Today, there is no shortage of data. There is exponentially more available data in our hands today than a decade ago, and there will be much more data available tomorrow than there is today. With so much information available, it’s strange that many still rely on their instincts or sales pitches to determine where to put their advertising dollars.
Most big companies get it. They will go so far as to buy other companies just to get access to their data. This has been common for decades, but today the ability to sift through and organize the data in a quickly-retrievable manner makes it even more prevalent than the past. For smaller companies, it gets a little more complicated, particularly if they’re working within a constraint such as limited potential customers bases or localization. That doesn’t mean it’s not impossible.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: “Give me the baby. I don’t need the labor pains.”
This definitely applies to modern digital marketing and advertising. It’s actually contrary to certain trends. Faster internet connection, faster mobile devices, and a resurgence of multi-step digital processes point to the concept that perhaps we don’t need to be so focused on getting to the point, but the other factors point in the other direction. Most notable of these factors would be the fact that people have been forced to jump through hoops in the past and those who emulate this same process will not be rewarded.
As it seems, Facebook is climbing onboard the video ad boat and it is a move that is actually very fitting. With such a large audience to consider with this particular website, it was only a matter of time until videos would start to constantly appear on the newsfeeds of users. This is a great financial move on the part of Facebook but I have to wonder how much this move will impact the user base at large. While these concerns have been confirmed, they are concerns with the upcoming change nonetheless.
The change will not bode well for the faltering teen demographic. As it’s been reported in the past, those within this group have utilized the site less and even Facebook itself confirmed the matter. While some of this could be considered a result of young men and women wanting to get away from the vigilant eyes of their Facebook-using parents, it can also be argued that they have started to see more in the way of advertising on a site that is meant for social engagement. If there’s one things teens enjoy, it isn’t a litany of advertisements, in video form or otherwise.
These videos may not be too friendly to older computers. Your typical laptop is not going to sputter out of control and combust if only one website is open but think about the common Internet user. Is that individual going to have one tab alone open on their browser of choice? When that individual is moving from page to page, they expect a smooth experience. While videos can come together as arguably the greatest platform for marketing, it’s reasonable to worry about how much bandwidth it will consume.
No one really asked for video ads on Facebook. Yes, it is true that the videos on a user’s newsfeed will play silently at the onset, which is a smart move that any Long Island advertising agency can support. That being said, Facebook stated that, “Compelling sight, sound and motion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns.” While this might be true, is there a chance that Facebook will implement a change where videos are no longer mute to begin with? The idea of this social media mogul forcing video advertising in the faces of its users will do more bad than good in the long run; this won’t apply to only teenagers, either.
When considering the idea that Facebook will sell these ads for $2 million a day, it’s clear that the company stands a great chance of coming into money. Companies have to understand that this site is where most individuals on the Internet frequent. The idea of utilizing video content for awareness is understandable. Hopefully I am wrong about the concerns listed above and that these ads can benefit everyone.
This article will discuss optimizing your Facebook Ads for capturing leads. I’ll give you ten best practices on optimizing your ads for engagement, and then focus on lead capturing strategies – and why Facebook Ads’ targeting tools are changing the way we’re generating leads online.
Let’s get started.
Optimizing your Facebook Ad for Engagement
Let’s get this over with so we can get to the good stuff. If you’re not already implementing these ten strategies below, do it now, and watch your Facebook Ad click-through-rates increase.
Image best practices:
Pictures of people (specifically a smiling, wholesome woman) generate more engagement than anything else
Pictures of animals and babies take 2nd and 3rd
Odd-looking or humorous images cause Facebook users to do a double-take, increasing their chance of reading your headline or body copy text
Avoid complex images. Keep it simple and devoid of text
Headline Best Practice:
The word ‘free’ and dollar values work to grab the eye of Facebook users
Focus on attracting the eye, let your body copy convince the user to click
Color and Detail Best Practice:
Avoid blues and whites as they’ll cause your ad to blend into the existing Facebook color scheme
Use red, green and orange: bright colors that attract the eye. Red encourages click-through as it makes the heart beat faster (giving the illusion that time is passing faster than it is). This encourages people to act impulsively
Don’t be afraid of borders. If your ad’s landing page image is blue, keep the same image, but throw a colorful border around it
Details, like borders, shadows (even increasing the green and yellow gamma on your image) have proven to increase click-through-rates. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
Lead Capture with a Contest or Landing Page
Okay, on to the fun stuff.
Integrate your Facebook Ad with a corresponding contest or landing page to generate qualified leads. Use the ad to get them interested (with an awesome value proposition, CTA, and image) and a solid landing page (with USP, image and list of benefits) focused on the email generating call-to-action.
Contests are a fantastic way to generate qualified, valuable leads, provided you optimize them intelligently and offer the right prize.
Choosing a prize is about finding the happy medium between putting your business out of… business, and offering something nobody wants.
I recommend gift cards. No, they’re not the sexiest thing ever, but they work. A gift card allows you to promote your business as a whole. Anyone interested in any of your products will engage – and only people interested in your products.
Yes you’ll get results with a cash prize or an iPad, but I strongly recommend not doing this. You will, of course, generate a bunch of leads, but how long do you think they’ll stay subscribed to your email list after the contest is over?
A gift card ensures the people who enter your contest are actually interested in what you’re selling. Ask yourself, do you want 1000 leads who have a 2% chance of converting, or 500 leads who have a 10% chance of converting? (For those who hate math, the answer is 500…)
Ebooks are a great way to generate leads. Your business is probably already generating content (you should be, if you’re not). Compile this content, whether it’s a blog article, case studies, or a how-to-guide on balancing your own checkbook, and email-gate it.
Email-gating is simply requiring a visitor to your landing page to provide an email address before getting access to your awesome content. Your landing page should be built around selling this content.
Remember, you’ll get better click-through if your unique selling proposition (USP), value proposition, and image are the same in your landing page as they are in your Facebook Ad.
A/B Test both Facebook Ad and landing page to see what strategies work best for your target audience.
Targeting an Audience of Awesome Leads
Facebook Ad targeting is what makes Facebook Ads worth doing – it’s what makes the ROI make sense for small businesses. Facebook Ads can be targeted with a previously-unheard-of specificity. I’m talking targeting an ad at Facebook users who have just sold a used truck. Or targeting not only people in a relationship, but people at different stages of their relationship, or who have just gotten engaged, or who are doing long distance.
Target your Facebook Ad intelligently and you could be seeing a CTR of .1% or higher. Don’t target it and don’t be surprised when you’re getting .02.
For lead generation, we don’t want to target Facebook users by their car-history. Instead…
Target by lookalike audience
Import a contact list of current customers, leads, or previous contest entries from your CRM or database
Create a lookalike audience, in which the characteristics of your original list are matched with Facebook users who have never met your business
Target your Facebook Ad at this audience of people similar to those you know are interested in your product, service, or offers
Targeting by lookalike audience not only increases Facebook Ad CTR (as its made up of people very much like your existing customers) it also gives you a valuable, qualified list of leads more likely to convert in the future.
Target by Precise and Broad Category Interest
If you’ve already gone the lookalike audience route, or are looking to change up the details of your business leads (going from small business to middle, or CEO to marketing manager, for instance), target by Precise or Broad Category Interest.
Let’s say you’re using an email-gated ebook (on A/B Testing) for lead generation.
Targeting Facebook users by Precise Interest could look like this:
Provided you’re targeting all english-speaking countries, and your spend budget is set at a maximum of $20 dollars/day, you can expect around 50 qualified clicks. If your landing page is optimized (let’s say at a 20% conversion rate – which is reasonable if you A/B test well and put some time into it) you can expect at least 10 qualified leads each day.
Let’s say you’re using a contest (giving $250 in maternity and baby supplies to new mothers) to generate new leads.
Targeting Facebook users by Broad Category Interest could look like this:
You could also target women with a 0-3 year old baby. This means your ad is only seen by your target audience. The leads you’ve generated (perhaps for an upcoming push into the maternity sector) are perfect for an email marketing and lead nurturing campaign in the coming months.
And once you’ve generated this list of leads, do a lookalike audience on it and start all over again.
Hopefully you have a better idea of how to use Facebook Ads to generate leads online. Targeting well ensures your leads are the kind you want. Compare the rate we worked out above with what a lot of lead generating companies charge, and see if this isn’t awesome.
Have you had success, or frustrations, with Facebook Ads? Start the conversation below.
Next week, I’ll be discussing Facebook advertising at the Internet Sales 20 Group in Los Angeles. Even before traveling to the event itself, I’ve already received a couple of questions about the topic itself. The most important one was, “What value can we get out of this if we don’t use Facebook advertising?”
My response was not what she expected:
“What value can you get out of Facebook without advertising?”
Of course, she shot back a handful of things that are important about Facebook that didn’t require advertising. My reply surprised her once again.
“Now take everything you just told me about the value in Facebook and multiply it by 100. That’s the difference between Facebook with and without advertising.”
It’s unfortunate but expected that Facebook has become a “pay to play” endeavor, but it’s the truth. I hate it, really, but that doesn’t change the facts. I’ll let you all know how it goes during the IS20Group.
There is a revenue stream that Facebook has been dying to tap into for some time now. It’s one that many advertisers cannot wait to get their hands on and it’s the type of advertising that Facebook users are going to absolutely hate. Facebook autoplay ads are coming. They’re just not coming as quickly as expected.
Facebook started playing with autoplay video ads last year and were expected to roll them out by the middle of 2013. Then, we were told that they would likely come out in November. Now, word on the street is that they won’t be available until 2014. The reason is simple. Users are going to despise them. Some will leave Facebook as a result of them – that’s how obnoxious they will be. They will destroy some of the trust that Facebook has built up around its user experience and they aren’t ready to take that chance just yet.
The good news for users – you won’t hear them unless you click on them. The bad news – they’ll play whether you want them to or not. This will be a huge play for Facebook’s profits, but will it do more damage than good in the long run? That’s the question that they apparently haven’t answered yet, thus the delay.
Sources tell AllThingsD that Facebook has been advising some advertiser clients not to expect a rollout of the much-awaited auto-play video ad product before 2014. The ad format was originally supposed to make its debut in the first half of this year, but that never happened, and its launch has been pushed back several times since then.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s an extremely complex and effective methodology behind utilizing Facebook as a true marketing and advertising tool that requires some specialized training, a strong sense of creativity, a willingness to experiment, and an unrelenting focus on keeping up with the latest and greatest from experts and Facebook itself.
Then again, there’s a simple way as well. As much as I would love to turn this into a lengthy blog post, I would only be adding fluff. It’s too easy.
Here are the steps:
Post really amazing content on a regular basis
Do NOT post anything that isn’t absolutely amazing just for the sake of getting a post up
Support all of it with Facebook ads
Reply to everything that people post in reply or on your wall
That’s it. Sorry to disappoint those who specialize in social media as a career (I’m one of them) but those are the steps required to make Facebook sing for your business. If you do those steps, you’ll be doing better than literally 99% of your competitors.
With that said, there’s a caveat. This will get you to the top. It won’t keep you there. The truth about Facebook marketing is spreading and more people are starting to get it. This is why there’s hope for people like me. The next 17 steps in the process are much more complicated and result in a stronger Facebook presence designed to drive business. Thankfully, these are the steps to make clients stay ahead of the 99% now as well as next year when 10%-20% start to “get it” with Facebook.
Today, the best way to do it is to hire a professional or to diligently perform the 4 easy steps above.
There’s an exciting thing that can happen when you first start advertising on social media. The organic measures of exposure are quickly fading away, so when you get that first boost of exposure as a result of spending very little money, it can become addicting.
Full service digital marketing agencies and social media agencies have now caught the attention of many corporations and small businesses, but why? Because social media agencies and digital marketing firms can put any small business owner on the map, giving them a wide reach to clientele from around the world to sell their product.