Paid social media advertising can be a highly effective channel for promoting your B2B company and gaining exposure online. But many B2B businesses fail to get results simply because they execute the wrong strategies.
In this article, you will learn about the relationship between organic and paid content and how to run a full-funnel advertising campaign in social channels for optimal results.
What are the Benefits of B2B Paid Social Media Advertising?
Social media channels have become a powerful platform for B2B companies to promote what they do to their ideal customers. Paid advertising allows you to
- Boost your visibility to your ideal customers.
- Target highly-specific audiences.
- Generate high-quality leads.
Investing in paid advertising while using the right strategies will attract your ideal customers, drive more website traffic, and increase sales
Change the Paradigm: It’s About Consumption vs. Conversion
B2B companies tend to focus their social media advertising campaigns on selling to prospects in the market now.
But in reality, less than 5 percent of customers are in the market at any given time. And that means a massive 95% of your prospects are not ready to buy today. We call these “future buyers.”
Future buyers are incredibly valuable to your business. And you don’t want to ignore them. But they aren’t going to respond to “buy now” conversion-centric ads. Future buyers aren’t on social platforms to “buy now.” They are there to get informed and to connect with their peers.
With Paid Social ads, your ultimate goal is to position your company as the go-to resource in your industry for the problem you solve.
Earn the attention of your buyers by focusing your paid social content on future buyer consumption vs. direct response conversion. To do this:
- Deliver the value of your content in the post.
- Put your main point in the image creative.
- Leverage the headline to get the user’s attention.
- Address a tip or solution that can provide quick business value.
If you market to these future buyers the right way, they will ultimately believe you are the best option for them when they are ready to move forward, and you will start to fill your sales funnel for future sales.
Who do you Target in your Advertising?
Who do you target if future buyers make up such a huge percentage of your audience?
Everyone who makes up your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)!
You must take the time to identify your best and most profitable customers to target. If you don’t, you’ll waste money and write ads that won’t resonate with your audience.
Once your ICP is dialed in, plan on marketing to all customers all the time. This approach will target the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. The best way to do this is by nurturing prospects with knowledge. This means prioritizing educational content over promotional content in your ads.
You want to give your current and future buyers the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions. And you can do this at scale by distributing content across your social media channels using paid advertising.
Full Funnel B2B Social Media Advertising Strategy
B2B businesses tend to focus on spending all their advertising dollars at the bottom of the funnel. And as we’ve mentioned, this is a tiny percentage of your customers.
The reality is you want to spend most of our advertising dollars at the top of the funnel, between 60 to 70% of your ad spend.
LinkedIn states that your conversion rates are six times higher when you invest in the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. This makes total sense because of the way customers are buying today.
You need to first get their attention by sharing information regarding the problems they are experiencing before you can ask them to commit to your product or service.
Future Buyers – Top of the Funnel
The goal at this level is to get on your ICP’s radar by providing real business value. Content that resonates with your audience at this level includes:
- Communicating your point of view on what’s broken in their industry
- Tips and solutions to common problems
- Resources and tools to help them
- Eye-opening stats and facts
- Industry news
Now Buyers – Mid & Bottom Funnel
As we move down the funnel, you want to stay in front of those prospects from the top of the funnel and validate you are an expert. The goal is to create momentum by giving prospects the information they need to make an informed decision. Show your customers the path forward to overcome their problems. Content that resonates with your audience at this level includes:
- Case studies
- Use case examples
- Benefits of your solution
Leveraging innovative social media retargeting is key for this level.
You can retarget people on social media that:
- Visited your website
- Engaged with your social media content
- Attended past events
- Opted into content (yes, use your email list from the gated content days)
Running retargeting campaigns on LinkedIn allows you to overlay firmographic data to dial in your ICP.
As a mid and bottom-funnel tactic, your retargeting campaign should answer the question, ‘what do I want the audience to do?
- Join our community
- Attend an event
- Schedule a demo
Retargeting can supercharge and extend the life of all of the other marketing activities that you’re doing. For example, you can retarget folks on LinkedIn that landed on your website from Google PPC ads.
How to use Organic Content for Paid Campaigns?
Marketers waste a lot of time creating unique content for paid and organic channels. The good news is that if a social post is good enough for organic distribution, it’s good enough for your paid campaigns.
There is no need to create separate content just for paid advertising. We are not selling here. We are simply amplifying your organic content and investing in distributing educational resources for your ideal customer.
Here are four simple questions to help you choose content to advertise:
- What information do prospects need to see?
- What does every prospect need to know about your business?
- What content can help your prospects understand the problems they are facing?
- What content can you show that validates your solutions will help them?
View your advertising as a way to guarantee the delivery of the above information to your target audience. It is simply a channel for amplifying your existing to your ICP at scale.
Four Points to Enhance Your Ads for Social Media
The most important thing to realize is that you don’t want your ads to read like ads; you want them to read like posts. This is probably the single biggest mistake B2B marketers make and why many companies waste thousands of dollars in advertising campaigns that fail.
Use these four simple guidelines to assess your ads:
- Create ads that don’t look like ads but read like organic posts.
- Deliver the key points in your message without clicking off the platform.
- Test your message, creative, and headline for every ad.
- Segment your audience and call them out.
If you are interested in more detailed advice on paid B2B social advertising, download our resource, Paid Digital Marketing Strategy Planning Guide.
Examples of Paid B2B Social Media Posts
Here are some examples broken down by the different stages of the funnel.
Top of the Funnel
Here is a top-of-the-funnel example from a StormForge ad focused on educating the customer. As you can see, it promotes a blog post on Kubernetes optimization.
There is no drive to sell anything to the customer; they invite interested prospects to their site to read their long-form content.
This ad will most likely drive the right traffic to their site and help their future and current buyers get the information they want to solve a problem.
Middle of the Funnel
This ad from Zapier is an excellent example of middle-of-the-funnel advertising. Here, Zapier promotes one of its features, which isn’t bad.
In the ad, Zapier states: “Close more deals with Zapier and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms” which tells you that Zapier can connect to LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms.
They don’t simply state their feature; they connect it to a meaningful benefit that makes sense to a potential buyer.
Connecting problems with benefits and features is a powerful way to communicate value to customers without explaining your product’s technical aspects.
Bottom of the Funnel
In this example from Oracle, you can see how they use authority and social proof to establish trust in their product.
They tell customers that four of five banks use their products, which immediately builds authority. If all these banks trust Oracle, then so can you.
And they go further by stating that their software managed $ 8 Trillion of assets last year, which is a massive reflection of the trust banks and organizations have in their products.
Social proof can be a powerful way to amplify trust in your business and services if used effectively in your ad campaigns.
Key Takeaways For Developing a Winning Paid B2B Social Media Strategy:
Paid social media marketing can layer seamlessly with your organic social media strategy by expanding your reach to a highly targeted audience. This will amplify your overall content marketing efforts for even greater results.
- The goal of paid B2B advertising is consumption, not conversion.
- Target both your current buyers and future buyers.
- Don’t create separate content or creative for your adverts.
- Leverage your existing organic content in your advertising campaigns.
- Drive leads to your website and long-form content.
- Use a Full Funnel marketing approach to ensure you grow long-term.
How Can We Help?
Finding the time to build and execute a paid B2B social media strategy can be daunting. At Vende Digital, we help B2B organizations like yours to develop sound strategies to grow on social media.
Tired of struggling on your own?
Schedule a complimentary discovery call with our team to see how we can amplify your social media advertising campaigns to win more customers.