B2B marketers often experience a markedly different Q4 compared to those in the B2C/eCommerce worlds. As B2B advertisers hit Q4, October through early November can be a busier time, but activity tends to quiet down through the last half of the quarter.
Social advertising can be the perfect avenue to maintain a connection with potential prospects during this time. In this article, I’ll talk about a few tactics for B2B advertisers to keep in mind.
Build Your Database
Q4 can be the perfect time to build up your sales database. Attract people with higher funnel content and collect emails to continue reaching out. Even though people may not be at a stage where they’re ready to purchase, you can start sending regular content to them and keep your brand top-of-mind.
Use lead gen forms in Facebook and LinkedIn as a simple method for getting people to submit their contact information. Try targeting a lookalike of your current customer database in Facebook, and go after relevant industry groups and skills in LinkedIn.
For the first half of Q4, people may be more willing to attend webinars and virtual events. As you approach the holiday season, steer clear of pushing events and promote downloadable assets or newsletters.
Focus Messaging Around New Year Planning
While people may become distracted by the events of the holidays as Q4 moves along, many B2B decision makers are also remaining conscious of the challenges ahead in the new year. Tailor your messaging around this thinking to position your product as the solution for the coming year.
Social feeds are the perfect avenue for this type of messaging, as people may not be directly searching for keywords related to new year business plans, but the topic will be on their minds if they encounter a relevant post. You could target a cold audience in your industry with a blog article about new year planning, and then retarget those people with an offer for a product demo. In addition, Q4 may be the right time to convince people to commit to a deal for a one-year commitment to your product.
Test New Avenues
During a quieter sales time, you can take more risk delving into new channels or trying a new creative approach. For instance, you could test Quora Advertising to see if people reading topics related to your business are responsive to your messaging.
You can also use this time to test new variations of creative and copy. As social channels can often get thrown off with the introduction of new ads, you can cushion yourself against any negative effects on your lead flow during a time that tends to be quieter for leads anyway.
Back Down on Facebook for Black Friday
As B2C advertisers ramp up on Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions, CPMs rise exponentially on Facebook over the course of November. Especially during the final two weeks leading up toward Black Friday, B2B advertisers would likely be best served by reducing Facebook spend or even pausing campaigns all together. Shift money to LinkedIn for a more B2B-focused audience that will see less holiday volatility.
Spend Unused Budget Strategically
For businesses that close their fiscal year in December, marketing departments frequently find themselves with a “spend it or lose it” excess in their budget. While they might prefer to reserve this spend for the next year, this option isn’t always available, and if they don’t use the full budget, they may be allocated fewer marketing dollars in the coming year.
Ideally, if you’re in this situation with excess funds, you want to avoid a massive “last week of December” push to a clientele who are likely out of the office and unengaged. If possible, identify any additional available budget earlier in Q4 and plan to allocate it toward campaigns before the holiday season kicks in.
You can also put excess budget toward creative assets for Q1 next year. With social advertising, frequent creative refreshes are crucial to avoid having your ads look stale after being in front of the same audience for weeks, so investing in this area can help you get ahead of the game.
Gather your team together to plan out social images and videos that you may be able to put in your pocket for future use. You can map out a calendar for social asset promotion and have creative in folders ready to roll out.
As Q4 rapidly approaches, be sure that your team is thinking about the best allocations of marketing spend, creative resources, and planning time. Take advantage of the time to build up prospect lists, test new ad approaches, and get ahead for the coming new year!
If you liked this post, be sure to check out the rest in our Q4 PPC Planning Series:
- Q4 PPC Planning â€“ Series Introduction + General Organizational Tips
- [Clix Shares] Biggest Misconceptions Around Q4 Planning
- Q4 PPC Planning: Creating an Ecomm Facebook Ad Plan
- Q4 PPC Planning: B2B Search & Display Tactics
- Q4 PPC Planning: eCommerce Search/Display/Shopping Tactics
- Q4 PPC Planning: SMB B2B Tactics