Honing in on the mid-funnel, the goal is to fully educate your target audience on key subject areas and position your company as a trusted expert. In the world of B2B marketing, this translates to getting prospects to engage with your content -- and one of the most effective vehicles for nurturing and educating leads though the buying process is social advertising.
In the world of B2B, some of the most effective social advertising programs where marketers are investing heavily include:
LinkedIn Ads: Given the inherent nature of its business-focused network, LinkedIn makes it easy for marketers to target its audience by key business demographics including industry, job function, and title. You can also target users according to discussion groups they belong to, such as “Digital Media” or “IT Professionals.”
Facebook Exchange: Facebook offers B2B marketers tremendous opportunities to reach precise business audiences through the Facebook Exchange (FBX), a real-time bidding system in which marketers can leverage third-party data to reach their target audiences when they are on Facebook, and retarget them with highly relevant ads. By partnering with advertising platforms that enable access to third-party data on business professionals, Facebook Exchange gives marketers the ability to specifically target users according to job function, industry, and other business demographics data.
Twitter Ads: Twitter gives B2B marketers the ability to both increase awareness of their brands and grow their audiences (Promoted Accounts) as well as target specific tweets to audiences based on geography, interest, or device (Promoted Tweets). And, to the joy of many B2B marketers out there, Twitter's recent release of Lead Generation Cards is designed to make it even easier to capture lead information without leaving Twitter or filling out a form.
Here are a few reasons to give social advertising a try.
1. Reach the right audience - while they're consuming content online
Getting results through online advertising is a function of efficiently getting the right message in front of the right audiences – at scale. And getting in front of the right audience at scale means reaching them wherever they're consuming content online. Since an increasingly large chunk of our online time is spent meandering about in our social networks, it’s no surprise that advertisers are working hard and spending big to get their brands, messages, and offers in front of us while we’re sharing Tweets, liking a friend’s post on Facebook, or posting comments to our LinkedIn Groups.
2. Reach prospects while they have time to spare
Whether your focus is B2B or B2C, your target audiences spend less purposeful time when tinkering in their social networks. They're catching up, they’re sharing content, and they're getting and giving ideas. This more open-minded stance makes them more easily engaged by your ad, message or offer -- especially if these are all targeted.
3. Extend your content-sharing effort
B2B marketers are already taking social media seriously in terms of developing and sharing quality content. Given the growing pool of enabling targeting techniques, amplifying that effort through paid media is a natural next step to building and engaging -- and eventually converting -- your audience through social channels.
4. Reduce friction in ad creation and optimization
On the one hand, when advertising on social media, you're often subject to constraints in your ad creative (small graphics, limited text space) -- given the increased real estate associated with many of the standard social ad units. However, social ads carry with them a significant benefit: it is very easy to create and test multiple ads early in a campaign, and then to modify ads on-the-fly to optimize based on the performance of particular ads. This is music to any data-driven marketer's ears!