Historically, Facebook adverts have been seen as playful, personalised, and maybe even fluffy B2C marketing tools.
Today, though, they are just as important in a B2B company’s marketing arsenal.
Facebook is now the top advertising medium for both B2C and B2B marketers. 42% of millennials struggle to last 5 hours without checking their Facebook notifications - and do directors, marketers and managers stop thinking about their roles in their free time, and therefore become immune to sponsored content?
Of course not.
However, some of B2B companies remain sceptical of the merits of Facebook advertising. If this sounds like you, we at The Blue Cube know that the only reason for this is can be because you haven’t yet embraced the astonishing potential of Facebook advertising, in terms of reach, segmentation, promotion potential and lead conversion.
Let’s look at why B2B companies MUST incorporate Facebook advertising into their marketing strategy.
1. Gain unlimited reach (unlike organic posts…)
Algorithm changes on Facebook have continued to personalise users’ News Feeds to such a degree that if someone does not interact with a page or a brand, then they will see less of their posts over time. While the vast majority of B2B companies recognise the need for a Facebook business page and regularly post to it, those who are not utilising the social media giant’s advertising capabilities are far less likely to be seen by their followers, if they solely rely on organic exposure.
Take a quick look at your Facebook page. Is EVERY post receiving social interaction, such as shares, Likes and comments? What proportion of your fans are actually seeing your posts?
Are you sending targeted messages out to an active, hungry audience - or shouting into the void?
2. Ultra-segment your audience
The key to perfect marketing is sending the right message, at the right time, to the right people, and Facebook advertising gives you the chance to do exactly that.
While you could have people following your page who would make great customers, you could also have attracted people from far beyond your location base, bots, people who are just there for the content, and other such unhelpful Facebook followers. With Facebook advertising, you can target users to such a degree of specificity that they tick every box, making them ideal potential customers.
Facebook’s targeting options - which mean that your advert will only appear to users who fulfil this customisable criteria - include a user’s geographical location, age, gender and interests. However, as Facebook advertising has developed over time, targeting has allowed marketers to delve ever deeper into their audience’s preferences, interests, and situations, and target only the most appropriate pages.
In 2017, Facebook now allows advertisers to target for job and industry, income, politics, life events, and device usage. While some targeting options remain accessible only to users in the US, they will no doubt expand globally over time. This means that Facebook’s detailed segmenting options allow for some of the best-targeted marketing on the planet.
3. Nurture your database
A company database is only as useful as how effectively it is being leveraged, and a smart way to increase the value of your database is to nurture your contacts via Facebook advertising.
An extremely useful option is the ability to upload email addresses from your database and target users through your Facebook adverts. Many social media users have only one email address for all of their social media accounts. How likely do you think it is that you will have this email address waiting in your database, right now?
You can upload a list of email addresses to your Facebook campaign in the following way: Campaigns > Audiences > Custom Audiences > Custom List. If you are trying to gain more page followers, just remember to cross-match your list with your current Facebook fans so that your adverts only appear in the News Feeds of users who haven’t yet Liked your page.
4. Promote gated content for more leads
Facebook advertising offers enormous potential for coaxing visitors and leads further down the marketing funnel, via incentives. Brands can use sponsored and boosted Facebook posts to offer vast, targeted audiences free trials, ebooks and white papers in exchange for sharing their contact details.
One of the keys to effective B2B marketing is having an active, fresh database of contacts to nurture in a variety of different ways. As the opposing tip to using Facebook advertising to nurture your database, you can also use it to grow that list of customers and potential customers.
5. Retarget lost customers - and visitors to rival websites
Facebook has allowed for retargeting since 2015, letting you can track visitors to your website (or even one of your specific webpages) and advertise to them on Facebook. This has wide-ranging possibilities when combined with Facebook’s segmenting options, and means that you can nurture lost visitors, leads and customers.
Earlier in 2017, Facebook’s Dynamic Ads began to allow for the retargeting of anyone who checks a product on any website, app or Facebook page that lets the social media network track its audience. This doesn’t quite mean that you, as an advertiser, can directly target people who browsed a competitor’s site or app, but their behaviour will serve as a signal for Facebook’s algorithms to target the users who are most likely to find the advert most enticing. Brands can opt out of allowing their rivals to advertise to their own leads, visitors and customers, but only if they opt out of using Dynamic Ads themselves.
This new option has the potential to become the most direct, effective way yet that Facebook advertisers can promote their products to competitors’ customers.
Advertising for inbound leads
Inbound marketing requires a stable, multi-channel approach in order to draw leads to your website - and keep them there. Facebook adverts offer you several unique ways to attract people to your website, and to nurture them both onsite and offsite in the process.
Of course, attracting people to you is only a worthwhile tactic if you have an effective, magnetic website to convert visitors once they arrive. For this reason, before you drill down into Facebook’s segmenting and nurturing abilities, you must prioritise having an attractive, user-friendly site that is packed with helpful content to demonstrate your authority over your area of expertise, and give your visitors confidence in your position as a thought leader in your field.