Facebook Lead Ads: How To Use Them & Why Part 1

Could your business use a steady source of affordable leads? Obviously the answer is most likely yes, that’s what we’re all trying to get. You may have been trying to optimize your ads (targeting, copy, settings, etc) or your landing page from a CRO perspective, but is there anything else you can do?

Doing what you can to further improve your ad strategy and your landing pages is absolutely something you should do, it’s going to be seriously important to your continued success - BUT testing this process against Lead Ads and evaluating the optimal journey to give leads you capture from FB Lead Ads can be just as useful. We’re going to talk about both of these, but will start today with just testing Lead Ads against your website-driving ads.

When you’re running Facebook ads (or other channels, but let’s focus on FB) you’ll have a roughly 1% - 2% click-through rate, then about the same lead conversion rate on your website. Let’s say you spent $1,000 and generated 100,000 impressions which would translate into 1,000 clicks (1%) and then roughly 10 conversions (1%). That lead cost may work for your business, but what if we could run a test to eliminate one of those steps? If you are tracking your cost per lead through your website it should be a simple process to run this test.

Create your Facebook Lead Ads campaign and split your ad budget between Lead Ads and website driving ads, paying close attention to the cost per conversion for each source during the testing period. This by itself is an interesting test, but taking it one step further we can evaluate the quality of the new source (lead ads) and call this an effective cost-per-lead. Generally I expect Lead Ads driven leads to be lower in quality because the threshold for action, the disruption to someone’s routine is less (they don’t have to leave FB) so these will often be higher funnel leads. If you’re properly measuring the conversion rate from lead to sale focus on the cost per sale from FB Lead Ads leads vs website leads. This is how you close the loop and understand the value of Lead Ads, from here we can take a look at improving the Lead Ads journey and understanding what part Lead Ads should play in your client acquisition.

Facebook Advertising & Cannabis

I've had the really great opportunity to help a business owner who isn't a manufacturer, but is involved in the cannabis industry and the limitations on advertising are a PAIN. Here's what we've done to make it work and generate leads for ~$1 each.

1. The Website is a big issue

Do you have pictures of cannabis on your site, or even just say cannabis/weed/marijuana/pot? Sorry, probably can't run ads. Obviously you don't want to completely overhaul your website to be able to run a few Facebook ads, this is why we used Leadpages for landing page creation. We basically created our lead gen and product signup funnel within Leadpages to create a Facebook-friendly website.

2. Be sneaky with ad text

You just can't talk about what you actually want to talk about, but keywords like "medicinal", "green", "budding", "flower-power", etc. can be used. Word of caution, if you use terms like "legalization" you may be flagged for running political ads and will have to go through THAT process, or remove that term.

3. Images

Ok, surprisingly you can be a little straightforward with ad images. You can use leafs, but not buds, just don't make it super obvious what the leaves are!

4. Write Lots of Versions, Be Prepared For Disapprovals

Every time you write an ad write SEVERAL versions of it, and try different ad images - you need to put your hands out like feeling for an invisible wall. Oh, and be prepared when you walk into it. It can feel like you've really upset and/or wronged Facebook when they disapprove your ads, but just edit them! Dumb down the language, get sneakier, change the image - you'll find the ad that gets approved AND gets results.

Cannabis Digital Marketing

I recently dug into the world of cannabis digital marketing and advertising, it's something I'm incredibly excited about. I spoke to several great agencies like Wick & Mortar about the work they're doing for their clients & to brands in Cannabis like Cura, with their line of Select Oil products & found out that it's a sophisticated content marketing space with little opportunity to advertise currently. Facebook, AdWords, and other large ad channels do not allow any mention of cannabis & even sending traffic to a landing page on the subject is grounds for immediate ad disapproval. As a marketer, that's tough. There are opportunities though! Check out my article published here at Marketing Land.

My Facebook Ads Were Recognized As Being Awesome

When searching for inspiration about what people were doing to create amazing Facebook ads, I performed a little google search. I came across this list of the best ads of 2017. I was responsible for ads 13, 24, and 60! Working with an amazing creative team is paramount to success in Facebook - your business needs to invest in good copywriters and designers to make advertising effective. If you're running Facebook ads and need help getting your campaign to perform, let's talk!

Dynamic UTM Tags For Facebook Ads

Did you know that Facebook ads can by tagged dynamically? It's not something I'd paid much attention to, but it's blown my freaking mind. Instead of developing your own manual tags and assigning things like source, medium, campaign, content, etc you could be bringing in even more awesome information you didn't know could be pulled into Google Analytics.

If you follow Facebook's recommendations on the best practices for campaign setup 

  • Combine placements together (Facebook wants you to use them all)
  • Build your ads from existing posts instead of making a new ad every time 
    • Every time you make an ad, it makes an ad post, if you use that ad post as an ad by copying the Post ID and choosing to "Use an Existing Post" when you make a new ad it will combine your ad stats across all ad sets where the ad is in use, this means that ad with a million shares will actually show that it has a million shares, instead of what you're doing now...which actually means you've got 15 different ads if you created the ad and duplicated it for your 15 different ad sets

When doing these things we run into a few issues, we lose the ability to tag the ads differently, all our ads will be tagged the same if we just do the typical utm tagging process - so you won't know if a click from Instagram or Facebook drove those sales. However, this is where dynamic tagging comes in. 

Your tags will look like this 


Go here for Facebook's guide on the subject with a list of all taggable dimensions, the most interesting one to me is placement. Now, placement isn't a usable secondary dimension in Google Analytics, so you won't be able to use the information that way, but if you export GA data around the landing page traffic is coming in from (or build audiences in GA based on url contains x placement) you'll be able to see which ad placements are bringing in the best users. FINALLY we have a way to validate in GA if that audience network traffic is actually doing anything, this is a game changer people. Let's get excited about it.

Facebook Merges Power Editor & Ads Manager

So you might be a little confused about this, if you're a small business owner or manage smaller ad accounts you likely haven't used Power Editor much (or at all). I've managed Facebook accounts with a high amount of spend, and still have only used Power Editor for specific purposes (duplicating several ads across multiple ad sets, making changes that need to happen simultaneously). Power Editor is more useful as your campaigns become larger, and more complex; but now all of us that primarily use Ad Manager are going to be looking at some big changes

It remains to be seen how big of an impact these changes will have, but it seems that the most useful facets of Power Editor are being imported into Ad Manager and this will lend greater flexibility to campaign creation. For those interested in using Instagram Story Ads, this should make things a little simpler. They will no longer have to be silo-ed in their own campaign!

In the wake of AdWords rolling out a completely new interface (that I'm still getting used to), there is a part of me that would like to see Ad Manager just stay the same; but this change is happening and we will likely get some good out of it. Facebook is clearly gearing up for a big year with the rolling out of branded content in ad manager (just create an ad, choose existing post, and branded content may be one of your choices if partners or influencers are tagging you in posts of their own), this change to the platform, advanced measurement (cross device platform that is new) and process revisions around how ad posts are created. Get ready people! If you need any help in Facebook, just contact me here

How To Decrease Your CPCs in Facebook Ads

If you’re using Facebook ads to drive traffic, and have a limited budget, you really can’t afford to spend a $2+ per click. Especially if you’re just figuring out your audience. Here’s what I recommend doing to bring costs down.

Step 1. If you’re using a link click, or awareness, campaign you are making a mistake! If at all possible run a Conversion campaign, this will have Facebook optimizing your ad delivery to those most likely to take action AND will use CPM bidding (cost per thousand impressions). If you need help setting this up email me at brett@brett-middleton.com

Step 2. Create a video ad, or animated ad that allows you to enter your ad as a video. If you don’t have the time or ability to record a video ad, use a series of images in a gif maker (like gif maker, or giphy.com). Or, my personal favorite, if you take photos on your iPhone try out an app like Typomatic to create animated ads from your phone.

If you start using the right objectives/bid methods and test out video or animated ads you will see a decrease in CPC, stretching your budget even further. You’re welcome!

Weird Facebook Advertising Tactics

Are you curious about how Facebook Advertising can be used in weird ways to promote your business? If you're struggling to find the right method to advertise your business, sometimes you have to think outside the box. I did exactly that in my most recent post on Medium, give it a read!

I dive into what it looks like to target someone before they are in your target audience using video, and create the possibility to target them the moment their status changes from "No thanks" to "This is exactly what I need!". Using Video ads in Facebook we can retarget someone just for viewing our ad, and keep them in our audience for up to 6 months. This means that if we want to target someone as soon as they get married to deliver our ads for the perfect delayed honeymoon, we serve video ads to Engaged users in Facebook, and create an audience of video viewers. We then create a follow up campaign  to hit them at the perfect moment to create a selling opportunity. Check it out!

How To Use Facebook Advertising To Compliment AdWords

If your business has been slow to adopt spending outside of paid search (probably AdWords, but it's ok if you use Bing Ads too) you likely feel like you're behind; but changing your strategy and investing in something that may not feel directly relevant to your business is hard to do. The context we reach our audience in feels important, but the reality is that social media advertising has now reached what print, TV, and radio were. Advertising in Facebook is simply reaching your audience where they are. Also, if you haven't been doing it you probably aren't aware of the amazing targeting Facebook gives us as advertisers. Let's walk through some examples.

The Financial Planner

Your a wealth management firm that works primarily with those approaching retirement and seeking a better understanding of their investments and a sense of security. When you take out a napkin and pen in a meeting you describe your audience as 50-60 year old professional with $1-$3 Million in assets living within a 50 mile radius of your office. Did you know that Facebook has financial targeting capabilities? 56 year old Mary is ready to evaluate her options, performs a search, and clicks on your competitors search listing because they're at the top. Had  you been serving ads in Facebook, or a similar channel, and sparked her interest before she had the intent to search for a firm you would have won.

The Tech Startup

Looking for funding is exhausting, finding customers and standing out among your competitors? Even more so. With a minimal investment into Facebook & Instagram advertising you can not only create a pretty complex retargeting funnel that uses events such as signing up for your demo, starting a trial, or visiting your contact us page to determine the right ad to show...but you can create an efficient prospecting machine. Your target audience is the millennial marketer looking for increased efficiency from their ad campaigns, your reporting tool is the solution to transparency. Showing them a video ad with a reach and frequency campaign (for increased reach and awareness by selecting the # of impressions per user), and creating an audience for video views then targeting them on desktop we find the exact path you need to start converting traffic.

How Does This Work With AdWords?

If you're worried about pulling back on your AdWords budget, don't do that. You shouldn't sacrifice your core advertising spend to pursue an experiment, plan your foray into Facebook as best as you can and monitor results. Starting advertising in channels like Facebook will often lead to increased search volume (and consequently ad spend), plan for this; watch for spikes in search traffic to your site that indicate your Facebook campaigns are working even more than Facebook says they are. Also, being that you're a direct-response marketer using Google Analytics and a last-click attribution system, drop us a line to talk about the proper way to use UTM's so you know which Facebook ad actually drove a sale or lead.