Orchestrate B2B Facebook ads across the marketing funnel

Serving up digital campaigns at the right stage is the modern B2B marketing struggle. You want your buyers to go on a nice, smooth journey, and it's your job to ferry them across each stage of your funnel. But when it comes to advertising on Facebook, let's face it — you've got a busted ship.

The platform's native targeting controls leave you woefully under-equipped to serve tailored campaigns across the funnel. Sure, you're reaching some leads, but you're not ultimately connecting with the right people at the right time to accomplish precise goals like:

  • boosting awareness among net-new leads
  • nurturing only MQLs to get a demo or sign up for a trial
  • re-engaging prospects who dropped off sales conversations
  • upselling and cross-selling by focusing on the best fits.

Without better targeting, you end up wasting money and fatiguing valuable audiences with irrelevant offers. Ever see a trial or demo CTA for a product that you're already using — or get retargeted for visiting a site you don't even remember? It's like a waiter telling you the specials when you're already midway through the meal or a store clerk who insists on being "helpful" even after you've told them you're just browsing.

To show stage-specific ads on Facebook, where an enticing amount of your ideal customers are hanging out, you can go the DIY method. But that CSV life is a never-ending hamster wheel run — creating, uploading, cleaning, and updating audience lists — that gobbles up valuable time you could be spending to create more effective campaigns and improve ROI. Not to mention, the moment you step off the wheel, those audiences go out-of-date.

We built Clearbit Advertising to remove the Sisyphean work of manual ad audience management while enabling you to programmatically reach leads and customers with campaigns at the right stage of their journeys. Here's how it works.

Build dynamic audiences based on Salesforce stage and fit

Comprehensive targeting for B2B audiences works across at least two dimensions:

  • the right fit (who you're interested in) and
  • their level of intent (how interested are they in you?).

You're not looking simply to advertise to people who are a good fit from an ICP perspective. You also want to match your message to their level of interest and engagement. Intent signals are huge leading indicators of whether or not a deal is going to close, and more importantly, relevance creates a better experience.

Clearbit Advertising provides an easy way to create dynamic audiences for Facebook that take fit and intent stage into account. First, you build a custom segment directly in Clearbit, based on conditions you define from four types of data:

  • Salesforce data (any field on an account, opportunity, lead, or contact record)
  • Clearbit-enriched company and person attributes
  • Pageview data (browsing behavior of your web properties)
  • Custom traits from your first-party user data (like what plan they're on or product usage data)

Once you connect this segment with Facebook, you're done with the audience piece of the campaign puzzle. As time goes by, Clearbit takes care of all the updating automatically — adding in contacts who fit your segment conditions, removing those who don't, and continually syncing these changes to Facebook.

Matching Salesforce stage

Since Clearbit syncs with your Salesforce instance — you can create audiences based on where they are in their journey and then automatically serve up the right campaign.

defining segment conditions based on Salesforce datacreating a stage-based segment

For example, show educational content to build awareness with new leads, encourage demos for MQLs, or promote customer stories to leads in the consideration phase. When a prospect moves from one stage to the next, they automatically start seeing a new set of relevant ads and not content from the previous stage — and you don't have to go in manually to update audiences when conversion events happen.

Targeting ideal fit

Layer on Clearbit's firmographic and demographic data and, presto, a magical combination: the ability to target by fit and stage. Show ads to an SQL — but tailored to how they're a SaaS company or in the education vertical. Or refine your demo offer messaging to speak to VPs of Engineering.

defining segment conditions based on Clearbit datacreating a segment based on Salesforce data and company-level fit conditions

With Clearbit Advertising, build dynamic Facebook audiences once to automate campaigns, targeting qualified prospects based on their readiness to buy. It's access to a larger canvas of the buyer's journey on which you can advertise, with more granular personalization.

4 ways to target ads on Facebook based on funnel stage

Let's go over some new types of targeting you can pull off, once you're able to programmatically reach audiences on Facebook based on funnel stage:

Build awareness versus nurture intent

Build awareness with new prospects by offering educational content. Here's an example ad from Zenefits, makers of an HR software, targeting their ideal customer at the top of the funnel with a helpful resource on improving employee onboarding. (Learn more about how Zenefits targets ideal customers on Facebook.)

example awareness ad on Facebook

Offer demos, once leads show some signs of intent:

example demo ad from Intercom

Showing a mid- to bottom-of-funnel offer like a product demo to a new lead who's never heard of you before is asking for too much, too soon. This direct-to-demo strategy on an unwarmed audience can also account for less-than-stellar results on previous attempts to advertise on Facebook.

Instead, show your bottom-of-funnel content to prospects in the later stages of their journey — maybe they've become product-qualified leads or are in active conversations with sales. For them, an ad with a customer testimonial might be the nudge to close the deal, such as this ad from AdEspresso.

trial offer with customer testimonial

Exclude irrelevant audiences (and save money)

Clearbit Advertising's dynamic audiences already makes sure you filter out the right people as their status changes. If prospects move to the "deal closed" stage, they won't get asked to try a demo.

Sometimes you also want fine-tuned control with specific exclusion audiences. Maybe you have an acquisition campaign aimed at getting net-new prospects, or you want extra safeguards given the state of your data. You can add specific filter conditions to your segment, or create standalone, reusable exclusion audiences to keep out people who are already: in the pipeline, in your Salesforce instance, an existing customer, or your employee.

exclusion audience of Clearbit employees

Suppress outreach to those you know it doesn’t make sense to waste ad spend on.

Re-engage leads to reactivate their intent

A seamless connection to Salesforce also allows you to trigger campaigns to re-engage audiences. For example, reach out to accounts with closed lost deals or those who ghosted from a sales conversation (e.g., Salesforce leads in open opportunities who haven’t engaged in the last 30 days).

You might show a special offer to entice them back or promote a product update that they may have missed to re-start a conversation.


Upsell and cross-sell to the right accounts

Scaling B2B demand doesn't just happen at the lead acquisition stage. With Clearbit Advertising, you can create targeted Facebook audiences for upgrades, renewals, upsells, and cross-sells. Create campaigns for free trialers who haven't upgraded yet or start educating current customers about another product they're not using.

Remind ideal customers who may still be on a freemium plan about benefits they're missing out on, like Slack is doing here:


Or try to deepen engagement for existing customers for upcoming renewal opportunities:


Designing a more deliberate ad experience

As Yuri Daniels, Director of Performance Marketing at Zenefits tells us, by being able to harness "data in Salesforce, layer on Clearbit-enriched targeting, and then exclude clients already in pipeline or existing customers from our database ... we can target very specific lists that have close alignment with our ideal customer profile and deploy them onto Facebook."

Drawing on your Salesforce data and Clearbit enrichment data to build dynamic Facebook Audiences opens up your entire funnel for targeting so that you can finally meet customers where they are. The ability to prioritize and focus campaign efforts and resources saves you from wasting them going after accounts at the wrong time. And speaking to the specific frame of mind of a buyer — especially with so much of the buyer's journey happening online these days — results in better, faster conversions.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our post on Facebook targeting for B2B companies: how to do it better.