Anyone born in the early ’80s will remember their first mobile. It was probably a brick you could barely fit into your bag.
Likewise, you’ll remember the birth of Facebook, a social networking website just for university students, mostly used to stalk people you fancied and share pictures from drunken nights out. As a 21-year-old, Facebook and my mobile rocked my world!
Little did I know then that a) many years later I would actually be able to use Facebook on my mobile (hello, mobile internet!), b) I would be working in an industry that was pretty much started by Facebook and c) I would be so excited about Facebook’s latest ad units: lead-gen ads. But I am!
Why? Lead-gen ads are a game changer for brands whose biggest KPI is lead generation. Traditionally, B2B brands have shunned Facebook as a B2C platform. However, that has slowly changed over the past couple of years, with Facebook challenging the way the platform is used by introducing ads, niche targeting, lookalike audiences and retargeting. This latest addition of lead generation is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that many businesses – and us social media geeks – have been waiting for. And the ultimate clincher: it’s made for mobile.
What are lead ads?
Put simply, lead-generation ad units are a quick way for businesses to access potential customers. Facebook recognised that people were spending ridiculous amounts of time on mobile and were more time-poor than ever, so they created a super-simple way for people to connect with businesses in three simple steps: read the call to action, tap on the ad and tap on autofill. This native sign-up approach eliminates the hassle of filling out a form.
Brands have the opportunity to test a multitude of call-to-action formats and even customise the form to capture relevant info.
For example, if your businesses objective is email subscriptions then the call to action could be “Subscribe”, or if your objective is sign-ups for a webinar then the call to action could be “Register”.
How should businesses be using the new lead ads?
Create context: Ensure there is enough information and context in the ad so that when your potential customer taps, the resulting form feels like a natural progression and isn’t a shock. This will also keep your CTR high and ensure more people see your campaign.
Make your offer compelling: You need to offer valuable content or a reward if you want the potential customer to take action in the first place. People will not hand over their details for nothing, even if it only takes two taps!
A/B test: Test multiple calls to action to find out how the different ad formats resonate with your audience. They may not want to ‘subscribe’ to your newsletter, but perhaps they are interested in a ‘free trial’.
Customise the form: Remember that people don’t like giving away too much information, so decide what you really need from them at this stage and keep it concise. This will also keep the cost per lead down – the more questions you ask, the more expensive it becomes.
Create a journey: At the end of each lead ad, you can include a “Visit website” link. Predetermine a journey for your prospects and send them to a landing page that is content rich and adds value.
Optimise your website for mobile: Lead-gen ads work so well on mobile, your audience will expect the same from your site. There’s no point capturing them in a simple two-tap process if they can’t navigate the page you’re driving them to.
What are the benefits of lead ads for your business?
- Decrease cost per lead.
- Increase brand visibility.
- Increase potential customers.
- Increase the data you have about your prospects and their behaviour.
- Ensure you stay ahead of the competition.
- Connect with your customers 24/7, even when they’re on the go.
I don’t have a business Facebook page. Should I?
This is a question a lot of brands – especially those focused on B2B – are asking.
The way people use Facebook and other social channels has dramatically changed in the past decade. The beauty of native advertising means that most of the time they haven’t even noticed the shift, and even if they have, they’re comfortable with it. Facebook has overtaken Google search as the key traffic driver to news sites, showing the power of positioning content in a native environment to a target audience. The lines between where we go for certain content, such as news stories, are blurring more and more. We have learnt that customers want the best user experience possible. It doesn’t matter where they are – show them something awesome and they’ll click.
Given Facebook’s dominance, audience reach and useability, this is a key channel that all brands should consider to engage their audiences. Map out your audience, understand their digital behaviour and, if they are Facebook users, create a strategic plan focused on how you can use the channel to speak to and engage your potential customers.
So back to my original statement: the love affair between Facebook and mobile phones. No one knew 10 years ago that these two little gems would start such a wonderful relationship that would blossom so quickly and become so infectious to us, their ‘friends’ and the business world.
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