While Facebook presents obvious benefits for the business-to-consumer model, business-to-business (B2B) organizations often see themselves on the outside looking in with the world’s most popular social media platform. But they shouldn’t. The development of Facebook’s advertising platform over the last five years makes it a great tool for targeted businessto-business advertising. As a result, it is perfect for B2B lead generation. We share some best practices for setting up Facebook lead generation campaigns, with specific reference to our experience working with clients targeting prospects in the building industry and the medical technology industry.
9 Facebook B2B Lead Generation Tips
Start with the Setup
Of course, a successful Facebook B2B lead generation campaign will be different than a B2C campaign. With B2B, you’ll want to setup a lead generation or a conversion campaign. A lead generation campaign lets you collect lead information on a form without the prospect having to go to your site. With a couple of clicks on Facebook you have prospect information and can cycle them into your marketing campaign. Alternatively, a conversion campaign redirects the prospect to your site to capture lead information. For conversion campaigns you’ll need to create a custom conversion in Events Manager. You’ll also need to create a corresponding event in Google Tag Manager and goal in Google Analytics, like form submission or lead, to properly track this through Google.
Once you have this set up, here are some best practices to maximize Facebook B2B lead generation.
Inaccurate Data is Worthless – Check UTM Settings, Use Google Analytics to Verify, Be Wary of Facebook’s Stats
You’ve set up your analytics. But are they working correctly? Double check and make sure that your lead tracking is properly set up and working in Google Analytics and that your UTM parameters are setup properly. If these aren’t correctly setup or configured, you won’t have accurate data, which won’t help you audit your marketing campaign.
We also recommend that you take Facebook’s lead stats with a grain of salt and use Google Analytics goals as a cross check. Facebook and Google Analytics track ad clicks differently, with Facebook counting virtually any click on your ad, including multiple clicks by a single user and clicks by a user who immediately closes the browser without viewing your webpage. This artificially drives your ad numbers up. Google Analytics has a more stringent click count that provides a greater accuracy. We have compared client’s verified leads with Google Analytics and Facebook data; Google Analytics is always the more accurate number.
Maximize Efficiency – Organize Campaigns Geographically and Then by Occupational Audiences
Even when it’s cheap, advertising costs money. You want the most bang for your buck possible. We always recommend maximizing ad revenue by organizing your campaigns geographically. This allows you to target audiences with regional campaigns that control delivery according to time zones. You can view hourly breakdowns to determine if you need to be running the campaign 24 hours a day or if it will save you some money to only run it at specific times of the day. Use ad scheduling to set this up. You can also use Ads Manager to see how well ads perform at certain times of day and tweak the times if your targeted times are underperforming. For example, if it’s your intention to serve ads starting right when prospects on the West Coast of the US start opening their inboxes at 9am, you don’t also want to be serving ads to prospects in England who are getting close to finishing their day at 4pm.
Within the regional campaigns you can create ad sets based on your target audiences. In the case of B2B lead generation we find that ad sets are a great start. Rather than serve the same ad to two very different groups, you can create an ad set for each profession within the same country. You can also breakdown results by region within a country and exclude underperforming areas to ensure that you spend your campaign budget to its full effect.
To see how all of this might work, let’s take the example of a medical supply company. If they decide to start with Ireland as their geographical campaign, they can target optometrists and podiatrists during late afternoon and into the evening. This assumes Facebook would have a maximum effect during the late hours of the day when business is slower and into the evening when medical offices are closed and practitioners are more likely to use Facebook. The company could then roll out two different campaign ads, targeting different products and ads to each profession. They could also specifically target larger cities, which are more likely to have a greater number of medical specialists.
Eyes on the Prize – Pay Attention to Cost Per Lead
One of the biggest benefits of Facebook B2B lead generation is the cost. But, like everything, you need to keep your eyes on the prize, which is profitability. As a result, pay close attention to cost per lead (CPL) by ad platform. If your CPL increases dramatically, check the data to see if this is the result of a particular platform. If you are serving ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, you may find that one costs more than the others. For example, we sometimes find that serving ads on Instagram costs more than on Facebook. If this is the case, you’ll want to duplicate your ad set and have one deliver ads to Instagram, and one deliver ads to Facebook, and assign budget accordingly.
Online Advertising Isn’t an Exact Science – But It Is a Controlled Experiment
The most important point to remember when advertising online is that everything must be a controlled experiment. You need to limit yourself to incremental changes. We’ve noticed that once ads start gaining traction, people sometimes get an overwhelming urge to make drastic changes or increase spend. Avoid making too many changes at once or changes on the primary campaign before you have a clear idea if the campaign is successful.
You may be getting a lot of clicks, but this doesn’t always convert to sales. Check the analytics and make sure your marketing campaign is bringing leads through to the end of the sales process. If you want to make changes to a campaign, duplicate the campaign and then make the updates. This way you can compare the initial data to the latest version. We find that including V1 or V2 in the campaign name is helpful for keeping track of everything. You can also use A/B Testing in Experiments to compare campaign results and determine if language, media or landing pages make a difference in gaining leads. And use Breakdowns to understand ad performances.
Overall, the point is: don’t put all your eggs into one ad basket! Test, analyze, tweak, and then make decisions.
Make it Instant and Easy – Instant Lead Forms vs. Landing Page
Facebook provides the ability to create an instant lead form without redirecting users to a separate website. While this might not work for every business, we recommend split testing Facebook instant lead forms vs. sending prospects to your site. For instant lead forms, you’ll need a very clear and attractive offering, like “sign up to save money!” This gets someone to click on the link. They’re more likely to drop off if you send them to your site than capturing that info right away. There’s certainly nothing wrong with a landing page redirect – in fact, it’s the traditional method of lead acquisition. But it requires more wait time, more clicks, and more information. In our experience in the building industry, prospects were more likely to fill out an instant lead form on Facebook than on site. Instant lead forms prevent people from rethinking their decision by the time they get to the site.
We also highly recommend integrating instant leads forms with your CRM or at least into a Google Sheet so you can track those leads and reengage. If you aren’t using instant lead forms, then you should be sending prospects to a specifically targeted landing page.
Manage Your Time and Money – Set an End Date for Ad Campaigns
Facebook allows you to setup a daily and lifetime budget. Whatever amount you set, Facebook will spend it. As we said above, this is why targeting times is important. It allows you to post your ads at times that will maximize your exposure. However, you’ll also need to set an end date for your campaigns. If you use a daily budget, that makes it easy. But it bears mentioning that some Facebook features require a lifetime budget. When you use this setting, no matter how long you intend to run your campaign, always make sure to set an end date. You can always update it later if you want to make your ad period longer.
You Have to Catch their Eye – Check Ad Placement
We’ve already suggested that targeting audiences by geography, occupation and time is important. Maximizing these is crucial if you want your ads to show on Facebook or Instagram at the best possible time of day for the people most likely to be interested in your business. But they still need to actually see the ad on their Facebook page, and this requires you to set the ad placement location. If you don’t customize this, your ads could wind up somewhere that nobody bothers to look. Facebook lets you place ads in the newsfeed, groups, the right column, instant articles, stories or in-stream videos, not to mention Instagram, Messenger and their Audience Network. For B2B lead generation, the newsfeed and right column generally supply the best visibility. Depending on your business and audience, you may also want to make us of the Instagram Feed and Instagram Explore.
Leverage Your Existing Lead and Customer List – Take Advantage of Lookalike and Custom Audiences
If you already have a lead list, you want to make good use of it. We highly recommend using your existing leads to create custom audiences. You can market directly to them through Facebook advertising, helping them along their sales journey. Use the names, emails and other identifiers you have captured and upload them to Facebook to create these custom audiences. You can further segment by interest, occupation or region from thee.
While new leads and customers are a priority, odds are you want to target potential leads that fit the same characteristics and behaviour patterns as your existing lists. Facebook’s lookalike audience feature lets you target audiences who mirror your existing leads and customers. All you have to do is take your high-value customers and your highest prospect leads as your source audience. From here Facebook can generate an approximate mirroring audience for you to target.
RFDM and Facebook B2B Lead Generation
These tips should help you on your way to Facebook B2B lead generation success. For more best practices or for help setting up your ad campaigns, please contact us for a free consultation.