Posted 06.16.2023 by Josh Krakauer
Looking for B2B social media campaign inspo? We can help with that.
As you pursue growth opportunities in 2023, it’s more important than ever your B2B brands leverage the power of social media. The key to creating the best B2B ads on social media in 2023 is the same as it always has been — be dynamic, attention-grabbing, shareworthy, and clear.
Doing so can help achieve crucial goals such as driving conversions, generating leads, and lifting brand awareness.
There’s more. Average B2B buyers on social media have bigger budgets!
This isn’t just wishful thinking. 78% of consumers are willing to buy from brands after a positive experience on social media. This means that B2B social media campaigns and B2B ads really help knock goals out of the ballpark — when done right.
That’s why we gathered a list of ten brands that took social media to the bank with the best B2B ads, to show you what great B2B social media campaigns look like.
We combed through the archives of the best B2B ad showcases from LinkedIn, The Drum, and more. Let’s get into it
The campaigns we gathered include:
Bonus: See 23 more B2B examples in our guide to the best B2B tips and tactics for 2023. 🙌
Let’s jump in.
LinkedIn Campaigns Examples
Secureworks is a cybersecurity giant that provides targeted threat intelligence and other information security solutions. In 2021, the global cybersecurity leader unveiled Taegis™, their new cloud-native security platform built on real-world analytics, threat intelligence, and research.
However, they needed to increase brand awareness of their new cybersecurity solution and generate more leads.
What did they do?
They used the LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms for their campaign.
This native ad campaign delivered content directly to their target audience’s LinkedIn Messaging, engaging them where they spend most time.
Although their Sponsored Messaging campaigns generated traffic for their content, visitors weren’t clicking to another page to fill out the form.
So, they tested LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms across two targeted content campaigns using in-platform targeting that focused on trendy cybersecurity topics.
The logic was simple: visitors attracted by these contents are high-quality leads, and the lead gen form on these pages will automatically capture their information.
And the results were remarkable – a 400% increase in direct conversions in only seven months! This campaign became the company’s most successful sponsored messaging campaign ever.
Lauren Biach, Global Campaign Specialist at Secureworks, confirmed it was also the company’s most effective campaign across other marketing channels.
“When we compare results across our marketing channels,” Lauren said, “organic search, organic social, and display – paid social, and specifically these LinkedIn campaigns, has generated the most direct conversions.”
Now, Secureworks gets about 250 monthly conversions from sponsored LinkedIn posts and Lead Gen Forms.
Pluralsight is a workforce development and online platform that helps individuals and organizations adapt to digital transformation.
In 2019, the company generated 500 million USD in revenue. And while you would agree this is sizable, Pluralsight wasn’t creating market demand for their services unless their audience was ready to buy.
Although, the common strategy for B2B brands is selling everything in one message. The efficacy of this strategy depends largely on where the prospect is in the funnel. It is important to inform, engage and nurture targeted B2B leads wherever they are in the sales journey to stand a better chance of converting later in the funnel.
The company’s Senior Director of Marketing, Koji Takagi, had a simple plan to solve this problem:
Awareness —-> Engagement —-> Pipeline —-> Revenue.
But how could they achieve this?
The team decided to leverage Account-Based Marketing (ABM). And LinkedIn’s ability to target specific buying personas in certain companies makes it a crucial platform for achieving this goal.
ABM involves targeting certain communities of buyers that need tailored marketing. Pluralsight targeted two buying groups:
Instead of waiting until these key groups actively seek learning solutions, why not meet them wherever they are?
Pluralsight used Conversation Ads to engage high-intent prospects directly with personalized messaging which allowed Pluralsight to interact one-on-one with prospects. The result was over 70% average engagement rates.
Pluralsight also used visual storytelling to increase awareness and engagement. This improved the quality of their leads.
Engaging prospects at every step of the way makes it more likely for them to convert. With video storytelling and LinkedIn’s ability to target certain audiences in specific companies, you can connect directly to the business leaders your brand needs.
If your company is at a critical brand positioning stage, On24’s LinkedIn campaign can come in handy.
Virtual events, webinars, and video conferencing will only get popular.
That’s why virtual events and digital engagement platform provider, ON24 want to become an industry leader early and generate high-quality leads across the funnel.
Starting at the top of the funnel, ON24 leveraged different content and ad formats, such as video, Conversation Ads, retargeting, and Lead Gen Forms.
This means regardless of the stage customer’s stage in the journey, On24 can provide relevant content at the right time.
For instance, video and Landing page campaigns are great for the brand awareness stage. Conversation Ads start one-on-one interactions with prospects. Ebooks and Webinars nurture prospective leads while portraying On24 as the industry leader.
Leveraging LinkedIn’s targeting options ensured they could get this variety of campaigns on the News Feed of the right people.
Finally, video and Lead Gen forms coupled with integration with third-party sources meant On24 could use retargeting to reach out to those who already had interactions and are most likely to become customers.
They had remarkable results.
Is the competition in your industry trifling? On24’s full-funnel approach is a great idea. It’s tasking, but you can continue to nurture prospective clients through meaningful conversations.
As a leader in sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy, it was a no-brainer that ACCIONA needed videos to raise global awareness.
Sponsored Content is already a popular campaign strategy. But Video Sponsored Content appearing alongside the target audience’s feed? Now that’s something relatively new.
However, some B2B brands have used it effectively recently.
Schouten & Nelissen, Microsoft Canada, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have recorded success stories with this B2B video marketing strategy.
And ACCIONA, too.
Leveraging video for Sponsored Content on LinkedIn, ACCIONA’s campaign not only helped to spark interest but also spurred conversations with opinion leaders, decision-makers, and investors in this industry.
ACCIONA used segmentation to drive Account-Based Marketing by targeting three specific and relevant audiences:
But ACCIONA didn’t end there.
The company also ran campaigns in its target markets to increase global awareness among its professional audience.
And the result was beyond their expectations. With more than 1.2 million views from the targeted professional audience, the company experienced a 44% view rate and 16% completion rate.
As of 2022, LinkedIn’s average view rate was 14.46%, meaning ACCIONA’s success was over 3x the industry average.
It was also important to know the exact professionals viewing these 1-minute videos. LinkedIn analytics helped them learn that there were notably higher click-through rates among senior-level executives in businesses focused on renewable energy, the environment, and infrastructure.
Twitter Campaign Examples
Twitter offers B2B marketers opportunities to attract prospects, engage and interact with customers, boost brand awareness, and deeply understand their audience. If you’re stuck on Twitter campaign ideas, here are a few to get you started.
Campaigns on Twitter are witty and clever. So marketers usually tread carefully.
With the ‘meetless’ campaign, Confluence reached out to their professional-centric audience in a unique way – a kitchen pun.
They got their aprons ready for this “Meetless” or, should we say, “Meatless” Twitter campaign to promote their flagship feature, Meetless, an asynchronous collab in Confluence. This new feature reduces meetings through real-time collaboration and knowledge-sharing for teams.
Their humor was to increase brand awareness of this new update that addresses meeting fatigue and encourages a healthier work-life balance.
Let's be honest — meetings are the workday equivalent to lima beans on your dinner plate.
Confluence saves you thyme, eliminates mediokra meetings, and encourages egg-cellent team collaboration. (Okay okay, enough with the food puns 🤪).
— Atlassian Confluence (@Confluence) May 11, 2021
But they were basically telling teams to ditch other project management stack for Confluence.
So, while the funny kitchen pun campaign was great, Confluence still needed to demonstrate the new feature in action. To give team leaders a working conceptualization of how this meet-less feature makes their team members’ daily routines easier.
Enter the “Confluence Your Way” video campaign.
Atlassian Confluence used YouTube videos to showcase what a team member’s regular day looks like in a bid to “promote a healthier work-life balance.”
It featured a day in the life of a Marketer, Campaign Manager, Program Manager, and Product Manager – the regular people in a workplace group.
And how the meet-less feature makes it better.
The “Confluence Your Way” video series highlighted the benefits of meeting-free days and how Atlassian Confluence’s new asynchronous collab feature promotes seamless team collaboration even without meetings.
This short video series garnered more than 180,000 views.
Confluence ensured their community wasn’t left out by informing them of this exciting feature.
The community gave them the chance to educate existing users and make their onboarding process even faster.
Facebook Campaigns Examples
Facebook is one of the best platforms for B2B marketing. Here are some Facebook campaign examples to inspire yours.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows businesses (merchants) to build an online store.
The point-of-sale platform has recorded great success in the past through their different campaigns, such as video marketing and Facebook ads. The latter had always been optimized for a Lead event – the first step in the merchant signup journey.
For example, CTAs could be to “Sign Up” to Shopify. These campaigns were successful, but Shopify felt their lead-to-merchant rate could be better (they were right).
So, instead of focusing on a Lead event, they tested a “Start Trial” event, basically the last stage of the merchant signup flow. They would give prospects the chance to experience Shopify immediately.
Jumping to that stage meant Shopify could reach high-quality merchants that would most likely become successful customers.
Think about it; how many times do people signup and bounce? Around 55% for B2B websites. That’s quite high.
By allowing people to build their online store and start selling within 14 days, Shopify would have a higher chance of keeping them as customers after the trial period.
The campaign elements, such as ad formats like video, links with brand messaging, and targeting, remained the same. But the results were better.
Shopify recorded a 16% increase in customer acquisition. Due to their campaign budget optimization feature, which automatically distributed the ad budget across the best-performing sets in real-time, their customer acquisition cost was 14% lower!
“This test helped prove the importance of optimizing our Facebook ad campaigns closer towards our true business objective to improve acquisition quality, Amir Jaffari, Shopify’s Growth Marketing Lead, said. “Optimizing toward a lower-funnel conversion event instead of an upper-funnel lead event enabled us to reach prospective customers who were most likely to become long-term Shopify merchants.”
Webex was acquired by Cisco in 2007 but relaunched in 2021 under the name WebEx by Cisco. Before that, WebEx used to be a video-conferencing platform only.
After the pandemic’s impact, work as we knew it changed. And with this change came a new identity and a different focus for WebEx by Cisco. One that was aimed at today’s hybrid work model.
They now provide a collaboration suite for video conferencing, screen sharing, the transition from chatting to video calls, webinars, and online meetings.
Their Facebook campaign’s goal was to boost brand awareness of the latest changes and increase customer acquisition.
Like most B2B audiences, WebEx wanted to reach business leaders and decision-makers. And the importance of building genuine connections with them cannot be overstated.
What is the best way to build authentic relationships with your audience? Yes, video storytelling – just like Pluralsight.
WebEx ran video ads to showcase relevant product benefits and answer the “What’s in the all-new WebEx?” question. That way, their business leader and decision-maker audience could see the new features while scrolling through their Facebook News Feed.
They also used In-Stream Reserve to boost reach. Facebook In-stream Reserve gives high-quality video access to premium advertising options.
With WebEx’s In-Stream Reserve, ads appeared during breaks in top-performing branded content on Facebook or any other long-form publisher video content.
The campaign earned WebEx a 6.8-point ad recall lift and a 3.3-point standard brand awareness ad recall lift.
Here’s what WebEx by Cisco’s Social Media Lead Ben Worton-Hunt said, “Our Facebook ad campaign contributed to our mission of introducing the all-new Webex, and showcasing the power of our platform.” “We were encouraged by the campaign results, and how adding the In-Stream Reserve placement contributed to driving strong brand metrics.”
Workplace diversity recognizes everyone’s strengths regardless of background, religion, gender, disabilities, etc. It also fosters the inclusion of diverse communities that can understand different buying customers.
Most B2B brands only talk about such topics when it’s women empowerment, black, or pride month/day.
But you probably never thought diversity could be an essential topic to focus on when running your ad campaigns.
Meta did. And backed it up with data.
After a staggering 80% of women in Latin America felt there wasn’t enough inclusion, Meta partnered with Latin American brands and challenged them to create a second ad for their next campaign that was diversity-focused.
Some of these brands were Jeep, SKQL, and Neutrogena.
The goal of “Ads for Equality” was to compare ad performance on the original ad and the workplace diversity approach. The results were spectacular.
Meta also developed tools, training resources, and best practices to empower brands of all sizes to create campaigns dedicated to a better world. That led to over 150 training programs and more than 4.4k tools downloaded.
Diversity remains a severe issue in North America and Europe. In fact, it’ll take 132 years to reach complete parity in the global gender gap at the current development rate.
Your brand should be inclusive, and your ads should reflect it, too.
TikTok Campaigns Examples
Although B2B marketing on TikTok used to be uncharted territory, it has become a viable platform for businesses for many reasons.
We can learn a lot from Hubspot’s digital marketing strategies. For example, it’s not every day you get a 400% increase in leads from LinkedIn alone.
And that’s why their Sponsored Content campaign on the platform is featured in our B2B social media marketing campaign post.
They’re also good on other platforms – TikTok.
Using hashtags as a focal point in your campaign is an old trick in the book.
Hubspot explored workplace culture in their #goodbossenergy campaign by encouraging people to share their experiences and thoughts on what a good brand leader looks like.
This hashtag campaign aimed to increase reach and encourage participation from the professional audience.
As you’d expect, everyone had their opinions on this. Considering most B2B campaigns are aimed at business leaders and enterprise stakeholders, this was an eye-opening campaign for this audience.
With over 29 million views and counting, Hubspot’s plan was successful.
Hewlett Packard (HP) needs no introductions, but the company isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think about terrific marketing campaigns.
That’s until you see their TikTok hashtag campaigns. It’s blowing up with ideas that can inspire you.
Like Meta, who took on a social cause with their ads campaign, HP launched the #HPRadicalReuse in 2021.
Join @dreaknowsbest in the #HPRadicalReuse Challenge now!
The HP Radical Reuse TikTok challenge’s goal is to reduce plastic waste. We cannot overstate how dangerous plastic waste is to the planet. There has been a growing concern about reducing plastic in recent years.
The company started reusing ocean-ground plastics in many of their products. So, it was important to create brand awareness.
HP’s strategy was simply creating a challenge using the hashtag #HPRadicalReuse. Videos focused on alternative ways to reuse plastic instead of disposing of them. Getting featured on HP’s official TikTok page was also alluring to many users.
Join @latinaexplorer in the #HPRadicalReuse Challenge now!
It didn’t take long for TikTok’s biggest influencers to join in.
And now, the challenge has over 17 billion total views!
The good thing about social cause and sustainability campaigns is that they usually remain relevant for years. So, it’s an ongoing campaign.
HP doesn’t have to create content but only leverages user-generated content and reshares them on their page.
Integrated B2B social media campaigns
Upwork is a freelancing platform where businesses can find and work with different talents like developers, copywriters, virtual assistants, etc.
Work has changed. The old way of working, where employees clock in and out in a physical office, is dead. But most brand executives still won’t agree – unless they hear an experienced boss from their time say the same.
So, Upwork granted that wish in their latest video ad by resurrecting a dead boss to confirm that the old ways of working no longer work.
The blatant yet comical ad ‘This is How We Work Now‘ came just in time for the spooky Halloween season.
The over two-minute musical features a decomposing Jack who returns from the dead as a zombie during a board meeting, horrifying his former employees. The dead boss emphasizes that working nine to five in an office is outdated, and some roles are old-fashioned.
Although funny and lyrical, Upwork has used this ad to share their brand philosophy in two minutes – a remote work model using freelancers is the way forward. The lesson is simple; just because an idea was popular in the past doesn’t mean it can’t be modernized to suit the present reality.
Of course, freelancers would welcome such an ad with open arms. But perhaps the biggest indication of the integrated campaign’s effectiveness is the reception from industry leaders and company execs.
Upwork’s multi-platform native video campaign has already generated more than 50,000 views on YouTube and TikTok in its first week. “This is How We Work Now” is gaining traction on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, with business leaders joining the conversation about what the modern work model should look like.
Within a few days, this ad was listed on Ad Age’s Top 5 Creative Campaigns!
Drift is a “conversational marketing” platform. That means they use chatbots and customized marketing to help businesses connect with potential customers, gather leads, and convert sales. They want to become the “Amazon of B2B” and it’s easy to see that happening. They’re one of the most successful B2B brands in the tech industry, having raised $47 million in its first three years and another $60 million in 2018.
How did they do it? Simple: Transparent and creative marketing tactics.
For example, Drift doesn’t have a transparency dashboard like other B2B companies that shares insights on revenue and employee work. Instead, they encourage their employees to regularly post about their work on social media — no matter what stage its in.
Another great example of their marketing savvy is their Soofa sign (a brand of electronic signs) campaign outside of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. Unlike most businesses, they didn’t just create a flashy ad graphic and throw it up on the sign to hope it generates leads. Instead, they blasted their electronic sign campaign on LinkedIn in order to increase impressions and engagement.
The results by the numbers:
The accounting software for small businesses, developed and distributed by financial software powerhouse Intuit, is now in the third year of its “Backing You” campaign.
Partnering with GIPHY and Danny Devito (yes, we’re serious), the campaign highlights all the ways Quickbooks works to save small business owners money and time.
“Backing You” is a massive, multi-channel awareness effort that Quickbooks rolled out in two parts.
First – the videos featuring Devito.
A 30-second anthem video plus several others that spotlight real small business owners launched as commercials online and on television. An additional mini-series called “Danny Teaches,” made up of 15-second videos in which Devito demos the simplicity of the QuickBooks platform, completes the video component of the campaign.
Second – the GIFs.
Partnering with GIPHY, Quickbooks created a searchable library of GIFs, made specifically with their customers in mind – small business owners.
Targeting business-related search terms and celebratory words and phrases, the partnership aims to further raise campaign awareness by reaching people who are already talking about the topic of small business solutions.
The Danny Devito GIFs, created when the first leg of the campaign launched, had already generated over 15 million views as of January 2019, when the GIPHY partnership was announced. Since then, they’ve added more GIFs and stickers, which have over 500 million views. These days, Danny Devito has even made it into some of the best B2B memes on social.
QuickBooks VP of Global Marketing, Dan McCarthy, explained the mission behind using GIFs as such an integral part of the campaign: “Given the popularity of communicating through GIFs, we wanted to bring a sense of community to the self-employed and small business community, which our new campaign with GIPHY provides.”
Of course, you don’t need the comedic stylings of Danny Devito to pull off a campaign like this. Star power and the novelty of GIFs are only part of the equation.
The well-known stock photo site went viral with their Fyrestock video at the beginning of 2019. Racking up over 2 million views in the first week alone, the video parodies the promo video for the PR disaster that was Fyre Festival.
The kicker? They did it all with their own stock footage. Just over $2,000 worth of it, to be exact, earning Shutterstock the award for Best Limited Budget Campaign in The Drum’s 2019 B2B Awards.
Of course, that was the whole point of the video. Leveraging the sensation surrounding Fyre Festival to go viral was just icing on the cake. The Fyrestock video is part of Shutterstock’s larger, global campaign “It’s not stock, it’s Shutterstock,” the goal of which is to shift perception around stock imagery.
Through a series of promotional videos using other cultural touchstones like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, the campaign aims to prove that content created with stock footage and imagery can be both low-budget and high-quality.
The tongue-in-cheek nature of the videos adds to their entertainment value, making them both more memorable and more shareable, without breaking the bank on their social media budget.
Shutterstock incorporates the campaign across their website, too, presenting a consistent brand message: high-quality, low-cost, endless creative possibilities.
Ever feel like social media is a wild jungle and you’re just trying to find a path through the vines? Hootsuite felt the same way and built a whole campaign around it, cleverly named ‘Your Guide to the Wild.’ They wanted to show us all that in the middle of this wild, diverse online world, there’s a place for every brand.
Hootsuite didn’t shy away from the chaos of the internet — instead, they embraced it and said, “Hey, we know it’s a jungle out there, but we’re the best guide you could ask for.”
Their ad features real-time video clips of their platform, boosting social media stats. They wanted to show us, not just tell us, that growing your social media presence is doable and, with them, it’s as simple as a few clicks.
Here’s why this campaign was a winner:
Their approach reminds us that good B2B marketing doesn’t need to be over-the-top or flashy. It just needs to understand its audience, embrace the realities of the industry, and be able to show, in real terms, how it can make a difference. Hootsuite nailed these aspects and gave us a campaign that resonates and educates — that’s B2B marketing at its best.
Walnut.io, a SaaS platform that makes creating engaging product demos a breeze, brought us a slice of mockumentary-style humor in their video ad. The definitely real (wink, wink) film studio Walnutix gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the #WeAreProspects movement, showcasing a tongue-in-cheek revolution in SaaS sales. This video ad not only highlighted the company’s services but also connected deeply with the viewer’s emotions by highlighting the challenges faced by SaaS buyers.
To dial up the realism, they added actual voice clips expressing the all-too-real frustrations buyers face when seeking new SaaS platforms. Adding in spoof-style interviewees with pun-filled names like Ken U.C. Myscreen, the brand further highlighted everyday tech frustrations that most of us can relate to.
This campaign was a success for a few key reasons:
The campaign shows us that B2B marketing doesn’t have to be dry or impersonal. By incorporating humor and real-life emotions, you can create a campaign that not only entertains but resonates on a deeper level with your audience.
If you’re getting started with your own B2B social media campaign, be sure to check out our articles on the topic below:
If you’re just getting started — or if you already have a few campaigns under your belt — we’d love to hear from you: Drop us a line if you have any questions or want to show off that sweet campaign you ran. We might feature it in a future article.
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A successful B2B social media campaign follows the same steps as setting an effective social media strategy. Consider the who, where, when, what, and how, starting with intentional business goals.
Discover more tactics for success on our social media lead generation post.
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