Many people think Facebook advertising doesn’t work for business-to-business (B2B) companies.
That the platform yields more success for fashion brands, food delivery businesses, or even dropshippers.
This case study proves those people wrong.
Gogoprint, an online printing company, set out to make their B2B business model work on Facebook.
Less than 6 months in, they accumulated an extra 1,200 new clients on Facebook alone.
Today, I’m going to tell you how they did it, and how you can too.
Gogoprint already had over 100,000 clients and a solid reputation, making them the largest online printing company in Southeast Asia.
They also had a strong social media presence prior to working with us:
Gogoprint’s ideal audience are SME owners who need printing jobs done for their businesses, like flyers, business cards and branded souvenirs.
But they had one big issue with their Facebook marketing campaigns: It cost them too much money to get a new client online.
While it’s true that B2B deals are more long-term and could be valued at more in the long run, the cost per new client was still not worth Gogoprint’s effort into digital marketing.
The purpose of doing online advertising in the first place is to reach more people for less of the cost. That’s why they were sure something was wrong.
And there were two core problems in Gogoprint’s Facebook marketing efforts:
Gogoprint’s benchmark with us was to lower the cost per new client (also known as cost per acquisition) by 20% as a start.
If we could successfully reach the benchmark, Gogoprint would be sure their Facebook marketing campaigns were really going in the right direction.
1. Gogoprint’s in-house marketing team couldn’t drive the benchmark results on Facebook.
That meant they couldn’t find and target the right buying audiences, and had to spend too much to get a potential client to buy.
2. The Head of Marketing did not have the time to manage all the Facebook campaigns himself.
He was already managing the growth of Gogoprint’s expansions in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and beyond.
He needed someone to get him better results and eliminate the need for him to be actively involved.
So now that we knew what was in the way of Gogoprint’s Facebook marketing success, here’s what we did to achieve their goals:
Most marketing strategies don’t work because they’re way too complicated to begin with.
Many plans will bombard you with tons of metrics for you to constantly keep an eye on.
How many purchases are you getting? How much website traffic? Clicks? Comments? Shares?
While there is a time and place for all of those metrics, it’s always useful to ensure your strategy uses KPIs that are congruent with your goals.
Gogoprint needed a way to get more clients for less of the budget.
Thus, this was the main KPI the whole strategy focused on: the cost per acquisition (CPA).
This is basically your total advertising spend, divided by the number of purchases you received.
(This is not to be confused with Cost per Action, which is another marketing metric. We’re only talking about acquisitions here.)
Remember where we discussed in the Goals section that Gogoprint wanted to lower their CPA by 20% as proof that our campaigns were working?
This CPA goal guided our every move throughout the strategy.
If anything we were doing didn’t show signs of helping the CPA decrease, we went back to the drawing board and tested with other methods.
And here’s how we implemented the CPA goal into Gogoprint’s Facebook marketing campaigns:
One of the most powerful tools in Facebook marketing is the platform’s ability to separate those who already know who you are from those who have never heard of you.
Logically you would focus aggressive promotions on people who already know who you are, because they’re more likely to buy.
Someone who has never seen your products before, on the other hand, would not understand what problem your product can solve for them. So that means lower intent to buy.
This thought process was directly reflected in Gogoprint’s Facebook ads. We split the ads based on 2 types of audiences:
Cold Audiences, or people who do not know about Gogoprint, and
Re-targeting or Remarketing Audiences, which are people who already know about Gogoprint.
Here’s the gist of the strategy: We showed Facebook ads with Cold approaches to people who didn’t know about Gogoprint. And if they still didn’t make a printing order, we hit them with ads that used Remarketing approaches to ensure these people would order.
The cold ads focused more on a problem-solution angle to first educate the audience why Gogoprint’s business mattered to them.
Here’s what a cold ad looked like:
The text of the ad gets straight to the point, addressing SME owner pain points in the copy’s hook first, then placing Gogoprint’s service as a solution.
Cold ads are designed and worded as if you’re meeting the audience for the first time.
It’s like a job application, where people are first expected to send their resumes over and write a killer cover letter that shows you how their skills would benefit your company.
Then if you like their application, you’ll call them in for an interview. That’s where the remarketing starts, because they have to do whatever they can to get you to hire them.
Remarketing ads, on the other hand, are designed to convince people who have already seen your product, but aren’t entirely convinced yet.
So discounts/promos, testimonials or number of satisfied customers could all be good approaches to try out at that stage.
Here’s a pricing-based remarketing ad, shown to people who have already seen Gogoprint’s ads before, but didn’t take action yet:
This approach calculated the average pricing of customized bags for the audience, by dividing the wholesale price into per-piece rates.
This made it easier for the audience to visualize how much it would cost them.
And here’s a use of a testimonial featuring former Ms. Universe Natalie Glebova, who used Gogoprint’s services:
Natalie Glebova’s ad was strategically placed in the remarketing stage because the audience needed to know more about what problems Gogoprint solved for them.
That way they could make a clearer connection between Gogoprint and Ms. Universe using the printing services, in terms of credibility.
Aside from testimonials to help Gogoprint gain trust, we also coordinated with Gogoprint’s team to test promotions.
One of them was a “100 business cards for 10 baht” promo, designed to draw in a large volume of customers:
So those are some of the remarketing approaches we tested in order to get Gogoprint’s CPA down.
But all these efforts would mean absolutely nothing if we showed these ads to the wrong people.
And that’s where the next crucial step came in: Audience Targeting.
Gogoprint’s B2B business model needed to target owners of SMEs and other people who need printing jobs done.
And since the business already had 100,000+ clients, we had to find other people on Facebook who were similar to these existing people.
To do that, we used Gogoprint’s existing customer list, and created Lookalike audiences based on their customer list.
Facebook allows businesses to upload their very own customer list (in excel or text form) to the platform, where they can be used in audience creation.
(You can learn how to upload your very own customer list here).
Lookalike audiences are basically people who share the most common interests, educational backgrounds, hobbies, behaviors, ages & more with your existing customer list.
Facebook allows you to target these people in percentages of likeness to your customer list, from 1% to 10%.
1% means people who are most similar to your source, where 10% is as generic and broad as you can get.
You can switch up the desired percentage to your liking, like this:
We’ve found that the sweet spot for Lookalike audiences is normally between 1% to 3% for you to reach the right people.
However, we also recommend that your existing customer database should be at least 500 names in size, but ideally 2,000 names or more.
Gogoprint had already uploaded their customer lists on Facebook prior to working with us.
Their previous marketing setup even already used parts of the strategy we used.
They were incredibly progressive and on board with the processes from the start, and that’s honestly why I’m able to write this case study.
This leads me to the final step in Gogoprint’s strategy to lower the CPA:
You can’t measure progress without a reference point.
That’s why we agreed with Gogoprint’s Head of Marketing to fill in KPI sheets on a weekly basis to find out whether the CPA was steadily decreasing or not.
We as the agency filled out the ad spend, adds to cart and more. Then he would tell us the number of new clients, and the cost per new client.
That way, we always knew whether what we did was working.
And the Head of Marketing had full transparency on whether we were doing a good job or dropping the ball at any given point.
So now that we’ve played down all of the info above, here are the results of all that work:
When Gogoprint started working with us, the goal was to decrease their CPA by 20%.
But after 5 months of implementing the steps above, Gogoprint’s average CPA dropped to half of what it was before!
Here’s a summary of all the key achievements with this strategy:
The CPA decreasing by 53.97% meant Gogoprint could now get twice as many new clients with the same budget!
Again, these amazing numbers weren’t the results of our work alone.
Gogoprint treated our services as a partnership, not a one-sided job.
We teamed up and developed new ways to improve results on a weekly basis.
At the end of the day, Gogoprint’s story proves that B2B businesses can work on Facebook. And if you follow these steps, your B2B business model can too.
1. Always Start with the Strategy
The simplest way to develop a sustainable ad strategy is to sync your sales goals with your marketing efforts from day one.
Make your marketing efforts share 1 KPI, and tie everything back to the amount of sales you’re getting.
If the observed KPI doesn’t work, pick another KPI, hypothesize that it will effectively lead to more sales, and test it until you find a winning formula.
For Gogoprint, it was the CPA, as it fit best with their business’ needs.
If you’ve got something a little more impulse purchase-friendly, consider optimizing your Facebook ad campaigns for direct purchases instead. We’ve also got a case study for that here, where we helped a men’s razor brand increase their sales revenue by over 1,700%!
2. Always Track Your Progress
This is the only way to ensure everything from Step 1 is working. And if you’re partnering with an agency, it’s the best way to track whether they’re doing a good job or not.
If you don’t find a way to track your progress, you could become one of the many companies who end up investing in the wrong places and losing a fortune in the process.
Always make sure that KPI-tracking documents—Excel sheets, Google sheets and more—are created for your marketing efforts. Structure them based on the KPI agreed on in Step 1, and tie them directly back to the sales you’re getting.
3. Digital marketing for B2B and B2C businesses isn’t all that different.
At the end of the day, businesses are run by people, each of whom have their own day-to-day problems.
A B2C end user would probably worry about their shampoo running out or what to have for dinner.
A B2B client, on the other hand, would be panicking about how their business can save more time and money.
As long as you keep your marketing efforts customer-centric, you’ll continuously be driven to create better products and services for your audience, no matter who they are.