While Google search continues to provide the highest intent lead volume for B2B, marketers have to contend with rising cost per clicks every year as well as the increased competition, diminishing returns, and limitation of search volume in the market. As a result, B2B marketers who want and are ready to expand need to evaluate other channels to source additional quality leads.
Is Facebook a channel which can provide quality leads for B2B marketers? We at (un)Common Logic say yes, if your strategy and tactics consider the following:
- Leave your marketing and lead collection efforts within Facebook
- Focus on audience targeting and settings, as they are key to successful Facebook marketing for B2B
- Keep ad types and content simple
Click here to learn more about (un)Common Logic’s digital marketing approach and values.
Read on for more details on the development and implementation of successful Facebook lead generation campaigns for B2B from an experienced digital marketing practitioner.
Where should digital marketers expand their B2B lead generation efforts?
The first inclination for B2B is to advertise in LinkedIn. Businesses can guarantee high quality traffic and targeting; however, LinkedIn does have some limitations including high CPCs, low user engagement, and a sub-par user friendly advertising platform.
Other advertisers turn to display and programmatic vendors hoping their customer lists can generate enough look-alike audiences to provide the necessary quality and lead volume.
What about B2B marketing on Facebook?
Unlike e-commerce and B2C marketing efforts, many B2B marketers regard Facebook as an untenable advertising channel that should be used sparingly, if at all. This apprehension is warranted. Facebook and Instagram users are on the platforms to unwind from their work/business. Therefore, buying ad impressions may reach users at the wrong mindset. This can result in wasting precious funds on unconverted traffic or wasting budget and time on poor quality leads. Additionally, choosing, creating, and testing to find the appropriate targeting (audiences, ads) can be daunting and lead again to wasted budget.
Having said that, we truly believe with the right investment and time, any B2B marketer can find the right mix to meet the desired performance level on Facebook.
Here are some lessons we have learned at UCL to allow you to skip through a lot of the trial and error.
Should I drive leads to my website from Facebook?
As a rule, you should NEVER try to drive traffic away from Facebook to your site. Time after time we found that doing so is extremely detrimental to conversion rate. Facebook offers enough opportunity and tools for any B2B to collect a lead through their platform (more on that in a minute). Keep in mind, if you keep users in Facebook, your business profile must have regular posts and maintenance.
If you have decided against this recommendation because of your business constraints, closely examine the mobile speed of your site and how content appears on different devices. This is critical because most Facebook users access the application using their phones. Ads leading to a slow site will only result in wasted budget. While campaigns can opt out of mobile, this will result in shrinking the audience and increasing the cost per click, so we do not recommend it.
What are the most important elements of B2B Facebook campaigns?
Audience targeting and settings are the most important elements to figure out. Targeting too wide an audience will result in waste. Target too narrow and you will not see enough results to fully optimize. We found the best B2B targeting options are:
- Lookalike audiences based on qualified customer match leads. All that is needed is to import a list (this list could be generated from your CRM or even LinkedIn) and let Facebook find an audience that closely resembles the uploaded list
- Jobs, employers – This list will be small per job title, and while you have to rely on proper Facebook data (as opposed to the probably more accurate LinkedIn data), the low cost per clicks make it a great cost-effective approach
Settings are critical from a savings perspective. Facebook has a tendency to maximize the available budget and, without constraints established through carefully selected settings, will hit audiences at inappropriate times or apply your budget to their other platforms (such as Instagram). Before launching, consider when is your most qualified audience most likely to convert. Typically, marketers will say weekdays during office hours; however, in a test for a client targeting medical practices and doctors we found the best quality lead volume came in after hours (5 PM – 11 PM) and on weekends. Why? Because doctors rarely have time to check their Facebook during the day. Subsequently, we chose only to run during non-business hours for this client.
How does a B2B marketer make effective ads on Facebook?
First, consider ad types
Testing is important, but B2B should always start with a lead generation campaign. The campaign is built the same as a regular Facebook ad with the added step of creating a lead form which takes just a few minutes. With a little more time and effort, you can connect Facebook with your CRM so the leads are fluidly transferred to the sales team without wasting time between lead and first initial contact. As specified above, your objective should be to convert users directly within Facebook without much effort on the user’s part.
Second, consider ad content
Although Facebook gives you a lot of options and fields to choose from when it comes to ad text, the best advice is to keep ad text short, direct, and do not use ad text to filter for your audience. Remember, Facebook’s algorithm relevancy is based on the engagement with the ad. If you try to decrease engagement, the subsequent increase in cost per click will outweigh the benefit of lead quality.
Additionally, always worry about ad fatigue for Facebook users. A good cadence would be to upload new images or videos every 2-3 weeks. To catch the audience’s attention, both images and text need to be much more aggressive than your Google search ad. Do not be afraid to take risks.
In one test, we launched a mix of images (standard stock photos of mobile offices vs. standard stock photos of construction workers vs. illustrations of mobile offices) and mix of text (long form specific text like “Prices to rent office trailers can range from $200 to $900 per month or more. Get the best deal you can!” vs. one sentence text like: “You would not believe these prices on office trailers!”). What was the result?
The combination of illustration and short sentence resulted in a 7.4x higher lead volume than all the other ads combined.
Although every business will perform differently on Facebook, marketers for B2B should not shy away from testing it. We are confident that using the right approach will yield positive results.
Contact (un)Common Logic to learn more about how our digital marketing approach can help your business.