Can a Facebook lead generation campaign drive new local business?
However, with so many advertisers jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, it’s critical to knock your ad campaign out of the park with the right audience targeting, killer creative, a great offer, and a disciplined focus on tracking results through each step in the sales funnel.
This article presents the four simple principles behind an effective Facebook lead generation campaign along with best-in-class examples of each.
#1. Select the Right Audience
The most successful campaigns target a very specific audience. This allows you to speak directly to their unique pain points, interests, or desires. If you’re trying to be all things to all people, then your message will be too vague and few will even notice the ad, because it doesn’t seem like it’s for them.
For example, a local business that provides financial advice to people approaching retirement may target local business executives over a certain age located within a 10-mile radius. Even better, take the targeting a step further by aiming for employees of a specific company.
Imagine you’re a burnt out 60-year old senior vice president at ACME Corp. who comes across a Facebook ad that reads:
Want to Retire from ACME Corp? Avoid These 7 Common Financial Mistakes.
How could you ignore that?
Facebook’s advantage as an advertising platform is its detailed, hyper-specific, and highly personalized targeting options.
Make the most of these targeting options, and you’ll see your click through rates go up, your cost per click go down, and the number of leads you generate within your budget skyrocket.
Here’s an example of targeting done right: in MU Campus Dining’s ad, they targeted football fans in Missouri near the stadium, on game day:
#2. Make It an Offer They Can’t Refuse
Consumers don’t generally use Facebook to find things to buy. They’re online to keep up with friends and family, chat with people, and share life events. People searching on Google for your services already have momentum towards a purchase.
On Facebook, no such momentum exists; you have to disrupt your audience from what they’re doing and get them to shift their mindset.
Make your offer enticing, sexy, timely. Go big or go home.
This is why you see ads on Facebook promoting free stuff. It’s hard to get people who are not searching for a product or service to pick up their phones and call your office simply by putting ads on their Facebook news feeds. The ads are relatively small, and the amount of copy you can include is limited. There’s not much space for persuasion. By offering something for free and with minimal time commitment, however, you can capture leads and attract them into the top of your sales funnel.
Keep in mind, just because you’re offering something free doesn’t mean it can be low quality. Your freebie must have high perceived value, or people won’t take the time to get it or be willing to give up their contact information.
Instead of offering a pizza to people who aren’t hungry, offer a free coupon for a pizza and send a follow-up email on Friday afternoon, right before they leave work for the weekend. Instead of offering investment advice, offer a free report about retirement planning that can be downloaded quickly. This grows your marketing list of people who are at least interested in learning more about investing for retirement, and you can now nurture them through your sales funnel with email marketing or even a phone call follow-up.
Here’s an example from Fisher Investments:
#3. Take the Time or Invest the Money to Craft Strong Creative Assets
Now that you’re targeting the right audience and you’re offering a ton of value, it’s time to communicate that value to your audience with compelling creative. Here are a few tips and ideas to stand out and ensure your campaign gets noticed and attracts traffic to your main offer page:
- Try an interactive ad such as a quiz or a poll on a compelling, controversial subject
- Test different versions of your ad to see which generates the most leads, testing “fear of loss” creative vs. promise of gain, humorous vs. direct, and different images
- Respond promptly to any comments left under your ad (positive or negative)
- Drive website traffic to a landing page that includes only one offer on it: the offer that matches the upfront ad
- Make sure your ad’s branding and tone is consistent with the look and feel on the landing page for a seamless experience
- Ask for minimal lead information from your audience on your landing page: first name and email only, or just email
- Use trust symbols on your landing page: customer testimonials, online reviews, Better Business Bureau icon, logos of prominent customers, etc.
- Include a clear call to action that matches the landing page CTA, “Sign up,” “Call Toll Free,” “Download Free Toolbox,” “Take the Quiz,” etc.
Here’s an example of a solid ad from Fabletics, drawing audiences in by asking them to take a lifestyle quiz and take advantage of an exclusive offer. The celebrity endorsement goes a long way as well, in addition to the outstanding price:
#4. Measure and Optimize to Continually Improve ROI
No marketing strategy is complete without tracking the results and adapting your campaign accordingly. When set up properly, Facebook campaigns are 100% measurable. For example, you might find that an ad with an image of a person performs much better than one that only has an illustration. Even small tweaks can lead to dramatic improvements or losses. Measure everything.
Facebook provides most of the information you need on its user dashboard, but if this your primary tracking method then it’s critical to use Facebook’s conversion pixels so that you know what’s happening after your audience clicks on your ad. You place the conversion pixel on your thank you page (or hire someone on Fiverr to do it for $5), and Facebook will tell you exactly which ads produced the conversions you’re measuring.
Take it a step further by using a Google URL string to capture the activity in Google Analytics, or purchase a separate call tracking number for the campaign.
Use the data you have to identify what’s generating the best ROI and identify the leaks in your sales funnel. If people are clicking on the upfront ad but not taking the next step, does your landing page copy and style match what was offered on the ad? Is your ad misleading people and they are disappointed when they get to your main offer?
If one ad is producing a much higher click through rate and more conversions than another ad, develop a hypothesis on why that’s happening, shut off the non-performing ad, and try a new ad that take your hypothesis a step further than the original winner. Always try new tactics and measure the results against the previous winner.
Facebook’s lead-generation ads present near limitless potential, because so many people are on the social network. Unlike Google Adwords where you only have the opportunity to reach people as they are searching for your products or services, Facebook gives you the opportunity to reach whomever you want any time they are logged into Facebook. This gives your brand the opportunity to generate leads and build relationships with your audience before your competitors do.