B2B Marketing - How to use Facebook Advertising to Acquire Leads

Discover why Facebook makes for a useful lead generation tool for your B2B company and how you can maximize its potential to boost conversions.

“Use Facebook advertising for B2B lead generation?”

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One of the most common misconceptions B2B marketers have is that their company does not need Facebook because they feel that the platform is better suited for B2C companies. 

Well, what if we told you that Facebook could very well help your B2B company generate quality leads too?

Let’s take a look at what makes Facebook a useful lead generation tool and how you or your digital marketing agency can leverage it to meet your marketing goals.

Why Facebook is a Great Platform for B2B Advertising 

If you are one of those who conveniently skips adding Facebook in their lead generation plan, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. It’s time to embrace this advertising and lead generation tool as we give you three solid reasons on why it makes for an excellent platform for B2B advertising - 

1. Your audience is on Facebook

Contrary to what you think, your audience IS on Facebook - yes, even those business decision-makers of companies you intend to target. 

The median amount of time spent on Facebook by business decision makers each day is 74% higher than other people on the platform. Not only that, but they also spend quality time engaging with a wide variety of content, giving you ample opportunity to reach out to them with the right message.

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2. Acquire Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) 

You might say, “but no one goes on Facebook to actively search for my business’ solutions” - you are right, but that does not mean you cannot target your desired audience with relevant content to influence their decision and convert them eventually.

No, it’s not as straightforward as showing them an ad and then getting people to be directly interested in your product or service. But Facebook advertising presents a fantastic way to get your intended audiences to register for your event or even to register for a whitepaper download.

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How to Create Ads on Facebook?

Now that you may be a little more open about the idea of how you can leverage on Facebook to drive leads for your B2B company let’s take a look at how you can create ads on this powerful platform - 

1. Identify your audience persona

You need to identify who your ideal audience is to target them with personalized and relevant content. Here’s where creating buyer personas is extremely useful - it gives you a clearer picture of who you should and should not engage with.

Buyer personas consist of the following details - 

  • Demographics - age, gender, marital status, occupation, income
  • Location
  • Website behavior
  • Interests
  • Communication preferences
  • Goals, motivations and pain points

Are you wondering where you can get all this information from? Enter Facebook, which has access to all these details that will help you target your audience more effectively.

Let’s look at two scenarios - 

  1. You don’t have an existing database 
  2. You have an existing database

Scenario A: No existing database

If you don’t have a customer list, you can conduct your market research using Facebook’s Audience Insights, which is a powerhouse of customer data. 

1. Log on to Facebook Ads Manager and click on ‘Audience Insights’

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2. Click on ‘Everyone on Facebook’

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3. You can then see a comprehensive dashboard which predominantly covers the following categories - 

  • Demographics - age, gender, education level, relationship status, job title
  • Page Likes - pages/content your audience is likely to engage with
  • Location - geographical location and language 
  • Activity - audience’s behavior and activity

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4. The default country is set as the United States. Remember to change that to suit your business’ requirements. You can even insert more than one country under ‘Location’

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5. Similarly, you can include the other parameters under ‘Interests’, ‘Age’, ‘Gender’ and ‘Pages’. Under ‘Pages’, you can also include your competitors’ pages to tap into their following too.

For instance, if HubSpot is your competitor, you can insert interests such as marketing, entrepreneurship, HubSpot, digital marketing, marketing automation, etc. to narrow down the target audience. 

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6. Once your audience is created, it is time to evaluate the insights Facebook offers to understand your target audience better. So, go under each tab and analyze the information.

For instance, ‘Page Likes’ tells you the top 10 categories and pages your audience engages with - giving you a wider pool of shared similar interests you can target

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7. Once you are done studying the data, click on ‘Save’ to save this audience for targeting when you choose to run an ad

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Scenario B: You have an existing database

If you have customer data in hand, it’s time to put that to some good use now. 

a. Target using Custom Audience 

Custom audience lets you target people who are already part of your audience base - they can be part of your email list, website visitors or app users. The idea is to match the data you have with their respective Facebook profiles for enhanced targeting. 

In other words, Custom Audience lets you retarget people who are familiar with your brand and have an existing relationship with it. 

The best part about using this Facebook feature is that if users find your ad interesting, not only do they share it on their profile but they also tag their friends in the comments section which is a great, organic way to expand your reach.

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Here’s how you can start targeting using Custom Audiences -

1. On Ads Manager, under ‘Assets’, click ‘Audiences’

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2. Under ‘Create Audience’, click ‘Custom Audience’

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3. You will be presented with a range of source options -

  • Customer file - includes data from your CRM system such as contact numbers, email ids, etc 
  • Website traffic - this is obtained from installing a Facebook Pixel code on your website to target all users who visited your website
  • App activity - involves setting up Facebook SDK in your app to track people who use your app
  • Engagement - includes people who engaged with your content on Facebook

Click the source you have data for

4. Let’s say you click on ‘Customer file’ - upload your .txt or .csv file

fb12-1b. Run Lookalike Audience 

“Engaging with existing customers is alright, but what about acquiring new ones?” you might ask and rightly so. Don’t worry - Facebook has a provision for that as well. 

Lookalike audience lets you target the set of people who are similar to your existing customers and are therefore likely to show interest in your business. Facebook scans for people who demonstrate attributes similar to your target audience.

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Here’s how you can build a lookalike audience to target -

1. On Ads Manager, under ‘Assets’, click ‘Audiences’


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2. Under ‘Create Audience’, select ‘Lookalike Audience’

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3. Choose your audience source (which can be your existing custom audience), location, and size. That’s not all; you also get to decide how closely you want the lookalike audience to match your existing audience. For instance, 1% includes people who are the closest match, and the size widens as you move towards 10%.

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It’s a good idea to split test 1%, 3%, 5% and 10% as separate ad sets to understand which audience generates the highest number of leads with the lowest cost per conversion. 

2. Use Facebook Ad Library for ad creatives

When it comes to running effective campaigns, while targeting is one end of the spectrum, ad creatives is the other. It plays an equally vital role to capture the audience’s attention and put your message across.

If you are looking for some inspiration for your ad creatives, Facebook Ad Library is a good place to get started. It is a database of all active and inactive ads, giving you insights and inspiration for your next campaign! 

Insert keywords related to your industry on the search bar, select ‘Active Ads’ and filter by ‘All’ countries. 

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The key is to look for ads that have been running for a long period, which indicates that they have been successful. 

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How to Boost Conversions with Facebook Lead Ads?

Why limit yourself to a particular ad format on Facebook? Your purpose is to boost conversions and running conversion and leads ads parallelly can help you achieve that goal better. 

What’s the difference? Lead generation ads let you gather leads through a form on Facebook while conversion ads direct users to a landing page on your website wherein they fill an opt-in lead form. 

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Lead generation ad

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Facebook conversion ad which directs users to the lead form on the landing page

Lead ads might seem quicker and more convenient, but that is not reason enough to dismiss conversion ads because if someone decides to sit through the longer wait time and multiple clicks, there are chances that they are more invested in the offer and are likely to be better quality leads.

Let’s take a look at how you can set both up for success -

a. Setting up lead generation ads

1. In Ads Manager, click ‘Create’

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2. Choose ‘Lead Generation’ as your objective

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3. Select your business page and choose your audience, placement, budget and schedule

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4. Select your ad format from single image, carousel, video and slideshow

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5. Craft the headline, body copy and call-to-action button

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6. Click on ‘Contact form’ - this is the lead form users need to fill

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7. Populate the form copy:
  • Intro - explain what the form is about
  • Questions - what details do you want from users (e.g., name, email id)
  • Privacy policy - insert a link to your company’s privacy policy
  • Thank you screen - this appears after the form has been filled

fb32-18. Click ‘Finish’ and ‘Confirm’ to publish the ad


For effective targeting, run Lookalike Audience based on your existing customer data and re-engage with people who started the form but did not complete it through Engagement Custom Audience. 

b. Setting up conversion ads

1. In Ads Manager, click ‘Create’

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2. Choose ‘Conversions’ as your objective

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3. Set up your audience, budget, schedule and placement

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4. Choose the ad format from single image, carousel, and video

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5. Craft the headline, body copy, call-to-action button and insert the landing page URL under Website URL

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6. Click ‘Confirm’

 

It is a good idea to insert a Facebook pixel on your website to see the kind of people filling the lead form. This will help you expand your targeting pool and run Lookalike Audience. 

Once both the ads are live, you need to track performance by measuring their cost per action and conversion rate. 

It’s essential to keep a close eye on their performance to be able to scale up your campaigns and optimize performance. 

  1. Increase your ad budget step by step by analyzing ad performance every 4-5 days
  2. Make one change at a time because if you make too many drastic changes, you won’t be able to assess what’s working and what’s not
  3. Optimize the best ads from well-performing ad sets and target a different set of audience. For instance, if 1% Lookalike Audience was successful, expand from 1% to 3% or 5%
  4. Identify the most profitable audience segment and increase spends on them

Conclusion

 

Now you know that even though Facebook might seem as though it’s tailor-made for B2C companies, it provides ample opportunities to a B2B company like yours to boost leads

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So, don’t underestimate the power of Facebook. Leverage its massive audience base, ad types, and smart targeting options to supercharge your conversion rates and lead generation efforts. 

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