If you’re just starting out, and you’re not ranking for any terms, and you feel like no one is ever going to see your website, and you don’t have time to email everyone and their mother trying to build links, etc., etc. then it’s time to consider Facebook lead generation.
Paid social can be a great way to begin generating traffic, and Facebook Ads can be highly effective (depending on your industry).
Ads are a great way to get website traffic, and they’re one of the best ways to start your lead generation campaign.
Facebook has made its ad platform one of the best for generating leads by:
- providing great targeting options,
- making it easy to build remarketing audiences, and
- offering a variety of ad types for different objectives.
There’s even a Facebook lead generation campaign objective specifically geared towards generating leads on the network. And the clicks tend to be less expensive than they would be on paid search or LinkedIn.
In this article, I want to talk about how to structure your campaigns in a way that aligns to the buyer’s journey. This way you won’t waste money on ads targeted to people who aren’t interested.
Facebook Lead Generation
Facebook lead generation is a straightforward process if you know what you’re doing (and you will by the end of this guide). There are a number of different strategies, but in this guide, we’re going to focus on a traffic generation strategy that uses remarketing to deliver the right ads to the right people at the right time.
One of the great things about this strategy is that it’ll work whether you’ve built up an email list or not. Facebook does most of the heavy lifting. You don’t need to set up marketing automation software or anything like that. You just install the Facebook Pixel, create some landing pages and blog posts if you haven’t already, and set up the ads.
This article won’t focus on the Facebook lead generation campaign objective because I don’t think it’s the best way to get started. Facebook lead generation ads can be very effective, but you need a strong foundation in place first. That’s what this article is all about.
Install the Facebook Pixel
Before you do anything else, install the Facebook Pixel on your website. This pixel allows Facebook to start tracking visitors to your website so that you can build remarketing audiences. The sooner you get it on your site, the sooner it’ll be able to start building your remarketing lists.
This is crucial, because a good Facebook lead generation funnel depends on the ability to segment remarketing audiences in order to deliver contextually relevant messaging.
Create Your Audiences
Now it’s time to create your Facebook audiences. We’re going to create a Saved Audience, which is an audience using Facebook’s targeting, for the Awareness stage. Then we’re going to create two Custom Audiences. One for the Consideration stage and one for the Decision stage.
This audience should be broadly targeted to anyone who might have an interest in your product or service. Use interest targeting, job title targeting, demographic targeting and anything else that makes sense. You could also create a remarketing audience here if you’ve got the traffic for it.
The key is to have a big audience that you can whittle down to the best prospects, so you’ll want an audience of at least a million (you can always supplement your remarketing list with a list using Facebook’s targeting options).
If you’ve already got a decent sized list of emails or a remarketing list, the Awareness stage can also be a good time to experiment with lookalike audiences. I like to have at least 1000 members of a list before I use it for a lookalike audience, because it seems like much less than that wouldn’t give Facebook enough to generate an audience that would actually be helpful.
But you could test it with a smaller seed list and make up your own mind.
For this audience, you go to create a Custom Audience and choose the Website Traffic option. Target people who have visited any of your Consideration stage pages or blog posts. For instance the features page for a software product, or a blog post about different solutions to the problem you solve. If you don’t have any content that addresses the Consideration stage of the buyer’s journey you’ll need to create some.
Depending on how long the buyer’s journey is, you’ll want to adjust the membership duration. For instance, if it usually takes 30 days to move into the Decision stage, you’ll want to confine your Consideration stage to visitors who’ve viewed Consideration
You’ll set this one up the same as the Consideration audience, but you’ll target people who have visited any of your Decision stage pages or blog posts. Your pricing page, demo page, a guide on how to choose a particular kind of software, etc.
Again, if you don’t have any content that addresses this stage of the buyer’s journey you’ll need to create some. (What are you waiting for??)
Just like any inbound marketing campaign, the success of Facebook lead generation depends largely on compelling content.
You may or may not want to exclude past stages from the current stage audience (e.g., exclude people who have visited your pricing page from your Consideration stage audience). If you have a big enough remarketing audience to do that, I think it’s a good idea. That way they’ll naturally drop back into your Awareness bucket after a certain period of time.
Set Up Your Campaign
Choose “Traffic” as your objective. Facebook has what they call Awareness, Consideration, and Decision objectives, but don’t use any of their Awareness objectives unless you have a very specific reason. For instance, if you’re trying to raise brand awareness, the Brand Awareness objective might make sense.
And then of course, Facebook has their own Lead Generation campaign objective. But generally it’s better to get people off Facebook and onto your website so that they’re on all your remarketing lists (e.g., AdWords). Besides, the Facebook’s lead gen ad type is CPM, not CPC, which means they charge per impression, not per click. So you could rack up quite a bill without seeing any results.
If you just have to try it, I’d recommend using Facebook’s lead gen ad type as a supplement, not a replacement, to this strategy. And then keep an eye on it to make sure it’s worth it.
Build Your Ad Sets
Here you’ll build an ad set for your Awareness, Consideration, and Decision audiences. This also where you’ll choose:
- The daily or lifetime budget of the campaign (make sure you don’t choose daily when you mean lifetime)
- The duration of the campaign
- Whether you want the campaign to run all day or just at certain times of day
- Where it will appear (newsfeed, Instagram, audience network, etc.)
Create Your Facebook Ads
Now it’s time to make your ads. I just throw the links into ads and make sure the image looks right, but you can test the carousel format, video ads, etc. For your Awareness ads make sure your ad makes it very clear who the ad is for. For example, if you are an attorney in New Mexico, make sure that you write your ad in a way that makes it clear that the content is only relevant for people in New Mexico (e.g., “The latest on DUI law in New Mexico”) so that you don’t end up paying for clicks from someone who wouldn’t be a good fit for your service.
As for the actual content, I usually focus on blog posts for the Awareness stage ad set, and then mix in landing pages that take visitors right to an offer for the Consideration and Decision stage ad sets. You might also consider throwing in some content from the next stage into each ad set (e.g., a link to a Decision stage blog post in your Consideration stage ad set) in order to accelerate the velocity they move down the funnel.
Also, for your blog posts, I recommend having a call-to-action that leads to a relevant offer for each one. That way you can build up your email list as a byproduct of your Facebook Ads.
Keep Things Fresh
The only real maintenance you need to do for this campaign is to keep adding new content to the campaigns. That way people don’t see the same ad so often that they get annoyed. I have Facebook alert me when an ad’s frequency hits 20 so that I can decide whether or not I need to pause it.
Don’t just do that automatically though. I’ve had some ads continue to generate great results long after that.
Just keep things fresh, monitor your ads, and watch the leads roll in!