Facebook ads are highly effective due to the advanced targeting methods and diverse ad formats available to businesses of all sectors and industries.
As the biggest competitor to traditional search advertising, the past five years have seen Facebook ads go from strength to strength, as user behaviour changes and people are researching products and services in new ways.
Facebook is undoubtedly a driving force when it comes to ecommerce advertising (I’m sure we’ve all experienced being followed around by a dynamic product ad after browsing online) but it can also be a game changer for lead generation.
That being said, there are a few ways to make sure we’re driving the right sort of leads, who will take further action and hopefully become customers, and not just get cheap form-fills.
Here are our five tips for generating leads from Facebook ads:
1. Pick the right audience
If you only take one tip from these five, take this one. Picking the right audience is an essential part of any campaign strategy but especially when it comes to Facebook ads lead generation.
There are three main types of audience when it comes to Facebook ads: custom, lookalike and interest/demographic.
Each of these audience types has a use and one isn’t necessarily better than the other, they just contain different levels of conversion intent and user volume. This means that picking the right audience depends on your wider business goal for your lead generation campaign.
I’ve put together a handy chart below to explain what I mean by this. Basically with a custom audience (depending on your data source) you’re defining your audience; with an interest or lookalike you’re relying on Facebook to define your audience. Again, both are valid but it depends what you need.
Cost-efficient and qualified
Custom audiences offer you a really well defined, high intent audience, if you use visitors of a certain page on your website. As these users have already engaged with you, they are the most likely to take further action.
Example: People who visited https://www.aira.net/paid-media/facebook-ads/ in the past 30 days but who didn’t convert.
If you want qualified leads, this is where I would start. The only downside is that you’ll hit volume and potentially audience saturation really quickly. So this is for you if you’re focussed on CPA and quality of lead.
Interest and lookalike audiences are great if you want to reach a higher volume of users. With these audiences, users are likely to have not engaged with your business previously, and you therefore can’t know the degree to which they are interested in what you offer.
Example: If Aira targeted people interested in Facebook ads to try and get more clients, we might reach businesses who are looking for an agency (woohoo!) or we might reach other advertisers like myself who work at agencies, or someone who’s just read a couple of blog posts on the subject.
This is where you’re likely to see less qualified leads but at a much higher volume, so as long as you have a nurturing process to follow up, this is for you.
Personally, I would use both and use different messaging, offers and CTAs based on where these audiences are within the buyer’s journey. That way you get the best of everything. Start with custom first – it will show initial performance and means you have follow-up in place once you start driving volume at the top of the funnel.
2. Match your offer & messaging to your audience
Following up from tip 1, you need to ensure that your offer and ad copy matches your target audience to get results.
You’re asking someone for their data – what are you offering them in return?
Based on where users are in the buyer’s journey should influence what you are offering to them, which ties really closely in to your audience choice.
If you’re targeting people who have never heard of you before and asking them to get in touch with the sales team, your offer is potentially too high friction and will likely yield poor results.
Similarly, if you’re targeting people who have viewed your product or service page and therefore have shown a reasonable degree of intent to convert, chances are they’ve gone past the point of needing to see intro content.
This will require a degree of testing to find what works for which audience, but bear it in mind when creating your campaign.
Engagement rate and ad relevance plays a huge part in how Facebook calculates what you pay to show ads and how competitive you are.
“Ads that are more relevant cost less and see more results.”
Match your messaging and your offer to where the user is in the buyer’s journey so that it addresses their needs and you’ll be rewarded with more competitive performance.
3. Make sure you add exclusions
This is a short one – make sure you add exclusion audiences.
You need to exclude people once they’ve taken the action you’re trying to get them to take. So if your lead gen campaign is ‘download our Facebook Ads ebook’, you need to exclude people who have downloaded the Facebook Ads ebook.
This is a really quick way to save wasted ad spend and keep your engagement rates high, which will mean you’re rewarded by being more competitive in ad auctions as mentioned above (also needless to say it’s annoying to see ads for something when you’ve already converted).
4. Lead forms vs landing pages
There’s nothing worse than having worked hard to get someone’s engagement with your great copy, killer offer, and then they click on your ad and bounce from the landing page before becoming a lead.
Facebook introduced an in-platform lead form which helps to get around potential landing page issues. This means for the user, it’s super quick and easy to tap the ad, have their details pre-populated based on the information on their profile (slick!) and then submit the form, all within a couple of seconds.
This means you can see much higher conversion rates when forms are in use over landing pages.
There are mixed opinions in regards to what the best method is online. My opinion is that the trade-off is volume vs qualification in many instances, however, test both and see what works for you.
It’s far quicker to tap the form so you usually see a higher volume of leads, but potentially with a lower qualification value. For someone to have clicked the ad, visited the landing page, filled out the form and then submitted it, it can show a higher level of intent and as such, qualification – that being said we don’t want to send potential customers through that amount of hassle if we can avoid it.
If you’re using website custom audiences, as you’ve already qualified the user’s intent, forms may offer the more frictionless user experience.
Test both formats and see what delivers the most qualified leads.
5. Get your follow-up in place
Ultimately the goal here isn’t really leads. It’s customers and revenue, right?
Having adequate follow-up in place is crucial in running effective lead generation campaigns.
If you’ve worked hard and paid to get potential new customers to provide their contact details, the last thing you need is to lose the sales by not following up.
Most popular CRMs have a Facebook integration now, which means if you are going to be using lead forms, you can seamlessly have your new leads pushed into your CRM, ready for follow-up.
Our preferred CRM at Aira is HubSpot. We use the Facebook integration so leads can be pushed directly into custom workflows so follow up is consistent, automated and effective.
I hope these five tips for generating leads from Facebook ads help you to grow your business through Facebook advertising.
Ad platforms don’t need to be viewed in a siloed way anymore though, they usually work best together.
A multi-channel approach usually leads to the best overall results. For example, if terms have search volume, drive your leads through search where people are already actively looking for your products or services, and re-engage those who drop out with Facebook, and scale! 🚀