Think Facebook ads only work for B2C brands?
Facebook ads are also a superb marketing tool for attracting new customers for B2B businesses. It’s a profitable online advertising platform in many ways. Among other things, the low cost per click (CPC) allows brands to gain leads without breaking the bank. With Facebook users spending almost 20 hours a month on the platform, you will find engaged business decision makers among them.
To make Facebook advertising work for your brand and maximize earnings from your marketing efforts, you must use a smart strategy.
This guide will introduce you to the best practices for Facebook ads for B2B, from creating an advertising funnel to creating effective advertising creatives.
Why Facebook Ads For B2B Brands Work (And Don’t Work)
Facebook is an excellent lead generation channel for B2B companies.
Facebook Advertising For B2B: Why Bother?
Why advertise on Facebook?
The main reason to advertise on Facebook is that this platform has the greatest reach. With close to 3 billion active users, Facebook is by far the most popular social network.
You can reach all these billions of people around the world and find the right audience for your brand through highly targeted Facebook ads.
While the Facebook user base dipped for the first time in the last quarter of 2021, a closer look at the trends shows Facebook and Instagram are still on a path of steady growth in monthly active users. Facebook has become the most popular social media platform for b2b marketing. The network has now overtaken LinkedIn, which for a long time was the leading lead generation channel for most B2B brands.
Besides a wide global reach, advertising on Facebook has other advantages that can benefit your brand’s marketing efforts. The platform has some of the best advertising algorithms in the industry. You can use Facebook’s hyper-accurate engine to target people by job titles, industry, demographics, location, and more.
The targeting is more advanced than the one offered by Google Ads. We will dig deeper into targeting shortly. But the point is through Facebook news feed ads you can attract the exact audience you are after. Plus, Facebook ads are pretty cheap, so you can start immediately.
Finally, Facebook offers many ad formats to suit every niche and every stage of the marketing funnel. Despite all these benefits, there are also unsuccessful cases of B2B advertising on Facebook. That’s what we will talk about next.
5 Common Mistakes B2B Brands Make With Facebook Advertising
To drive quick business growth from Facebook, many brands slip up and fall flat. Here are a few popular mistakes when using Facebook ads:
Having A Fuzzy Target Audience
Most B2B brands fail on Facebook because they don’t have a clear target audience. Clarity about your targeted audience is crucial to succeeding with FB ads. It informs your entire advertising campaign from messaging to the visuals you use.
So if your target is unclear, you won’t hit it—simple.
Ignoring The Sales Funnel
Ad campaigns don’t take place in a vacuum. They happen in the context of a specific business with unique goals. So if you don’t align your advertising strategy based on your sales funnel, your ads will be spectacular duds.
It is vital to first understand your sales funnel, then set up FB ads.
Using Generic Ads
One size fits all may be good when shopping for happy socks. But it’s a bad idea when doing FB ad campaigns. If you show the same ad creative to everyone, you will fail. Your click-through rates will be dismal. And most people who click on your ads won’t become paying clients because they are not a good fit.
Personalization is the name of the game in marketing these days. Without it, you’ll your ads won’t resonate with your audience and you will waste your ad budget.
Forgetting Remarketing Campaigns
Did you know that a staggering 97% of people who visit a website for the first time buy nothing then? You lose a tremendous opportunity for sales if you don’t follow them to lure them back to your site so they buy or take the desired action like filling a lead gen form. That’s what remarketing is all about. Following your site visitors after they leave so they come back.
If you don’t set up a Facebook pixel for remarketing campaigns, you lose an enormous opportunity of turning visitors who left into leads and sales.
Following What Everyone Else Is Doing
Many brands misfire on Facebook because they follow best practices blindly. Following what everyone is doing won’t lead to success. Your company is unique. It has distinct goals, audiences, and positioning. Yes, learn from what others are doing, but experiment and do what works for your unique brand.
What works for one B2B company may not work for another.
Now that you know which banana skins to avoid, let’s look at how to build a funnel for FB ads.
How To Create A B2B Marketing Funnel For Facebook Ads
To kill it with FB ads, you must create a funnel and target each stage.
In case you are wondering, a marketing funnel is a predetermined pathway for prospects to follow from being total strangers to a company to becoming loyal customers.
It's shaped liked a funnel, wide on top and narrow at the bottom as leads move closer to making a purchasing decision.
People become fewer as you go down and move closers to the purchase stage.
Let’s summarize each stage of the marketing funnel as it relates to FB ads.
Marketing Funnel Awareness Stages
Here’s a quick overview of the marketing funnel. You can build your Facebook advertising around the framework. It starts when prospects know nothing about your company and move through the stages until they become paying customers.
At this stage, prospects don’t have a clue about your business and what you do. The goal of ads here is to make potential customers aware that your brand exists.
In the interest stage, prospects know about your brand. At this point, your promotions must engage them and show them how your goods or services can serve them.
You’ve piqued the leads’ interest. Now they are considering buying from you. Ads at this stage should showcase the benefits of your product and how it can make people’s lives better.
At the intention stage, your promos should focus on your unique positioning in the market. Show how your product is better than your competitors’.
The goal of ads at this stage is to clinch the sale. No pussyfooting. Just ask for the sale. That’s it.
Quick Notes About The Marketing Funnel Stages
Let’s now go into detail about the tactics you can use to design promotions that engage Facebook users and drive action at each stage of the funnel.
Marketing Funnel Stage 1: Awareness
Remember, people at this stage of the funnel know absolutely nothing about your brand and what it offers.
So you must introduce it to them.
Showcase the brilliance of your product to build brand awareness. Tell prospects your product exists, appealingly so you draw them towards it. The easiest way to talk about a product is to run an ad that reveals what it is.
The advertising creative should emphasize the benefits of the product.
A few recommendations about ads in the awareness stage:
Asana’s advert leads by touting their biggest benefit—simplicity.
Not only is the software easy to use, but they also draw prospects in by telling them the tool is free for teams up to 15.
Advertise The Facts That Build Trust
First impressions are crucial in advertising.
If you don't hook prospects in those first few seconds when they encounter your brand for the first time, they will ignore your ad. So a potential client needs to know that you are a reliable partner. Let prospects see you as:
For people to deem you a reliable brand, in your advertisement copy:
Supermetrics makes a customer testimonial the core of their ad.
By using a success story from existing customers, they prove that product works in the real world.
Promote The Media Coverage About Your Company
Has your company appeared in a famous business publication?
Maximize that special moment to promote your business. Use the mention by the well-known business publication in your adverts as proof that you are the real deal. Social proof is such a powerful psychological trigger.
WeWork boasts of its mention in the prestigious Inc. Magazine.
On seeing this media mention, the brand's followers on their Facebook page and other Facebook audiences see them as a big kahuna in the industry. PR and B2B Facebook ads are a formidable duo that proves a brand’s popularity and authority.
To spread the word about your product even further, use the Facebook Audience Network. This feature publishes your ads in apps and sites outside Facebook.
More eyeballs on your content mean more exposure for your brand.
Best Practices For B2B Brand Awareness Facebook Ads
B2B Facebook ads that help increase brand awareness:
Once you understand the best practices of a brand awareness campaign, move on to setting up your campaign.
How To Set Up Your Facebook Brand Awareness Campaigns
The first step is choosing a campaign goal.
The future success of advertising depends on the correct choice of a goal since Facebook uses different algorithms and advertising settings for each goal.
We recommend using these types of goals:
Brand awareness is all about showing your ad to as many people as possible who fit your target persona. This aim is ideal if you want consumers to spread the word fast about a new product offering or you are a new startup that wants people to know it has arrived on the scene.
This campaign goal is for B2B brands that want to drive a lot of traffic to their website. Traffic is the perfect goal if you are promoting gated content because it helps you grow your email list. It is also a suitable goal if you want people to visit your free trial offer page.
The engagement goal aims to get more people to interact with your Facebook post or page. Engagement covers likes, shares, and comments. You can choose this goal if you want more people to engage with your posts or as social proof when promoting an event.
You can start with one campaign with one set of ads, including 3-10 creatives.
Next, set up ad campaign targeting.
Facebook allows you to customize audiences by interests, gender, age, geographic location, and more.
To target effectively, test different audience options that are most similar to the target customers. Here’s how the audience section looks.
During the awareness stage, the overarching goal is to reach the largest number of potential customers and tell them about your product. Facebook lead ads are perfect for this purpose.
Now we move on to the interest stage.
Marketing Funnel Stage 2: Interest
At the interest stage, people know about your brand a bit about your product, but they are not confident enough to buy it.
They need more info.
Here’s how you give it to them.
Promote Your Top Blog Articles
If you have a site that’s packed with SEO-optimized content, advertise it on Facebook.
SEO is a potent marketing channel that can produce a constant stream of organic leads for your business month after month, years. But to make SEO work and rank for keywords your target audience uses to search for your products or services, you must promote your content aggressively.
That’s where B2B Facebook ads come in.
Litmus knows how to promote its content using B2B Facebook promos.
This B2B Facebook commercial rocks because it’s non salesy. Also, the article addresses a relevant topic for brands that want to get results from their email marketing.
Collect Leads With Gated Content
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels. With the help of Facebook advertising, you can create a traffic flow to closed content. These are useful materials that can be accessed in exchange for the prospect’s contact details. Facebook lead ads do the trick.
To do this, you need to set up an advertising campaign that directs people to a landing page.
Pipedrive certainly knows how to combine B2B Facebook ads with a dedicated landing page.
Here is a case of in point of one of their ads.
It leads straight to this landing page.
The entire campaign is aligned.
From the ad that advertises a free trial to the landing page that sells the free trial, down to the CTA ‘get started for free” that clinches the deal, everything is in sync. You can do the same and use your content assets instead of a free trial to get the contact details from new leads. Dedicated landing pages boost sign ups because they don’t have distractions.
Best Practices For B2B Facebook Ads In The Interest Stage
The interest stage is not a definite step between the stages of awareness and consideration.
There’s a sense in which interest overlaps between the awareness and the consideration stages. People can’t engage with your brand if you haven’t provoked their interest. And they certainly won’t consider your brand if you don’t sustain their interest.
Campaigns you can launch at this stage include:
How To Set Up Your Interest Stage Facebook Page Campaign
For better structure and control, you should have only 3 campaigns at each stage of the funnel.
But first, experts recommend setting up one campaign at each stage of the funnel.
There are 2 types of remarketing audiences that work well on Facebook.
Past Website Visitors
For past website visitors, you must install a Facebook pixel on your site.
A FB pixel is a piece of code that collects data about site visitors and helps you track conversions of your FB ads.
You can add a Facebook pixel at the bottom of your website’s header section.
It’s easy. You don’t need a developer to do it.
Once you’ve installed the pixel on your site, go to the Facebook audience and set up a custom audience for everyone who visited the site in the past 30 days.
Select "all visitors" and 30 days.
You can create ads for people who visited specific web pages.
Executed well, these ads can bring back people who exited your website so they complete the desired action (e.g. watch a demo video or fill a lead gen form) and continue to go down your funnel.
People Who Interacted With The Page And Ads
Many people connect with your brand through your FB ads or page, go their way, and forget about you.
To win them back and keep your brand top of mind, charm them with a series of FB ads.
To re-engage this type of target:
Create a custom audience, select "FB page" from the list of targeting options;
Select "People who interacted with any post or ad".
Set "30 days".
You can use the activity-based targeting function to reach people who:
Speaking of hyper-targeting, here’s how it looks in Facebook Ad Manager.
You can use this handy feature for business decision makers who have already shown interest in your brand. B2B Facebook ads targeting these engaged prospects convert better than those who haven’t connected with your company before.
ShipCalm used Facebook’s core and custom audiences feature to create high-performing ads like the ones below.
They got remarkable results from their custom audiences themed approach:
The interest stage is all about staying front and center in the minds of prospects, so when the moment to buy a product related to the problems you solve, you will be the first brand that comes to mind.
Then comes consideration…
Marketing Funnel Stage 3: Consideration
The consideration stage is for nurturing leads. You must keep leads interested in your product while strengthening your positioning in their minds. People must see your product as a viable option among all the many choices out there.
How do you nurture leads at this stage?
Two proven methods work for Saas (software as a service) brands and service-based companies.
For SaaS brands, a good option is:
Give people free access to your software for a limited time. Most brands have 14-day or 30-day free trials. This is enough time for people to appreciate the strengths of your product, so they ultimately upgrade to a paid subscription. Once a customer has signed up for a free trial, move them to the next stage of the marketing funnel.
Here’s a good example of a free trial ad from Convert Kit.
They use an engaging conversational tone. Plus, they emphasize that it’s a FREE no-strings-attached test drive. Finally, they specify that it’s a 14-day free trial so people know from the get-go.
If you are a service-based business, you can:
When people haven’t worked with your company before, they have no idea what your company is capable of. By offering to work with you for free, you give them a chance to sample your company in a real work scenario so they get impressed and sign up for your paid service.
Michael Hyatt, a consultant, gives brands a chance to see him in action through a live webinar.
This ad uses social proof to powerfully. It points out that Michael is a NYT bestselling author who runs a blog with 500,000 readers. Surely brand would be keen to listen to such a distinguished presenter.
Keep Sharing High-Quality Content
Once again, remember that at this stage, it’s critical to remain the center of attention for customers.
You achieve this through emails and paid marketing tactics.
After publishing an article on a blog or other useful content:
Here’s an example of Credo promoting valuable content to their target audience.
Here’s an example of Credo promoting valuable content to their target audience.
Show How Much Value Your B2B Product Can Bring
For people to consider your product in their buying options, they must see value in it.
The most effective way to show the value of a product is to evaluate its benefits as weighed against the problem it solves for the target consumers.
However, note that advertising copy in the consideration stage should not contain aggressive sales offers. Hard sell adverts will scare off potential buyers because they won’t be ready to take out their credit cards yet.
So you need a more subtle approach.
Instead, offer a free trial of the product or something like that. For marketing messages in the consideration stage, we recommend you set your ad to one of the following objectives:
You can configure this easily in FB ad manager:
Site visitors browse many pages on websites: homepages, about pages, pricing pages, you name it. You can specifically target users who visited specific pages in Custom Audiences. For instance, you can focus on people who visited your sales page and bought something or those who visited a certain page in a specified period.
This feature allows you to target buyers in your existing customer base. You can create Facebook custom audiences and build a custom audience list. You can create Lookalike audiences based on your chosen identifiers from the many options at your disposal.
The more identifiers you add, the more custom your audience becomes.
After picking your identifiers, the Facebook lookalike audiences algorithm kicks in and searches for people who match your customer data. Pretty smart, right?
Marketing Funnel Stage 4: Intent
At the intent stage, leads are inching closer to buying your products. A good strategy to push them further down the funnel using success stories related to your product in your ads.
To convince leads to buy your product:
At the intention stage, the advertisements should:
Show That Your Product Is The Best On The Market
Yes, the best is relative.
But you should find that one thing that makes your product better than the competition. Amplify it until people get it.
Is your product:
Whatever that ‘best’ is for your company or service, emphasize it in your ads.
Show That Your Product Is Backed By Stellar Service
Behind every successful product is a five-star customer service team.
In your ads, show your brand has a helpful attitude towards customers. Prominently display reviews and testimonials where satisfied customers sing of your product’s virtues and the brilliance of your ever-helpful support team.
Show That Your Product Is Popular With Consumers
People are wired to do what all the other cool kids in town are doing. So do all you can to show the popularity of your product.
Show off other companies that have used your product/service and loved it. The more the merrier. Brownie points if it’s a famous brand. Also, get active on social media platforms. When people see your company popping up all over social channels, they’ll believe you are a massive brand.
Here are the recommended campaign types at the intent stage:
Targeting at this stage should aim at leads in the middle of the sales funnel.
One more step to go… the purchase stage.
Marketing Funnel Stage 5: Purchase
Consumers who reach the purchase stage are close to the finish line of the buying process. They are ready to pull the trigger and click the buy button.
In terms of ads, the last stage is the promotion of sales and discounts to push customers to the final purchase decision.
The major goal at this stage is simple—turn leads into customers.
The best ad campaigns are those that provide an additional reason for making a purchase decision. In other words, pile value on value to impress people so they can’t help themselves but buy your product because they see its value.
Setting up a Facebook advertising campaign at the stage of purchase is straightforward:
For a B2B online product, you can set up the following FB pixel events:
4 B2B Facebook Ad Examples To Energize Your Next Campaig
Here are a few B2B FB ad examples to inspire you.
First up is one from CoPromote.
The ad works because:
Another excellent FB ad case study is from Dropbox.
The biggest takeaway?
Flaunting their massive 90k user base to tease prospects to join the bandwagon.
Klient Boost used a testimonial type ad to good effect.
Testimonials are a robust tactic for generating new leads at the top of the funnel. They make prospects instantly identify with the ad. Importantly, they prove the company’s expertise. Testimonials also appeal to tentative existing leads and help them take the plunge.
Get Response is a wonderful illustration of a product-focused ad.
The ad showcases the SaaS company’s latest additions to its suite of digital marketing tools. This shows prospective buyers they are a serious brand that keeps improving its product. So they are more likely to sign up for the free trial.
Facebook Campaign Budgeting For B2B Ads
Although it is impossible to determine the cost per click on Facebook offhand for different business areas, below are a few tips for optimizing your ad spend budget.
According to Web FX, the average cost per click (CPC) on Facebook is $0.97 and $7.19 per 1000 impressions.
On average, if you target 100,000 people, then on average you can count on a budget of 1000-5000 dollars.
With positive profitability, you can increase the amount.
You can start with a daily budget of $100-$500 for each remarketing campaign.
For best results, it’s better to use a frequency limit, about 3-8 ad views per week. See what works best daily or lifetime budget.
If you manage your budget efficiently, you’ll discover that advertising on Facebook is cheaper than doing so on Google AdWords.
FB Ads For B2B: Grab The Great Opportunity Today!
In this article, we looked at setting up FB ads at each stage of the sales funnel.
This is an integrated approach that allows you to attract almost all types of user audiences and that you can also use individual stages of the funnel to promote your B2B business.
Done right, this can generate an endless stream of leads for your B2B business. The foundation of success is audience targeting—knowing who you are after. Once you lock in the characteristics of your existing customers, find lookalike audiences to reach Facebook.
FB ads are a golden opportunity for savvy B2B brands.
Grab it today and skyrocket your brand’s leads and sales.