In part 1 of this series, I talked about B2B’s place in social media advertising and what it can help achieve: brand recognition, market perception, leads and even customers. That all sounds great, right? But you may be wondering how it’s done. Let’s talk strategy.

The way you choose to advertise on social media should depend on your industry, audience and product or service. Going blindly into paid social will cost you time, money and the desired results. Before you even select which platforms to advertise on, you need to consider your audience and overall objectives.

Step 1: Know Your Campaign Objective

The first step is to determine your primary goal, which will help determine your campaign objective. Do you want to increase your brand’s visibility on social media? Consider running a campaign with an awareness objective. Do you want people to visit and take an action on your website? Then you’ll want to run a campaign with a website clicks or conversions objective. Have more than one objective you’d like to achieve? Choose one to attack first.

Step 2: Carefully Select the Platform(s)

You should run your ads where your audience lives. If you’re a B2B company, you’re first thought may be LinkedIn. But did you know Facebook has the greatest share of business decision makers? (60 percent versus 22 percent for LinkedIn at last count, according to Adweek.) Do your research and get into the mind of the audience you’re trying to reach. Here are four major platforms to consider advertising on.

  • Facebook – Believe it or not, Facebook is often voted the most effective paid platform – even for B2B. As the largest social media platform on the internet – by far – this is a good place to start if you’re wanting to reach the masses. Facebook offers a plethora of ad formats as well as advanced audience targeting making it great for both B2B and B2C campaigns. Pricing varies based on several factors, but Facebook is generally one of the more cost-effective advertising options.
  • LinkedIn – This platform’s specific demographic of business professionals makes it ideal for B2B advertising. In fact, 80 percent of all social media B2B leads come from the LinkedIn platform. LinkedIn’s robust ad targeting options and business-minded users make it a great place to gain visibility and reach potential customers or employees.
  • Twitter – With 320 million active monthly users, Twitter is the world’s third largest social network. Twitter ads are an effective tactic to help grow awareness and drive clicks to your website. If customer engagement and content distribution are some of your objectives, Twitter is one of your best bets.
  • Instagram – Instagram has over 800 million active monthly users – 90 percent of whom are under 35. The platform’s highly-visual content and user demographic might lead you to believe it’s best suited for B2C campaigns, but B2B companies can still have success here. Especially when you consider the fact that 73% of millennials are involved in the purchasing decisions of their companies. By acting more like people and less like a company, B2B brands can use this platform to build relationships with their followers, drive awareness and increase web traffic. (Check out MailChimp and Citrix for examples of B2B Instagram done right.)

There are other factors to take into consideration when building out your campaign strategy, including audience targeting, ad types, copy, design and of course, budget. And once you’ve launched your campaign, you’ll want to continually refresh, tweak and test your content based on what’s performing best.

Bottom line: Somewhere on social media there is an audience that is interested in your products or services. No matter what your industry or goals are, when done right, social media ads can be a powerful component of your B2B marketing strategy. Ready to try social ads for yourself? I know a team of social media pros who can help! Give us a shout.

 

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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