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Driving Building Materials Awareness Using Facebook & Instagram Ads

Learn about the untapped potential of Facebook and Instagram ads for the building materials industry, along with examples of how to leverage their potential to grow awareness and drive leads.

April 10th, 2019



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Zach and Beth talk about the effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram ads and how to perfect your social media marketing strategy.

More About This Show

The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insight on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.

In this episode, Zach and Beth share two elements that can make or break the results of your Facebook and Instagram ads, plus tips on how to maximize both impact and cost-effectiveness.


Facebook offers an incredible opportunity for building materials manufacturers simply because of the amount of time your audience spends on social media. Plus, Facebook is set to make over $4 billion on advertising this year. Paired with Google, they represent 70% of online ad spend in the United States.

When getting started with Facebook advertising, it’s important to understand that it’s not about fulfilling demand the way Google does. You’re not providing content to meet a search query. Instead, it’s about generating demand with the potential to build a new audience for your product. The way you do this is through display advertising, which is very different than search ads.

With Facebook and Instagram ads, you can find people interested in your product or brand even if they aren’t currently familiar with you. The goal is to target the right people in an effective way by targeting based on characteristics such as interests, industry or association. They may not be buying from you at all right now, but they could in the future.

This strategy opens up a whole new set of individuals. And if you have new product or line coming out, Facebook and Instagram are the best way to introduce them because, through targeting, you can figure out the best person for your products and get it in front of them.

There are multiple avenues you can use with Facebook, but today we’ll focus on the two most important components of your online social media ads: audience and messaging.

Crafting Your Audience and Messaging

You can target your ad audience based on location, people who have visited your website or even emails from your marketing list. Facebook also allows you to create look-alike audiences, which is ideal for top of funnel ads to introduce your brand to new people.

Once you have an idea of who you want to target, it’s time to think about the most effective messaging. This is very different than your Google Adwords messaging. Social media ads should be less direct and speak to the core of your audience’s problems.

If you’ve tried Facebook ads in the past and haven't had success, your messaging was probably wrong. You can’t just explain product features, you have to demonstrate the results. You need to be a solution to their problem.

Approach Facebook as display advertising: You’re interrupting people while they’re doing something else. The goal is to get them to stop scrolling and catch their attention, and a product picture alone isn’t going to accomplish this.

A great example of a successful ad is for decking material. The company pushed a time-lapsed video of their product being installed compared to the traditional product and traditional installation method. In 10 seconds, they showed contractors how they could make more money in less time. The next step was to request a sample, making the ad a low friction, but high-value, play for the manufacturer.

Getting Started With Facebook Ads

Your social media strategy should center around solving a problem for your audience. In order to do that, you first need to actually define who that audience is.

In order to reach marketing-qualified leads, think broadly by targeting people in associations like

NAHB or AIA. You can even target people who follow KBIS or IBS.

Once you’ve got your audience down, make sure your ad visually looks good. The image should grab attention within the context it’s displayed. Video is one of the best ways to bring people into an ad; in fact, Facebook optimizes video more because people are so attracted to this medium.

Zach recently talked to a manufacturer who went to KBIS but didn’t exhibit there. Instead, they chose to spend several thousand dollars on a geo-targeted video ad that wound up generating $200k in new business.

If you have a strong value proposition that meets your audience’s pain points, Facebook ads will work over time. You’ve got an audience that’s captive on Facebook and Instagram, and the cost of advertising right now is underpriced.

Best Performing Formulas for Facebook and Instagram

Video can be an excellent way to warm leads in a way that is both engaging and cost-effective. A standard image ad comes with a cost per click anywhere from a couple of dollars all the way up to $20. With a video, you pay for cost per view, which comes in at just two-to-four cents.

Why such a large price discrepancy?

Traditional ads are designed to send people off the platform to your website. But with video, you’re keeping your audience on the platform, which is why Facebook rewards you with such low costs.

By starting with video, you can warm your audience rather than seeking to convert them. Then, you can retarget ads to people who watched a certain percentage of that video with a more action-oriented step.

You know those people have an interest in your product or brand, so they’re more qualified when you start sending them more conversion-focused ads. This increases your likelihood of conversion while also allowing you to spend less on leads.

Next Steps for Social Media Ads

The back end of Facebook’s ads manager can feel overwhelming, so the best thing you can do is simply just get started. Don't worry too much at first about how to convert people into leads and customers right away.

Start by tuning into the right audience with top-of-the-funnel campaigns to see what’s most effective in driving engagement and clicks. From there, you can start adding more complicated steps.

As you get started, one of the most valuable things you'll get is the data to understand whether or not your current messaging works for your target audience. Review this valuable customer research, then digest it to make marketing decisions that are based on actual data and not just your gut feeling.

Start budgeting for Facebook and Instagram ads and understand that it’s ok if you don't get results overnight. By committing to this advertising platform, you’ll create a huge impact on your business over time, so start investing that money and time now in order to get started.

Overwhelmed by the thought of social media ads or have lots of questions? We want to help! Send us your thoughts at [email protected].

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