There’s no point in denying it: B2B businesses have it harder on social media than their B2C counterparts. It can often be difficult for a SaaS company to generate posts that will get the same kind of engagement as a popular artisanal ice cream shop, making it a little more difficult to stand out in the newsfeed.
An even bigger part of the problem is how hard it can be to target B2B audiences on social media platforms, preventing a lot of businesses from being successful with their ad campaigns. Everyone needs to file taxes, after all, but finding small business owners who will need expense reporting or invoicing software is a little trickier.
With the right strategies and targeting criteria in place, however, it gets a lot easier and your campaigns can become a lot more effective—even when you’re targeting cold audiences. In this post, we’re going to take a close look at 5 different options you can use to target B2B audiences on social media to expand your reach with cold audiences.
1. Facebook’s Job Title Targeting
Facebook has brought back job title targeting, and I was so happy to see that they did. This outstanding B2B targeting option can be found under the interests and behaviors section of the targeting options, and it’s particularly valuable.
Instead of just targeting someone who is interested in “business” (which was previously what we were restricted to), you can now target people who fall into specific job titles and positions that you’d want to reach. As a content marketer, for example, I’d likely want to target people with job titles like “editor” or “chief marketing officer.”
You can also use this to create more niche campaigns. Let’s say I decided I wanted to offer real estate home descriptions as one of my services. I could create an ad campaign talking about how much more effective well-written listings are and how much time they take to write them, and show them exclusively to real estate agents.
Since most agents are independent contractors, this would put me in front of the key decision makers that would be most likely to directly hire me. This is key, because there’s no point in a receptionist or an accountant seeing my ad if they wouldn’t be the one hiring me.
2. Facebook’s Job Industry and Company Targeting
In addition to job title targeting, you can also target by the industry users work for and the specific company they work for. This can be a little bit more difficult than targeting by job title, because you’re not guaranteed to be able to reach decision makers this way. Again, there wouldn’t be a ton of benefit in someone like a receptionist or sales team member seeing an ad for payroll software, because it wouldn’t affect them and they don’t have the decision-making ability to choose your business.
That being said, there are benefits to this. A company that sells black, non-slip, restaurant-grade shoes could target individuals who work for restaurants. You could even target big names, like those at Disney restaurants. In these cases, there are a ton of servers who can make their own decision about the shoes they wear, as long as they’re non-slip.
These targeting options will likely be most effective when paired up with the job title targeting, giving you a better chance of reaching the exact right members of your target audience. Remember that as your ad relevance increases, so does quality score and clicks, which can help to decrease your CPCs and maximize ROI.
3. LinkedIn’s Everything
B2B audience targeting has never been easier anywhere than it currently is on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the one platform where all users are in a professional, business-oriented mindset when they’re scrolling through the feeds, meaning they’ll be a little more receptive to B2B services as a result.
LinkedIn’s targeting options are exceptional, making it easier to not only reach users in certain industries, but to get really specific about who you’re reaching. Like Facebook, LinkedIn has job title targeting, though they offer more job titles to target. You can also target by qualifiers like what company employees work for, how large of a company that you want to target, what job functions they have, and more.
You can also use LinkedIn’s targeting option that allows you to target followers of a certain company to show ad campaigns to your competition’s followers. Let’s say I’m starting an accounting and invoicing software specifically for freelancers. I can show my ads to followers of Quickbooks with a special offer attached. Or, maybe I’ve got a new CRM software, and I show an add to Quickbooks followers saying “We’re the Quickbooks of CRM” to create relevant ad copy.
4. Reddit’s Subreddit Targeting
Reddit’s advertising system is often forgotten about in terms of PPC campaigns, but the ad platform can work well when you’re able to connect with your target audience.
Their subreddit targeting in particular can help you connect with B2B customers when you get specific. This targeting option allows your ad to show up in the feeds of the Reddits of your choice.
Smart choices for subreddits to target, depending on what you’re selling, may include the following subreddit names:
- Small business
Think about where your audience would not only be on the platform, but where they’d be discussing and looking for information that’s relevant to your product or service. This will be the best way to get clicks on your ads, because it’s all about what’s immediately relevant to the user right then on Reddit, and if your ad isn’t, you could lose clicks.
5. Twitter’s Follower Targeting
Twitter Ads has come a long way in the past couple of years, and their targeting system has advanced significantly during that time. This is great news for B2B businesses looking to reach their audience on this platform, especially when it comes to their follower targeting feature.
Like LinkedIn, Twitter allows you to target users who are following certain companies. Opting to target users who are following competitors will often be a solid choice, as it will give you a chance to literally steal away potential or existing clients from your competition. You can also target users who are following accounts that indicate a similar interest; businesses following a Facebook Ad strategist, for example, may also need help with services like content marketing and we already know that they value marketing, so it would make sense to show ads for my business to them.
With this feature, you’ll be able to target users who are following a certain account, and users who are similar to them. This is similar to Facebook’s lookalike audiences and can help you reach users who both are and aren’t yet already connected to your competition, giving you a chance to attract more clients overall.
B2B advertising on social media sites can be a little tricky, so getting your targeting exactly right and having the right ad copy to align with the audience targeting is the clearest path to plenty of clicks, increased brand awareness, and higher ROI.
Keep in mind that the strategies discussed in this option for B2B social media targeting are exclusively for cold audiences. You should also be using retargeting campaigns on each platform to nurture relationships with B2B audiences who have visited with your site, filled out your lead forms, or purchased from you in the past. Many B2B decisions, after all, may involve a longer research process than some B2C products, so retargeting strategies will make it easier to push users closer to sales, higher-value purchases, and long-term continued relationships between your clients and your business.
Interested in finding new ways to target B2B audiences on social media for your specific business? Get in touch with us here.
What do you think? Which strategies do you use to target B2B audiences on social media PPC campaigns? What targeting options are most effective at helping you connect with cold traffic? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!
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