How to Optimize Facebook Ads for Leads

Facebook lead ads have a special appeal that makes them an ultra useful lead generation tool.

They’re convenient to prospects. And, when it comes to social media browsing, especially on your target buyers’ mobile devices, convenience is three-quarters of the battle.

Basically, instead of just using Facebook to try and siphon users to your website’s landing page to take an action and become a lead (which you should still be doing with Facebook posts), you’re generating the leads directly from Facebook. People never have to leave Facebook to sign up for your newsletter, download your latest eBook, register for your next event, or whatever other action you want them to take, because the form is in the Facebook ad. This is particularly useful for your mobile audience, where landing pages on your website are more effective for your desktop audience.

And, all you have to do from the marketing end is build the ad, launch the campaign as you set your budget, and watch the leads roll in.

Sort of.

There’s more to it than that. Because Facebook ads for leads are so convenient, cheap, easy and efficient, a lot of brands are using them, including your competitors. Which means your ads have to be better than theirs.

How can you make your Facebook lead ads stand out so they are worth the effort?

Use Well-Planned Visuals

Step one to catching your prospects’ attention on Facebook is to use eye-catching visuals. For Facebook ads for leads, you can use images, videos, or an image carousel.

What makes a great image for a Facebook lead ad?

Smart design – You need to use a design your target audience responds to. The only way to do that is to test multiple designs and see which ones work the best. AdEspresso suggests creating four different designs, combining two different visual options and two different versions of your ad’s copy text. So, you could use a photo with copy version A and with copy version B, and the same for your illustrated image.

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High quality – Don’t use stock images or poorly made illustrations for your Facebook ads or you won’t stand out. Original images with visual depth, imagery that relates to your brand story, and elements that draw people’s attention will make your ads more effective. If you’re using a video, make sure it’s professional quality.

Context – Make sure your visual element fits perfectly with the context of the ad. You want prospects to, at a glance, know how they will benefit from offering the next 60 seconds of their time by clicking your call to action and filling out the lead form. Like this ad from MindTitan, for example – it’s a simple, attractive, clean design that shows what you stand to gain from clicking the Learn More button.

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Take Advantage of the Context Cards

In between the ad and the form, your Facebook leads will see your context card, if you use it. This is an optional feature but 9 times out of 10, you’ll want to use it.

The context card gives you the chance to do two important things.

1. Give prospects more information about what they will get for filling out the lead form. This is a place you can address any barriers to entry and outline advantages in one or two sentences, encouraging prospects to keep going through the process.

2. You can offer reassurance to your prospect that they should want to engage with your brand. If they aren’t familiar with your brand already, for example, a few words to sum up your unique value proposition can be useful for motivating them to sign up, register, or take any other action.

Here’s a great example of a context card from The Skimm:

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Create a Short and Sweet Lead Form

Just like your landing pages on your website, when it comes to your Facebook lead forms, you’re going to generate more leads when you ask prospects to fill out fewer fields. Try for a max of four – one study by Unbounce found that this can increase conversions by 120 percent. If you only need an email address, such as to sign up for your newsletter, don’t ask for more.

Don’t ‘Submit’ or Call

For your call to action button, try to use an alternative to the traditional Submit button. Studies show it can reduce conversions by 3 percent. It’s better to use an action-specific CTA, like:

  • Sign Me Up
  • Add Me to the List
  • Start the Free Download
  • Get Coupon
  • Send Me a Quote

Another big turn off is a phone number field. Asking people to share their phone number, on average, leads to a 5 percent reduction in conversions.

Target Based on Your Customers

When you decide who to target your ads for, you want to focus on the prospects with the warmest potential in order to optimize your ad budget. Instead of targeting the demographics of your company’s Facebook fans or your website visitors, try starting with the buyer characteristics of your current customers and leads.

You can also look at your conversion data on your website if you put a Facebook pixel on your site for measuring conversions to see what type of people are filling out your forms.

Then, you can expand out to your lookalike audiences – a feature built into Facebook that generates an audience profile that is similar to your given target.

Start Small with Your Facebook Lead Generating Budget

When you start using your ads, you’ll want to be able to follow up with every lead you get. You can integrate your Facebook ads into your CRM, streamlining the follow up process. Whether you are using your CRM or not, you’ll have to nurture each lead in order to get a sales conversion so make sure you start with a small budget and see how many leads you get. If you generate tons of lead and can handle more, all the better.

Keep Track of Your Results

As you work more with Facebook ads to generate leads for your business, you’ll get more analytics feedback to help you optimize your ads even further. Keep track of the traits of your new leads. Track how easy it is to nurture those leads that come from Facebook. Test different designs and formats for your ads, the context card, and the lead form.

The more data you get and the more you learn, the better your ads will be. To get the most out of this tool, make optimizing your Facebook lead ads a never-ending process.

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.