVRs are promising when broken down by industry, as well:
- B2B - 10.63%
- Auto - 5.11%
- Finance and Insurance - 9.09%
- Healthcare - 11.00%
- Fitness - 14.29%
- Education - 13.58%
- Technology - 2.31%
- Travel and Hospitality - 2.82%
- Retail - 3.26%
- Apparel - 4.11%
The budget for a Facebook ad campaign is entirely dependent on your individual campaign, with a number of factors such as type of ads and frequency of ads playing a role.
Facebook Ad Types: Benefits & Goals
There is a dizzying array of Facebook ads to suit virtually any purpose. Whether you choose to mix it up or stick with a repeating lineup of a few, below is a breakdown of each type.
Link Click Ads
- These ads consist of a still image, copy and a call-to-action (CTA)
- Purpose: promote your website and send people to your blog posts or landing pages
- Benefits: offers the potential to reach a large audience due to multiple placements and subsequent appearance in multiple news feeds
- Best for: driving traffic to your website
- Another form of Link Click Ads, these ads feature a video instead of a still image
- Purpose: promote your website and send people to your landing pages or blog posts
- Benefits: provides the opportunity to reach a large audience due to multiple placements and subsequent appearances in multiple news feeds
- Best for: driving traffic to your website
Boosted Page Posts
- You can boost any type of Facebook post with a text to image ratio of 1:5
- Purpose: extend the reach of posts by promoting them on Facebook’s advertising network
- Benefits: you get to choose the target audience and bidding methods; these ads look like organic posts, giving them a more “trustworthy” quality
- Best for: getting more eyes on posts you feel could be particularly good for lead generation
- These ads display up to 10 still images or videos, accompanied by headlines, descriptions and links or CTAs
- Purpose: promote multiple related products, services or offers
- Benefits: marketers can use carousel ads as tests to see which products, services or offers are most attractive to target audiences; brands get multiple opportunities in a single ad to engage and convert audiences
- Best for: determining what resonates with audiences and promoting more than one product, service or offer at a time
Dynamic Product Ads
- Using automation, these ads target Facebook users based on their actions or inaction on your website. Facebook displays the ads at times determined optimum (by its own automation and re-targeting technology) for sparking each user’s interest.
- Purpose: leverage tracking of user history to appeal to their interests or goals and where they are in the buyer lifecycle
- Benefits: tailor ad content and display times to individual user behaviors to make them more appealing
- Best for: giving prospects a solid nudge into the sales funnel
Facebook Lead Ads
- People can sign up for an offer you post or download content you make available without leaving Facebook
- Purpose: compel prospects to act while still on your page, thereby reducing the risk of distractions that dilute their intention to act
- Benefits: makes taking action easy and accessible; stores the email address of every person who fills out the form in your Facebook ads account
- Best for: motivating leads to act
- Available exclusively on mobile devices, these interactive ads allow users to swipe through a carousel or images and get a closer look at each image by tilting it in different directions and zooming in/out.
- Purpose: allow target audiences to get up close and personal with the displayed products
- Benefits: promotes interaction; ads load 10 times faster than standard mobile web applications
- Best for: engaging users who do most of their shopping via mobile devices
- You can advertise multiple products on mobile devices with collection ads
- Purpose: promote several products at once
- Benefits: Visually dominant and light on copy (text is not allowed to comprise more than 20% of each ad), these ads are perfect for engaging those with the shortest of attention spans
- Best for: quick but enticing glimpses of multiple items
Page Like Ads
- Consisting of a visual element and copy, these ads are capped off by a CTA asking users to Like your Facebook page
- Purpose: increase the number of Likes on your Facebook page
- Benefits: obtain Likes from the right audiences rather than unqualified users
- Best for: getting Facebook page Likes for later targeting
Page Post Photo Ads
- The photographs you post are the star of these ads; text is optional and should be kept brief
- Purpose: showcase the pictures you have posted on your Facebook page
- Benefits: put pictures front-and-center to generate Likes and comments
- Best for: your best, most engaging and most beneficial (for your brand) photographs
Page Post Video Ads
- Videos are the main event and a concise description accompanies them
- Purpose: spike engagement levels
- Benefits: video is excellent for driving engagement; based on how much of each video the audience watched, you can create highly accurate custom audiences to re-target with other ad types
- Best for: engaging target audiences and creating informed custom audiences
Page Post Text Ads
- You should steer clear of this ad type, as it consists solely of copy, which performs poorly compared to images.
- These ads consist of an image, event details, a description and a CTA
- Purpose: drive attendance for an event
- Benefits: reach more people who may be interested in attending
- Best for: audiences that live local to the place where the event is taking place
- The featured offer, CTA and a picture comprise offer claims; those who click on the ad will receive an email with details
- Purpose: attract potential buyers
- Benefits: audiences are given a compelling reason to visit your website or brick-and-mortar store
- Best for: making a quick sale
Local Awareness Ads
- Aimed at people who are currently near your brick-and-mortar store, these ads include an image, description and a CTA - typically “Call Now.”
- Purpose: attract local users to your store
- Benefits: this type of ad can be used with Facebook’s location-based targeting
- Best for: brick-and-mortar store owners
Adding Emotion To Posts Boosts Performance
Effective advertising plays on emotions to some extent, even when it comes to B2B marketing. Remember, you are competing with the entire Facebook universe for your target audience’s attention. While you want to make sure your campaigns are always grounded in business, there is nothing wrong with occasionally adding a bit of emotional content to the mix.
An analysis of data from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising revealed that ad campaigns using purely emotional content performed twice as well as their rational content counterparts.
However, successfully pulling off emotionally tinged ad campaigns while staying within professional boundaries is a delicate balancing act. You do not want to risk the professional reputation of your brand.
Try the following strategies to amp up emotions without sacrificing your company’s image:
- Generate enthusiasm with ads featuring vibrant colors, an image portraying a sense of excitement, an energetic tone of voice and your service or product at the most appealing moment of its lifecycle.
- Make prospects feel good with positive ads using images of smiling people, wording that has positive connotations and a bright color scheme.
- Give potential customers hope you can solve their problems with ads that outline the issue and clearly explain how your product or service can resolve it.
- Create a sense of urgency with ads for limited time offers that must be redeemed by a certain date. Make sure both the discount amount and the redemption dates or deadline are prominent.
Market to the Right Audience
A company that sells software-as-a-service (SaaS) specifically designed for health insurance carriers probably will not have much luck with an audience largely comprised of food supply companies. Facebook takes this fact into account with its audience targeting capabilities.
This is no run-of-the-mill feature. You can drill down deep to target companies that are similar to your current clients, organizations that fall into certain segments of your industry and even those prospects who have already visited your website.
Creating Facebook buyer personas - representations of your perfect customer based on data about your existing customers and details such as motivation, goals and behavior patterns - is critical for success. It will empower you to create relevant ads and messaging to its target audiences with the most promising conversion potential, Essentially, getting more results while spending less money on advertising.
Once your personas are ready, it is time to set up a Facebook ad campaign. You can choose from the following options:
- Use existing audiences or create new ones
- Exclude certain segments that would not be the best fit for this ad campaign
- Decide between Saved, Custom or Lookalike audiences
Criteria for Saved audiences include gender, age, income level, location and interests, Custom audiences are prospects that have visited your website and/or engaged with your content in some way and Lookalike audiences are similar to existing customers.
Facebook Audience Insights is one of the most essential tools available to B2B marketers. It lifts the curtain to let you get a detailed look at who is engaging with the content you post. When you understand what makes the decisions makers at these companies tick, you are better prepared to create ads that will capture and retain their interest.
Collect Information Without Scaring Leads Away
Visitors to your page who take action to learn more information about your products or services are a potential goldmine. They are already interested. You have already won half of the battle.
However, there is a caveat. Most people do not relish the idea of filling out a lengthy, time-consuming form to get information. In fact, the idea of doing so can turn off prospects who are already busy. Facebook lead ads solve this issue.
When someone taps on your ad, a pre-populated form appears that uses the contact information they previously gave Facebook. They do not have to make extra effort and you do not have to worry about losing a qualified lead. And it all happens on Facebook; they are not taken to a different app or webpage. Furthermore, you can sync the leads with your CRM to give your sales team access to them.
Facebook lead ads are especially effective on mobile devices, which is huge due to the skyrocketing numbers of people conducting business on smartphones and tablets. By the end of 2016, the social media platform had 15 billion mobile daily active users and 74 billion mobile monthly active users. Of that 74 billion, 55 billion accessed Facebook solely from a mobile device.
Facebook lead ads are an effective tool for collecting contact info from those who are in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. At this point in the process, prospects are conducting a deep dive into possible solutions to fulfill a business need. Your odds of influencing their final decision improve during this phase.
How Facebook Simplified B2B eCommerce
Online order transactions that take place between businesses are what is known as B2B eCommerce. Executing the transactions digitally is beneficial for sellers because it improves buying efficiency.
That said, launching and maintaining a B2B eCommerce channel is significantly more complicated than traditional B2C eCommerce. It involves dealing with a wide variety of payments methods, robust catalogs with high numbers of variants for products and a dependence on inbound sales.
Until recently, the challenges of running a B2B eCommerce channel had resulted in many brands putting their eCommerce efforts on hold.
Facebook is one of the platforms that has helped solve the aforementioned complexities. Facebook offers features that help make B2B eCommerce more intuitive:
- Easy sign-up process
- Boost mobile app installs
- Unify the entire shopping process
- Automatically display products or services that your prospects are most likely to purchase
The social media giant also provides several ad building tools for novices and experts alike:
- AdEspresso - ad management, analysis, scheduling, tracking and multiple variants for testing
- Qwaya - ad rotation, multiple ad variations, setup of rules to control ad spend, analytics and ad delivery scheduling
- Canva - multiple variants for testing and large image library
Listen to Your Audience with Hashtags
“Social listening” is a term that has generated quite a buzz in 2018. It involves tracking conversations around industries, topics, phrases and keywords relevant to your brand and using the insights you uncover to create engaging content for those target audiences.
Using hashtags in your posts on Facebook, including ads, is one way to leverage social listening. If posts using certain hashtags consistently perform well, it is an indication that your audience is interested in those topics.
Hashtags Categorize Your Content for Search
Hashtags also present an opportunity for prospects to find your brand amid the billions of searches performed on Facebook every day. Hashtags make your posts infinitely more searchable. This is because Facebook uses hashtags to group or categorize conversations. Hashtags can also draw attention to campaigns your audience might find especially interesting.
There is definitely an art to using hashtags correctly on Facebook, and it differs from Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram:
- Do not go overboard! Jam-packing your content with hashtags may not increase your reach. It can actually be detrimental.
- Speaking of taking a less-is-more approach, it is best to stick with a single hashtag when using popular phrases such as #B2B.
- If you want your audience to associate certain hashtags with your brand, you need to use those hashtags on a consistent basis.
- Humorous hashtags are acceptable as long as they are tasteful and in line with your brand.
- You can use hashtags for high profile events from time to time to draw attention to your content. Again, keep it tasteful!
- You can ride the coattails of hashtag trends to quickly build followers and attention.
Put Your Best Face Forward With Emojis
Emojis have become much more than just little images used for fun in personal text messages and social media posts. One startup, Scoro, ran an A/B test on two versions of Facebook ads in which all of the elements were identical except for one difference: an emoji was added to the headline in the second version. The result, emojis generated 241% higher click-through rate than the ads that didn't include an emoji.
Like any other marketing tactic, reaping the rewards of using emojis in Facebook posts requires following certain strategies:
- Every emoji you use should help drive home the message of the post or ad versus being for show.
- Make sure you know exactly what each emoji means. Some have multiple meanings that are not necessarily appropriate for business content.
- Much like hashtags, emojis should be used sparingly.
- Some brands have successfully used a string of emojis to portray a word or sentence. If you attempt this tactic, make sure you choose widely known emojis to make the message crystal clear at a glance.
Get Creative to Convert
In general, in order to transform Facebook leads into conversions, you need to get creative.
Design is perhaps the most powerful tool for engaging potential customers with your ads. If done well, it can fuel a successful campaign. If done poorly, it can sink a campaign faster than the Titanic.
Simple designs tend to be better, as viewers can process them much more quickly. The message the ad is trying to convey should be apparent immediately, as you are dealing with very short attention spans. And you should always match your creative to the audience you are targeting. Google Trends is a good resource for revealing relevant searches based on intent and location.
Getting creative is not just about the “artsy” elements of an ad. Utilizing the audience targeting options mentioned earlier will make all of the difference in the outcome of your campaigns. It is wise to base your decisions about who to target on your other channels and demographic data from your remarketing campaigns. You can then build lookalike audiences with similar interests who are more likely to convert.
Your Facebook Lead Generation B2B Partner
At Tag Marketing, we leverage our B2B marketing expertise and years of lead generation success to create Facebook ads that attract, engage and convert the right prospects.
We help you get the most ROI from your Facebook campaigns by strategically targeting the audiences that are most likely to convert while decreasing your cost-per-acquisition.
If you are ready to make Facebook ads work for your B2B, call us at 773-680-6952 to request a consultation.