When it comes to social media, sometimes, you need to pay to play. Organic traffic is great, but if you want to see a real ROI on your social media efforts, you’re going to need to do more. Using Facebook ads for lead generation can be a cost-effective and powerful way to turn target audience members into loyal followers and eventually, paying customers.

Let’s break it all down.

What is Lead Generation?

To those unfamiliar with the term, a lead is an individual who is interested in your product or service. They’re a potential customer.

Lead generation is the process of turning prospects into leads in order to attract their interest. Lead generation is about grabbing strangers’ attention, warming them up to your product or service, and eventually closing sales. Needless to say, this is crucial to the survival of every business.

Oftentimes, the main goal of lead generation is to encourage prospects to willingly provide their contact information — often in the form of email addresses or phone numbers — so you can establish a connection with them. This way, reaching out to them — to promote or sell your product — it’s less awkward since they already expressed an interest in what you’re selling. It was they who agreed to give you their information in the first place.

Now, why is lead generation important?

Turning prospects into leads is one of the keys to successful marketing. It’s vital in sales and essential for businesses. Think of leads as your sales-in-progress. Since these people already expressed an interest in your product, it’ll be easier to convert them into customers in the future.

Some examples of lead generation are:

  • Asking for a prospect to input their email address in exchange for a digital product — like an ebook.
  • Requesting contact information in exchange for a discount coupon for their first purchase.
  • Offering a free trial for anyone who supplies their contact information.

Basically, lead generation is all about getting your prospect’s contact details in exchange for a freebie or other lead-generating offer.

Utilizing a page of your website for lead generation is only the start of the process. You need to get people to visit your website and check your offer, and what better way to do it than to promote it through one of the biggest social media platforms today? With about 2.38 billion monthly active users, Facebook, when used correctly, can improve brand visibility and sales.

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Lead Generation Ads vs. Website Conversion Ads

There are two main ways you can generate leads using Facebook ads and their specific objectives: website conversion ads and lead generation ads. In this blog, we will be mostly discussing website conversion ads, but it’s important to know the difference between the two types of Facebook lead generation methods.

Lead Generation Ads

Lead generation ads are a built-in feature of Facebook. You can create an ad image and include a form that people interested in your product can fill out and submit. All the action happens on Facebook and your potential client doesn’t have to visit your website to check it out.

One advantage of lead generation ads is that it’s fairly easy to make since Facebook has already provided the tools for you.

Website Conversion Ads

Website conversion ads are similar to website click ads — where you upload an ad image and caption, and then include a link to your website — but its goal is different. When you create a website conversion ad, you make use of a conversion pixel. The link, then, directs your prospects to your website option form, where they can sign up or register to get your special freebie.

Website conversion ads are more flexible when it comes to design so you can modify it to suit your brand’s image content as long as it follows the rules set by Facebook. When designing your website conversion ad, don’t forget to include your Thank You page.

Now, what ad should you use for your brand? It actually depends on whether or not you have a landing page. Although most experts agree that website conversion ads produce better results, lead generation ads can still be a convenient option especially if you want to collect leads but don’t have a landing page yet.

Now, let’s talk about how to use Facebook website conversion ads for generating leads.

Generating Leads With Facebook Ads: 4 Tips for Making it Work

facebook in scrabble tiles

We all know that it takes more than simply posting your ad to encourage people to click and fill out your website’s form. It’ll take trial runs, some experimenting, and patience. But, once you’ve discovered the right formula for your brand, the results can be more than worth the effort.

To generate leads, increasing your Facebook ads’ click-through-rate (CTR) is essential. To those who aren’t familiar with the term, a click-through-rate is a metric that measures the number of clicks that your ad gets. It serves as an indicator of how effective the ad is in enticing people to click the link to find out more. How do you successfully increase your Facebook CTR? Here are a few tips you can try out for your brand.

1. Identify Your Audience

This is a vital step in increasing your Facebook ads’ click-through-rate. Identifying your audience will help you determine what demographics you will use when targeting. Facebook will allow you to choose settings for the following:

Geographic Location

You can select the area of the users you want your ad to show up to. When choosing the location, it’s typically more effective to be as specific as possible.

Age and Gender

Which age group or gender is your product for? You want your ad to show up on the feeds of the people with buying power.

Detailed Targeting

Who is your niche? What are their interests? You can use this option to filter your potential clients — people who might be interested in your product or service — from those who aren’t.

Make Your Ad Visually Appealing

facebook in eye

Image matters. Targeting your audience correctly will not yield the best results if your ad only blends with the background. Make it attractive enough to entice people to stop and check it out. Focus on these three things:

Image

The image you choose is the first thing that your audience sees. Remember, Facebook feeds have a lot of pictures, so in order to get noticed, you have to choose one that catches the eye.

Here are a few things you have to keep in mind:

  • Avoid using images with colors similar to Facebook’s default palette. Try to use those with contrasting colors to prevent it from blending with the background.
  • Position your text strategically.
  • Images with a person — ideally a smiling woman — perform well.
  • Images with babies and animals get a lot of engagement.
  • Funny images that make people look twice are good options for your ad.
  • Remember to keep your ad simple.

Videos also convert really well, so consider trying that as opposed to an image. (Split testing is always a good idea!)

Headline

Choose an appropriate headline to keep your audience interested. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention before they swipe and browse other updates.

Some of the best practices when it comes to headlines are:

  • Including the word “free.”
  • Making it short and catchy.

Call-to-Action

Adding a call-to-action to your ad is important to encourage your audience to click your link.

subscribe button

2. Choose an Inviting Lead Generation Offer

A lead generation offer is a freebie you’re giving away in exchange for your prospect’s email address. If you want them to give you their details, you have to give them an offer that they will have a hard time refusing. Otherwise, even if they do see your ad, they won’t click.

Here are a few email-gated lead generation offer ideas you might want to try.

eBooks

eBooks are popular incentives for lead generation. It can be in the form of tutorials, guides, or other informative documents.

Discount Coupons

If you own an online shop, discount coupons can be a great freebie to entice potential clients to sign up. It can be a percentage off on their first purchase, or a specific amount you’ll deduct from their total bill on their first transaction with you. You can also include an expiration date to encourage them to make a purchase soon.

Free Trial

If your product is a tool or application, giving a free trial for a short period (15 to 30 days) may attract prospects and convince them to fill out the form with their contact information. Aside from that, you can also give them firsthand experience of the features that you offer.

Free Templates

Printable templates can be a good incentive for clients. It can be in the form of a chic-looking shopping list for moms, calendars, and other creative printable designs.

Product Comparisons

Another good freebie you can put on your landing page is a product comparison document, brochure, or specifications.

woman on phone

Gift Certificates

For shopping sites, gift certificates can be a powerful way to encourage visitors to give their information. Make sure your rules are stated correctly to prevent misunderstandings. For instance, you can include a minimum amount of purchase before the gift certificate can be used.

Contests

People love winning free stuff, and contests are another effective way to attract leads. To start a contest, first, create the rules, like requiring all participants to enter their email address. Then, build a landing page where they can fill out the form and submit their entry. Your ad should include the prize for the contest.

When choosing a prize for your promotion, stay away from cash and physical items. As much as possible, try to use email-gated products. Some ideas for contest prizes are discount coupons for your products, a free eBook, or using your application or online tool for free for a limited time. The prize should be something that your target audience will be interested in.

Webinar Entries

If you provide training or coaching services, webinar entries are a good option for your lead generation offer. Invite them to enter their email address in order to join your talk. Just like the “free trial” promotion, it can also allow them to try out the program firsthand.

3. Follow Up

Your leads will only take up space in your database unless you take action to try and convert them to customers. Getting their addresses is just the first step. You need to continue nurturing your leads — also known as email marketing.

Make use of the contact information that you’ve acquired. The aim is to connect with them and successfully generate sales. Here are some ways you can do it.

Newsletters

Sending occasional updates about your brand in the form of newsletters is a good option for keeping in touch with your potential clients. Furthermore, it also enables you to hype events, accomplishments, product updates, and marketing promos.

When designing your newsletters, remember to keep them simple, easy to understand, and properly linked to your website or page.

Send Emails

Sending follow-up emails to your leads to reconnect and build relationships. Personalize each email (no spamming!) to let these individuals know that they matter.

woman checking email on laptop

Connect With Your Leads on Social Media

If you can find them on other social media platforms, like Twitter or Instagram, follow them.

Track Progress

This is vital. You want to give your clients the impression that they are important to your business. Keep track of all transactions and communication so it’s easy to keep up with every conversation.

Don’t Follow-Up Too Much

Set a limit on the number of times you should send follow-up emails. If you go overboard with this, it can come across as aggressive and even spammy.

4. Take Note of Your Metrics

Finally, take note of your metrics. It’ll take some trial and error at first, so keep track of the strategies that work for you and those that don’t. It’s a continuous learning process. Keep on trying out new things and be open to new ideas. You need to be monitoring your progress to know if what you’re doing is working.

Also, stay updated on the latest trends and algorithms to ensure that your ad is efficient and effective.

Using Facebook ads for lead generation can help you grow your email list tremendously, thereby giving you more opportunities for increased revenue. Make room in your budget for Facebook ads and start experimenting with them today.

EngageBay can help you with lead generation and customer relationship management. Try us out today for free.