Facebook is a great ad platform to use to target your content to a buyer persona relevant audience.
But what about taking ads a step further - how can you use Facebook to reach key account targets, as in account-based marketing campaigns?
Using Facebook Ads for ABM
Effective ABM campaigns contain a number of characteristics. They:
Start by identifying best-fit, target accounts and decision-makers; building a detailed picture of them, their business, their unique buying challenges and their position in the purchase journey
Create bespoke content that will resonate and offer value to specific target accounts
Distribute that personalised content via targeted distribution channels - i.e. the channels your key accounts are using - such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Measure success with an account-centric perspective - with ABM, campaign measurement shifts from ‘lead-volume’ goal, to a focus on developing engagement and relationships with quality accounts.
You may already be familiar with using Facebook as a channel for targeted, paid content promotion and lead generation. But if you’re running an account-based marketing strategy, there are ways to enhance the bespoke/ niche targeting of your Facebook ads, to further your ABM results.
4 ABM Tips For Facebook Ads
1. Use very specific targeting
Networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have been gradually enhancing their ad targeting capabilities, with most now allowing more account-based features, designed to help you position specific content in front of a very targeted audience.
With Facebook Custom Audiences for example, it’s possible to upload a list of email addresses or phone numbers from a target account database and use that as a basis for retargeting (retargeting promotes an ad to a specific list of identified people). You can also create lookalike audiences; targeting here is based on people who have engaged already. If you’re uncertain of the exact individual details of accounts you’re targeting, it’s possible to target by job title, company and industry.
Using Facebook Dynamic product ads for remarketing can be another great way to reach and continue to stand out with a specific Facebook audience; targeting individual users with ads that are defined by their activity on the site. Facebook describe their Dynamic Ads service as a way to "Show people products that are tailored to their interests, whether or not they've been to your site or app."
With ABM, it’s important that ad targeting is specific - remember you’re trying to develop a relationship and engagement with precise members of your ideal target accounts and members of the DMU (decision making unit).
2. Personalise your content
In line with precise targeting, the campaign content you choose to create and promote for ABM must be precise, personalised and 100% relevant for your account target. Your content (and therefore your ads) must offer irresistible value.
A good understanding of your account targets will help you to develop truly personalised content offers and ads. Content and ad development should be informed by:
the types of third-party content your accounts are already sharing
the content formats they’re engaging with
the specific business challenges and anxieties that individuals in your target accounts need to resolve
Once you’ve got some great, account-personalised content, Facebook ads can be used to position it in front of your account targets.
VISUAL: they make the most of eye-catching imagery
RELEVANT: ad content must be relevant and offer value to the targeted audience. Facebook launched a relevance score feature within its ad platform in 2015, which reviews ad copy, images and the linked page. The more relevant the content is to the audience, the more favourably the ad appears within Facebook.
MAKE THE VALUE PROPOSITION CLEAR: to entice clickthrough. Copy which includes statistical proof, value and addresses a challenge, is favourable.
MAKE THE CTA CLEAR: to encourage best click-through.
At Strategic, we’ve found that visual ads - specifically ads with a smaller amount of account-targeted text - plus the use of video content, can actively increase engagement and help ads achieve a higher relevance score. As Facebook videos don’t take the viewer off Facebook to another site, we’ve found using video in Facebook ads can enhance engagement and increase video views by 60%.
We’ve found using video in Facebook ads can enhance engagement and increase video views by 60% - Strategic Internet Consulting
3. Monitor your results
As we’ve explored in previous posts, as the focus in ABM campaigns is on developing a relationship with a quality account (as opposed to a primary focus on lead volume), metrics for success may seem a little different.
ABM success factors to consider include:
Account-relevant audience growth
Enhanced account trust and perception of your brand
Increased account/ DMU engagement with your content (which may accelerate the opportunity)
Campaigns should also work to demonstrate that ABM activities offer value to sales, positively impacting opportunities throughout the funnel and resulting in revenue growth.
Facebook is a good platform for monitoring ABM activity success as reporting is comprehensive and ad spend is less costly than other networks. For example, it’s possible to determine click engagement levels down to a country, region, age and gender level. So, if your campaign was targeting a specific country, you would be able to see if you were gaining traction in the right regions (for example, specific states within the USA). Metrics are also good when it comes to Facebook video reporting - you can see (by country, gender etc) who has viewed a video (or dropped off) at 25%, 75%, 95% and 100% video completion. This way you can adapt your content to encourage longer views - and ensure the most important information is shared early on.
As mentioned above, it is also possible to retarget to relevant people on Facebook who have interacted with your page via custom audiences.
4. Continue the relationship outside of Facebook
ABM success revolves around contextually relevant engagement and relationship building with the right accounts, across the channels those key accounts are active on.
Because of this, Facebook ad ABM activity should not exist in a silo, but rather as part of a wider engagement strategy. Tips here include:
Use your Facebook ads for brand awareness and to boost key account individual’s trust in your profile as a thought leader
Consider the other channels that engaged targets prioritise and use them to develop the relationship:
Keep a list of people who have liked your Facebook ad and connect with them on Linkedin to encourage further engagement
Do the same for Twitter if relevant; engage with their tweets where appropriate and encourage follows back and conversation
Remember to consider the channels your target accounts are using and the topics they are interested in. Work to be a part of that conversation wherever appropriate.
Make sure your sales team and marketing team are aligned on where key account engagement activities and responsibilities sit.
Considering Your Wider ABM Strategy
Used as part of a wider account-based marketing strategy, combined with account-personalised content, and executed by aligned marketing and sales teams, Facebook ads offer clear value for developing progress with key account targets.
As long as ABM activity begins with an in-depth understanding of your key account’s challenges and priorities, and content and conversations are tailored to engage individual stakeholders - your Facebook ABM campaigns will be in a position to support your long-term ABM goals.