There are those who don’t see Facebook as a viable lead generation tool, especially for B2B marketers. To those people, Jason Miller of Marketo says, “You need a new strategy!”
In the answer to the question posed in the title of this post, Miller’s answer is an emphatic “YES,” Facebook definitely works for B2B lead generation. Over a period of several months, Miller studied the performance of different types of Facebook ads and both written and visual content, using his company’s tools and Facebook Insights to track performance.
In order to achieve success in B2B lead generation on Facebook, he says, marketers must identify their own “perfect storm” of content and tactics. He explains the strategy that led to his conclusions in testing:
"In August I ran only standard Facebook ads along with a few promoted posts. In September I began focusing more on Promoted Posts in addition to standard ads and the number of targets went up while cost per target went down. In October, Marketo released the Definitive Guide to Social Marketing and I added more budget into standard Facebook ads to promote it. As you can see, the cost went up along with cost per target." In November, Miller explains, he emphasized Sponsored Stories and launched a new custom Facebook app. This new strategy enabled Marketo to generate a record number of targets, at a cost per under $7.00, as demonstrated in Miller's chart below.
Miller and his team at Marketo share their research and a framework for more effective Facebook lead generation in their free resource, How to Optimize Social Media for Lead Generation. Here are just a few of the tips he shares for B2B marketers, especially SMBs with smaller marketing budgets:
Focus on Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories for Facebook Advertising
Marketo created landing pages on Facebook using custom Facebook tabs, then used Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories to drive traffic to them. Miller believes he saw an increase in engagement because they used internal (on Facebook) landing pages rather than sending people outside of the platform. This is especially important for marketers with a limited budget, he notes.
Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts appear in the newsfeeds of Facebook users. This makes the content easier to share.
Experiment with Ads and Try New Things
Keep Facebook ads creative fresh, testing copy, images and targeting to find the right mix for your target audience. Once you are able to identify what resonates with your audience and positively affects engagement, work on amplification. This might mean expanding your targeting, or offering a second offer in a series of content to the same audience. Try new tactics and stick with what works for your individual company and audience.
Strive to Entertain and Humor Your Audience
B2B marketers like to have fun too, Miller notes. Facebook is a place people go to have fun and be entertained; if you can put your company in the position to do that, your audience will love you for it. Make sure your humor is appropriate and always ties back in to your core messaging and offering.
Successful lead generation on Facebook takes an investment of time, but the payoff can be huge. Each campaign also helps to cut the learning curve of the next, as you learn to connect in a meaningful way with your audience.
Are you using Facebook in your B2B marketing strategy? Share your experience in the comments!
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Thanks for sharing my Facebook successes and tips. Very much appreciated!
Jason Miller - Marketo