With all the options out there on the social media “craps table” to put your business’s marketing money on, sometimes that’s what B2B social media marketing feels like—a huge gamble.
Ah, but there are strategies to help make your placements pay off, instead of being wiped off the table with little or no ROI. For companies big and small, B2B social media advertising offers new opportunities to reach potential customers—and get results!
WHICH PLATFORM IS THE BEST BET FOR B2B?
Different platforms attract different demographics—age groups, income brackets, education levels, etc., as the below chart shows:
As you can see, a “blitz” social media ad campaign strategy, placing the same ad across six to eight different platforms, is probably not going to be a very wise bet for your business.
WHICH PLATFORMS FOR WHICH AUDIENCE
Here is a simplified break-down of the most beneficial platforms to include in your B2B social media marketing plan:
YouTube — The most popular platform across all demographics; it’s all about engaging storytelling with compelling visuals
LinkedIn — Most business-oriented platform; target specific job titles and/or industries
Facebook — Popular across all demographics; offers different multiple ad styles to reach different personas
Twitter — Reaches busy, predominantly male, professionals; quick, to-the-point messaging is key
YouTube B2B Social Media Ads
This platform allows you to tell your story, show your differentiators, and engage with viewers within longer format messages—as long as you present that message in a dynamic, attention-grabbing, visually exciting way. Since a majority of YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices, it only makes sense to make sure your ad is impactful on a small format screen.
“Skippable” ads — required to be between 12 seconds and 6 minutes in length, although the recommended length is less than 3 minutes. They will automatically appear before, during or after other YouTube videos. Viewers may choose to “skip” the ad after the first 5 seconds.
Note: The better quality your YouTube ad, the more expensive it will be to produce. If your ad doesn’t capture the attention of the viewer after five seconds…
“Non-skippable” ads —these ads do not allow the viewer the option to “skip” them, but there are length limits for these ads. As a standard, non-skippable ads can be no more than 20 seconds in length. They can appear at the start, during, or end of a video that is at least 10 minutes long. Bumper ads, with a maximum length of 6 seconds. With either of these options, the ad must be watched before the video can be viewed.
LinkedIn B2B Social Media Ads
LinkedIn, the number one platform for lead generation, is the perfect fit for delivering your message to the right audience, and highlighting your services and expertise in a more “formal, professional” social media platform.
Sponsored content — these “native” ads appear in LinkedIn’s news feed for both desktop and mobile. LinkedIn subscribers have a more “professional mindset” when viewing, so the opportunity to gain interest (and followers) is heightened with a short, concise message that conveys to your audience, “this is just what I was looking for!”
Sponsored InMail — drill down even farther in your target audience identification with “personalized” messages that are sent directly to LinkedIn members’ inboxes when they are actively on the platform. These ads are used when inviting pre-qualified leads to an online or in-person event, or to promote your business with a special service offering to select individuals.
Text ads — these ads are only available on desktop, and are most effective with strong calls to action” (CTAs) and clever, quick, eye-catching headlines. Including a supporting visual is always a plus.
Note: Keep in mind, the more visual your ad on any platform, the higher the click-through rate.
Facebook B2B Social Media Ads
Like most social media advertising,
has ad types to:
Link Click ads — these ads are a cost-effective way to highlight your business. They can include a headline, ad copy, and a CTA button that links back to your website. And, once again, a compelling image to stand out among the crowd.
Video ads — Kick your Facebook ad up a notch by replacing the static image with a compelling, well-produced video. Although the video can be longer format, studies show the most successful videos are less than 30 seconds long.
Carousel ads — For businesses with more than one service or product to showcase, this format can accommodate up to 10 separate images/headlines/links in one ad.
Lead ads — the name speaks for itself. This ad format is designed to generate new leads. It allows you to capture potential customers’ email addresses with a “gated” offer (i.e. content that needs someone to fill out and submit information in order to receive).
A/B Testing Your B2B Social Media Ads
No matter the platform or the format, one of the beauties of social media advertising is being able to see your ROI results in close to real time. Try different approaches to see what’s working—amplify it! What’s not working—tweak it! Place two ads on the same platform, with subtle differences, i.e. different headline, different image, or different colored CTA button (yes, it can make a huge difference)! See which ad performs better, and learn from it for future campaigns.
Different Style Social Media Ads for Different Platforms
If you choose to run a campaign on more than one social media platform, make sure to make the appropriate adjustments to fit that format, and more importantly, that demographic.
For example, your ad placed on Facebook should have a more casual, conversational approach than the one you place on LinkedIn. Same message, but different delivery to match each platform’s demographic.
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