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Expert POV: B2B Social Advertising in 2017

By: Matt Engelson

Self-service advertising on social media is a viable cost-effective option for businesses looking to expand their online reach and build brand awareness among target audiences. Paying to promote your products and services on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram and Pinterest can ensure that no opportunity to connect with potential leads is missed.

Although it has its advantages, social advertising may not be a worthwhile marketing tactic for all businesses, which begets the question: Would the support of an integrated marketing plan make it more effective? Sagefrog’s team of experts came to a conclusion about the merits of B2B social advertising in 2017.

Where do we stand on using social advertising in a B2B marketplace?

The short answer: Social media advertising has the potential to benefit companies in some B2B niches and is a less expensive alternative to search engine marketing methods.

The long answer: An analysis of current business offerings, advertising methods, and the competitive landscape is needed to determine how well social advertising will perform for a B2B company.  To determine whether social advertising will benefit your business, keep in mind the following factors.

LinkedIn is where every B2B marketer should begin their company’s social media advertising. You can use sponsored content to meet consumers at every touchpoint in the Buyer’s Journey, especially throughout the awareness and consideration phases. Having great content is key because it will increase the number of prospects who make it to the decision stage of the journey.

The B2B Channels

Not every social media platform will support a B2B marketing plan. While they may work well for B2C companies, channels like Instagram and Pinterest are not suitable for B2B paid advertising campaigns because your target market is most likely not looking for your products and services on these platforms. A social advertising budget is best spent on LinkedIn and Facebook, where campaigns can be targeted to users by job title and field, age range, location and more. Although LinkedIn and Facebook host very different content, both offer advertising options that are known to serve the needs of B2B companies and deliver qualified leads.


Because LinkedIn is a social media channel where users share thought leadership, professional articles, and useful industry-related content, it’s the ideal platform for B2B advertising. Promoting heavyweight content such as whitepapers, eBooks and case studies can help build rapport among target audiences and industry influencers.

LinkedIn ads can be promoted directly through the main feed with options like Matched Audiences or sent directly to users’ inboxes through the InMail feature, where marketers can respond to queries in real-time. This social media channel also allows advertisements to be segmented to audiences based on industry and job title, allowing B2B companies to reach decision-makers and influencers within a business in an efficient and professional manner.

In addition to its standard advertising features, LinkedIn provides retargeting options to reconnect with people who have previously visited your website. To create a highly focused ad campaign, marketers should also take advantage of the platform’s new Matched Audiences tool, which allows you to upload an existing email list in order to match and target similar audiences present on LinkedIn.


As opposed to more costly online advertising efforts, such as search engine marketing or Google AdWords campaigns, advertising through Facebook carries a much lower barrier to entry with its low cost-per-click rate. Campaigns on this platform are also highly customizable, targeting ads to users by demographics and psychographics. B2B companies that offer more localized services, such as medical practices or banks, can expect to perform well through this channel.

The B2B Prerequisites

To make the most of your time and budget constraints, Sagefrog recommends an initial audit of your current business offerings, advertising methods, and available content assets, as well as a competitive analysis, to determine if social advertising will bring ROI to your integrated marketing plan. After setting campaign goals, which may include increasing leads, engagement or site traffic, choose the most appropriate social channel that will achieve them. All effective social advertising campaigns must include post-launch monitoring and adjusting for optimal performance. If your company is prepared to meet all of these requirements through an internal team or marketing agency, then you can run an effective social advertising effort.

Do you need help with social media advertising or other B2B marketing services? Schedule a free consultation with Sagefrog to review your top marketing challenges and goals and receive expert recommendations on the tactics that are right for your business. You’ll walk away with a documented Marketing Plan Summary delivered within one week of your session to provide your business with the direction it needs to accelerate your success.

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In this consultation, we’ll review your current marketing efforts, challenges and goals to provide our expert recommendations. Your takeaway will be a free Marketing Plan Summary delivered within one week of your session.

Are you interested in B2B online marketing services? Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today.