Not long after keynoting for Microsoft, I was contacted by a leader in a Microsoft team that helps their partner companies sell MS hosting services. They had me design a digital marketing training program for these partner companies.
We also did a number of pilot programs with cloud hosting companies.
For one of these, in 2013, we wrote a whitepaper, guided them to create a lead gen download page, and we ran Facebook ads to generate leads. It was quite open-minded of them to do this, because even now on the doorstep of 2016, many B2B companies aren’t sure Facebook is right for them.
The results were:
- We reached 467,000+ CXO’s and I.T. Sysadmins
- We generated leads from $29 to $59 apiece.
Overall, it was a success.
Could it be better? Yes. These are definitely some of the more expensive leads we’ve seen… in B2C, leads can go below $1.00 CPA at times, and even in B2B I’ve seen them below $10.00.
I believe these leads cost what they did for several reasons, all of which we’e addressed in our marketing processes since, and here’s how we do it better now:
- TARGETING: Targeting chief executives can be more expensive. However, testing more ways to target the same groups helps you find lower costs, and Facebook has added more targeting options since we ran this campaign. We recommend testing at least 5-10 targeting criteria audience variations per target customer.
- PASSION: Whitepapers are boring and the way to lower costs on Facebook is to find the customer’s passion. The more interesting and stimulating you can make the content, the better. We’ve learned that selling to the intellect only is not as good as also selling to the emotions.
- DESIGN: There wasn’t a budget for design, so the graphic design of the whitepaper wasn’t that attractive- again, low excitement leads to higher costs. We recommend the budget include design work if you don’t have an in-house designer.
- SPECIFICITY: I also believe that in the whitepaper writing, instead of covering 11 I.T. problems, which is general and vague and gives you nothing to grab onto, we should have chosen the most painful specific problem and homed in on that. Then perhaps the name of the whitepaper itself would have evoked more interest.
- SPLIT-TESTING: The client insisted on using their own website for the landing page, which meant we could not split-test any creative; we’ve found that the best practice is to test at least three if not five versions of the squeeze page, and this can increase conversion rate by 50% – 200%. That means we might have cut the cost per lead in half right there. We now have platforms on which we create and run split-tests for clients.
Brian Carter is a popular digital marketer and keynote speaker with Fortune 500 clients like NBC, Microsoft and Humana as well as small businesses who delivers motivational keynotes with practical takeaways based his ad agency’s 15 years of daily cutting-edge work driving awareness, leads and sales for their business clients. His agency, The Brian Carter Group, creates marketing that excites customers and increases brand visibility, sales and loyalty. Brian is a bestselling author you’ve probably seen on Bloomberg TV or in Inc, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. He has over 250,000 online fans and reaches over 3 million people per year.