Paid Social Media Advertising Plays Its Part in Industrial B2B: Blog 4 of 4
Content marketing has become more popular than ever, so what better way to promote your great work than through social media? The problem that B2B marketers often run into, however, is a lack of strong followership on their social channels. Connecting with the right people and getting your message to your intended audience can be challenging. How do you get potential customers to follow you and interact with your posts? Once your content is on a social platform, you begin to lose control of who will actually see it — and hopefully engage with it.
Paid social media can remedy some of these problems. This blog provides a summary of paid social advertising and its potential role in B2B advertising. There are many other available online paid advertising options, which you can learn more about in our paper, An Industrial Marketer’s Guide to Digital Advertising. For a more complete analysis of digital advertising with industry statistics and advice, download the paper here.
What Is Paid Social Media Advertising?
Paid social media advertising is exactly that. It allows you to take advantage of the huge number of social media users with advertising that targets specific audiences on these platforms. Social media platforms employ various techniques to allow you to target potential leads based on characteristics such as geography, demographics and even specific areas of interests.
- In the B2B space, LinkedIn is a reliable source of active users. Business-to-business buyers and sellers alike recognize LinkedIn’s potential to influence purchase decisions. Last year, reported that about 50 percent of B2B customers use LinkedIn before making a purchase.
- LinkedIn offers four different advertising programs: personalized inbox messages, text ads, sponsored content and account targeting. All of these programs can be used alongside LinkedIn’s target audience tools to ensure your content will be displayed in front of active, relevant B2B users.
- Overall, Facebook has one of the biggest potential reaches of any social media platform: nearly 30 percent of the world’s population has a Facebook account. Together, Facebook and Google share an impressive 90 percent of total online advertising growth (Digital Content Next).
- Tangible success from advertising with Facebook in the B2B space is hard to come by, but with a such a vast number of active users, it can still be useful as a platform for communicating your company’s culture or social responsibility initiatives. Otherwise, we don’t see it as a viable advertising option in B2B.
- The use of video in B2B advertising is up 17 percent from last year, so advertising with YouTube could be enticing as its audience grows (Weidert). Most consumers prefer to learn using video instead of print, but what does YouTube offer aside from making your video content available on their platform?
- YouTube offers several advertising options through TrueView Discovery Ads. These include pay-per-click (PPC) ads that can be in-stream, in-display or bumper. Display ad options are also available. If your company can produce strong, visual components for YouTube advertising, it may be an option. But advertising there comes with risks; YouTube has had some unfortunate ad placements, despite having programmatic algorithms in place. In fact, Cisco just recently pulled all of their YouTube advertising after its ads appeared with numerous channels promoting extremist content. To learn more about these options, you can download our digital advertising paper.
- Twitter boasts high user numbers like many of the other platforms, with close to 69 million monthly active users. The biggest challenge facing B2B marketers advertising on Twitter is understanding whether their target audience is actually on the platform. Unlike other paid social media options, Twitter does not have sophisticated tools to target an intended audience.
- If your intended demographics are Twitter users, the platform offers several advertising options such as: follower campaigns, sponsored “Who to Follow” ads, Twitter display advertising and content promotion. But if your audience isn’t Twitter-friendly, steer clear of it and take your advertising dollars elsewhere.
Paid Social Media Advertising Statistics
There are countless options for advertising on social media. Many companies using social media for their marketing efforts report improved marketing optimization, customer experiences and brand health (Altimeter). The average B2B company uses up to six social media platforms, and 79 percent of these marketers see an increase in website traffic, with just six hours a week dedicated to social media marketing (Social Media Examiner). So, posting your content and actively advertising your company on social media can have a positive impact.
Do Paid Social Campaigns Actually Work in B2B?
For the industrial B2B world, LinkedIn is the best option if you’re considering investing in paid advertising through social media. The site offers several sophisticated advertising programs, allowing for customization based on your strategy and target audience. The tools available to measure results are also intuitive; narrowing down your audience can be less challenging than on other social media platforms. But LinkedIn isn’t the end all/be all. After considering your marketing goals, choose a channel that aligns best with your company’s objectives.
To get a further breakdown of social media platforms and the tools each of them offers, download our digital paper, An Industrial Marketer’s Guide to Digital Advertising.