A few months back we published a blog article detailing the importance of paid social in your B2B marketing strategy. After spreading awareness about the importance of paid social, we thought it would be beneficial to our readers to create a follow-up article that provides a step-by-step guide to executing paid social advertising for your own business.
This post will share detailed instructions in regard to creating a successful B2B paid social campaign. If you take the following steps into consideration you will have an optimized paid social campaign ready to go in no time.
Develop Your Buyer Personas
After your objective is decided upon, it is important to figure out who you want your ad to reach. Buyer personas are essentially profiles you create that include characteristics such as age, gender, education, etc. You consider what your ideal buyer(s) would look like and go from there.
Here is a great example of a buyer persona:
This persona has all the right information listed concisely. Two of the most important aspects of a buyer persona are the “what” and the “how”. What challenges is your buyer facing, and how can your company offer a unique solution to the problem? This breaks things down to their simplest form and really allows you to focus on what makes your company stand out from the crowd.
Before creating your buyer personas, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your customers. One of the best ways to gain this knowledge is by conducting marketing research. This ensures you are correctly identifying and profiling your buyers and will simplify the buyer targeting process considerably.
Well-developed personas take the “mystery” out of who your intended audience is and give you a better opportunity to reach prospects who may have actual interest in your products or services.
Define Your Objective
Just like all other marketing strategies, it is critical to define your objective before getting started. One of the great things about social media ads is that they can fulfill a wide variety of purposes for your business. Each objective will require different content, imagery, etc., which is why it is important to decide what goals you want to attain before jump-starting your campaign. Here are a few common goals that companies typically strive for in their paid social campaigns:
- Increase web traffic
- Build brand awareness
- Increase engagement
- Attract qualified leads
Think about the biggest pain points your business is currently facing. Whether it be a lack of site traffic or too many irrelevant leads, every business has an area they can improve. Consider which problem you would like to tackle first and you’ve identified your objective.
Decide on a Budget
One of the most important aspects of a paid social campaign is your budget. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend huge amounts on paid social to get results. In fact, most businesses only spend about $6,000 to $10,500 per month on paid social. While this number may seem large at first, consider the fact that the placement cost for just one 30-second television ad will run you anywhere from $25,000-$130,000. In comparison to other advertising avenues, it is much more affordable.
According to 2019’s CMO Survey, over the next five years the percentage of B2B marketing budget spend on social media breaks down as follows:
- B2B Product: 16.6%
- B2B Services: 20.5%
With these percentages in mind, consider what kind of budget this creates for your business. Obviously, every company is different so things may vary, but these percentages provide a good benchmark for you to keep in mind when planning your social media advertising budget.
Pick Your Platform
LinkedIn is typically seen as the clear winner for B2B paid social. Over the years, it has been proven to significantly increase engagement among key decision-makers. Despite LinkedIn’s success, it is important to still give other social platforms a fair chance.
Think of it this way: each platform serves an entirely different purpose. If your company relies heavily on visuals, you may want to consider creating your ad on Instagram since this ad platform is driven by photos and videos. If your company’s focus is on informative content or statistics (or doesn’t lend itself to compelling visual content), Facebook or LinkedIn will likely suit you better.
Create Your Content
Content is king when it comes to a well-executed paid social ad. Your content needs to draw the viewer in if you want it to be successful. This is a great time to decide if you want your ad to feature any imagery or if you’d like to opt for a solely text-based ad.
Asana’s recent paid social campaign used a simple, yet effective design. They chose a colorful geometric graphic that draws in the eye. Users are encouraged to stop and read the content when they come across something as simple and easy to read as this ad.
Typically, users will be turned off by ads that are “busy” and have too much going on. Skimmable, easy-to-read content is a must-have for today’s busy consumers.
Launch Your Campaign
Now it’s finally time to launch your campaign. This step is where you will take into consideration campaign duration. Generally, it is recommended to keep a paid social campaign running for about four weeks. This gives you time to see results and allows you to re-evaluate if you notice any areas in which your campaign could improve. Once you have a better idea of performance, you can either relaunch the same ad or revise copy/imagery and start fresh—it’s entirely up to you.
Track How Your Campaign is Performing and Adjust as Needed
The work doesn’t end after your campaign is launched. You need to ensure you are consistently analyzing and reporting on the performance of your campaign. If you fail to properly keep track of your campaign’s performance, it will likely be a bust. It is nearly impossible to launch a perfect campaign on your first try, so there are bound to be some necessary changes.
As a general rule of thumb, set time aside at least once a week to check in on your campaign. This ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.
All things considered, the execution of a paid social ad campaign is an excellent way for B2B companies to tap into the social media market and reach desirable target customers. Keep in mind, your first social media campaign likely won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. It typically takes a few rounds of trial and error to get to an optimized campaign that will drive results for your business.
Need help strategizing and executing your paid social campaigns? Contact Elevation today to see how we can help.