Think Facebook ads are just for B2C? Think again. B2B Facebook marketing is not only possible, but also very effective with a little bit of effort.
Episode Transcript — B2B Facebook Marketing
00:01 Stewart Anderson: Welcome back to the Spend $10k A Day podcast. I am Stewart Anderson, my buddy with me here, Steve Weiss. Today we're gonna be talking about Facebook ads for B2B businesses, business to business, rather than business to consumer or B2C businesses which is most of the people that are advertising on Facebook.
00:22 Steve Weiss: Yeah, the first thing to really understand is what is your sales process.
00:25 SA: Yeah.
00:26 SW: What is the process in which you sell a product? And what we usually like to do, we like to write that out on a whiteboard or on a chalkboard and just really figure out where in that sales process could we start running ads and generating new users, where's the big pain points. And I think Stewart, your main expertise is... You're RCMO so you actually day-to-day are running ads on Facebook targeting different B2B businesses. Can you talk a little more about your strategy in terms of both targeting as well as building out a funnel for that and using content? I think using content's very important when you do B2B marketing on Facebook.
01:03 SA: Absolutely, absolutely. I think not every business that's B2B is going to have a whole lot they can do on Facebook ads, there's a few things that every B2B business should know if they even wanna test it. The one main takeaway I will tell people is that the way that you're gonna target and build audiences is gonna be very, very different than the way you're gonna do it for B2C business. B2C business, if you're building an e-mail list, a customer list, typically the email addresses that you're gonna get are going to be their personal e-mail addresses. They're gonna be the same ones they use for their Facebook account which means when you upload those lists, you can get a pretty good...
01:40 SW: Match rate.
01:41 SA: Yeah, your match rate's gonna be very good.
01:43 SW: Whereas in B2B Facebook marketing, the email addresses you upload for B2B, you will not get a high match rate.
01:48 SA: Not at all.
01:49 SW: You wanna have a lot of people to target.
01:51 SA: Exactly. What you're gonna actually be doing when you're building custom audiences is basically all the WCAs, website custom audiences. It's all gonna be around website traffic.
02:01 SW: Re-marketing. Pretty much the best audience that's gonna order your product from B2B is gonna be someone who's shown prior purchase intent and been to your website.
02:10 SA: Yeah, absolutely. Re-marketing is key, and another benefit of a B2B business is that versus the funnel or the sales cycle within a B2C business where it's a little bit fungible and people, they move rather quickly through a funnel, or it's all a little bit... It's precise but not super precise. Everything in B2B is very, very precise. They're going through specific steps in your sales process through your pipeline. And you can structure different messaging and different ads for each step if you wanted to. Oh yeah, Steve?
02:43 SW: Number one, I think what I want everyone to do if you're doing B2B marketing is make sure that you're doing website custom audiences. Make sure you have an audience pixel on your website, and then make sure that you have a mechanism of tracking the leads you capture from a Facebook ad, make sure your conversion tracking is set up.
03:00 SA: Definitely.
03:00 SW: Number two, let's talk about content. I think content's really important. Again, if you're doing B2B, it's not like B2C where you're doing hard sales, you're doing discount codes. No, it's a little bit different type of sales. You wanna stay relevant in peoples' mind and bring value to them on a daily basis. You wanna bring value to them that they can read, that they can understand. Whether it's pieces of content around a specific topic that you're a thought leader of. Talk about marketing... Actually using content and turning that into ads.
03:31 SA: Yeah, I can talk about that definitely 'cause we do that here at MuteSix as well. Think about the buyer's journey. There's three main steps that a B2B decision maker's gonna go through when they decide to buy products or service. It's awareness, consideration and decision. And this is just like on a B2C side, the top, middle, bottom funnel, awareness is somebody becoming aware that they they have a problem that they could solve. Consideration is when they are figuring out basically what kind of solution they wanna pursue to solve their problem. And then decision is once they figured out how they wanna solve their problem, it's which vendor that they wanna go with. There's different types of content that you can use at each step. Awareness you're putting out content that tells people about some sort of issue or some sort of opportunity, something that people might not be aware of or they might not know enough about.
04:22 SW: And you can market similar to idea of top of funnel, mid funnel, bottom of funnel, I guess from a messaging perspective, you could market to Facebook users in all three stages from awareness, to decision... Say that one more time, Stewart?
04:37 SA: Awareness, consideration to decision.
04:41 SW: Consideration to decision. You can actually split up your funnel into different segmentations. Maybe all the users who never engaged with you before, haven't been to your website, could be awareness. And then the users who've engaged but haven't bought, they're still in the consideration process so you're still serving them relevant content. Then decision making process you're showing case studies, you're showing relevant information that's gonna infuse the decision, correct?
05:04 SA: Yeah, absolutely. And it's all about figuring out what are the types of content that somebody sees at each phase. Consideration, decision are where that's a little bit more critical. You can be a little bit more experimental in the awareness phase. Find out what gets people interested but also not just, "Hey, I'm gonna click this and read it," and then bounce away, it's like they get interested and they want more. At the consideration phase, what you want is to provide information whether it be slide shared decks, presentations, white papers, anything that talks about why a certain way of solving a problem or capturing an opportunity is the right way to go about it. It's outlying benefits, it's talking about the specific features of this kind of solution, really selling them on individual components or selling points.
05:55 SA: And then when you're in the decision phase, when somebody's there, that's when they need to know... You've already really sold them on the underlying concept of what your product or service does, but you need to differentiate yourself from the other offerings on the market. If you're a software vendor and you have three or four competitors, what's the information that you could provide to somebody at the decision phase that's gonna make them go with you? Sometimes it's side-by-side comparisons where you have the grids. It's like feature comparisons. Those are pretty effective. Case studies are really effective pretty much everywhere, especially if you have a case study of somebody that's switched from one vendor to another, those are huge. Anything that tells people, "Hey, we know you wanna do this. We're the best guys to do it." What is the type of content? And there's certain ways to find out what that content is. And the best thing I can tell people is if you've already been working with content in the past and now seeking to promote it on Facebook, look at what's been working. Talk to existing customers. Find out, "Hey, which of the content... "
07:00 SW: You could even see a lot of the data in Google Analytics...
07:01 SA: Yeah, a lot of stuff in GA, too.
07:03 SW: You could look into each content, each piece of copy you generate and figure out from a data-driven perspective what users are engaging with most and actually promote that specific content on Facebook to new audiences as well as your current audience. So I think just a quick recap of what we discussed. Number one, set up your custom audiences. Make sure that you're actually doing re-marketing properly for people who visit you website. Then number two, content/messaging. Figuring out which type of content is gonna infuse a person to actually wanna talk to you and generate a warm lead. Maybe it could be a case study, could be a white paper, could be a plethora of different types of information of value that you could share that you could leverage to generate leads. The last one I wanna talk about is, which I think is really big on Facebook, is generating leads for live events. Think of if you're doing a webinar, if you're doing some form of a live Q&A or an Ask Me Anything. I think those are really, really, really high converting stuff on Facebook. We haven't actually done anything live yet, but it's in our roadmap. But I know a lot of people who are really successful and we've done ads for other people to drive live webinar leads.
08:16 SA: Oh yeah, webinars are huge especially if you have... Especially if you know that you can make a sale in an hour or less or something like that, in one conversation, webinars are killer because you're basically getting a captive sales audience. They're literally signing up to hear your pitch. And how you deliver that webinar is up to you, but Facebook is extremely effective at advertising webinars. And actually, it really brings me to another point about generating leads through Facebook ads, which is obviously lead ads. Lead ads are pretty powerful. The reviews that I get from our campaign managers as well as people outside of MuteSix is success has been mixed with lead ads. Some people, knocking it out of the park. Others, they're not finding success.
09:00 SA: The key thing if you're doing B2B, and this goes for anybody doing lead ads really but especially for B2B, is you need to qualify the people on your form for a lead ad. You need to make sure that you qualify the people that are filling it out. So don't just have, "Hey, give me your name and email address." Ask them questions. Have them tell you some information about them so one, it makes sure that anybody who isn't fully committed to filling out that form doesn't fill it out. They might see too many questions and be like, "Ah, this isn't worth it." That's one lead that you don't have to deal with because they weren't gonna convert down the road anyway. But two, you wanna make sure that you get valuable intelligence. Have them tell you something that tells you about either what their business is like, what challenges they face, even what their goals are, anything to help you research.
09:46 SW: So what Stew's saying is when you build a lead form inside of lead ads, you can actually ask qualifying questions for users which will in turn generate a much more high-quality lead. Instead of just running lead ads and asking for a name, email and phone number, you wanna actually qualify users to actually become leads for your business. I think that's very important when you run B2B marketing is you wanna make sure that you're just not generating a bunch of shitty leads who won't convert for your product. You wanna qualify users as much as possible before you spend the time to reach out to them.
10:16 SA: 100%. It's a big difference between B2B and B2C marketing. In B2C, you can kind of do more of a spray-and-pray approach. It's like you're throwing anything out there and seeing what's gonna stick, and if there's lost traffic or people that fall out of the funnel, okay. Whatever. In B2B, that's extremely dangerous. If you get too many unqualified leads in, your sales people are basically going to be overwhelmed trying to reach out and qualify each one of them. It's gonna be a huge drain on your business. You wanna be most efficient top funnel.
10:55 SW: Yeah, but you also want to connect the lead ads to whatever sales system you're using. There's now a way you could connect the Facebook lead ads to Salesforce, right Stewart?
11:06 SA: Yeah, there's a lot of solutions out there that connect CRMs and email service providers to Facebook. We've used I think LeadsBridge in the past. And then there's a couple other solutions out there.
11:19 SW: That's leadsbridge.com. Just to recap, number one, set up your website custom audience, pics on all pages of your website, state what a conversion is. Number two, content social messaging. Make a list of the different content that you can offer people that's relevant to your audience. Maybe white papers, maybe it's case studies, take a look into your Google Analytics and just really figure out which piece of content is the highest generating piece of content from organic engagement. C, consider doing a live event or webinar to generate leads of some sort. And the last one, last but not least, leveraging lead ads and building a custom form inside of Facebook to qualify users for your product to make sure that they're qualified, and then connecting those leads to your CRM system or whatever you're using to manage your sales force.
12:11 SA: Yeah, absolutely. I think my closing thought would probably be there's a lot of people out there that ask me... That assume actually, that Facebook ads aren't really suitable for B2B. And I would tell all those people, not true. You should at least try them, there's at least something you could do. At least re-target to people who have been to a lead gen page. At least try it. Because even if you're not spending a lot of money, you can get some incremental results. And worst-case scenario, it doesn't work out and you've confirmed your exact suspicion. Best-case scenario, you've found another opportunity to generate leads for your business.
12:52 SW: One other thing I'd like to add is Facebook video, using video ads on Facebook. I think Facebook video is a unique way to really engage with your audience, and using video as an ad to your specific re-marketing audience, I feel like a lot of businesses are not using video, or not selling in a personalized way to get into the funnel. I think there is a gigantic opportunity out there for you to create a video, a very simplistic video 15 seconds or less, pitching your offering or pitching your product that'll show up on the newsfeed. I think that's kind of the future of B2B marketing on Facebook is selling in a very personalized way.
13:29 SA: Definitely. Definitely. Well yeah, I think that's probably about it today for Facebook ads for B2B. We're gonna be doing some more podcasts coming up pretty soon, and we'll probably do a follow-up on this one as well with more tips and tricks for B2B businesses using Facebook ads. Signing off today for my buddy Steve Weiss, and of course me, Stewart Anderson. We will see you next time.
13:56 SW: Yep. Take care.