Earlier this week, a friend of mine announced that he published a B2B Facebook ads guide. I got the ebook almost the same day and wanted to share a few thoughts about it here (with his permission).
I think how to’s are great subtitles, and here, “How to get started with Facebook Ads in B2B,” feels like it needs a bigger story to attach to. I would recommend going for an evocative title, something that speaks to the value of getting started with those ads – maybe brand awareness, cost optimization or untapped audiences.
The eBook starts with a contrarian view on B2B marketing trends, and tries to challenge the myth that Facebook only works for B2C/DTC brands. I would have loved to see a few goals to expect, or some sense of scope for using Facebook as a B2B channel. They anchor the ads then to the funnel – mid- and top of the funnel activities, that complement SEM and other intent based efforts. Arguing that there’s behavioral data on Facebook you can use for tracking makes sense, but an example would have helped me understand the thinking behind the theory. What are some of the attributed you use on Facebook to target a buyer audience?
I agree that Facebook is underutilized for B2B, but you compete with B2C brands, and the people you may be targeting with your B2B ad might be prime buyers for DTC brands, so your costs won’t go down that well. Something to think about.
The SMB argument is interesting, since it seems that the goal of the ebook is less about brand awareness and engagement, but more direct buys via Facebook. This certainly doesn’t work for B2B enterprise solutions, but I wouldn’t discount the leadgen component for that segment.
The options discussed below seems to steer back into enterprise, since option B specifically talks about CMOs being the target audience. I would have loved to see a more SMB example here. I’m also confused on why you would need 10-15k users for Option A, and only 200 for Option B. I would also want to understand more about collecting event data, and intent actions – what tools, what events etc.
I’m assuming that’s the pixel installation and config, but a transition would help clarify that. I would also add additional structure to the pixel setup, based on event types, going beyond the click. That’s very well done in the audience setup part of the eBook, where you leverage that traffic you collected in the pre-requisites.
Do not spam with retargeting is always good advice. No one wants to be followed around by ads.
As the eBook continues with tips and tricks, the advice is great, but I feel the need to anchor it to an example that is used throughout the book, unpacking it piece by piece, and showing what worked and what didn’t at each stage of the experimentation. This is especially important for creatives and messaging examples, as well as targeting.
I wanted to see more in the learning phase, almost expecting their story and learning, and some guidance on how many experiments to run, how big those experiments should be and where common pitfalls are, with specific examples. I’m sure they spent a sizable amount of money and time learning, it’s just not reflected here clearly enough.
Here’s what’s not that great – in the lead magnets section, the narrative shifts specifically to the SaaS platform that’s authoring the book. In the shift is not clear whether they are using this as an example or promoting some of their features, so I would recommend clarifying that. The deep dive into the platform screenshot then feels too sales-y for this eBook, which promised me Facebook Ads for B2B and instead is promoting a platform/CRM. I get the need to connect it to the product, but there are better ways to do it and you can wait until the end, or invite the reader to a separate mid-funnel doc.
The experiment section is great advice, and I would add some more detail on structuring, measuring and iterating on experiments – KPIs, duration, methods to launch, track and iterate.
The conclusion page could expand on the types of goals B2B marketers have and summarize how they can achieve them by following this eBook’s advice. This is where you can invite people to check out the platform and combine their B2B Facebook efforts with Ocean.io.
Overall, I think the eBook helps people think differently about B2B ads, but it takes a bit of time and I had to read it a few times to extract that “what would be applicable for my use case” essence.
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash