Shweiki Media had the pleasure of sitting down with Jon Loomer, a leader in Facebook marketing strategy and the author of an award-winning blog (jonloomer.com) that’s a must-bookmark site for anyone advertising on Facebook, from the most novice to the most advanced.
Here Shweiki sits down with Loomer and digs into important, relevant and—in today’s world—must-understand topics like the key strategies to adapt when placing Facebook ads. In this exclusive interview, the expert provides insight into B2B marketing tactics on the social media platform, Facebook.
The Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing
Dave: B2B is business to business while B2C is business to consumer. What do you think about using Facebook as a good platform for B2B marketing?
Jon: Does B2B work on Facebook? The truth is, I do not differentiate between the two because it really comes down to creating the best content for the right audience and being smart about the way campaigns are created. Normally, B2C has larger audiences than B2B because with B2B, you are targeting decision makers which is inherently a smaller group of people. Either way, you are still creating content that should reach the right audience whether its through building a Facebook page or creating articles and blogs that appeals to them. Bring in the right people in the beginning as opposed to focusing on how many page likes you have. If you have the right people to start with, everything will be easier going forward.
Create content with a specific audience in mind. Audiences for B2B companies are normally CEOs, CFOs, or some other type of decision maker within the company. Do not create click bait content to appeal to a bunch of people in order to get clicks. You should focus on creating content that appeals to that particular audience of decision makers. This will help in a lot of ways.
Dave: What are some overall inherent differences using Facebook for B2B vs. B2C? Is there any difference in methodology or approach?
Jon: For me, I come from a mix of these two worlds. With B2C marketing, there is a larger potential audience to work with because there are a lot of consumers whose background does not particular matter in most cases. B2B marketing works with a much smaller and more refined group of decision makers. Therefore, it is hard to make viral content in a B2B environment. Targeting decision makers is inherently different from targeting average consumers. With decision makers, you are going to target based on company, job title, salary, etc. With B2C marketing, you target people who are 25-34 years old who live in the U.S. B2C targeting is more broad based as opposed to B2B targeting being more refined.
Dave: There are lots of options in terms of targeting. How accurate are these targeting options? How powerful?
Jon: The major issue with Facebook being around for so long is that it is accurate as long as people keep their information updated. If you are targeting people based on job title and people are not keeping that information update on Facebook, then you are not going to get accurate information for targeting. It is important to start building your audience at the top of the funnel. The top of the funnel is where there is a high volume of traffic and frequency and is reaching a lot of people who might not necessarily become a part of your target audience. For example, if I post a video that will appeal to my target audience and see who watches it, then I can build an audience around those that watched the video. I can then continue to market to those people so I do not waste any more time marketing to those who did not watch the video.
I question the accuracy of basing target audiences solely around job titles, interests or behaviors. In my experiences, I have found there to be a lot of accuracy and inaccuracy in regards to it. I look at targeting based on job title, interest or behavior as the first step to bringing people into my audience. I filter out the bad stuff with the high volume of actions such as videos and blog posts before sending them down the Facebook tunnel.
Building a Target Audience: Interests, Behaviors and Job Titles
Dave: In regards to interests, what are some of the interests we should keep top of mind for decision makers? Are there any pointers for B2B marketing specifically?
Jon: It depends on what the product is and who the target audience is. Just because this is B2B marketing, does not mean that all decision makers have the same interests.
Dave: What about behaviors?
Jon: Targeting by behaviors is when we get into education, career, job titles, things they bought, etc. If people are buying products that are related to your brand, then they might be more inclined to do business with you.
Dave: How do you filter out the B.S. titles?
Jon: That is exactly why you should use this top of funnel approach. A creative video that appeals to a very specific set of people is going to be boring to most but not to the people it is actually targeting. It is still a good idea to target based on interest, behaviors and job titles if you do not have a built audience. The top 5% of people that paid attention to a video will be added to the target audience. They are significant target users because they were not only part of the original audience we thought may be relevant, but they also paid attention to something we think is relevant to them. This gives a good indication that these people will be spending money on us in the long term. You do not want to rely solely on interests and behaviors because they are not as accurate. Use it as a first step and building block.
Dave: In general, the top of funnel approach is great to use as a first cookie. Let people take a bite out of the cooke to then refine the audience further. Next, you should try sending buying ads to those secondary audience members you built through the initial audience.
Refining Your Audience and Evergreen Campaigns
Jon: I like to use Evergreen campaigns. Evergreen campaigns opt someone into a month’s long ad campaign if they perform one or two actions. If somebody triggers a specific action, that indicates they are interested in you or the industry. For example, if they watched a video, they are opted into the ad campaign. They are shown one ad in the first four days and a different ad in the next four days and so on for a month. If they have not performed the final action in the last couple of days, then they are taken off the list.
Dave: When using B2B marketing on Facebook, should you use larger audiences at first, then look for those interactions to narrow it down or try to really zero in at the very start?
Jon: It can be good to experiment with both in the beginning. However, because Facebook can be inaccurate, you do not want to put all your eggs in one basket that may or may not work when you start zeroing in too much. Remember, if you are already coming to the table with a bunch of website traffic, then this does not apply to you. I am talking about building an audience from scratch. If we start with broad targeting tactics, then there will be a lot of people ignoring us in the beginning and that is fine. The key is to appeal to some people and zero in on those that it is appealing to. Evergreen campaigns are a great way to determine interest.
Dave: Are there any other creative practices to apply to the B2B world after you have narrowed down your audience?
Jon: There are so many things we can do. Lead ads are something that Facebook has been upgrading lately and is a great tool for creating and narrowing audiences. Facebook can now generate custom audiences based on people’s interactions with lead ads. You can show people an ad for a some type of form and create an audience based on who opened it, who opened and submitted it, and who never opened it. This allows you to create different ads based on what people did with that lead ad form.
Canvas ads can work for B2B marketing as well because it gives people interactive and immersive experiences. It is not just based on one video or link, but instead is a whole experience that is built within a Facebook canvas ad.
Dave: Facebook does not offer Evergreen campaigns. Jon created this methodology so if you want to learn more about Evergreen ads, type in “evergreen ads jon loomer” in Google. You mentioned lead ads as more than a conversion tactic. Now, you can use them to start creating audiences.
Jon: One of my concerns with lead ads is that it basically replaces sending people to a landing page on a website. There are a lot of things that can go when using a landing page. First, how long will it take to load? On average, landing pages take up to 8 seconds to load, especially on mobile. When users have to enter their information on their mobile device, it is too much work, especially if it is B2B. Normally, these B2B forms ask name, number, email, budget, etc. No one wants to enter all that information on their phone. What a lead ad does is automatically opens up a form on Facebook and the person never once has to go to the actual website. A lot of the information will be filled in automatically because the form pulls it off of your Facebook profile. Lead ads simplify the process and make it much easier for people to complete the form. Now, with lead ad custom audiences, Facebook can differentiate audiences into three categories.
Daily Unique Reach Bidding vs. Reach and Frequency Bidding
Dave: Are there any differences in strategies when working with smaller audiences?
Jon: The main difference is that you have to budget differently. When you are going after an audience of 5000 people, you cannot go after it thinking you can spend $50 a day. Think more in the single digits such as $3 a day. It is important to remember that your small audience also has to be relevant. Narrow down the audience for the right reasons and it will be more effective. If you have a small audience and want to treat them equally by reaching 100%, then you might be disappointed. By default, Facebook is still going to optimize and show content to a certain number of people that are most likely to engage with it. With optimization, 5000 people goes down to 200. Therefore, if you decide that everyone is equal, try removing the Facebook optimization tool. Instead, you can use daily unique reach bidding so it will show the content to everyone in that audience.
Dave: There is this fear of over-saturating the audience by showing them the same ad over and over again. How can we avoid going from smart retargeting to becoming an annoyance?
Jon: There are a few things we can do to avoid becoming a nuisance. For example, with the evergreens campaign approach, if they are not performing a certain number of actions in a certain number of days, they will fall out of the campaign. When I use daily unique reach bidding and am trying to reach as close to 100% as possible, I am really careful to not annoy people with a high frequency of the same ad. Daily unique reach bidding allows you to reach as many people as you can in that audience but no more than once a day. This allows you to reach as many people as possible without bombarding them with ads. It also allows you to be more aggressive in bidding and the budget.
The other way is called reach and frequency bidding and requires a higher budget. This type of bidding allows you to reach people during a 7 to 14 day time period instead of day to day. It will take several thousands of dollars to make it work.
Always remember that you can go from being very smart to very annoying extremely quickly.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on your ads by showing them to yourself. If I can see my own ad from the audience’s point of view, I can see if I need to change anything.
Dave: Where is the first place you would tell small businesses with small budgets to start?
Jon: They need to find their audience. The audience is the primary thing that determines a business’ success. What most small businesses do is jump into Facebook advertising and make a whole bunch of guesses on their audience only to find it does not actually work. In reality, what small businesses need to do is zero in on their ideal audience. There are two types of audiences. The first audience is those found using Facebook’s Audience Insights tool. With this tool, you can put in some interests you are targeting in ads, competitors names, etc. and Facebook will spit out a bunch of information such as demographics, age, gender, location, type of things they buy, and pages they liked. It will give you a general understanding of your target audience.
The second type of audience is found using a look alike audience. From your email list or website traffic, have Facebook find people similar to those people on the list. It automates the process instead of making random guesses on interests.
Make sure you are starting with top of funnel ads. The main goal in the beginning is to see how large we can build this audience of people that we can target later and know will convert.
Dave: Any final thoughts or ideas?
Jon: Facebook marketing is constantly changing so stay up to date. These are exciting times in terms of everything Facebook is doing. Keep experimenting and trying different things because you never know when you will find the perfect combination for you. There is no perfect, magical formula that is the end all, cure all. You have to find what works best for you.
Follow me @jonloomer.