25 March 2020
Most businesses marketing to other businesses (B2B), use their websites for educating potential clients and generating leads - their shop window. The actual lead can be in several guises, such as an enquiry form submission, booking an appointment, gated-content download, contacting the company via phone or chat/messenger. These leads are transferred to the sales team, who can nurture the prospect and hopefully convert into a sale and customer.
There may be a significant delay between generating a lead and securing a sale, so these potential customers can interact with the supplier on several occasions and through a variety of marketing channels such as search engines, email marketing, social media, paid advertising in search and social, as well as traditional marketing techniques such as trade shows and PR.
The table above shows some of the results from Hubspot on the channels used by B2B decision-makers during the research and purchasing phases. The research can be found at research.hubspot.com/buyers-speak-out-howsales-needs-to-evolve.
Several methods are based on driving users to your website, i.e. using search engine optimisation (SEO) or paid search advertising in Google (pay-per-click). However, many methods rely on what users say about your brand.
Social media is a great way of creating a community and third-party comments and reviews. Typically, B2B businesses will focus organic social media activity on LinkedIn and Twitter, however many will develop a presence on Facebook through their business pages or creation of groups.
In the past few years, it has no longer been practical to rely solely on free organic posts as they all use a “relevancy algorithm”, which limits the number of users that see your content (reach). In addition, posting organically on social media does not allow you to reach new users or prospects.
One way of overcoming these issues is to invest in paid social advertising. This is an effective way of getting your message across to potential customers at different stages in the buying process. The advantage of paid social advertising is you can select your target audience on a range of factors such as locations, demographics, education, behaviour and interests.
It’s common to use job titles to find your target B2B audience, available across most platforms, including Facebook. With LinkedIn, you can select the audience based on the profile of the company - for example sector or number of employees.
Once you’ve used one platform, others will seem familiar as they of ten follow a similar campaign structure, have similar ad objectives and allow you to use similar ad types. The main difference is the way you select audiences, and the costs. These are interrelated, as the smaller the audience the higher the cost you will pay for a click (CPC) or when your ads are seen i.e. an impression (CPM).
The biggest difference is between Facebook and LinkedIn, as the CPC will typically be >£5 in LinkedIn but could be between 50p and £1 for Facebook. However, the targeting in LinkedIn can be more precise and also offers Message ads, which typically cost.
Choose social media platform(s) where your target audience can be found
Create the relevant accounts in each platform e.g. Business Manager Account in Facebook
Understand your objectives and create a campaign structure to achieve these
Understand and build your target audiences
Decide where you want your ads to be shown (placements)
Create ads (and assets) that get your message across
Set your bids and budgets (these vary by platform, ad objective and ad type)
Use tracking pixels on your website to create custom conversions and remarketing audiences based on the page(s) that the users visited on your site
Creation of other custom audiences - e.g. uploaded lists of customers, or based on users interacting with previous ads (e.g. video views in Facebook)
Creating “lookalike” audiences based on previous converters
Measure the effectiveness of your campaigns in the social media platform and in Analytics.
If you want to learn more tips and techniques about paid social advertising, keep an eye out for dates of our next seminar, see our events page for the latest events.
Article written by Ann Stanley.
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