B2B advertisers shifted much of their budget to digital last year. But only a small portion of that shift went to Facebook.
This summer, 11% of B2B digital advertisers bought placements on Facebook. Even though the platform allows marketers to build highly specific audiences, B2B marketers are slow to use the social media site.
When we take a deeper look, Facebook B2B advertising is growing but not at the expense of traditional formats—and the creative from major companies shows us how.
B2B companies experiment with Facebook targeting
Over the past year, digital agencies and thought leaders have repeatedly said that B2B needs to follow B2C ways of digital marketing.
“We have deeper and more profound insights and, as marketers, it’s incumbent upon us to do something with that information,” explained Alison Biggan, president of corporate marketing at SAP. “We have to move quickly, and to be comfortable with making mistakes, challenging the status quo. That will manifest as a change in what we’re doing, how we’re investing our dollars.”
Part of this change is moving beyond LinkedIn and experimenting with Facebook as a powerful advertising channel.
How B2B Marketers Can Capitalize on Facebook
Facebook can identify B2B workers and the size of the company they work for. More importantly, marketers can upload custom audiences that are extremely accurate for audience segmentation. For example, a company can create an audience based on their own email list, website activity, specific page visits and website events.
Another powerful option is to create a ‘Lookalike’ audience to any audience the marketer has created. Suppose a marketer has created a custom audience using their own email list, they could create a ‘Lookalike’ audience within Facebook and identify people who have very similar characteristics and behaviors.
With that data, they can generate highly qualified leads—often for a fraction of the price of other ads.
No matter the goal of the campaign, this audience segmentation is powerful for B2B companies just as it is for B2C companies. This is why we see more companies experimenting with Facebook even if it is a small number right now.
When it comes to the digital landscape of B2B advertising, there are 25 and half thousand advertisers who spend on digital advertising.
Slightly more than one out of ten B2B digital advertisers advertised on Facebook this summer (June-August 2021). And their spending is increasing.
Spending came primarily from: technology, pharmaceutical companies, professional services and the finance sector.
When reviewing their creative, we found that most companies were seeking to hire or encourage participation in professional associations.
Top B2B advertisers include:
- Amazon Logistics
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
Digital spend among these large companies is increasing on Facebook—but not at the expense of traditional print advertising, which is starting to recover. On average, these companies invested $423k in B2B print publications this summer. This is up an average of 280% year-over-year.
From the advertising behavior of these top spending advertisers, we find that B2B ad spend is increasing their expansion into social media, which has traditionally been a consumer format, but they’re not letting go of conventional advertising quite yet.
For more updates like this, stay tuned. Subscribe to our blog for more updates on coronavirus and its mark on the economy.