January 22, 2020

3 ways to use Facebook advertising to sell B2B products or services

When people talk about B2B marketing channels, what are the first things that come to your mind?

Probably things like content marketing, LinkedIn advertising, conferences, and trade publications.

Facebook advertising probably wouldn't be the first on your list.

Think about it, even in B2B marketing, you're ultimately selling to people.

The startup CTO who's hard at work managing a team of engineers all day, checks his Instagram (which you can target through Facebook ads) during his lunch break.

The 30-year old account executive for a productivity-based SaaS company is checking her Facebook on her commute home.

All of the people who ultimately play some role in the decision-making process, whether as decision-makers themselves or as influencers are using on Facebook and Instagram.

All of them spend more than an hour combined, every day on Facebook and Instagram, according to eMarketer.

Alright, but how does this help with B2B marketing?

Very often, people also login to Facebook on their work computers.

Either that, or they log in to the work emails or handle some kind of work on their own devices, whether it's their phones or their home computers and tablets.

Whether Julian the product manager is logged in to his home computer to do work or is checking his Instagram from work, once he's logged into Facebook and visits your site, once your pixel is tracking him, you can start retargeting personalized ads to him.

The Facebook pixel is thus really the key to targeting users for B2B marketing through retargeting ads.

Let's dive into 3 ways to apply this right now:

1. Get cold traffic from content marketing, then retarget users on Facebook and Instagram

Plenty of companies are already adopting strategies like this, especially if they have a lower price point, either by targeting the SMB market or by targeting specific departments within companies.

Take a look at this ad by AppSumo:

I had previously visited some of the productivity-related tools on offer on their site.

The next day, after not revisiting or buying anything, they put this specific, CTA-oriented, retargeting ad based on which pages I visited.

2. LinkedIn ads for Top-Of-The-Funnel traffic, then retarget with Facebook

As you probably know, LinkedIn ads are great for B2B advertising as they allow you to target by job title, company, industry, and other options highly relevant to your business.

However, this targeting option comes at a high price.

LinkedIn ads are on average more than 3x as expensive as Facebook ads, with an average CPC of $5.26 vs $1.72.

Of course, that isn't a problem when your AOV is high. But it becomes a problem if you want to then retarget the users from your LinkedIn ad campaign.

The solution: get users from your LinkedIn ad campaign to land on a specific landing page on your site. Once they hit your pixel, you can then go on to see which specific pages they visit on your site. You can then tailor retargeting ads at this highly specific cohort of users, with Facebook's much cheaper retargeting cost.

Additionally, to reduce the cost of your LinkedIn ad campaign, consider going for text ads where you can craft a highly specific unique value proposition, rather than the more expensive "Sponsored Story" option.

3. Get cold traffic with native ads, then retarget with Facebook

Much of the digital marketing world focuses primarily on SEO, the Google Ad Network, Facebook ads, and maybe ads on platforms like Quora, Pinterest, Reddit, and more.

There are whole categories of ad networks that are more under-the-radar but are still immensely profitable for ad publishers aware of them.

One of these categories is native ads, or "content recommendation platforms".

You've probably seen "Sponsored Stories" like these at the end of news articles:

Native ads went through some controversy around 2016, when a lot of higher-profile news networks noticed that the ads often linked to clickbait sites.

While some native ad platforms still contain a lot of clickbait content, Outbrain has cleaned itself up and feature ads from brands like Standard Chartered and Emirates Airlines.

On average, the CPC for native ads is far lower than that of Facebook ads or Google Display Network ads. Granted, targeting options for native ads are also more limited, but you can reach a "business" audience by targeting domains and interests around your industry.

You can additionally target by device and operating systems; for example, if you're selling a highly technical product aimed at coders, it might be worthwhile creating a campaign targeting Linux users.

Once cold traffic from native ads lands on your landing page, you can then retarget them on Facebook, which can further give you finer-grained behavioural targeting options.

Conclusion

Facebook ads might not be the best choice for cold traffic for B2B marketing, but by leveraging of the Facebook pixel, you can segment traffic from other sources and create retargeting campaigns aimed at each segment, thereby helping to increase your overall number of leads, and reducing overall cost-per-lead as compared to a campaign that relies primarily on more expensive channels.

How would you incorporate Facebook ads into your B2B marketing strategy?

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