If you went back in time to 2004, when Facebook originally launched, and told someone it would quickly become one of the most dominant forms of communication on the planet, they probably wouldn’t believe you — and yet, here we are. As of June 2017, Facebook had over two billion monthly active users all over the world — with about half of them being active every single day. Eighty-three percent of all women on the Internet use Facebook, and the same can be said of 75 percent of all men. It’s popular among nearly every demographic and in every location that you can think of, and somehow it’s only continuing to grow more popular as time goes on.
But all of this is especially true when it comes to advertising.
Facebook advertising represents a massive marketing opportunity that can have a significant impact on an organization’s success, regardless of its size, its type or even its industry. But is it the right approach for every single company? Is it the best move to make for an organization like a CSP at this particular time? The answer to those questions requires you to keep a few key things in mind.
Analyzing the Modern B2B Buyer
You may think of Facebook advertising as a consumer-driven affair that, as a result, has little to no relevance for a B2B-driven organization like a cloud solutions provider … you may want to think again.
Remember that B2B buyers are consumers, too — albeit from a slightly different perspective. So not only are many of them on Facebook both personally and professionally, but they’re also doing so from their mobile devices. These are two things that Facebook advertising can help you capitalize on.
Consider just a few of the following statistics about the current state of the modern B2B buyer:
- According to one recent study, a full 83 percent of all B2B marketers use some form of social media. This currently makes it the single most common B2B marketing technique in existence.
- Of that number, more than 70 percent of them use at least one of the “Big Four” sites — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.
- These days, a full 76 percent of B2B marketers say that they use Facebook to distribute content. This likely has a lot to do with the fact that:
- According to another recent study, millennials now make up the largest demographic in terms of B2B buyers (beating out both Generation X and the baby boomers significantly).
- The same study revealed that 84 percent of millennial B2B buyers said that mobile was a vital part of their purchasing experience.
The Benefits of Facebook Advertising for the Modern CSP
One of the major reasons why Facebook advertising has become so popular with so many (including CSPs and similar organizations) comes down to the wide range of options it gives you in terms of who you’re reaching out to and, more importantly, how. In the “Detailed Targeting” section of the “Audience” interface, for example, you can both include and exclude people who meet or do not meet certain pre-defined characteristics that matter the most to you.
This is the perfect opportunity to really maximize your return on investment based on categories such as:
- Financial history
- Job title
- Generation and much, much more
You can even incorporate data from the CRM system that you’re already using, allowing you to hit the ground running in a much stronger way than if you were starting from scratch.
Another key advantage that Facebook advertising brings to the table has to do with the fact that Facebook Lead Ads can be collected from within the platform. You can instantly collet valuable contact information from all of your prospects, for example, which you can then use to build better, more organic and more targeted email lists.
You can then add those (already qualified) prospects to a nurture program, hand them over to your sales team or do something else entirely — the choice is yours. Because of this, lead generation through Facebook advertising is, by design, almost remarkably simple for both the advertiser and the users they’re trying to reach.
But one of the true strengths of Facebook advertising for a CSP in particular ultimately comes down to the quality that matters the most: budgeting. Not only are budgeting and pricing incredibly flexible, but you can set, for each ad, either a daily or a lifetime budget depending on your needs. As those needs continue to grow and evolve, you can easily pivot back and forth between the two. Not only does this offer you a superior level of control when compared to a lot of other platforms, the flexibility alone may ultimately make Facebook a more affordable advertising platform than something like LinkedIn.
In the End
So with all this in mind, one must now ask the question: Is Facebook advertising right for your CSP? The answer, of course, is “it depends.” It offers a wide range of benefits that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else, but at the same time it likely won’t be the only social networking site you can rely on. Another recent study revealed that the average B2B company is on six social media networks, after all.
But when you consider just what Facebook advertising allows you to do and how it allows you to do it, along with how its own strengths overlap with what your B2B buyers are looking for, it’s easy to see why this is absolutely a move you should strongly consider.