Facebook Lead Ads, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Lead Generation

Social Media Marketing

What’s not to love about Facebook advertising by this point?

Every month, if not every week, Facebook Ads Manager releases some update that improves targeting, messaging, or timing, making social advertising more effective than ever. Even for lead generation.

We’ve used social to generate leads for years, and while the old tried-and-true methods like retargeting remain really effective, the new Facebook lead ads might be a game changer.

Since these bad boys have launched, we’ve cut cost-per-lead on an ongoing higher education campaign by 19 percent and increased leads by 44 percent. That’s huge. Here’s what we did:

1. Launched Facebook lead ads immediately 

Like everybody else, we heard rumblings about Facebook lead generation ads for months, so within a week of their rollout we approved a campaign with our client and had it running. The results were pretty immediate: Leads were appearing within 24 hours.

Without sending users to a website, which then requires another click to request more information, the lead form is right on Facebook, so no more building a new landing page for every campaign like 48 percent of marketers. These five question options mean you learn a heck of a lot about every lead:

Facebook's Lead Form guides you through the process with specific questions.

A few warnings: You have to make these in Power Editor, which can feel clunkier than Ads Manager. Also, to access the CSV file with your leads, you have to be an admin.

2. Launched different objective campaigns simultaneously 

It’s a terrible idea to carry all of your eggs in one ad campaign basket. As much as we like Facebook lead ads after a month of running them, don’t neglect other social platforms for advertising or even other Facebook objectives.

Facebook Ads requires you to select an objective for your campaign and provides many options for you to choose from.

In addition to lead generation ads, we ran two other campaigns: “Send people to your website” (which means more pixels for retargeting), and “Increase conversions on your website” (which is a powerful objective even if the ads don’t always use their whole budget). They’re both great for social lead generation.

3. Tested, tested, and re-tested imagery and copy

This is Social Lead Generation 101. If you’re not A/B testing imagery and copy, and if you’re not dusting off old creative to try again, you’re probably losing leads. We develop new ad creative every month, so by now we have a nice catalogue of images to try out and copy to rework.

Once you have a few combinations that work well, trust Ads Manager’s intuition. For every campaign you set up, load at least three images, and after a few days or a week, swap out the underperformers. This is especially important if you have a narrower audience (you should), so you don’t exhaust potential leads with the same ads over and over again.

4. Narrower segmentation exists, so we used it

You should have personas for every campaign, which means you should have a lot of information about your target audience. Ads Manager was built for precision, so use the narrowest targeting for any social lead generation campaign, whatever the objective. Can you get more lead form entries from a wider audience? Sure, but they probably aren’t quality, which is one of the biggest challenges lead gen marketers face.

In another six months, we’ll be able to add a few more points — which is the beauty of social lead generation. With each new Ads Manager update, there’s another opportunity to optimize your advertising strategy. We’re looking forward to the next release, but are really pleased with all we’ve seen with Facebook lead ads so far.

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