Targeting the Best B2B Audiences Through Facebook

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I always love having Jon Loomer on a podcast, not only can listeners learn so much, but my team and I always get so much out of our conversations.  JonLoomer.com was recognized as one of Social Media Examiner's Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2013, 2014 & 2015.  It is simply the complete online resource of advanced Facebook marketing tips and tutorials, updated on nearly a daily basis. Here are the highlights from our most recent talk.

 

B2B versus B2C Marketing

DR: B2B is certainly a different kind of nut to crack than B2C, or Business to Consumer marketing. What do you think about using Facebook as a platform for B2B marketing? What are your overall thoughts?

JL: I get this question a lot. The truth is, I don’t differentiate between B2B and B2C, because it all really comes down to targeting, creating the best kind of content for the right audience, and being smart about how you create your campaign. Clearly, with B2C you typically have a larger audience than you would for B2B, where you’ll be targeting decision makers, but either way, you’re still creating content for people that should have an interest in your solution. The primary key is to reach the right audience, as opposed to focusing on how many likes, clicks, etc you have.

 

DR: I think often we forget that there are people behind companies and CEO titles.

JL: Right. When you create content, you create it with those people in mind to start. If the audience is typically a CEO, CFO, CMO- the decision maker, don’t create click-bait content just to get more clicks. You’ve got to create content that’s really going to appeal to the group you’re trying to reach. Sure, you might not get a ton of people liking your page, to begin with, but you’re going to get the right people.

 

DR: What are some inherent differences between using Facebook to market B2B versus B2C, or are there any? Is there a different methodology?

JL: I come from a mix of those two worlds.

B2C

  • It’s a larger group of people
  • It doesn’t really matter who they are

B2B

  • It’s usually a smaller, more refined audience
  • You’ll be targeting people by job title
  • Targeting by the company they work for

The first difference is that you’re probably not going to make a big splash. Targeting with B2C might look like going after women and men, 25-34 who live in the U.S., something really basic, as opposed to targeting in a way that’s more refined when it comes to B2B.

 

Creating Effective Audiences

DR: That leads to something I wanted to get further into. We have lots of options when it comes to targeting audiences; geography, job titles, employers, etc. How accurate are these targeting options? Also, what are some other ideas for creating the most powerful and effective audiences? If you really wanted to zero in, are there things to keep in mind?

JL: First of all, when you’re doing this initial marketing, it really should be top of the funnel stuff. Here’s the issue with Facebook being around for so long. Say that you’re targeting by job title, the accuracy of doing that depends on people updating that information. When we are using that information, we’re using it for the top of the funnel, and it’s something a high volume action- something that’s easy to post. So you do it wanting to sell something, knowing that there might be a lot of waste, as opposed to a creating a video that’s going to appeal to my target audience that I know will get a lot of views at an inexpensive price. I can then create my audience from people who watch the video, and I can remarket to those people and not waste my money down the road.

Whether it’s job title, or interests, or behaviors- I certainly question the accuracy of all these things. In fact, I recently wrote a blog post about this subject. Facebook will show you how you’re targeted by interests- a lot of it is accurate, and a lot of it is inaccurate. That’s why it’s important to target with high volume actions like watching videos and reading blog posts before we bring people into our Facebook funnel.

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DR: Obviously, there’s almost an infinite number of industries out there. But with regard to interests, in a B2B world, what are some that we should keep at the top of mind?

JL: I think that’s always going to be dependent on what your product is and who your target audience is.

 

DR: What about behaviors?

JL: That’s really where you start getting into careers, education, job titles, and things that you bought. You need the history of what products people are buying, and how they relate to your brand.

 

DR: That’s a good point, and something I think people should really pay attention to. You can define your audience if you know them well enough. Now, how do you filter out bs titles, like “CEO at Making Money”, which is actually a real example?  

JL: That’s why we create a funnel. If we create a video, it will be boring to most people, but interesting to our target audience. Someone who is CEO at Making Money is probably going to ignore the video. The thought is that the top 5% of people who watch a portion of the video that we determine, say it’s 30 seconds, will then be added to an audience. Not only were they someone from the original audience who we thought may be relevant, but they paid attention to something that we think is relevant to them. To us, that’s a sign that they are someone we should be spending money on, and not someone with a bs title. 

Long term, in all these situations, you don’t want to rely entirely on things like interests and behaviors, because they aren’t all that accurate. We use them for a first step.

 

DR: So, what you’re getting at is there is some great targeting available, but you use it as the first cookie you’re sending out. Let people take a bite of that cookie, and build up a more refined audience from there. Remarket to that audience, and then, start serving buying ads to the audience you’ve built from the initial targeting.

JL: Yes, I would even take it a step further and turn this into what I call an evergreen campaign to refine your audience.

*Check out Jon's methodology if you're unfamiliar with evergreen campaigns.

 

DR: Are there any other creative practices to apply once you’ve narrowed down your audience?

JL: Videos are a great, whether they’re live or Q&A’s. Also, lead ads, carousel, and canvas ads. Canvas ads offer an interactive experience and are really interesting for B2B.

 

Lead Ads

DR: You mentioned lead ads, which are more of a conversion tactic, but they don’t just serve one purpose- like a submission form for a sales call or an email sign-up. In addition, just by clicking on the lead ad, you can start creating custom audiences. It’s interesting that you touched on that.

JL: Yes, it’s a big development. If anyone isn’t familiar with lead ads, they basically replace sending people to a landing page on your website. When you send someone to a landing page, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.

  • Loading time, (which is 8 seconds on average)
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • is it too much of a hassle to enter information, (especially on a mobile device, and B2B)

A lead ad automatically opens a form, never going to your website. A lot of the information will be pulled from the visitors profile- first name, last name, phone number, fields like that. But, you can also ask custom questions as well.  It simplifies the process, so it’s much easier for people to complete the form. In the past, one of the negatives of not sending people to your site is that you have no insight to how people engaged with that form because it was all on Facebook and not your site. Now, Facebook has created lead ad engagement custom audiences, which is a very helpful new addition.  

 

DR: That’s a very big deal and a huge addition. As a credit to you, I want to mention that we appreciate you never acting as if you have all the answers. You always say to test- try lead ads, try sending people to a landing page, and track results. You don’t know until you know.

Are there any differences in strategies when working with smaller target audiences? For instance, what if you’re only going after C-suite people, in a specific industry, in a very small geographic area.

JL: The main difference is that you have to budget and bid differently. If you’re going after an audience of 5,000 people, you can’t spend $50 a day. Make sure that it’s not just a small audience, it’s a very relevant audience. So, make sure if you’re narrowing your audience, you’re narrowing it for the right reasons. Using custom website audiences as an example, where we know if someone performs a certain action on our site, we know it’s extremely relevant. Say we get 500 or 1,000 of those people a day, and we want to treat them all equally, keep in mind that by default, Facebook is still going to optimize and show the ad to maybe 200 of those people. If you want to reach 100% of the 500 or 1,000 people, you’ll need to start looking at CPM bidding or daily unique reach bidding, and removing Facebook’s optimization.

 

Smart Marketing

DR: We have a fear of over-saturating some of these smaller audiences. I’m curious how to avoid becoming annoying, and sticking to smart remarketing. Do you have any advice?

JL: There are a few things you can do.

  1. The first thing you can do is take the evergreen campaign approach, so if someone doesn’t take a certain action in a specified number of days, they’ll fall off of your campaign, and stop seeing your ad.
  2. The second thing to consider is the type of bids you use. A prime example is when I use daily unique reach bidding, is when I’m trying to reach as close to 100% of people as I can, but I’m really careful to do it more than once a day.
  3. You’ve also got an option to choose reach and frequency bidding. Just know that once you’ve selected that, you’ve got to be looking at several thousand in budget scale to make it work.

 

DR: I think everyone should heed that advice. You can go from looking very smart to being very annoying, very easily! That’s something I’ve been talking with my own team about, just because I’ve been seeing my own ads so much.

JL: Dave, that’s why it’s important for you to show your ads to yourself. I hear from a lot of people who want to exclude themselves from seeing their ads. First of all, you aren’t spending much money at all on this. Also, I’ve been in the same situation- seeing my own ad a lot- so it’s good to be in the audience so you’ll know what’s happening. Otherwise, you’re spending having to check the metrics frequently. 

 

DR: So small businesses with small budgets- where is the very first place you would tell them to start?

JL: Basically, we need to find our audience. The first place I would send them to is audience insights, which is a tool within the ads manager, because the audience is going to determine if we’re successful, or not. What most small business will jump in and make a whole bunch of guesses, find out their targeting doesn’t work, and conclude that it’s not working. What we’ve got to do instead is find our ideal audience- using audience insights. You put in targets, and Facebook comes back with lots of information, giving you lots of ideas for targeting.  The second thing I suggest is using look-a-like audiences. So, if you’ve got a small email list, website traffic that’s coming in over the last 6 months, it’s not a lot- but having Facebook find people who are similar to those people, and automating that process.

 

DR: I think you’ve really given everyone a lot to chew on and some really great advice. Do you have any final thoughts you want to leave with us?

JL: It’s constantly changing! It’s a really exciting time, so keep experimenting and trying different things. You never know what the perfect combination is for you- there really is no one formula that works for everyone.

 

DR: How can people learn more from you?

JL: The best way is to visit my website at JonLoomer.com and at the top, there is a link for a quiz. This is a 30 question quiz to help you find out what you know, and what you don’t know. At the end of the quiz, you’ll know if you’re in the beginner, intermediate, or advanced level. Based on those findings, I’ll recommend a free webinar for you.

 

ABOUT JON LOOMER

Jon Loomer is a Facebook marketing coach, author, speaker and strategist. He became an early user of Facebook for business purposes while working for the National Basketball Association in 2007. Jon launched Jon Loomer Digital in late 2011, and in little more than a year established JonLoomer.com as well as his Facebook page as go-to resources for Facebook marketing research, guides, and tutorials.

JonLoomer.com was recognized as one of Social Media Examiner's Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2013, 2014 & 2015.  It is simply the complete online resource of advanced Facebook marketing tips and tutorials, updated on nearly a daily basis.

 

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