If you’re a B2B company, you probably roll your eyes when people mention Facebook as an effective form of channel for customer acquisition.
Because ad systems like LinkedIn ads provide targeting down to the job role & company size. How convenient.
Yes, LinkedIn makes B2B marketers lazy.. which is why their CPC can be anywhere between 2x to 10x the cost of Facebook’s CPC.
See… growth hacking (i.e. online marketing + customer acquisition) isn’t about being lazy and being spoon-fed, it’s about being creative and understanding human behavior.
Power of Keywords
In search, you can effectively target people at the time of their intent with keywords (which is why Bing & Google make billions per year).
So wouldn’t it be great if you can sorta do the same on display networks where there is no intent?
In fact, you CAN.
If your company sells back office service to dentists, how would you target dentists?
You have to THINK like a dentist – what do I like? what schools did I go to? what professional organizations do I belong to? what kind of magazines and blogs do I read? what kind of products would I buy?
If I’m a dentist, I probably
- am a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)
- buy equipment from Midmark and Henry Schein
- read The Dental Warrior blog
- participate in Dental Town forums
I’m not a denstist so how did I know this? I searched on Google for what dentists MIGHT do on the web.
You can EASILY target people on Facebook by their profession and the attributes of that profession (i.e.. what they do, what they read, who they are, what they belong to, etc.).
With that, you can effectively target them on Facebook (using the specific interests targeting on their ad system) and spend fractions of what you would spend on LinkedIn or Google display network.
So how exactly would I get these attributes?
Let me give you a few ideas with specific example of how I targeted solar sales professionals on Facebook when I was running a solar lead generation company (definitely a B2B play).
Conferences & Trade Associations
Solar people have this conference called InterSolar and Solar Power International.
How did I know that without ever attending one of these conferences?
Easy.. I searched for “solar trade conference” and the first two that came up were those.
Now I know solar sales professionals attend that “liked” InterSolar.
How about trade associations?
Simple.. if you look at enough of your potential customer’s websites, they USUALLY have some kind of logo of the organization that they belong to.
For solar people, it turns out NABCEP (National Association of Board Certified Electrical Practitioners) is the most prominent group they seem to show.
Search for: trade conference
Magazines and Blogs of their Trade
There’s a blog for EVERYTHING, especially for business categories.
You’re an online marketer / growth hacker, so you’re reading my blog right?
More often than not, there’s a chance that there’s some popular blog or magazine that a BIG chunk of the industry tend to follow.
For example, for tech.. there’s TechCruch, Mashable, VentureBeat, etc.
For marketing, there’s CopyBlogger, QuickSprout, and of course FreshSuperCool (muahhahaa)
For solar, there’s SolarFeeds, SolarPro Magazine, Solar Today Magazine, Renewable Energy World..
Search for: blog / forums
Who Do They Follow
Often, there are industry leaders who represent the group’s voice.
For example, I would say that in personal finance, Suze Orman and Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad) are probably the top two (or two of the top 10).
Your industry probably has the same.
In solar industry, the CEO of SolarCity has a huge following because well, he’s the CEO of the largest solar sales & installation company in US.
Voila! Another keyword to target.
”I am a ” / “I like”
This is going to sound ridiculous but some people on Facebook actually created pages that say “i am a dentist”… or “I like dentistry”.
Yeap. Crazy but it’s there.
The way you find these is that in the Facebook ad creation page, if you type in “dentist”, Facebook will give you an autocomplete suggestion of what options you have.
Run Linkedin Profiles & Groups through Google Keyword Planner
Is there someone on LinkedIn that you’d say is your IDEAL customer on linkedin?
You can go through his/her profile line by line, look at the groups he/she belongs to, who he/she follows, etc.
A lazy way to do this is to take that person’s profile URL and run it through the Google Keyword Planner’s landing page URL field, and it’ll spit out the keywords that you can use to target on Facebook.
(In fact, you can read in depth about other sneaky keyword tools here)
You can do the same groups to which these individuals belong to. You’ll get a broader keyword match because now you have the wisdom of the crowd giving you all kinds of keywords to target.