Reach B2B Prospects Using Facebook Ads

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Advertising, Social
Reach B2B Prospects Using Facebook Ads

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing has unique needs that differ slightly from marketing to consumers. The lead lifecycles can be months (opposed to hours), include multiple decision makers, and often require softer calls-to-action when advertising.

B2B Marketers’ goals are to:

1. Build brand recognition

2. Increase product or service awareness

3. Reach new company influencers and decision makers

4. Capture lead contact information

5. Aid sales in driving net new revenue

Marketing is held responsible for warming up leads and qualifying them for the sales team. This involves targeting the right potential buyers and influencing them at key points within the decision making process.

Many of Facebook’s recent category targeting additions help B2B markets refine their audience, reaching ideal company stakeholders.

New Demographic Categories

When creating a Facebook ad, clicking on the “more demographics” tab reveals new targeting filters.

FB More Demographics Targeting

Below are some of my favorite B2B targets:

I. Work Category

  • Employers

FB Employers Targeting

This field has changed from “workplaces” to simply “employers”; giving you the ability to target FB users by the company they work for.

  • Job Titles

FB Job Title Targeting

Drive cost effective results by only targeting key decision makers and influencers within an organization.

  • Industries

FB Industries Targeting

If you have a product or service that caters to a specific industry, you can filter to show ads to this audience.

  • Office Type

FB Office Type Targeting

Office type targeting is an excellent way to reach a small business, consultant, or entrepreneur.

II. Financial Category

  • Income

FB Income Targeting

In some companies a VP title might mean they are one of the top shot callers. In larger corporations, there might be just a progressional step up from a director, but not hold the final decision making authority. Segmenting by income can help reveal the top movers & shakers within an organization.

III. Life Event Category

  • New job

FB Job Title Targeting FB Life Events Targeting_New Job

 

A CMO brand new to the role for example, is going to want to quickly prove themselves and is more inclined to speak to a sales rep before their daily schedule becomes less forgiving. This is a great time to introduce your solution, so when the prospect enters the consideration phase, your brand is at top of mind.

I know what some of you power Facebook advertisers are thinking, “you can already target many of these using the interests field”. You’re right. However, this now opens up an AND statement opposed to an OR statement, let me explain.

Let’s say we are trying to target CTOs, in the Financial industry, who like college football and prompt them to read our content piece, “How Top CTOs Act Like Quarterbacks, Leading Data Security Initiatives”.

By targeting strictly within the interest field, my targets would include Facebook users who are CTOs, or they are in the Finance industry, or they like college football – reaching a very broad potential reach of 36,000,000 users.

CTO Broad Interest Targeting

When I use the new “more demographic” category targeting, I can narrow the audience to a CTO, who is in the Financial industry, and likes college football – reaching a highly targeted 1,000 users or less.

CTO Categories

The newly added categories provide additional filters, helping to deliver your brand message in front of the best audience.

Forrester’s blog post on the B2B buyer journey cites that, “today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through the journey before the reach out to the vendor”. This means there is more responsibility than ever on B2B marketers’ shoulders to produce great content and get it in front of the right target audience. Using social advertising is a key component to success.

For those wanting to learn more about content marketing, you can read our, “Boost Your Content’s Reach with Ads” blog post.

Michael McEuen

Director of Marketing at AdStage. Social ads convert, and perpetual tinkerer. B2B pipeline generation is my jam.

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  • Excellent post, Michael! Love the example with the college football and CTOs and titling a blog post around those two topics. Very clever.

    • Michael McEuen

      Glad to hear you liked the content Adam!

  • Scott Linklater

    Seriously good post Michael! I’m sure many FB Ad experts probably skipped this article thinking they know how to target.

    If they did, they missed out big time! B2B is such a different beast on Facebook and not an easy one to get working consistently! But it can, and is being done. Tips like this make it work faster, better and for less money!

    Super Value Blog Post!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Scott

    • Michael McEuen

      Thanks for the kind words Scott; I’m happy to hear you found it valuable!

      Completely agree that approaching FB ads for B2B can be tricky. It takes considerable audience research and high quality content.

  • Matt Edny

    Hi all, has anyone figured out how to get this new ad structure? I am in Australia and really want it running asap, as currently have a huge disadvantage to other marketers that have access to it. I have tried signing up a new FB account via a VPN running through USA but that still didn’t work.

    Thanks,
    Matt

    • Michael McEuen

      Hi Matt, it may be a long shot, but try reaching out to FB support to whitelist your account for the newest type of category targeting.

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