Sarah Sal on Facebook Ads: Solving B2B Complexities of Advertising in Facebook and Practical Advice

Sarah Sal on Facebook Ads: Solving B2B Complexities of Advertising in Facebook and Practical Advice

Facebook is a good platform for business promotion both small and large. However, many B2B companies are not particularly willing to take advantage of this opportunity.

Sarah Sal is a Facebook Ads Specialist at Hootsuite with an advanced experience in promotions launching. She has shared with GBC Time her thoughts on the reasons why these companies do not particularly use this promotion format and what difficulties these companies may face. We have also raised the topic of the biggest impact on Facebook and discussed the latest trends in B2B marketing.

Annually, Facebook has become a more popular platform for promotion campaigns. However, some B2B companies are still doubting launching ads on Facebook. What do you think is the reason for this?

Often B2B deals can be worth a lot of money. People or companies can go to expositions, conferences, and face-to-face meetings. But yes, Facebook as a platform can be one way to get B2B conversion on sales, but we are still humans. And nothing can replace sitting around the table with a cup of coffee, shaking hands, and having a face-to-face conversation.

The company selling list says $10 000 services. They could afford to have a sales team that personalizes their approach to every single company. I know cases when people send something in a post, a gift like maybe some chocolate. And that is really more effective than an ad, even if I sell Facebook ads.

Since B2B interaction involves the sale of a product or service aimed at a narrow specialist, certain targeting difficulties arise. How to overcome these difficulties? Are there tools to help get around these complexities?

It is important to know that Facebook removed a lot of targeting options. There are B2B sales marketing: taxes, maybe anything relatable to freelance small businesses. But it is still big enough that you can use Facebook for it. But if you target something like surgery or dentistry, do not use Facebook because recently, a lot of the narrow targeting tools have been removed from there. You would target an audience of maybe 10 000 people in all of the US who are orthodontists, for example, and Facebook would say: “No, we decided to show your ad to 1 million people”. Instead, you could do a LinkedIn ad, which is amazing for B2B, the quality of the targeting is better. A few years ago, when I did a lot of B2B, I used to say: “LinkedIn targeting is amazing but very expensive.” Today, I say LinkedIn and Facebook are almost the same prices.

Another thing to do is to target a warm audience so the company will have an email list of website visitors and so on. They could target their existing audience but not the cold one.

Are there any rules to launching the content for B2B ads on Facebook?

You want to add value, you want to educate, and you do not want to go for direct sales. Imagine that you are in a coffee shop, talking with your friends, or reading a book. And someone interrupts you and says: “Hello, buy my product today! You will have a 10% discount. Hurry on!” You would be annoyed. It does not mean you can never have a business conversation in a coffee shop. It means do not be the annoying person screaming their sale pages – instead, have content that people would read and say: “Wow! I learned something new.”

How do large B2B companies promote their products? Do they have some general pattern in setting up an advertising campaign to attract a B2B audience?

B2B companies have audiences, they have a name, and they have a full-time working content team. So let it be an active campaign. They would have a block post that would have a lot of traffic, and they would not stop producing the new content. And that works really well for them in generating awareness.

What is the approximate cost of such services (if we take the region of Europe)?

Every single niche is different. It is really about dipping your fishing rod into the water and finding out. I tell people: “Never spend $100 per day or $1 000 per day.” Make a small test to see if you could get the first conversion. If yes, could you give it with an approvable cost? If yes, test how far you could push it.

According to Meta, the total ad revenue has grown 6% in the first quarter of 2022. What do you associate it with? And what have you already noticed about the first quarter of Facebook ads?

The total revenue has grown because they made everything more expensive. Earlier, the traffic was less good. And I know advertisers used to spend $2 million, and now they spend nearly nothing. So what Facebook is doing is basically increasing its prices. Even looking at the report, the number of users is going down, so it is just Facebook making prices more expensive.

How would you describe the current state of the Facebook marketing sector? Do you see any significant factors that could change the whole marketing on the platform?

I think TikTok is going to have a big impact on Facebook. TikTok is a big competitor, and this platform gets over 1 billion views. Facebook was saying: “We are the only major platform with 1 billion users.” But currently, it is no longer the truth, considering the competition with TikTok.

Recent news about Elon Musk buying Twitter was quite shocking for the marketers. Musk demonstrates his desire to make Twitter a “non-ads” platform. Do you think it would affect the Facebook market? Could it increase the number of advertisers on the platform?

According to my personal experience, I do not know a lot of people who do both ads on Twitter and Facebook. They are very different platforms. I know a lot of people who use it organically but not for the ads. On Facebook, you can have a long ad copy, while Twitter is all about short ads. At least, it is a big brand, like Starbucks or Coca-Cola – big companies with big advertising budgets. Such companies are going to advertise everywhere.

I think it is also possible for Facebook to prove its customer support finally or just decrease its prices because TikTok is a big competitor.

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GBC Time