At Inbound 2016, one of the country’s largest marketing events, I was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation called Using Facebook Advertising to Drive Customer Acquisition and Engagement for Small Business. Sounds like a mouthful, but the message was clear: Facebook advertising is effective for small businesses, as long as it is done correctly.
Advertising on Facebook does more than simply bring brand awareness; it can actually become a driving force in customer acquisition and engagement.
Not convinced that Facebook advertising is right for your business? Take a look at these stats:
- 54% of the time that people spend on digital platforms is spent in apps
- Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), are the apps where for B2B purchasers spend the most time
- More business decision-makers are on Facebook than any other digital platform, including LinkedIn
- More decision makers said Facebook is their channel of choice for information on a purchasing decision vs. other digital platforms
Sometimes B2B companies overlook Facebook as an effective marketing platform. They view LinkedIn as the place they need to be. But Facebook advertising can work equally well for B2C and B2B. Remember, you may be targeting a business decision-maker, but he or she is still a human being. And human beings spend a huge amount of time on Facebook.
Here are 4 proven B2B Facebook advertising techniques that get results:
1. Feature Whitepapers with Canvas
What it is: Canvas is a mobile-only, full-screen Facebook experience. Businesses use Canvas to tell their stories in an immersive way. As Facebook explains on its website, “In Canvas, people can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt to view panoramic images and zoom in to view images in detail.”
Why it Works: Canvas allows businesses to achieve a variety of objectives in an interactive way. For example, your business might use this tool to tell a brand story, showcase a new product, or, in a truly B2B sense, create interactive whitepapers. Once a user has scrolled through your whitepaper, you can link to a mobile-optimized offer that helps you generate leads.
It can be hard to imagine the possibilities for an interactive, full-screen whitepaper on a mobile device, so head over to the Canvas page on Facebook to learn more and see some cool examples.
2. Broadcast Webinars with Facebook Live
What it is: Facebook Live is gaining in popularity each and every day. It aligns with the current trend of video on the web. With Facebook Live, your brand can broadcast live content with built-in reach.
Why it Works: Facebook researchers have found that viewers spend 3 times longer watching live broadcasts than they do watching other forms of video online. On top of that, the Facebook algorithm prioritizes Live videos over other types of content in users’ news feeds. Businesses can use Facebook Live to broadcast webinars and engage with their audience in real-time. Then they can add a CTA after the broadcast to capture new contacts.
Take a look at the Facebook Live Map to get a real-time view of live videos happening right now.
3. Engage Your Audience with Vertical Video
What it is: Vertical videos are a video format on Facebook that are focused on attracting mobile users. They loop continuously and take up the full view of the Facebook app when viewed on a phone screen, making them immersive and hard to ignore. When creating Facebook videos, many brands ensure that their videos grab attention with or without sound by using text to attract users who may be scrolling through their feed at work — not that we do that, right?
Why it Works: We’ve known for a while now that video is a heavy hitter in the world of online content. According to Facebook’s research, 70% of individuals researching B2B products and services use video across the purchase path. Facebook’s vertical video option for advertising is another way for brands to reach their audience in a more natural way—right within their news feed.
4. Simplify Lead Generation with Lead Ads
What it is: Lead Ads simplify forms for prospects and for businesses. Lead ads allow potential customers to sign up for what you’re offering right on Facebook. Businesses are more likely to capture contact information since prospects don’t have to click out to a separate site to fill out a form.
Why it works: Prospects tend to abandon landing pages and forms if they’re too long or tedious. With Facebook Lead Ads, prospects’ information is pre-populated into mobile-friendly a form right on Facebook, so the whole process is faster and simpler. If companies provide context and highlight the value of what they’re offering, they’re likely to increase conversion rates through Lead Ads.
Don’t discount the power of Facebook advertising for B2B and small businesses. Facebook has an arsenal of great tools and tactics, and when used correctly, they can generate powerful results. Set a budget for your first Facebook advertising campaign today, and start exploring ways you can engage your audience on Facebook.