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B2B Facebook Ads: Ultimate Guide From Our CEO

Johnathan Dane
Johnathan Dane
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Most advertisers think of Facebook as a fun playground for B2C companies.

Social Media Examiner reported that 66% of B2C marketers value Facebook ads, compared to just 52% of B2B marketers.

While consumer brands are having a blast organizing challenges, competitions, and free takeaways, B2B brands seem to be left out of the game.

The common reasoning goes like this: people mostly spend their time on Facebook to communicate with their friends and family, not do business or network. Facebook also prioritizes posts from your friends and family over the ones by companies trying to sell you stuff.

This is why Facebook ads might seem like forbidden fruit for many B2B companies.

More often than not, however, this is a total misconception. B2B Facebook ad campaigns can actually be quite profitable.

Facebook’s ads can deliver major website traffic, leads, and sales both to B2C and B2B brands. (I’ll show you how in a sec.)

But first, let’s get one question answered and out of the way: Should your B2B brand advertise on Facebook?

Should your B2B brand advertise on Facebook?

B2B Facebook ads do work. You just need to know how to bring out the best in them.

After working with hundreds of clients on Facebook ads, we can confidently say that there are high-ROI Facebook ad tactics out there for both B2C and B2B advertisers.

A survey of 342 B2B marketers found that 58% of managers pointed to Facebook and LinkedIn as the social media platforms with the highest ROI.

Facebook is B2B marketers’ favorite social media platform
Facebook is B2B marketers’ favorite social media platform – source

B2B Facebook Ads success stories

There are plenty of success stories that prove a strong match between Facebook and B2B companies.

We used Facebook Ads (and lookalike audiences) as part of the strategy for ClipHire, a video-based employment platform that helps both job seekers and HR professionals stand out in the application process.

How'd that end up? With a 492% increase in CTR, a 255% increase in traffic, and a 59% increase in conversions. Read more about it here.

A snapshot of the ads used for ClipHire

Take another example: ShipCalm, a third-party logistics and fulfillment service for high-growth online sellers.

Using custom audiences via Facebook Ads, we were able to increase their conversions by over 400%, decrease the CPA by 21%, and bring up their conversion rate by 12%. Read more about it here.

ShipCalm Facebook Ads for B2B
ShipCalm Facebook and Instagram Ads

We've got plenty more where this came from too. Over 200 to be precise. In this Facebook ad example post we wrote, you’ll see many examples from B2B brands: CoSchedule, Wrike, Asana, FreshBooks…the list goes on and on.

B2B brands like Wrike advertise on Facebook
B2B brands like Wrike advertise on Facebook

If that's not enough, Facebook is already the top social network for B2B promotion. Since 2018, nine out of 10 B2B marketers are already including Facebook in their ad campaigns.

There’s no reason B2B brands should be left out of the party.

B2C and B2B Facebook Ad strategies are not the same

Of course, there’s a significant difference between B2C and B2B Facebook ad strategies.

Clearly, the audience for a B2B product is different from an audience you’d target with ads for chocolate bars or holiday travel.

We put together this guide to help you better understand B2B Facebook ads and decide whether they're a good fit for your company.

Up next, you’ll find exciting Facebook B2B advertising ideas, tactics, and best practices, all spiced up with stellar ad examples.

B2B Facebook Ads and the conversion funnel

Like any other advertising channel, successful Facebook advertising requires that you understand your target audience and conversion funnel. Otherwise, you won’t be able to promote the right offer at the right time to the right audience.

Your formula for Facebook ad success
Your formula for Facebook ad success

B2B Facebook advertising is similar to B2C marketing in that you can’t keep trumpeting the same message to every target audience and hope they’ll convert.

That’s just wrong. There’s a decision-maker behind every large B2B enterprise—but they're still people like you and me. They're the ones that need to be directed towards the purchase with small consecutive conversions (also called a micro-conversion).

You should aim to tailor all your marketing messages around a particular conversion stage.

Here’s a chart to give you some campaign ideas for every step of your marketing funnel:

The B2B conversion funnel
The B2B conversion funnel

Also, don’t limit your Facebook ads to a single offer.

Instead, build a flow of lead generation and remarketing ads that will guide your prospects towards the final deal without scaring them away by screaming “BUY ME!” on the first encounter.

B2B Facebook Ad messaging

In addition to the different conversion funnel stages, B2B Facebook audiences also differ in regards to job seniority, industry, and many other factors.

The message you use to target CEOs will be very different from a message targeting assistants.

As you get started with B2B Facebook ads, take your time to define the conversion actions you want your target audiences to complete. These should be fully defined before you proceed to the development process for messaging and value propositions.

To that end, Zuora’s sales pitch deck has been named “The Greatest Sales Deck Ever.”

A page from Zuora’s sales deck
A page from Zuora’s sales deck – source

The 5-step pitch deck:

  1. Name a big, relevant change in the world
  2. Show there will be winners and losers
  3. Show and tease the Promised Land
  4. Explain how some product features could help to reach the Promised Land
  5. Show how your product will get the customer to the Promised Land

Your B2B Facebook ads should do the same: Convince the potential customers there’s a way to improve their work or increase their company’s profits. The solution? Your product.

Leaving salespeople behind

Both B2B and B2C buyers are becoming increasingly independent of salespeople during the buying process. HubSpot’s 2016 research showed that 57% of B2B/B2C buyers consider themselves more self-reliant.

B2B buyers are becoming more independent
B2B buyers are becoming more independent – source

People prefer to research on their own and base their decisions on the information available on websites (and in ads).

Your ads and website are like your business card.

That’s why your B2B ad messages need to do a lot of selling by communicating the problem you solve, the value you can provide, the number of people that already trust and like you (AKA social proof), as well as giving very explicit directions on what to do next (AKA a CTA).

For example, Dropbox’s Facebook ad says “Join 90,000+ Businesses,” highlighting their product's broad B2B user base.

Dropbox emphasizes their large user base
Dropbox emphasizes its large user base

Salesforce has another good example that's a little higher in the funnel. They're only trying to provide value to their target audience (people interested in email marketing).

This ad is most likely targeting a cold audience. Later, they can retarget the people that engaged with the ad using message and creative that starts to introduce their product.

Salesforce Facebook Ad


Our top ten B2B Facebook Ad campaign examples

We did some research and found some super-smart examples of B2B Facebook advertising done right.

Here’s what we found.

1. Brand awareness campaign

As we already explained before, it doesn’t always make sense to jump right at a sales pitch during your first encounter with a potential customer.

If the decision-maker is unfamiliar with your brand and product, they likely won’t feel the urge to make a purchase right away.

That’s where the brand awareness campaign enters the stage.

For example, Contently’s Facebook ad doesn’t immediately ask the reader to sign up or make a purchase.

Contently’s Facebook ad isn’t selling anything
Contently’s Facebook ad isn’t selling anything

Instead, Contently’s Facebook ad focuses on creating awareness around their product. Their entire Facebook ad copy emphasizes that they’re working with high-level customers and have won awards in the past.

SendinBlue’s Facebook ad could also be targeting people who are mostly unfamiliar with their product. The headline “Email & SMS Marketing” says exactly what the product does, so that the ad viewers will associate the brand with email marketing in the future.

And who knows? When a prospect truly needs this kind of marketing tool, maybe SendinBlue will be on top of their mind.

SendinBlue’s ad introduces their product
SendinBlue’s ad introduces their product

Best practices for a B2B brand awareness Facebook campaign:

  • Be clear about your value proposition and brand positioning
  • Target a wide audience and let Facebook auto-optimize your ads’ reach
  • Select the Brand Awareness campaign objective for your Facebook campaign
  • Offer people to learn more about your product/service, instead of proposing a demo or sign-up right away

2. Combine PR and Facebook Ads campaign

If your company is regularly featured in the news or you’ve just won an industry campaign, why not share the good news with your Facebook audiences.

While having your product mentioned on a popular news site is already a huge PR win, you can amplify the results by extending your campaign to Facebook.

For example, WeWork is sharing an article they were mentioned in, originally published on Inc.com. (They’ve even made it a pinned post to share the good news with all their Facebook page visitors.)

WeWork’s sharing positive media mentions
WeWork’s sharing positive media mentions

Here’s another example of WeWork’s Facebook post sharing media coverage by TechCrunch.

WeWork’s Facebook post of a TechCruch article
WeWork’s Facebook post of a TechCruch article

There are several reasons to include third-party media mentions on your Facebook page, and even promote the posts to amplify the reach:

  • People trust product reviews more when they come from other customers or third parties and are more likely to trust a publication’s opinion than an ad. According to BrightLocal, 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • Many brands add the “Featured In” snippet on their landing pages to increase trust. It will have the same positive effect on your Facebook page.
  • Positive media mentions also enhance your B2B employer branding, making your company a desirable workplace.

The next time your B2B brand is mentioned by a news publisher or industry website, consider sharing the good news on Facebook as well.

3. Product announcements campaign

Most B2B product announcements are read by your existing customers.

After all, they’re the ones who care the most about your product’s improvements.

Depending on your company’s processes, a product announcement could be made:

  • In your company’s blog
  • In an email newsletter
  • Via press release
  • Across multiple platforms

However, many people who might be interested in your product news can miss an email or won’t visit your blog when you publish the announcement.

To make sure your product updates reach a wider audience, create a Facebook ad campaign like Teamwork did.

Teamwork’s product announcement
Teamwork’s product announcement

Teamwork’s product announcement introduces a new Zapier integration that will enhance the way many of Teamwork’s customers do their daily work.

Your product announcements could target multiple Facebook audiences:

  • The existing customer base
  • Leads about to convert to paying clients
  • Cold leads that may be interested in your product

We’ll stop on the B2B Facebook ad targeting options later in this article.

4. Share product tips and insights campaign

Sharing product tips is similar to promoting product updates in that it’s mostly relevant to your existing customers.

However, keeping your existing client base happy is strongly advisable in B2B business. A 2014 Ogilvy study pointed out that 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.

The same study found that consumers prefer brands that engage them on their passions and interests 42% more often than those simply urging them to buy something.

Try not to be too pushy in your B2B Facebook ads.

Instead, focus on delivering value, both to existing and potential customers.

Here’s an example by Dropbox (the company’s seriously rocking B2B Facebook marketing). This time, Dropbox is sharing 10 tips to get more out of their product – Dropbox Paper.

Share product tips like Dropbox
Share product tips like Dropbox

Here are some best practices for sharing product tips on Facebook:

  • Share product tips that benefit a large percentage of your customers
  • Target your existing customers and fans of your Facebook page
  • Test promoting product tips articles to current leads as well to convert the into paying clients

5. Create and promote original research campaign

The users of a popular publishing platform WordPress produce about 70 million new posts and 77 million new comments each month.

And as you might guess when looking at the chart below, the increase in the number of articles is not going to stop anytime soon.

WordPress publishes more content every year
WordPress publishes more content every year – source

Looking back at KlientBoost’s blog growth, I’d say that great content takes care of 50% of sales all by itself.

When done right, content marketing gives so much value to your potential client that they’re already halfway sold before reaching out to you.

But what is great content?

According to an article in Kissmetrics blog, these are the nine pillars of awesome content marketing:

  • Originality
  • Strong headlines
  • The actionable nature of content
  • Providing helpful answers
  • Reliable information resources
  • Highly engaging content
  • Images that help to deliver your message
  • Smart punctuation
  • Sharing the latest information

Let’s stop on the first point of the list: Originality.

B2B brands that create original content not only get tons of quality backlinks to their blogs, they also position themselves as leading industry experts.

For example, the Facebook ad by Office for Business offers a free research report.

Offer more original research
Offer more original research

Optimizely is promoting a free playbook on conversion rate optimization. That’s both relevant and interesting to their target audience: marketers.

Optimizely is promoting a free playbook
Optimizely is promoting a free playbook

People both familiar and unfamiliar with your brand can find value in the industry’s research reports.

This means that an original article empowers the existing customer relationships AND increases brand awareness.

Looks like a win-win to me.

6. Share case studies and testimonials campaign

If you haven’t noticed yet, most of the examples and best practices thus far have focused on lead nurturing and brand awareness campaigns.

That’s because B2B sales are often based on trust and take more time to close.

A 2018 Demand Gen survey found that 80% of B2B buyers are using more sources than ever, including social media, to learn about new solutions and make purchase decisions.

Another B2B Facebook ad format that recently caught my eye is promoting customer testimonials and case studies.

For example, ConvertKit placed a customer testimonial right in the ad image.

ConvertKit’s Facebook ad features a testimonial
ConvertKit’s Facebook ad features a testimonial

According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90% of respondents said that positive online reviews influence their buying decisions.

And as you look at the chart below, nearly 40% of people have spotted customer reviews on Facebook. With that in mind, you might want to give your positive client reviews a boost by promoting them in a Facebook ad.

Around 40% of people read reviews on Facebook
Around 40% of people read reviews on Facebook – source

7. Get new leads with quality content campaign

Successful B2B sales and content marketing go hand in hand.

According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 benchmark study, social media and blog content are the most widely used types of B2B content marketing tactics.

Social media is a popular B2B marketing channel
Social media is a popular B2B marketing channel – source

However, not all content marketing will bring large companies to your users’ list. Your content marketing efforts have to deliver a high-quality experience and be relevant to your target audience.

OkDork, for instance, offers a free 30-day email marketing course from highly skilled marketing experts. That’s a crazy valuable offer.

OkDork’s Facebook ad offers a free course
OkDork’s Facebook ad offers a free course

While Litmus’s content offer isn’t as grandiose as OkDork’s 30-day free course, it excels in its own way by being highly relevant to the brand’s target audience.

Litmus combines content marketing and Facebook ads
Litmus combines content marketing and Facebook ads

You can even be like NewsCred and build your marketing campaign around a new highly targeted landing page.

NewsCred’s landing page is targeting content marketers specifically, combining storytelling, brand campaigns, and fashion—topics that resonate deeply with their target audience.

NewsCred’s B2B campaign has a dedicated landing page
NewsCred’s B2B campaign has a dedicated landing page

One more quick thing: before you start creating content for an advertising campaign, take a deep breath and think about who your target audience is.

Got 'em?

Keep them in mind as you proceed to the content creation process.

8. Side project marketing campaign

Have you heard the term “side project marketing?”

We’ve seen an increasing number of brands succeed with this marketing tactic lately.

So, what exactly is side project marketing?

In a nutshell, side project marketing means building a new small product that parallels your main offer. The new product will solve a small, highly specific problem or help people achieve a particular goal.

For example, HubSpot’s Website Grader helps marketers evaluate their on-page SEO, loading speed, security, etc.

Hubspot website grader
HubSpot is doing side project marketing
Here’s what the results look like
Here’s what the results look like

Promoting side projects with Facebook ads can be a great way to attract new leads and increase brand awareness.

Another example is Salesforce's free ROI Calculator side project.

Salesforce’s side project
Salesforce’s side project

According to an excellent article by Crazy Egg, the best practices for creating B2B side projects are as follows:

  • Scratch your own itch. Build a side product that solves a problem you understand.
  • Use existing resources. Find out what resources that you already have which could be given away for free.
  • Simplify your solution. Take a specific feature and offer it for free to generate leads, users, and customers.
  • React to the market. Look for industry trends that you can build on.
  • Wrap it in an awesome experience. Don’t hold back when creating a perfect user experience.
  • Promote. Look at your side project as an independent endeavor and give it the spotlight it deserves.

9. Free demo offer campaigns

If your product requires some time to get used to, a free trial offer might help to increase the lead-to-sales conversion rate.

For example, Pipedrive’s Facebook ad features a “Sign Up” call to action.

Pipedrive’s ad jumps right to the sales pitch
Pipedrive’s ad jumps right to the sales pitch

As prospects click on the ad, they’ll be conducted to a landing page with a free trial offer.

Pipedrive’s landing page offers a free trial
Pipedrive’s landing page offers a free trial

You can also test running a Facebook Lead Ads campaign to collect new leads. When promoting SaaS products, however, you might want people to sign up on your landing page. From there you can lead them directly into your onboarding funnel.

Facebook Lead Ads also work great with eBook and whitepaper offers. Here’s an example by Infusionsoft offering email marketing tips.

Infusionsoft’s offering a helpful eBook
Infusionsoft’s offering a helpful eBook

If your product is focused on smaller companies (compared to large enterprises), you could also try Instagram ads, just as Clanbeat has done.

Clanbeat is using Instagram ads to reach B2B audiences
Clanbeat is using Instagram ads to reach B2B audiences.

The general rule about Facebook ad placements is to think about where your target audience spends most of their time. Is it in the Mobile Newsfeed, Desktop Newsfeed, or elsewhere?

Also, consider your landing page experience—is it better (and converting more visitors) on desktop or mobile? If it's not converting well on mobile, that's a red flag for your Facebook Ads. More people will probably be visiting your landing page from mobile than desktop.

10. Enhance your onboarding experience campaign

Once you get a new lead signed up for your SaaS product, you’re only halfway through the sales process.

You still need to convince people to start paying for your product. And that’s where onboarding enters the game.

According to ConversionXL, these are the main reasons why your leads never turn into paying clients:

  • Prospects don’t understand how to use the product
  • They have a false impression of what the product actually does
  • Prospects aren’t brought into the product quickly or frequently enough
  • They don’t understand the value

So, how could you make a larger number of leads understand your product and its benefits?

In addition to product walk-throughs and sales calls, you can create helpful guides that explain how your product applies to specific use cases.

For example, Intercom’s Facebook ad invites prospects to learn more about their Intercom Demos feature.

This Intercom ad introduces a specific feature
This Intercom ad introduces a specific feature

As someone clicks on the ad, they’ll be led to a landing page with plenty of use case examples.

Intercom’s landing page
Intercom’s landing page

Intercom’s Facebook ad could be targeted both on leads and cold audiences to show them how Intercom helps to improve the demo process.

You can also advertise onboarding guides to people who have just signed up to your product by creating a Facebook Custom Audience of new trial users.

11. (Bonus idea!) Upsell campaigns

Upselling campaigns can be used both by eCommerce and B2B businesses.

And you know what? Upsell campaigns can be highly effective.

According to Salesforce, shoppers who click a recommendation comprise just 7% of eCommerce visits, but drive 24% of orders and 26% of revenue.

Depending on the nature of your B2B product, you could find upsell opportunities such as adding users to the existing subscription plan or selling additional products to existing clients.

If a company ordered business cards from MOO, for example, they could be targeted with a cross-selling campaign of notebooks:

If someone converted on this ad
Converting on this ad...
They could be retargeted with this ad
...triggers retargeting with this ad.

Don't 'over-ask' in your upsell

Be careful not to ask for too much additional spending from your customers.

Shopify suggests that you should upsell and cross-sell products that cost 25% or less of the overall order.

“When choosing upsell and cross-sell products to display, avoid suggesting products that increase the overall order by more than 25 percent. For example, if the original product the visitor is looking at is $100, you want to avoid showing customers cross-sells and upsells that are greater than a $25 increase on the original product.”

Reaching your B2B audience on Facebook

Alright, now that your brain is full of awesome B2B Facebook ad ideas, it’s time to talk about how you’re going to reach them.

On a high level, there are three main Facebook audience types that let you reach your B2B buyers:

Let’s see how you can reach all those audiences on Facebook and turn them from cold leads into paying customers.

Reach B2B clients with Facebook Interests Audiences

Facebook Interests Audiences (part of detailed targeting) lets you reach people based on their interests, location, demographics, and behaviors.

When creating a new Interest Audience, your most important tool is going to be the Detailed Targeting box.

Facebook detailed targeting
Use Facebook’s Detailed Targeting

Here, you can enter a wide set of interests related to your B2B product or target people based on their job seniority or industry.

To reveal the full list of work-related targeting options, select “Demographics” and then “Work.”

Navigate to the “Work” section

Here’s a list of options under the “Work” category:

Employers: Target people based on the company they’re working for (searchable)

Industries: Target people based on the industry they’re working in (not searchable)

Job Titles: Target people based on the job title they’ve shared with Facebook (searchable)

You can also reach potential B2B audiences by targeting the following types of interests:

  • Industry publications
  • Industry events
  • Your competitors and their fans
  • Other services or products used by your current customers

Reach B2B clients with Facebook Custom Audiences

We’ve got the internet’s most comprehensive guide on Facebook Custom Audiences here on KlientBoost’s blog.

So I’m not going to stop on this topic for too long.

However, we’re going to suggest some types of Custom Audiences that we’ve seen work well when matched with B2B Facebook ads.

  1. Website visitors: target people who have already shown some interest in your product
  2. Pricing page visitors : get your Pricing page visitors back to your website by remarketing on Facebook
  3. Blog readers: warm up these lukewarm leads with additional content offers
  4. Newsletter subscribers: turn these warm leads into clients by retargeting them with a sales offer
  5. Free trial users: help these users on board with helpful product guides and case studies
  6. Past purchasers: there’s an audience ripe for a cross-selling or upselling campaign

Custom audiences are gold for B2B. You're able to target an audience that you know is interested and hit them with your best content.

One of our B2B clients was able to target past free trial users and raise their ROAS by 4.51. That's an epic opportunity.

B2B Facebook Ads using a custom audience

Don’t forget that in order to create Facebook Custom Audiences, you need to install the Facebook Pixel (now called the Meta Pixel) on your website. Do it on Day 1 of your Facebook Page setup!

Reach B2B clients with Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could clone your best B2B customers and double the sales margins?

You can almost do it with Facebook Lookalike Audiences.

Lookalike Audiences are based on the idea that people who are most similar to your existing users are also the most likely to convert.

To create a Facebook Lookalike Audience, you first need to decide who you want to base your Lookalike on.

Facebook Lookalike audience options
Facebook Lookalike audience options

We recommend that you create a Custom Audience of your top clients and past purchasers. Next, you can use that Custom Audience as a seed for your new Lookalike Audience.

Creating Facebook Lookalike Audiences
Creating Facebook Lookalike Audiences

If the seed audience of your top customers is smaller than 1,000 people, you can create Lookalike Audiences based on other types of conversions, e.g. past 60 days leads.

Tip: If your Lookalike Audience is too large for your advertising budget (e.g. over 8M people), you can narrow it down with additional interests- and demographics-based targeting.

Wrap up on B2B Facebook Ad

While it may seem like an untraditional match, combining your Facebook ads and B2B audiences can be a great opportunity to reach additional customers.

Remember that the B2B deals take a longer time to close than B2C, meaning you should focus more effort on brand awareness and lead nurturing campaigns.

Here’s one more tip I’d like you to take away with you: your landing page is just as important as your Facebook ad campaign. Your ads are worth nothing if you get them to a landing page that can't continue the selling.

Be sure to follow B2B landing page best practices and use these 32 incredible examples as inspiration.

Chapter 5:
Facebook Campaign & Ad Types

What You’ll Learn: Discover the different ad types you can use through Facebook to drive the results you want.

Chapter 6:
Facebook Ads Budgets & Bidding

What You’ll Learn: Take advantage of the best Facebook budget and bidding strategies to get the most effective performance from your ads.

Chapter 7:
Facebook Marketing Strategies

What You’ll Learn: Nail the correct Facebook marketing strategy so you can be more efficient with your campaigns.