One of our primary activities at the Brian Carter Group is Facebook advertising for clients. We’ve spent a good amount of that time over the last year doing lead gen campaigns for both B2B and B2C, sending people to lead gen pages from Facebook ads. And we’ve seen some great results.
Facebook Isn’t Just for Business-to-Consumer Marketing
There are a couple common misconceptions disproved by our case studies.
First is the misconception that social media can’t be measured beyond engagement and sentiment. We posted what were, as far as we know, the first Facebook profit case studies ever back in 2011.
We’re certainly not the only company proving you can get leads and sales from social media and track that success, but some marketing and PR folks still are not informed about what social media has been able to do in the last five years.
The other misconception is that Facebook is only for B2C.
“Facebook doesn’t work for B2B,” people say. “Users aren’t on there for work.” You’re right! People are on Facebook to be distracted. “I’m bored,” Facebook users say. “Show me something awesome!”
If that something awesome you show them happens to help with their work, they’ll click on it. That’s what the data tells us about B2B Facebook advertising.
Why Facebook works for B2B: Facebook users want awesome distractions. Show them something awesome that helps with their work, and they’ll click on it.
Besides, we live in an era where the line between home and work has blurred.
We have found that Facebook is a viable (and sometimes preferred) channel for B2B lead gen. Our case studies below prove it.
6 Business-to-Business Facebook Marketing Case Studies
Here are some of our B2B Facebook advertising case studies over the last 12 months:
- An attorney got a case worth $100,000 from Facebook after spending just a few hundred dollars on Facebook advertising.
- A cloud hosting company got new business leads from Facebook advertising and a whitepaper for $59 each. The most affordable ads brought in leads at just $29 apiece. The most expensive ones targeted CIO’s and cost $74.08 each.
- A new B2B financial industry business discovered their offering wasn’t needed or wanted by the target audience. They discovered this (via extraordinarily low clickthrough rates) with an investment of just a few hundred dollars in Facebook advertising. They saved tens of thousands of dollars by not going further down that dead-end path.
- A financial industry event generated 305 registrations at $71.34 each, while ads reached 1.5 million people and generated clicks from 18,125 people.
- A marketing agency generated new client leads for $29.26 apiece.
- An SaaS company used a whitepaper to generate 504 leads and 92 new demo signups for $26 per demo signup. Notable here was that the target was people who worked at Fortune 1000 companies.
Based on our experience above, people do click and opt in for B2B offers while they’re on Facebook.
The Advantages of Facebook Ads
Facebook ads have four key advantages over AdWords and LinkedIn ads:
Facebook has the largest audience. Google is almost as big, but you can only target people looking for what you have. Facebook lets you target people based on job title, company, etc. LinkedIn is much smaller than the other two.
Facebook ads are prominent enough for a lot of people to click. Google also does a good job with this. As for LinkedIn’s self-serve ads, what’s the last one you remember seeing? Exactly. Unless you spend $10k per month, you can’t use their more prominent “enhanced” ads.
Facebook has the lowest cost per click. Google ads average over $2.50 per click. LinkedIn ads average over $3.00 per click.
Facebook ads reward you for testing more ads and targets. You can lower the cost by 50% or more with diligent testing. Google ad cost per click doesn’t change much with your testing. LinkedIn ad cost per click doesn’t change much either. Facebook ads reach more people, grab more attention, and cost a lot less if you diligently test ads.
7 Tips for Facebook Advertising Lead Gen Results
Now that you know Facebook ads work for B2B, why aren’t you using them for lead gen? Here’s how.
- Get Professional. Use the Facebook Ad Manager, not Boost Posts. You’re going to need all the features of Ad Manager. You can use Power Editor if you like, but it’s not required 99% of the time.
- Squeeze Your Leads. Create an effective squeeze page, rather than relying on your website to convert them (unless your website’s lead conversion rate average is 5% or higher). Use a tool like LeadPages or Clickfunnels to base your work on proven squeeze page templates.
- Track Conversions. Create and place your conversion tracking in the thank you page after the squeeze page, and select Website Conversion ads as your objective. This video will teach you how to set that up.
- Know Your Audience. Check out Audience Insights to learn more about your customers or prospects. It’s located inside the Facebook Ad Manager in the lefthand navigation. If your company isn’t listed, try a bigger competitor, industry magazines, or associations. See what other pages they like. Record this info to use for your ad targeting.
- Test Targeting First. Test your targeting first with a simple ad and basic image. There are usually at least five to ten ways you could target your prospects. Find the one or two audiences that convert best at the lowest cost per lead.
- Test Creative Second. Then test more creative images, headlines, and body text. Test 20–25 variations on your proven targets. You aren’t really doing Facebook ads well until you’ve created 15–20 ads.
- Optimize Ads Scientifically. With every review of the results, theorize why some ads or targets worked and others didn’t. Use those theories to create even better ads and continue to revise your theories.
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