How B2B Advertisers Can Win on Facebook, Just Like Salesforce

While many B2Bs focus on Facebook for organic interaction with current customers, B2Cs often look to advertising on Facebook to drive sales. But a new case study coming from Facebook’s advertising unit shows positive lead gen results in a B2B social environment.

In the case study, Facebook showed Salesforce’s News Feed ad campaign exceeded goals for lead generation, yielding 3.5 times more qualified leads than the original goal with a 50 percent reduction in cost per lead from its target.

Salesforce originally approached the campaign as an experiment to see how Facebook ads could help it drive leads through a demo of its product:

Salesforce CRM Facebook Ad

In the end, the campaign drove more than 200 leads with “10 percent of those leads converting to opportunities,” according to the study. After this run, Salesforce ran another Facebook advertising lead gen campaign by driving prospects to its website through ads like the following:

Salesforce App Ebook Facebook Ad

In addition to exceeding its goals, Salesforce saw a fan base increase of 24,000 more fans through the advertising campaign as part of an unforeseen result.

Facebook Advertising for B2Bs: Tips for Getting Started

Facebook advertising might be a new concept for B2B companies, and it could be challenging to know how to approach it. Merry Morud, social advertising director at aimClear, gave her top tips for B2B advertising on Facebook.

“Invest time upfront,” Morud said. “Just like keyword research, Facebook targeting can take some time, and it should. Facebook targeting segments are an asset that you can use over and over, and use them to analyze your own community with the ad targeting tool.”

Morud followed up with the following tips for B2Bs:

  • Mine “interest” targeting for job titles, for example, “logistics specialist,” “restaurant owner,” “cardiac surgeon,” “hardware engineer” and “manufacturing specialists”
  • Create a custom audience. Have an email list that has never converted? Create a Facebook custom audience in “Power Editor.”
  • Use category and partner targeting. We love using category target, for example, “small business owner,” or partner target, for example, “international business traveler,” as qualifiers to our interest segments.

“Smart, focused Facebook targeting is the foundation of your success,” Morud said.

What other tips did she have up her sleeve?

“Try various Facebook ad units. The traditional offsite ads found in the right column are generally more expensive than ‘organic’-looking ad units. For example, Facebook is now offering News Feed ads tied to Facebook Pages to offsite content. We love these because they offer huge ad real estate in the News Feed, more characters for text copy, they tend to be cheaper than traditional right column ads, and often have better CTRs, which is great for Facebook qScore,” Morud said.

“Not only will these ads get your targets to the content (or landing page) on your site, but will often garner page likes and post engagement,” Morud said. “Think of the social actions as a bonus, and on-going community building and content delivery because, well, Facebook distribution of your content just ain’t what it used to be.”

Morud said don’t forget to customize the landing pages you drive Facebook users to, as well.

“Users coming off social have some of the shortest attention spans. Make sure you deliver on the ad copy with the landing page. Steer away from too much content and make the lead-gen form super simple. There are a lot of affordable options out there for creating dynamic landing pages.”

Her final tip?

“Understand that traffic from Facebook isn’t looking for you. Qualify your audience with smart targeting, qualify the click with ad copy, and hook them on the landing page – quickly.

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