Copy our proven strategies to create click-worthy B2B Facebook ads that actually work. We’ll show you how to maximize ROI, along with real-life examples.
Here, you’ll find:
- Why use B2B Facebook ads?
- How to build B2B Facebook ads
- B2B Facebook ads strategies for building successful campaigns
- Best B2B Facebook Ads Examples
- B2B vs B2C Facebook ads: What’s the difference?
- Common mistakes and how to avoid them
Facebook ads are effective for B2B and the proof is in the data. In a recent survey, Facebook was ranked by B2B marketers as the social media channel with the highest return on investment (ROI). We can attest to this after growing users by 39% for Wind River using targeted B2B ads.
With over 200M businesses using Meta apps daily, there’s an enormous opportunity to precisely target and reach key decision-makers in any industry. It all comes down to your ability to use the platforms’ vast array of targeting options, flexible ad formats, and comprehensive analytics tools.
But don’t worry if you’re new to all of this.
We’ll walk you through how to set up B2B ads on Facebook and implement a successful marketing strategy using tips from advertising experts.
Why use B2B Facebook ads?
Although Facebook’s advertising platform is popular for B2C advertising, don’t underestimate the power of B2B Facebook ads.
Here are several benefits of using B2B Facebook ads:
- It’s one of the cheapest platforms to advertise on — reports show it offers an average conversion rate of 10.63% for B2B Facebook marketing.
- It allows B2B companies to precisely target active businesses and IT/SaaS and business decision-makers based on their specific industries, job titles, and interests.
- You can easily retarget Facebook users who showed interest in your product or service.
- It’s highly effective at the top and middle of the sales funnel for promoting educational content and collecting B2B leads through native lead-gen forms.
- You can create custom and lookalike audiences based on existing customer data or website visitors.
In other words, Facebook advertising provide a cost-effective and highly targeted way to engage businesses and professionals. But it’s ideal to fully use Facebook Ads Manager and consider a third-party analytics and targeting tool for continuous analysis and improved conversions.
How to build B2B Facebook ads
There are three levels to setting up a Facebook Ads campaign:
- The campaign level (Choosing a campaign objective and setting your budget)
- The ad set level (Defining your audiences)
- The ad level (Creating your ads i.e ad creatives and copy)
The specific process may vary depending on your goals and specific audiences, but these are the important steps you must go through to build and launch your ads.
Step 1: Choose your campaign objective
First, log in to your ads account through business.facebook.com, select Ads Manager, and then click on Campaigns.
Facebook offers three ad categories that align with the standard marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
You can use brand awareness and traffic campaigns to promote relevant content marketing assets, such as blogs, podcasts, and case studies. Then use lead generation campaigns to promote online events registrations, free consultations, and booking demos.
Step 2: Set your campaign budget
There’s no set rule for how much you should allocate to a campaign. But typically, you’ll need to decide between a daily budget or a lifetime budget. Use this guide to evaluate how much your ad will likely cost.
A daily budget indicates how much you’re willing to spend on an ad set or campaign on a day-to-day basis, while a lifetime budget signifies the amount that will allocate to your ad sets over the duration of the campaign. We recommend starting with a small test budget to optimize your ad before scaling your Facebook ads.
Pro tip: Turn on Meta Advantage campaign budget to allow Facebook to distribute your overall ad budget across the best-performing ad sets for the duration of a campaign. You can also manually set the ad spend within each ad set, but generally, Facebook makes good budgeting decisions, so you can let it take the reins.
Step 3: Select your campaign bid strategy
To get the best results from your budget, choose a campaign bid strategy. You have three options:
- Spend-based bidding: Exhausts your full budget to get you the most results and value
- Goal-based bidding: Lets you maintain an average cost or return on ad spend (ROAS), depending on the set goals and results you achieve.
- Manual bidding: Allows you to manually set the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a result.
Pro tip: If you know how much you’re willing to pay for a result, choose a goal-based bidding. However, if you have a limited budget, choose the manual bid cap option.
Step 4: Define the target audience for your ad sets
Use detailed targeting to define your audience’s interests, job titles, behaviors, and industry based on the type of decision-maker who aligns with your ideal customer profile (ICP).
For a start, maintain a wide audience range (above 10,000) so to have a larger pool of people to market to. Then use the set of criteria provided by Facebook’s audience tools to narrow down to a more specific B2B audience pool.
You can create custom audiences to target those who use your product and make the actual buying decision. You can also use lookalike audiences to reach prospects similar to your existing customers.
Pro tip: Use a variety of targeting options to reach a wider group of Facebook audiences and increase the likelihood of your ads being seen by the right people. Also, experiment with different audiences and monitor the results to determine what works best for your campaign.
Step 5: Choose your ad format and placements
This determines the type of Facebook ads you’ll run (e.g. image, video, or lead ads) and where your ads will appear across Facebook’s newsfeed and audience network.
Choose between automatic and manual placements, but keep in mind that some placements are more expensive than others.
Pro tip: Select automatic placements when just starting out. This relies on Facebook’s delivery system to allocate your ad sets budget across multiple placements based on where they’re likely to perform best. It also gives you the option to show your ads on Facebook’s audience network and simplifies tracking ad performance.
Step 6: Upload your ad creatives
Use scroll-stopping visuals that are relevant to your message and align with your objectives. Also, write persuasive ad copy that’s concise, benefit-driven, and complemented by a compelling call-to-action (CTA) to prompt action.
You can toggle on “optimize creative for each person” so Facebook varies your ad creative and destination based on each person’s likelihood of responding
Pro tip: Turn on dynamic creative to upload multiple ad creatives, headlines, and ad copy within one ad type, to test various combinations and determine the one that works best.
Step 7: Schedule your campaign
Finally, review your ad setup and schedule your campaign based on your campaign objective, budget, audience, and creative.
If you’re using a lifetime budget, schedule your ad to run on specific days and times when your target audience is most likely to be online and engaged. Alternatively, if you previously selected a daily budget, choose a specific date for your ad to start or stop, or run your ad continuously without an end date.
B2B Facebook ads strategies for building successful marketing campaigns
There are several factors that contribute to successful B2B Facebook campaigns, such as how good your targeting is, whether you set up your funnel correctly, and how well-optimized your ad creatives and copy are.
Here are our recommendations, and expert tips for making the right decision in each case.
Use advanced audience segmentation and targeting options
We take a tight and targeted approach for B2B Facebook ads by tracking all steps of the user journey to identify winning patterns and then scale with ROAS goals in mind.
A good tactic is to create custom audiences using specific interests and create multiple ad sets to test different targeting criteria.
Consider creating three ad sets with different targeting options:
- a set with a very broad interest
- one with three more specific interests
- a set with a very niche interest.
For example, business owners + marketing + interested in content marketing.
Continue to narrow your audience by adding more interests, demographics, and behaviors.
Create a sequence of campaigns based on your customer journey
“If you want to reach a larger audience but maintain a low cost per acquisition, you need to start thinking of a funnel,” says Mojca Žove, a Facebook Ads Expert at Super Spicy Media.
This means writing down your customer journey and turning each of those funnel steps into a separate campaign.
Based on Žove’s example, if your customer visits your webpage > reads a blog post > signs up for a free trial > upgrades to a paid plan. Then your sequence of campaigns would look like this:
- First campaign aimed towards getting website visitors to a valuable blog post on your webpage
- Second campaign with an objective of generating leads for free trials, retargeting those that visited your webpage
- Third campaign aimed towards upgrading to a paid plan, remarketing to people who signed up for a free trial
Choose ad formats that increase your clickthrough rates
There are various ad types to choose from, but not all are optimal for your audience and campaign.
Click-through rate (CTR) shows how relevant your ads are to your target audience. This varies based on different factors, and each ad type offers unique perks that you should take advantage of.
Video ads, for example, are ideal for introducing your brand, highlighting a service, or showing off your products’ unique features. Then carousel ads are better for telling a sequential story or promoting case studies using the “problem>solution>results” format. In comparison, Facebook lead ads can quickly capture B2B businesses through a simple lead form.
A/B test your ad creatives and copy
This helps determine which ad creative resonates most with your target audience and drives higher conversions. Start by testing only one variable at a time, such as ad creative, copy, audience, or placement.
After choosing the variableto test, create distinct variations of each and Facebook will automatically distribute traffic evenly between your two ad creatives. After two weeks (or until you’re satisfied with the results), you can stop the test and declare a winner.
Also, use the tools and features Facebook provides (such as the Experiments tool) to streamline your testing process.
Start prospecting on LinkedIn and Google Ads
Support your ad optimization efforts by leveraging other social media marketing platforms, particularly LinkedIn.
Mark Ham, Sales Lead at Frostynova, shares that he starts prospecting campaigns on LinkedIn and Google Ads. First, he creates campaigns to attract clients via Google’s keyword campaigns using lead magnets, such as a whitepaper.
“We also create these lead magnet campaigns on LinkedIn,” he adds. “After receiving a month’s worth of traffic on [each landing page], we create a lookalike audience on Facebook.”
Then, after switching to Facebook to run the prospecting campaigns, he shuts down the initial ones on LinkedIn and Google Ads, especially in cases where budget is limited.
Set up conversion tracking
The ultimate formula for success is to keep testing and tracking your conversions.
If tracked properly, you’ll spend more on the ads that are generating results and trim the fat on areas that aren’t performing.
Make sure you have Facebook pixel setup correctly so the platform does all the heavy lifting for you.
Best B2B Facebook ads examples
We’ve said a lot, now let’s show you some excellent Facebook ads examples for B2B brands.
Superside: using a quiz to capture leads
Who doesn’t like playing games (especially, when you’re looking for a quick break from long hours of work). Gamifying your ads is a creative way to capture leads because it drives curiosity and “plays” on the playful nature of many adults.
Semrush: Using an animated video to promote downloadable content
This doubles as a lead generation and brand awareness campaign. For a top-of-funnel audience, they get the message that Semrush offers SEO suggestions to improve their copy while those in the consideration stage can be captured as leads since the video ends with a call-to-action try Semrush’s SEO content template for free.
Shopify: Targeting small business owners with a live training event
Hosting an event that’s relevant and valuable to your target audience can tie neatly to an ad campaign.
Shopify recognizes that its audience is primarily made up of entrepreneurs and small business owners who are often looking for guidance and advice on how to improve their e-commerce businesses. By offering exclusive training sessions, they address the specific needs of this audience and increase the likelihood of getting leads since attendees are required to share their information in order to “Learn More”.
If you have specific offers or complex products, consider using a live webinar to draw in leads and nurture them into paying customers.
Canva: Using a simple image ad to promote a free trial
Simple ads can be effective if you have a clear offer and have built brand affinity over time. A free trial with a great offer can lead to quicker conversions because people love trying before they buy.
Maersk: Using a video ad to drive traffic to an article
Who says B2B ads can’t take an emotional angle? Here’s an example from the shipping line, Maersk, showing how you can emphasize shared values to attract your target audience.
Maersk operates in an industry that is notorious for marine pollution. In the eyes of potential business partners who are environmental advocates, this campaign speaks in support of a cause they care about and positions Maersk as the outlier with a commitment to sustainable business practices. It goes on to provide more info on the project through the linked article.
Even those who don’t click through can associate Maersk with a positive trait which aids in building trust.
B2B vs. B2C Facebook ads: What’s the difference?
Facebook ads for B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) have different target audiences. B2B target audiences include business decision-makers, such as entrepreneurs, team leads, and C-suite executives, while B2C audience include end-users and individual consumers.
Other key differences also include:
1. The buyer journey
B2B buyers typically take longer to make purchase decisions than B2C buyers because they must carefully evaluate different options, and the process may involve multiple stakeholders. So B2B advertisers need patience, since they must nurture leads over long periods.
2. Campaign objectives
B2B ads often capture leads through forms, gated content, demo requests, or free trials, while B2C ads typically prioritize website traffic or immediate sales.
3. Ad copy
B2B ad copy typically provides information that showcases expertise and addresses specific pain points, while B2C ads tend to focus on the emotional appeal of the product or service and offer incentives that encourage impulsive purchase decisions.
Common mistakes and how to avoid them
If you want to build more effective B2B Facebook ads, avoid these common mistakes:
Wrong audience targeting
If you don’t use the right targeting criteria, you risk showing ads to people who aren’t interested in your offer. To avoid wasting your ad budget, use the profiles of your paying customers to create lookalike audiences.
Not aligning ads with a funnel.</span
Before you start running paid social media campaigns, have a plan for how your ads will lead potential customers to convert. Also, align your campaigns to your customer journey and B2B sales funnel using a similar sequence of campaigns like the one Žove recommended above.
Running too many ads
Showing too many ads can lead to ad fatigue and make them less likely to click on your ads. Instead, exclude people who already seen your ads. If they already clicked on your ad or visited your website, don’t show them the ad again. Also, avoid using the same images, videos, and text for all of your ads.
The value of B2B Facebook Ads can’t be overstated. With precision targeting, retargeting, and detailed analytics, you can use the tools it offers to optimize ad spend, maximize ROI, and amplify your marketing efforts.
If tracked properly, you can also use the conversion data from FB ads and apply them to other marketing channels, such as paid search (Google ads) or SEO.
Sound like a lot of work? Consider partnering with the B2B Facebook ads experts at HawkSEM.
Contact us now to get started planning your next B2B Facebook campaign.