Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers Blog

    B2B Paid Social Media Advertising: Which Platforms Should You Target?



    5 minute read

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    In case you’ve been zoning out for the past couple of decades, let’s catch you up on social media use across the world. 

    In 2020, a calculated 3.96 billion people across the world reported using some form of social media. Not only has this improved people’s ability to network and share similar interests among groups, it’s  also created a fruitful stream businesses can use to reach their target audiences.

    If you have a niche product or service, B2B paid social media advertising may be a high-ROI endeavor.

    Perhaps this is something your business already does. If so, great! If not, you may be wondering which social media platforms you should advertise on...

    Best B2B Paid Social Media Advertising Platforms

    Carefully curated ad spending is becoming a staple in many businesses' social media strategy, and is a big part of making inbound marketing affordable (even more so than it already is).

    And there are many great social media platforms to choose from when it comes to B2B paid social media advertising, including:

    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • YouTube

    And aside from these mainstream platforms there are also industry-specific platforms that allow you to already have your audience narrowed down. One such example is Houzz, which is an architecture and design platform created to help businesses showcase their capabilities and connect with customers directly. Just keep in mind that some of these industry-specific platforms charge you for the ability to run advertisements, on top of what you will need to run them in the first place.

    The key is to choose the platforms your audience actually spends time on. If you’re not sure where your B2B buyer persona “lives” on social media, revisit your buyer persona and journey workshops or interview/survey more current customers.

    Let’s take a closer look at each one.

    LinkedIn

    LinkedIn has a reputation for being the most professional social media platform, and is hugely popular in the B2B sphere. If you think of LinkedIn simply as a job-hunting website, you’re seriously missing out on B2B lead generation opportunities.

    Many sellers, engineers, and decision-makers use LinkedIn for networking, as well as sharing useful information and resources on an abundance of job-related topics.

    As such, a growing number of B2Bs businesses use LinkedIn to run paid social media ads to generate new leads, nurture business relationships remotely, and improve their overall ranking in search engines.

    And LinkedIn paid ads are also great at targeting specific users by their:

    • Job title
    • Employer
    • Roles
    • Interest
    • Skills

    One thing to note about paid LinkedIn ads: They cost a pretty penny. But since LinkedIn inherently provides you with a highly targeted audience compared to the alternatives below, your ROI still has the potential to be sky-high.

    Facebook

    Being the largest social media platform in the world, it should come as no surprise that Facebook is viable for certain B2B paid social media advertising campaigns. 

    Packed with efficient algorithms, superior analytics, and global user targeting, Facebook helps you reach your target audience in a variety of ways.

    Facebook lets you specify your target audience by:

    • Age
    • Gender
    • Location
    • Hobbies
    • Interests

    On top of all of those, Facebook ads allow you to target prospects based on their job role, meaning you can create ads for every decision maker involved in the buyer’s journey.

    The biggest downside to Facebook paid advertising is that due to its user base, there’s … quite a crowd. You’ve heard “Three’s a crowd,” right? Try 3 billion for Facebook.

    You’ll need to make your ads relevant, specific, and unique to stand out from the rest.

    Twitter

    We know what you’re thinking: “Using Twitter for B2B?” Yes, Twitter is actually a fairly popular social media platform for many B2B companies.

    One of the biggest perks of Twitter is that you can run paid ads for as little as a few dollars per day. And these “ads” are in the forms of promoted tweets, meaning that you’ll be bumping your tweets to the top of some of your target audiences’ feeds. 

    More than anything, Twitter is a great B2B social media platform to gain followers and grow your brand. Your tweets will help give your audience a “tone” to associate with your brand, so choose your words wisely.

    Instagram

    If you’re part of a B2B business whose products or services are extremely visual, or whose function you have to “see to believe,” then Instagram ads will provide a great boost. 

    Paid media on Instagram blends advertisements into the regular flow of posts on a user’s news feed. If your ad is eye-catching, you’ll easily be able to get your audience to stop scrolling and check out your business.

    The biggest issue with B2B paid social media marketing on Instagram is that it’s difficult to specify your target audience. Instagram is largely used by individuals looking to see their friend’s “selfies” or connect with other creative artists -- it’s not often used for a business to find another business. Therefore, many companies are using Instagram for B2C marketing rather than B2B. Again, refer to your B2B buyer research to determine whether Instagram is worth the investment.

    YouTube

    YouTube is the premier video sharing platform in the world, and is actually the No. 2 search engine in the world behind Google. Video advertising can engage your audience and encourage them to take an action that turns them into a lead. B2B-paid-social-media-advertising

    One of the best things about YouTube paid advertising is that you can reach a large audience without spending a lot. For instance, those pre-video skippable ads we all know and love are free to run unless the user clicks or interacts with the video. The format is similar to those ambulance-chaser TV ads that say, “There’s no fee unless we get money for YOU!” (Except less sleazy.)

    Of course, the point of paid advertising is to gain much more than just ad views, which can be difficult when running ads over top of a user’s original search intent. Nonetheless, YouTube is a great platform for getting in front of a lot of different eyes. Just make sure to back your ads up with great educational content.

    So, Which Social Media Platform Should You Choose?

    Now that you’ve learned more about the best B2B paid social media platforms, you may still be wavering on which ones to attack. Your answer will depend on your target audience, paid media budget, overall goals, and much more.

    A final piece of advice: Try more than one platform, if your capacity allows it. This should be doable, as there’s little effort needed after the up-front time sink, and paid ads are generally low-cost. Using multiple platforms gives you a chance to experiment with the different targeting options each platform provides.

    Whichever platform(s) you choose, remember that paid social media advertising is only one aspect of your marketing efforts. It should be accompanied with other strategies, including organic social media posting. To learn more about how to build a successful inbound marketing campaign, download our free checklist below:

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    Topics: Social Media B2B Inbound Marketing Advertising

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