I’ve worked with mostly B2B clients my entire career in digital marketing. When I feel comfortable enough to recommend testing paid social ads, the response I get the most is something along the lines of, “No thanks. We know our audience isn’t on Facebook.” The best way to test this line of thinking is simple. First, you should find your current customers on Facebook; I like to do this with Custom Audiences.
If you have a large email or phone number database of your clients stored in a CRM system, you can upload a CSV file of that list in your Audience tab in Facebook’s Ad Manager. If any of the email addresses or phone numbers you upload match any profiles on Facebook, they will be added to the new custom audience. The best part is that the finished audience needs to have just 20 people to work, so you don’t need a huge database of contacts to test this out.
Testing out custom audiences on Facebook serves two great benefits. First is lead nurturing. If you have a longer sales cycle, you can upload specific lists of users in the same phase of the buying cycle. Then, show highly-targeted ads to only those people you’ve defined as qualified leads. Second, if you find a lot of your current customers engage on Facebook, you can have the confidence to expand your reach on social. You might want to test brand new audiences completely. Or you might want to create “lookalike” audiences from your current customer lists to help reach new users who are similar to your current customer base. Before you rule out Facebook (and its 1.5 billion active users), try marketing to your current customers first.
-Joe Martinez is senior manager, paid media & community at Milwaukee-based Granular.