At first glance, social media advertising might appear to only be lucrative for B2C companies, but there is more and more evidence to prove that social advertising definitely has a place within B2B marketing as well. In fact, social advertising has emerged as a low-risk, high-reward marketing initiative for companies across industries to reach prospective buyers and engage with key influencers without breaking the bank. Thanks to advanced targeting capabilities and various pay options, nearly every social channel from Facebook and Twitter to Linkedin and Instagram offer B2B companies viable options for investing in social advertising.

Most marketers today are aware that social media can play at least a minor role in helping to hit marketing KPIs and objectives. However, the sheer potential power of social media cannot be understated. Just consider this:

  • Facebook now has 2 billion monthly users. In other words, 80 percent of all Internet users use Facebook. (Mark Zuckerberg, 2017)
  • The use of promoted tweets boosts offline sales by up to 29 percent. (AdWeek, 2016)
  • 79 percent of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is an effective source for generating leads. (LinkedIn, 2017).

So how can B2B brands leverage the power of social media through paid ads? Allow me to explain.

Leveraging the Power of Social Ads

Advertising has the ability to advance your current B2B social media strategy and thus elevate brand recognition, market perception and corporate value. Here’s a look at what social media ads can help you achieve:

  1. Brand Awareness – It’s important to remember the companies that your business sells to are made up of individuals. The key decision makers and those who influence them are real people who are more likely to be on social media than not. No matter your industry, relationships are important. Social media is a tried-and-true way to extend your reach and develop new relationships as well as solidify existing ones.
  2. Perception Building – People don’t buy from companies without checking them out online first. In fact, 67 percent of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. Social media gives brands the opportunity to help shape how customers think and feel about it. By sharing the right kind of content, brands can position themselves as credible thought leaders and most importantly, build trust.
  3. Content Distribution – Social media advertising is not only worthwhile but pretty much mandatory in order for any business to cut through the clutter and ensure their content is seen by the right audiences. According to Harvard Business Review, useful content distributed through digital channels can be as effective in provoking a dialogue as face-to-face selling. And with social advertising, you can open up your content to a wider audience of decision-makers and potential buyers.
  4. Lead GenerationPromoting gated content directly to your target audience is one of the easiest ways to gather information about prospects. Unlike organic social media, social advertising allows laser-focused targeting so you can ensure the leads you collect meet certain criteria. Pro Tip: Make sure your forms are mobile-friendly. Mobile accounts for nearly 80% of time spent on social media networks.
  5. Customer Acquisition – This is where you really maximize the value of social advertising. If you increase your business’ visibility and get your content in front of the right audience, you can turn prospects into leads and leads into customers.

Here’s an example of a well-done website clicks/conversions Facebook ad from Slack, a cloud-based team communication and collaboration tool. This B2B campaign was targeting a wide audience of business professionals, likely across multiple industries, with the objective to get them to take a desired action (sign up for Slack), making this platform and ad format an excellent choice. In addition to picking the right ad type and platform, this ad also hits the mark creatively. The copy is clear and compelling and makes the customer pain points a focal point in the messaging. The image is not only on-brand, but eye-catching and unique. Finally, there is a strong call to action.

Ready to harness the power of social advertising to reap the aforementioned benefits? Shoot us a tweet @AR__PR or contact us here to find out how we can help. In “PART 2” of this series I’ll cover what factors to take into consideration when building out your campaign strategy and tips to getting started.

As SVP of digital marketing and analytics and ARPR’s resident data geek, Renee bridges the gap between traditional PR and lead generation.

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