Facebook has become a staple advertising platform for retail brands. But what about B2B Facebook ads?

Traditionally, B2B companies have relied on ad channels like Google Search Ads and LinkedIn. But with these platforms’ cost-per-click prices reaching cosmic heights (LinkedIn CPC can go as high as $20), more and more B2B marketers are investing their ad budgets on Facebook.

When working with our clients at Linear, we have seen Facebook ads for B2B products considerably boosting sales. 🚀

However, there’s a caveat: B2B Facebook ads work only when set up using the right strategy…

… And that’s also the reason for many marketers giving up too early.

Consider these statistics: Social Media Examiner’s survey showed that 52% of B2C marketers consider Facebook marketing effective, while only 38% of B2B marketers could say the same.

From Black Friday offers to sales, B2C marketers have a bunch of Facebook advertising tactics you won’t be able to use for business sales.

As a B2B marketer, you have a tough decision to make: Should you advertise on Facebook?

The short answer is Yes.

This guide will walk you through all the B2B Facebook advertising best practices, from building an efficient marketing funnel to creating top-performing ad creatives.

If you’re interested in any particular topic, use the below links to navigate this guide:

  1. Part 1: Should you set up Facebook ads for your B2B company?
  2. Part 2: How to set up your marketing funnel for the best results
  3. Part 3: Facebook ad campaign examples for all your B2B sales funnel stages
  4. Part 4: How to set the budget for your B2B ad campaigns

Ready to close more business sales? 🤝

Let’s do it!

Part 1: Why Facebook ads for B2B brands work (and don’t work)

If even LinkedIn is using Facebook ads to reach B2B marketers, there must be something about this channel that works.

linkedin facebook ad

The irony of LinkedIn advertising on Facebook

Perhaps the biggest reason to advertise on Facebook is that it has the widest reach of all platforms. According to Statista, Facebook has more than 2 billion users, beating YouTube and WhatsApp.

facebook user statistics

Facebook is the biggest social media platform

And while some social media platforms are seeing a decline in their monthly active users’ number, Facebook and Instagram are on a steady growth path.

Facebook keeps growing

Number of monthly active Facebook users

There are plenty of B2B Facebook ad success stories, such as a software provider using the platform and seeing a 51% decrease in cost per lead compared to previous lead campaigns.

b2b facebook ad results

Results of a B2B Facebook campaign

A survey of 342 B2B marketers found that 58% of managers pointed to Facebook and LinkedIn as the social media platforms with the highest ROI.

Here is a snapshot of some B2B brands’ Facebook ads. You will find numerous additional examples later in this guide.

b2b facebook ads

Many well-known business products advertise on Facebook

91% of marketers rely on B2B Facebook ads for their brands and based on Statista’s reports, it’s become the top-ranked social media platform for B2B marketing.

Statista B2B Facebook Ads

Facebook is the most popular B2B marketing channel

To put things into perspective, here’s a list of reasons why Facebook ads work so well, no matter the nature of the product or service:

  • Facebook ads can reach more than 2 billion people worldwide – most of your potential buyers have a social media account
  • Facebook has some of the best ad algorithms in the industry – even if you’re unsure whom exactly to target, Facebook will almost do the selection for you
  • Facebook provides many different campaign types – from building brand awareness, driving traffic to your landing pages to closing the sales deal with the Conversions campaign objective
  • Facebook ads are considerably cheap to get started with – you can run a campaign test with as little as $200

Yet there are also many stories of B2B Facebook ad campaigns failing…

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Not all B2B campaigns succeed

There are a few reasons why business to business brands fail in social media marketing.

If you have tried Facebook ads for your B2B business before and seen poor results, double check if you were guilty in some of these common mistakes:

  • Not defining your ad strategy based on the sales funnel – B2B sales don’t happen right away and you need to use a lead nurturing strategy also in your online ad campaigns.
  • Showing the same ad creative to everyone – Showing an ad about a free product trial is not relevant to everyone in your sales funnel. You should use various ad messaging and creatives depending on the stage of your marketing funnel.
  • Forgetting to set up remarketing campaigns – 99% of B2B sales happen at second, third, or even tenth touchpoint with the customer. Facebook remarketing ads are some of the most efficient ad campaigns you can run to close your B2B sales.

There’s one more thing to consider: are you advertising to startup or enterprise clients?

There’s a big difference in the Facebook ad strategies of companies selling a $299 monthly 💸 software subscription vs enterprise products costing north from $100k per year. 💸💸💸

What works for one B2B company may not work for the other.

Which makes it crucial to first understand your sales and marketing funnel and only then proceed in creating a Facebook ad campaign for each of the stages.

Part 2: How to create a B2B marketing funnel for Facebook ads

When you google “B2B marketing funnel,” you can find tens of different images on the topic.

Here’s one example from the Moz blog:

b2b sales funnel

Example of a 5-stage B2B marketing funnel

Most marketing funnels consist of 5-6 different stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Intent
  5. Buy

Let’s take a closer look at each stage to understand what is the best funnel-based marketing strategy that you can use.

  • Awareness – in this stage, your goal is to, well, raise awareness about your product/service
  • Interest – once a person knows about your brand, the next step is to create the initial interest, yet be careful not to ask your B2B customer to make a purchase yet
  • Consideration – the audience in this marketing funnel stage likes your product and is considering purchasing it. Now you just need to convince them a little further
  • Intent – these are the hot leads needing the last nudge to make the purchase.
  • Buy – this funnel stage signifies the people who have already bought your product as a result of successful sales and marketing

There’s a great illustrative chart by KlientBoost that explains how your marketing messages and offers need to change as the potential customer moved from the no-awareness stage ❄️to being a lava-hot lead ready to make the purchase. 🔥

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Different funnel stages require different marketing messages – Image Source

When creating your B2B Facebook ads strategy, start from defining your marketing funnel and thinking about the right ad messages and target audience for each stage.

Here’s how to think about it:

Try to come up with an ad message or special offer that will move the person from their current funnel level to the next one.

For example, in the early days of building Airbnb, CEO Brian Chesky came up with an idea to use storyboarding as a method for understanding the customer’s touchpoints with their service.

The Walt Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was created in the mid 1930s using a storyboard, a technique the animators at Disney had invented a few years earlier.

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Airbnb storyboarded their user experience

As you start defining your B2B marketing funnel, think in terms of the steps that a person needs to take in order to become a paying customer.

First, you’ll need to catch their attention and make them aware that your product even exists. After that, you’ll need a smart strategy to nudge the prospect towards making the purchase.

The sales may not happen in 1 day. They may even not happen in 30 days.

Which is why you will need to understand each point of conversion that signifies the person’s movement from one stage to the next.

After you know the conversion events throughout your sales funnel, set up a Facebook ad campaign to get people to convert in all of the stages.

If you’d like to learn more about creating a B2B marketing funnel like a pro, we recommend the following resources:

And to help you come up with some cool ideas, here’s a list of ideas and Facebook ad examples for every stage of your B2B sales funnel.

Part 3: Facebook ad campaign examples for all your B2B sales funnel stages

Once you know your conversion funnel, you can define the target audience in each step.

To find people who would potentially be interested in your B2B service, you can start with a fairly broad audience and use interest-based targeting.

In the later stages, you can start remarketing to people who have visited your website or signed up for a free trial.

Remember: It’s all about reaching the right person with the right message at the right time.

When you nail the offer AND the timing Image source

Marketing funnel stage 1: Awareness 📢

Which one was here first: the chicken or the egg? 🐣

Luckily, there is no confusion with your marketing funnel Awareness always comes before the purchase.

But how can you make all the relevant people (especially the decision-makers) informed that your B2B product/service exists?

You can use plenty of marketing channels, to be fair: your company’s blog, having a booth at conferences, sending cold sales emails, and much much more.

On top of all of the above marketing techniques, you can also use Facebook ads to enlighten your future clients.

Idea 1: Showcase your product for quick awareness

Sometimes, the simple tactics are also the most efficient ones.

The most straightforward way to make people aware of your B2B product is to run an advertisement that plainly states what it is.

Sounds too easy to work?

Check out these examples! 👇

For example, this ad by Prezi shows how their online software looks like and highlights its key benefit: improving your presentations by getting rid of PowerPoint.

prezi saas ad

Prezi’s ad shows their SaaS tool

Here’s another example by Asana. Notice that both of these B2B ad examples do not say “This is product X” but explain the benefits of the product.

Instead of just talking about what your product does, make sure that the Facebook ad creative emphasizes its benefit.

Screen Shot 2018 01 07 at 17.12.19

Asana’s ad explains the benefit

Best practices to follow for product ads:

  • If your product can be visualized, show it in the ad image
  • Make it clear what is the benefit to the customer
  • Keep your ad copy short and simple

We do not generally recommend adding a call-to-action (such as “sign up now” to the Awareness stage ads. Your goal here is to make people familiar with your brand, not sell them anything.

Idea 2: Advertise the facts that build trust

You can only leave the first impression once.

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Leave a good first impression

In the B2B marketing world, you have several options for how you want people to perceive your brand:

  • Highly qualified
  • High-quality
  • Professional
  • Fast-moving
  • Trustworthy

No matter whether you’re advertising to small, medium or large businesses, they all want to be assured that you’re a reliable partner.

So how can you create a sense of trust with your Facebook ads campaign?

One popular tactic used by B2B companies is showing testimonials from their customers. Take a look at the example by Hired below.

hired facebook ad template

Hired advertises customer testimonials

Another data point that convinces people that your service is trustworthy is the number of other clients you have.

SumoMe’s Facebook ad copy mentions that “Over 50,000 websites grow their traffic with SumoMe.”

SumoMe

Include your user stats in Facebook ad copy

Here’s a list of ideas of how to tweak your Facebook ads’ copy and images to make people trust your B2B brand:

  • Mention the well-known brands who have used your service in the ad copy.
  • Include your well-known clients’ logos in your ad image. (With their permission, of course)
  • If you service is included in a “TOP 50” list, mention it in your Facebook ads.
  • Use customer testimonials. (Hired example)
  • Mention the number of clients you already have. (SumoMe example)

The fifth suggestion is so powerful that it deserves an explanation and examples in its own right. Which you will find in the next paragraph.

Many B2B companies include the so-called “trust magnets” on their websites, but neglect the potential to run Facebook ads with the same messaging.

Below, you can see Wrike’s website that lists their top customers.

wrike website example

Use your top clients’ logos also in ad creatives

If your B2B business provides a SaaS service, you can also benefit from review sites’ ratings, including them to your website (like Scoro) as well as Facebook ads.

scoro website example

Scoro showcases positive ratings from review sites

But now, back to the next idea for building brand awareness with your B2B Facebook ads…

Idea 3: Promote the media coverage about your company

Got a mention in Forbes or some other well-known business publication?

Congratulations! 🏆

Now don’t let it go unnoticed and make the most of it.

For example, Squarespace is taking advantage of their CEO talking at the Forbes Under 30 Summit, using Forbes-branded image instead of their native branding.

squarespace facebook post

Squarespace shows a Forbes mention on Facebook

Tip: Sometimes, you can even buy your way into a popular business blog, either by guest blogging or paying for a sponsored post.

Here is another Facebook post example by DDB (one of the leading advertising agency networks in the world).

They recently won several awards at the Cannes Lions event and posted a Facebook post listing all the rewards.

While it looks like the particular post was not promoted, we recommend you to also set up a paid promotion for all the posts you publish on your Facebook page. Here’s why:

  • Promoted Facebook posts have 10x-100x higher reach (depending on your budget)
  • As you have put a lot of effort into creating the post (even more, getting the rewards), paying an additional $500 to make sure relevant people find out about it is a good return on investment.
ddb facebook ad

Share posts about positive news and rewards

Best practices for B2B brand awareness Facebook ads

Here’s a quick recap of B2B Facebook campaigns that help to create brand awareness:

  1. Ads that introduce your product and explain its benefits
  2. Ads that build trust, e.g. customer testimonials or impressive numbers about your company
  3. Ads that promote the media coverage about your B2B business or showcase the industry rewards you’ve recently won

Alright, you have plenty of ideas which ad creatives and messaging to use in your Facebook brand awareness campaigns.

But what about the campaign setup? 🤔

How to set up your awareness stage Facebook campaign

From selecting the right campaign type to targeting the right audience, here’s how to set up Facebook brand awareness ads. 👇

We recommend one of the following Facebook campaign types:

  • Brand awareness – reach a wide audience who is likely to remember your brand later
  • Traffic – reach people who will click on your ad and also visit your website
  • Promoted Facebook posts – quickly set up a paid promotion for your Facebook page posts
brand awareness campaign

Do not try to sell in the awareness stage

How many ad sets and creatives should you use?

  • The best practice is to set up fewer campaigns and ad sets (so that Facebook algorithms have more time and budget to learn and start delivering your ads to the right audience).
  • To get started, set up one Facebook campaign with a single ad set that includes 5-10 ad creatives.
  • We recommend to include various ad creatives (with product screenshots, testimonials, etc.) in a single ad set, so that you will learn which message works the best.

How to set up your ad campaign’s targeting?

Here, you have a few options. Test out all three to see what works best. However, we listed the ideas in the order of what we recommend to test first.

  • Target a wide audience in big cities that’s in your potential customer’s age range
  • Target an audience living in big cities that have specific interests and career background
  • Target people that are interested in other big brands in your industry or a B2B product/service category different from yours whose clientele matches with yours
facebook ads targeting b2b

Target based on location and interests

Use the “Detailed Targeting” feature to list the interests and career backgrounds that you want to target.

To access the full list of work-related targeting options, select “Demographics” and then “Work.”

In the awareness stage, your goal is to reach a wide audience of potentially interested people.

Do not narrow down your audience too much. The perfect audience size is between 100k-500k people.

See the full guide on Facebook ads targeting in 2019 for the ABC of reaching the perfect audience.

As you run awareness campaigns, people become more familiar with your product, some of them may even make a purchase. But most leads will need more nurturing before they’re ready to come on board and become a paying customer.

One of the mistakes that B2B marketers make with Facebook ads is focusing only on the awareness ads and not setting up a strategic remarketing funnel to move prospects to the next stages of the sales funnel.

But hey… This is only the first step of a successful B2B Facebook ads strategy!

b2b sales funnel

After awareness stage comes the interest stage

Let’s take a look at how to set up the Facebook ad campaigns for the interest level of your B2B marketing funnel.

Marketing funnel stage 2: Interest 👀

The interest stage includes people who have heard about your brand, but are not yet quite sure about the full scope of its benefits or whether they need it.

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Not quite sure yet

Let’s make them interested in testing out your B2B service! 🤜🤛

Idea 1: Promote your top blog articles

According to HubSpot’s 2018 Inbound Marketing report, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.

blogging is important

Most marketers rely on blogging

What is the main blogging goal for your B2B company? Getting inbound traffic through strategic SEO or converting leads into customers?

In reality, you don’t have to choose.

If you are creating blog content with SEO in mind, you can also use the articles in your Facebook advertising campaigns. It’s a win-win situation.

Here’s an example of a Facebook page post by Intercom, sharing one of their latest blog articles.

intercom ad example 2

Intercom shares blog articles on Facebook

In addition to publishing your blog posts on your B2B brand’s Facebook page, set up a paid promotion to make sure it reaches all the right people.

Pro tip: The creatives of your blog articles matter a lot in the long run. Create a distinctive branded style to use across your website, product, print materials and Facebook ads that people will recognize each time they see your content.

Idea 2: Collect leads with gated content

One of the most efficient B2B marketing channels is email marketing.

But before you can start sending people emails, you need to collect their contact details.

HubSpot has listed ideas for B2B lead magnets in this article, including eBooks, reports, how-to guides, white papers, and much more.

To increase the traffic flow to your gated content (useful materials that people can access in return of their contact details), set up a Facebook ad campaign directing people to the landing page.

Here’s a 3-step example from the Advertise. Grow blog.

The first step is setting up a Facebook ad campaign, promoting an eBook, guide or other materials that your target audience is highly interested in.

gated content step 1

We’d totally download the 200+ Facebook ad examples guide

As you click on the ad, you will land on a website page introducing the eBook and inviting you to download it.

Pro tip: When creating landing pages for gated content, list the key benefits a user gets when downloading the material.

gated content step 2

Step 2: Send people to your landing page

Once you hit on the “Download the e-book” button, a pop-up window with a lead form will show up. As you fill in the contact details, you’ll get access to the downloadable eBook.

gated content step 3

You can use tools like Sumo to set up lead forms for free 😉

Tip: If you don’t have the time to create a separate landing page for each lead magnet, use the Facebook Lead Ads campaign feature to collect people’s contact details without asking them to leave the social media platform.

The downside of the Lead Ads is that people won’t be visiting your website and it will be more difficult to later remarket to them.

Also, the above-mentioned HubSpot report was promoted on Facebook and led to a landing page where people can download the document.

hubspot facebook ad 1

Example of a gated content’s Facebook post

Best practices for B2B Facebook ads in the interest stage

The interest stage can seem like a vaguely defined step between the awareness and consideration stages.

As a B2B marketer, you might be tempted to jump right into a sales or free trial offer after a person has visited your website or seen your Facebook ad.

In some cases, skipping the interest stage might work. However, especially when starting out with B2B Facebook ads, we recommend that you also create an ads campaign to target people in this stage.

Here’s a quick recap of B2B Facebook campaigns to run in the interest stage:

  1. Ads that promote your blog articles and other useful content
  2. Ads that promote gated content and help you collect emails for further email marketing or phone numbers for sales calls
hubspot facebook ad

Promote helpful guides

How to set up your interest stage Facebook campaign

To keep your Facebook Ads Manager account well structured, it’s best to have a maximum of three campaigns per marketing funnel stage.

At the beginning, set up only one campaign per funnel stage:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Intent
  • Purchase
  • Customers

For the interest stage ads, we recommend one of the following Facebook campaign types:

  • Traffic – to drive traffic to your blog and lead magnets’ landing pages
  • Lead generation – to collect people’s contact details with Facebook Lead ads
  • Conversions –  to reach an audience who visits your landing page and takes a specific action (in this case, fills in the lead form)
interest stage campaign objective

Use Traffic, Lead Gen or Conversions campaign objectives

How to set up your ad campaign’s targeting?

Interest stage presumes that the people you’re targeting are already familiar with your brand. Which means that they have either seen your ads or visited your website.

There are two types of Facebook remarketing audiences that work well for the interest stage:

  • Past website visitors
  • People who have interacted with your Facebook page and ads

Let’s see how to set up Facebook Custom Audiences in both instances. 👇

1. Past website visitors

To target past website visitors, make sure that you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Here’s a how-to guide by Facebook.

Next, navigate to the Audiences section in the Facebook Business Manager and set up a Custom Audience of everyone who has visited your website in the past 30 days.

select website traffic

Select “Website traffic”

remarketitng audience

Select “All website visitors” and “30 days”

Next up, name your Custom Audience, e.g. “ALL Website Visitors Past 30 Days” and hit the “Create Audience” button.

2. People who have interacted with your Facebook page and ads

If you ran a Facebook ads campaign to create brand awareness, here’s some awesome news: you can retarget all the people who have engaged with your Facebook page and ads.

Create a Facebook Custom Audience and select “Facebook Page” from the list of targeting options.

target facebook page engagement

Select “Facebook Page”

Next up, expand the drop-down menu and select “People who engaged with any post or ad” and set the conversion window to past 30 days.

target engaged facebook audiences

Select “People who engaged with any post or ad”

Et voila! 💁

You have created two remarketing audiences for your interest-stage B2B Facebook ad campaigns.

You can later select these audiences when setting up your new campaigns’ ad sets.

Remember that these audiences are dynamic, i.e. new people are constantly added to the audience while people who last visited your website more than 30 days ago are moved out of the targeted group.

It is a good thing as you will be advertising to the most promising leads in the next marketing funnel stages’ ad campaigns. (And you don’t want to have the same person targeted by multiple ad campaigns at the same time)

Marketing funnel stage 3: Consideration 🤔

Imagine visiting a supermarket.

You came to the store to buy a list of groceries you need. However, you notice a big stand advertising special edition Snickers bars…

snickers chocolate

To make it even more amazing, it’s a hazelnut Snickers ice cream

Immediately, you’re tempted to reach out and put a few of the ice creams in your shopping cart.

But… You also have several reasons why not to buy any Snickers:

  • Sugar is unhealthy
  • Eating chocolate is not helping your diet
  • It’s a guilty pleasure that adds extra cost to your budget

Even with small purchases, people have a ton of reasons for resisting the urge to buy it.

With B2B products, it is even harder to overcome the basic objections we all have:

  • Being unsure if the B2B product will actually improve or worsen your current work processes
  • Not wanting to pay for the B2B service (or you want to pay less)
  • You don’t know whether the B2B product in a Facebook ad is the best option out of all products in the same category

To make people consider trying your B2B product or service, you need to overcome the basic objections they might have.

The best strategy is to soft sell people with helpful advice, case studies and remove all threat by giving them a free trial of your product.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can use Facebook ads to make more people try your B2B product/service.

Idea 1: Offer a free trial

In the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry, giving new users a free trial period has become an industry standard.

For example, Harvest’s Facebook ad invites the audience to get started for free.

harvest facebook ad

Harvest’s Facebook ad offers a free trial

Once a potential customer has signed up for a free trial, you should change your Facebook ads strategy and move them to the next (intent) stage of your marketing funnel.

Idea 1: Offer a free audit

Not all B2B companies sell software and are able to offer a free product trial.

For those selling a service rather than product, offering a free audit is a good option.

At Linear, we offer a free proposal to all website visitors.

linear design example

Agencies can offer free audits and proposals

Here is another Facebook ad example by WeWork. In the case of co-working spaces, a tour in the offices equals a free trial in of a software product.

WeWork Facebook ad

WeWork offers a free office tour

Idea 3: Keep sharing high-quality content

As a B2B marketer, one of the most important goals in the interest stage of the marketing funnel is to stay top-of-mind for your prospects.

This can be done by using a mix of sales emails (or calls) and paid marketing tactics.

Whenever you publish a blog article or some other type of helpful content, share and promote it on your Facebook page, targeting the remarketing audience of all your prospects.

This also applies to sharing news about the industry rewards you’ve won, like the below example by Intercom.

Zendesk

Share articles and other updates

Idea 4: Show how much value your B2B product can bring

Behind every business deal, there’s simple math: if the investment is profitable in the long term, it is worth pursuing.

Your B2B Facebook ads should also convince the lead that your product is worth the time and money they put into using it.

Asana’s Facebook ads are a great example of value-oriented messaging.

The below example highlights one of the benefits of using Asana’s project management tool: it is easier to hit deadlines by better planning your projects.

Screen Shot 2018 01 07 at 17.13.09

Asana’s Facebook ad focuses on the value

The most efficient way to show the value of your B2B product/service is to quantify the benefit (business people love the numbers).

Here are two more ad examples by Asana that mention their product’s benefit in the ad image copy. The best part? – The percentage of values assigned to each value proposition.

Screen Shot 2018 01 07 at 17.12.24

Facebook ads including numbers usually perform better

Screen Shot 2018 01 07 at 17.13.37

Asana knows what’s up with numbers.

Pro tip: To understand your product’s main benefits and get some data about how many people agree with them, run a customer survey. You can set up a survey in 10 minutes (e.g. with SurveyMonkey) and send it out with your email tool (e.g. with MailChimp).

Best practices for B2B Facebook ads in the consideration stage

In the consideration stage, your goal is to :

  1. Get the potential customers to test our your B2B product/service
  2. Provide them with a great user experience
  3. Make them consider purchasing your product/service

When writing Facebook ad copy for the consideration stage, keep in mind these best practices: 👇

  • Avoid aggressive sales offers – it is yet too early to convert your leads into customers
  • Go for a soft sell instead – offer freebies such as a free trial, an audit, or free marketing materials that are helpful for your customer

How to set up your consideration stage Facebook campaign

Likewise to the previous marketing funnel stage, you should set up remarketing campaigns – you will save a lot of budget by only targeting the people already in the funnel.

giphy 2

Remarketing helps to save money

For the interest stage ads, we recommend one of the following Facebook campaign types:

  • Conversions – if you want your audience to take a specific action (like sign up for a free trial or request an audit), optimize your Facebook campaign on that particular conversion
  • Traffic – send people to read your blog and guides or visit a specific landing page
  • Reach – set up ads that reach each audience member once per day to stay top-of-mind for a 1-week period (works well with the ads promoting your product’s benefits)
consideration stage targeting 1

Use Reach, Traffic and Conversions objectives

How to set up your ad campaign’s targeting?

First, define what a “prospect” means in the context of your B2B product’s sales funnel.

Generally, it means the people who have had several touchpoints with your B2B business, e.g. have read your blog, downloaded a whitepaper or signed up to your email newsletter.

All of the above examples can be tracked and remarketed to. Use these two Facebook Custom Audience types:

  1. Custom Audiences of special landing page visitors
  2. Custom Audiences of your customer base

Here’s to set up either of these.

1. Custom Audiences of special landing page visitors 🎯

To target people who have visited specific landing pages, go to the Audiences page in the Facebook Business Manager and create a Custom Audience based on website traffic.

Up next, find the “People who visited specific web pages” option and add to the list all the relevant landing pages you want to do remarketing for.

We recommend setting a 14-day or 28-day time window.

custom audience of landing page visitors

Select “People who visited specific web pages”

2. Custom Audiences based on your customer lists 🎯

Let’s assume your sales team visited a conference and collected a big list of potential customers and their contacts.

Can you also run a Facebook ads campaign to those prospects?

Of course you can! 🎉

All you need is a list with people’s first and last names, email addresses and ideally also their phone numbers (as they might use a personal email address for Facebook account which you don’t have).

Go to the Audiences page in the Facebook Business Manager and create a Custom Audience based on customer list.

customer list

Next, upload a CSV file with the prospects’ contact details. Facebook will match your data to its users and you can start targeting them with your ad campaigns.

upload customer list

Upload a CSV file with the prospects’ contact details

We’re already getting close to your potential clients making the final purchase decision.

But there is one stage of the B2B marketing channel left to conquer before: the intent level.

Marketing funnel stage 4: Intent 🤝

The closer you get to the Buy level of your marketing funnel, the more you rely on sales instead of marketing.

After all, you’ve done your job as a marketer and guided the prospects through the awareness, interest, and consideration stages.

b2b sales funnel

Combine sales and marketing in later funnel stages

Now, it’s up to the sales team to close the deal.

However, there are some low-cost and smart Facebook campaign ideas that you can use to support your sales team and help to nudge the prospects to make the purchase decision. 😉

Idea 1: Promote use cases and success stories

Every company has some customers whose needs match perfectly with the product.

No matter if you’re selling a small SaaS tool, enterprise-level software solution or B2B services, there are some stories of how your product has helped other companies to grow. 🚀

Even Facebook has an entire landing page dedicated to success stories of companies growing thanks to Facebook ads.

facebook success stories

Facebook Success Stories

Usually, B2B brands publish the success stories on the website and link to these in sales emails.

However, some brands, like Zendesk for example, take it one step further and also share and promote the case studies on Facebook.

zendesk facebook ad example

Zendesk promotes a success story

Tip: If you have a large client base, you can create multiple success stories, each covering a slightly different business vertical. This will help to make your case studies more relevant to a specific B2B audience.

Idea 2: Show that your product is actively improving

With the rapid technological changes, your B2B product needs to keep up with the industry more than ever.

Nobody likes to sign up for a business service that is so last year.

What your clients want to see instead is that you bring new products and services to the market and improve the existing ones.

Some B2B companies make the mistake of silently updating their product, so that the user experience improves, but it may go unnoticed by the customers.

Every time you publish a blog post about an important product update, share it on your Facebook page and set up a paid promotion to make sure it reaches all the right people.

For example, this Facebook ad by CoSchedule introduces their ReQueue feature.

Coschedule facebook ad

Notice that the ad copy also explains the benefit of the feature.

Tip: Some of the prospects in this stage might still be unaware of all the cool features that your product has. You can also test running a Facebook ad listing some of the key features that make people sign up to your B2B product.

mailchimp facebook ad

Mailchimp’s ad lists various product features

Best practices for B2B Facebook ads in the intent stage

In the intent stage, your job as a B2B marketer is to support the sales team and help your brand to stay top-of-mind for the prospects.

Get creative and run Facebook ads that convince people that…

  • Your product is the best available option in the market
  • You are constantly improving your product/service
  • You are active of social media, i.e. must be doing well as a brand
  • A lot of other companies have already benefitted from your B2B product/service
  • Your brand has a friendly and helpful attitude towards its clients

How to set up your intent stage Facebook campaign

In the intent stage, you have already quite a few leads in your marketing funnel.

Which means that running a Facebook ads campaign at this stage is fairly cheap yet highly efficient.

Profit. 💰

Setting up a single ad campaign for the intent stage should be sufficient. You can include multiple ad sets with various creatives under this one campaign.

For the intent stage ads, we recommend to use the same Facebook campaign types as for the consideration stage:

  • Conversions – get your prospects to sign a sales deal or extend their free trial
  • Traffic – keep sending your prospects to your blog articles and landing pages with success stories
  • Reach – set up Facebook ads that reach each audience member once per day to stay top-of-mind for a 2-week period
consideration stage targeting

Use Reach, Traffic and Conversions objectives

How to set up your ad campaign’s targeting?

Again, the Facebook campaign targeting for this marketing funnel stage is similar to the consideration stage.

We recommend working with Custom Audiences that you manually upload once per week. Make a deal with your sales team to forward you the mid-funnel leads’ information every Monday.

Marketing funnel stage 5: Purchase 💸

Finally, it’s the time to start promoting sales and discount offers to nudge your B2B leads to make the final purchase decision! 🎉

Up next, you will find 10 Facebook ad examples with various offers that create a sense of urgency, have conversion-optimized creative and that you can learn plenty of new ideas from.

B2B Facebook ad example 1: Moo.com

Moo’s Facebook ad is a simple example of a discount ad done right:

  • The ad creative shows the discount percentage, immediately drawing attention
  • The headline supports the ad visual by repeating what the offer is about
Moo copy

A good discount ad example

B2B Facebook ad example 2: Intercom

We really like Intercom’s idea to make their Facebook ad creative look like a website signup call-to-action.

Test running Facebook ads that mention the price of your B2B service. You’d be surprised by how few leads know the real pricing of your product.

intercom facebook ad template

Include your pricing in ad images

B2B Facebook ad example 3: HubSpot

HubSpot has given their discount offer an extra spin and promotes it as a limited-time offer.

See this guide to learn more about the best practices for time-constrained marketing offers.

hubspot

HubSpot offers 20% off their SaaS products

B2B Facebook ad example 4: Hootsuite

Here’s one more Facebook ad that uses urgency as its key message.

What is good about this Hootsuite ad:

  • It almost screams at you with the big LIMITED TIME OFFER! text in the ad image
  • It clearly states that you can try the product for free (but you could also use a discounted price offering in the ad copy)
  • It mentions a specific time frame for the free trial period
hootsuite facebook ad example

Hootsuite’s ad nails the limited-time offer strategy

B2B Facebook ad example 5: GetResponse

A user’s free trial period is running out?

Help your sales team to upgrade their account to a paid level by running a supporting Facebook ads campaign.

This type of Facebook ad is especially relevant for B2B products with low monthly price as you don’t want to have a salesperson working on every low-scale deal.

GetResponse facebook ad

GetResponse is converting leads to paying users

B2B Facebook ad example 6: Lyft

Lyft is making a smart move by combining users’ personal interest with business sales. For every 5 business rides a user makes, they get $5 in personal Lyft credit.

Test offers where an employee will personally benefit from bringing their business to your company.

lfyt facebook ad example

Lyft is linking the personal interest with business sales

B2B Facebook ad example 7: Clio

If you want to convince your leads that your product can significantly improve how they work, create a webinar that shows how your product works and what its benefits will be.

clio webinar ad

Clio’s promoting a free webinar

B2B Facebook ad example 8: Brand24

While this Facebook ad by Brand24 isn’t exactly inviting people to sign up for a paid account, there’s a good idea t develop further.

Once a user’s free trial period is over, you can run a Facebook ad saying “You have 5 new notifications” to trigger them to log back into their account and start a paid subscription to see what the notifications are.

b2b ad example

Create a sense of urgency with notifications

B2B Facebook ad example 9: Amazon

From time to time, Amazon runs a Prime Day where thousands of products are offered at discount.

You could test a similar approach with your B2B Facebook ads: promoting big discounts that only last for a single day, nudging people to make the purchase decision fast.

Screenshot 2019 06 30 at 12.53.08

Amazon promotes the Prime Day

B2B Facebook ad example 10: Teabox

While Teabox is not a B2B company, their discount ad is a great example of promoting a specific product/service category and increasing the sales for that particular vertical.

Teabox

If you want to boost the sales of a specific product feature, test promoting a discount for only that feature.

Best practices for B2B Facebook ads in the buy stage

In the buy stage, your main goal is to convert all the leads into paying customers. 💵

The best Facebook ad campaigns to run to that user segment are the ones giving them an additional reason to make the purchase decision.

Another goal of running B2B Facebook ads at this marketing funnel stage is to increase the volume of the sales deal, e.g. upsell on additional product features. 😉

giphy 8

Help your sales team to make the best deals

How to set up your buy stage Facebook campaign

Set up a single ad campaign that includes ad sets with various offer types.

By categorizing your marketing offers in separate ad sets, you can add 3-5 ad creatives per offer and see which one of them works best.

Read this guide to learn more about Facebook ads A/B testing best practices.

For the buy stage ads, we recommend the same Facebook campaign types as for interest and consideration stages:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions

If you have to choose one, we’d go with the Reach objective and use the Daily Unique Frequency ad delivery option, so that your sales ads are shown to people once per day.

daily unique reach

Use the Daily Unique Frequency ad delivery option

How to set up your ad campaign’s targeting?

If you’re doing marketing for an online B2B product, you can set up the following Facebook Pixel events:

  1. Free trial signup
  2. End of the free trial period
  3. Purchase of a paid subscription

All of these three are Facebook Standard events that can later be used for creating Custom Audiences for your campaign targeting.

facebook standard events

Facebook Standard Events

🎉🎉🎉 You’ve reached the end of your B2B Facebook ads marketing funnel! 🎉🎉🎉

Based on what you’ve learned in this guide, you’ll be able to set up a Facebook campaign funnel to match your sales strategy.

b2b sales funnel

You now know how to run ads for every stage in your B2B marketing funnel

There’s only one last thing to talk about: how much should you spend on your B2B Facebook campaigns?

Bonus: Facebook campaign budgeting for B2B ads

According to Facebook ads cost research by AdEspresso, it costs between $0.20-$0.80 per click on average.

facebook ads cost

The average CPC is $0.20-$0.80

However, your Facebook CPC depends on more than ten aspects, from the target audience to the competitive landscape.

As much as we’d like to give you B2B Facebook ads’ cost-per-click benchmarks, there is no single right answer.

However, we can share some basic suggestions for setting the optimal ads budget for your Facebook marketing funnel.

💵 Rule #1: The awareness campaigns cost more than the campaigns in the later marketing funnel stages.

Why? – Because you will need to target a much wider audience in the awareness stage to get them into your sales funnel.

So what is a good budget for a Facebook awareness campaign?

If you are targeting an audience of around 100k people living in a big city, we recommend using the budget of $1k-5$k for your first campaign.

If you see a positive ROI from Facebook ads, you can increase the awareness stage budget to get more leads into the campaign funnel.

💵 Rule #2: You can set a lower budget to all your remarketing campaigns

In the later stages of your B2B marketing funnel, you’ll be mainly targeting people who are already interested in your product. This is a significantly smaller target audience than 100k people, rather up to 10k people at a time.

Start out with a $100-$500 daily ads budget for each remarketing campaign and use the frequency capping to make sure your ads won’t show up too often.

The frequency of 4-8 ad views per week is a good number to aim for.

💵 Rule #3: Invest in promoting your Facebook page posts

Your Facebook page posts will organically reach only 2%-10% of your Facebook page followers.

Set up a paid post promotion for every Facebook post you publish on your page and want to be seen by a wider audience.

We recommend promoting your Facebook posts to your page fans and relevant remarketing audiences, based on which stage of the funnel you want to engage with that post.

giphy 9

Here’s to additional B2B sales!

If you have any questions about setting up a B2B Facebook ads campaign or want to hire someone to create the campaign strategy for you, do not hesitate to reach out. 🙌

Start making the most of your advertising dollars.

Start making the most of
your advertising dollars.

Karola Karlson

Founder @ Advertise.Grow.

Karola is the founder & author of Advertise Grow, the most upright blog about marketing, growth, and data. She’s all about random cool ideas, growth marketing, and taking new marketing approaches on a test drive. And boy does she love conversion copywriting or any writing for that matter (ask anyone who’s worked with her). Want to collaborate with Karola? Visit her blog or send her some delicious black chai, and then we’re talking!

Karola Karlson

Founder @ Advertise.Grow.

Karola is the founder & author of Advertise Grow, the most upright blog about marketing, growth, and data. She’s all about random cool ideas, growth marketing, and taking new marketing approaches on a test drive. And boy does she love conversion copywriting or any writing for that matter (ask anyone who’s worked with her). Want to collaborate with Karola? Visit her blog or send her some delicious black chai, and then we’re talking!