Become a B2B Facebook advertising superstar in 10 steps
In many ways, Facebook is still considered a leisure social network for casual after-work activity like connecting with friends, finding interesting news and, of course, checking out the next viral cat video. So Facebook must not suit the B2B market: right? Wrong! According to a 2020 report by Social Media Examiner, 91% of B2B marketers use Facebook ads and a further 62% are interested in learning more using Facebook.
Platform Use: B2B Marketers
Some less convinced marketers may point to higher costs per click on B2B Facebook ads, lower click-through rates, and may ultimately choose to revert to using trusty LinkedIn Campaign Manager and Google Ads. Facebook may not have been able to deliver the required level of detail to create your target audience in the past but that is just no longer the case. Now you’re able to market to users while knowing their interests, needs, and what pain points their business may be facing using a sophisticated targeting setup.
Do it right and do it well and there is no reason why you cannot advertise on Facebook.
How might Facebook be useful to B2B businesses?
After doing some careful thinking as a marketing agency about where B2B business can best spend their advertising budget (more on that here), we decided that Facebook and Twitter may be useful networks to help reinforce key brand messages and get quality leads (generated using your primary lead generator, say LinkedIn or Google search ads) over the threshold.
With that hypothesis in mind, we turned to Facebook ads to explore the overall capabilities of the platform. We want to scope it out for ourselves to improve our social media marketing mastery and help other curious B2B businesses along the way.
So in conjunction with wanting to explore how effective Facebook is as a message reinforcement tool, we’re also looking to investigate if it can be used as a reliable way of finding new prospects—like LinkedIn—as well as keeping our marketing minds open to other discoveries. Stay tuned for our next blog in which we will take a deep dive into our Facebook ad results but, for now, let’s learn everything there is to know about advertising on Facebook in 2020!
So how do we go about advertising on Facebook?
While paid search marketing relies on targeting specific keywords that users are searching, Facebook advertising is based on finding people that match your buyer persona and that are likely to become your customers. Facebook targeting options allow you to profile users based on their job title, industry, company size, age, gender, interests they’ve expressed on Facebook, and in many other ways.
But before we get started…
Make sure to set up Facebook Pixel on your website so that you can collect data that helps you track conversions from ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future campaigns, and remarket to people who have taken a desired action on your website. Consider setting up action-specific events to enable you to observe more closely what leads are doing on your site (clicking a CTA, making a purchase, downloading something).
1) To get started, navigate to Facebook Business Manager and create an account, if you don’t have one already
2) Once in, find Ads Manager on the left-hand side nav bar and navigate there
3) To create a new campaign, click the green + Create button and you’re off!
4) Select your campaign objective depending on what you are trying to achieve. Think carefully here as you want to have a clear plan going forward to make sure you’re getting a good return on investment and not wasting your time and budget!
These are the different campaign objectives you can choose from on Facebook:
But we think the three worth focusing on in the B2B space are Brand Awareness, Traffic, and Lead Generation. These are the objectives that align with the different stages in the marketing funnel and will help you advertise your products or services to other businesses.
This objective helps spread the word about your business by getting as many eyes on it as possible and piquing prospects’ interest. While understanding your buyer persona is essential for any campaign, when running a brand awareness one, the audience you target should be broad, so focus on the qualities you think your audience may possess.
Traffic is the ideal campaign for getting people onto your website or checking out your Facebook page (we recommend the former). Use this objective for highly targeted remarketing campaigns or to find new prospects that match your target buyer persona.
These campaigns allow you to collect prospects’ data directly within Facebook using a lead gen form, bypassing a potential blocker: your website. This can be handy if you’re eager to start running ads but fear that your landing page is not yet up to scratch. But the real value in lead gen ads is that the form fields are auto-filled using data taken directly off a prospect’s Facebook page. If signing up for your offer only takes a few clicks and minimises manual input, a prospect is more likely to perform that action.
For our campaign, we chose the Traffic objective to drive more prospects to our website.
5) Once you click through to the new campaign page, you have a chance to name your campaign and consider future strategies like A/B testing, after you’ve launched a few campaigns of your own.
What we really want to talk about though is the campaign budget optimisation option because it allows you to make the most efficient use of your budget spend to get the overall best results and ensure that the cost of those results aligns with your bid strategy.
You can easily set the lifetime budget for the entire campaign or set daily budgets to suit your needs and Facebook will work its magic to optimise your budget spend.
For example, if you run two ad sets in one campaign, Facebook may spend 90% of your budget on the first ad set if that’s how to get your campaign the overall lowest cost per action or highest return on ad spend.
You can also adjust campaign bid strategy and ad scheduling, giving you full control over your campaigns.
6) Next comes designing your ad set. Here, you can select more detailed actions referring to your overall campaign objective. For example, as we have picked the Traffic objective, we now need to indicate where we want to drive traffic. Make sure to consult your marketing team and plan ahead to know exactly what you want to get out of this campaign. We want to drive people to our new ‘bounce back better’ landing page, so we select Website.
Next, you get the option to choose Facebook’s Dynamic creative feature using which you can provide several examples of post copy (five per ad set) and graphics, allowing Facebook to mix and match them to deliver highly optimised ads that are most likely to elicit the desired action from your target audience.
Then, choose your budget and schedule and you’re ready to start building your audience!
7) Now we can finally choose our target audience, but how to choose who to target and how to get started?
You can select your desired demographic factors like location, age and gender (a quick search on Facebook Audience Insights which you can find in Business Manager can be a big help here).
We chose to dive straight in: click the edit button next to Detailed targeting to start building your audience.
Let’s use us as an example: here at NowComms, we want to target the higher-ups in B2B businesses who can make executive decisions in the organisation, so we start off with searching for suitable people using Facebook’s job titles database. And, lo and behold, we can easily include the same or very similar categories to job titles available on LinkedIn—making Facebook look very promising already!
When searching for any characteristic of your target audience, Facebook provides a useful summary of people that match your search criteria. So if we search for Chief Technology Officer, we can see the size of the potential audience, interests, and a description of the characteristic.
Next, we look at our big three sectors: environmental and green technology, cybersecurity and computer networking, and the eLearning industry, and target people who have shown an interest in them.
Let’s say we want to target CTOs interested in environmental tech: we continue by searching for environmental tech in the database:
Now, having selected the two, we see Facebook estimate the target audience at a whopping 55 million people, meaning we’ve hit a problem. If we target all decision-makers on Facebook, how do we know that they will be interested in our core sectors?
That’s where the Narrow Audience option comes in which—when clicked—brings up an ‘And must also match’ search field, allowing you to specify that a person you’re targeting must match Option A and Option B in some way.
So any time Facebook targets a CTO, they must have already shown an interest in environmental technology to be included in your target audience.
Now Facebook gives us a much more manageable 9,800 audience estimate.
This way, instead of grouping the two ideal buyer persona characteristics, we are able to establish and target defined niche audiences easily. If you reach a stage where you think that you’ve exhausted all the targeting options available but that your audience size still doesn’t match your expectations, then you can always try turning on the detailed targeting expansion option to expand your reach.
8) Next, choose your ad placements. If you’re satisfied with Facebook automatically placing your ads throughout its delivery system, then go ahead and opt for Automatic placements. If you want to prioritize placements in specific areas on Facebook’s site e.g. the News Feed over Stories, and want the ads to show on Instagram too, then select Manual placements and explore your options.
9) Then, choose your preferred optimization and delivery.
By choosing the event you want to optimise for in your ad set, Facebook will selectively show your ads to people most likely to complete your desired action. So if optimising for landing page views, Facebook will only show your ads to people likely to end up clicking through to and viewing your landing page. You can choose to optimise for landing page views, link clicks, daily unique reach, and impressions.
10) Now it’s time to get cracking on ad design! First, decide on your ad’s format and remember if you have Dynamic creative enabled, then Facebook will automatically select combinations of post copy and graphics and show them to prospects, meaning you will not be able to see specifically which combinations attract prospects, instead, you can discern differences between ad sets.
Then, choose your media and consider switching on ‘Optimise creative for each person’ if you want to allow Facebook to further optimise your ads (by applying minor image enhancements, cropping images/videos etc).
Under ‘Primary text’, you can input up to five examples of post copy in each ad set which will be matched to the media files you provide. You can also add an optional headline, description, and choose whether you want your website URL to appear on the ad. Make sure to explore Facebook’s range of available call-to-action buttons (with the possibility of adding more than one).
Finally, add the URL link of the landing page that the ad will drive visitors to and consider optimising that link using a URL builder if you’re looking to track site visitors using UTMs (we recommend using the Google Analytics URL Builder extension).
Once that’s all done and dusted, you should have a clean example of an attractive ad sure to hook your prospects. If you look at our example below, we just included the primary text, a graphic, a trackable URL, and a simple display link to appear on the ad.
And that’s pretty much it! You’re on your way to becoming a B2B Facebook advertising superstar!