Besides facebook being one of the most popular social networks, it has great capabilities for
advertising. According to “wordStream” blog, Facebook has a user base larger than the population of China! With 1.49 billion members worldwide”. They also list other advantages such as pricing (“Facebook ads tend to cost a fraction of what other online marketing channels cost”), ads variety (Provides “tons of different ad types”) and targeting skills (“Facebook targeting capabilities is beyond belief”).
According to facebook business “Today, three million businesses actively advertise on Facebook. That’s three million companies from all over the world, with more than 70% from outside of the US.”
so - if it works for them, why not for you?
FB lead ads are in fact standard lead generation ads, that appear in the user’s feed and when clicked on they launch a lead form inside of Facebook. The best thing about them is that when the form opens - it is pre filled.
These ads are really simple looking, in comparison to landing pages.
Stuart Frank gives an example of how regular the ad looks and how the pre filled form looks as well: “At first glance, they look exactly like a normal Link ad...it’s identical to a standard Link Ad. BUT there is a difference, a BIG difference! ” (FACEBOOK LEAD ADS – THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY)
facebook calls it: “Tap, Tap, Done” and you can clearly understand why from the image they use in their ar article “Tap, Tap, Done: Testing a Simpler Way to Fill out Forms”.
You can use lead ads to add contact forms, collect sign-ups for newsletters, price estimates, follow-up calls and business information.
In addition to the pre filled form fields you can also add questions to your lead ad form, depending on the type of product or service you are advertising. For example: if you are planning to use a signup form for Retail/e-commerce you can ask “What would you like to receive coupons for?” For more examples check out Facebook’s “advertising basics”.
They are pre filled
Eric ‘E-Rock’ Christopher explains the innovation of facebook lead ads in comparison to the prior facebook ads really well in his post “Facebook Lead Ads: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly...& The Beautiful?”. He says “Traditionally, a Facebook user would see an ad, click the link to visit advertiser’s website, wait for the web page to load, and then be forced to type their information into form fields so an advertiser could send them information, or to deliver their products.
However, with the new Lead Ads, the user can click the ad, and a small overlay will appear with the form fields already populated with data from the user’s Facebook profile. Assuming the user is comfortable submitting their name and the email address associated with their account, they can simply tap their screen a 2nd time to complete the process. Yes, it is that simple... a FB user can quickly hit 2 links and become a hot lead for an advertiser.”
In addition, though the fields are pre filed, the user can always edit the information in case there is a discrepancy in his/her Facebook profile data
They convert better
Using a pre populated form is a great way to optimize an online form, since any kind of autofill that reduces the visitors efforts leads to better form conversion.
According to facebook business “When Mazda switched to Facebook leads ads, they got 5X the number of leads compared to ads linking to their website, while cost per lead dropped 85%. ” (New Features Make Lead Ads Better)
They keep the user inside facebook
When a user clicks on the fb lead ad he is not sent to the website, like done in regular ads, but rather stays where he is while a lead form opens.
They allow you to ask for more information
“Marketers have historically needed to be careful about requesting too much information.” says Jon Loomer, in his post Facebook Lead Ads Simplify Opt-in Forms, and They Will Be AWESOME. This is a known optimization rule guiding marketeers to use as few fields as possible, to focus on the most important data and make almost all their fields optional - all this in order to decrease friction and make the form filling process as swift as possible. Since the fb lead ads are pre populated you can afford to ask for more information without making things harder for the visitor. Jon Loomer,further adds that “With Lead Ads, advertisers can have Facebook auto-fill any of this information, assuming users provide it in their profiles:
- Full Name
- Street Address
- Company Name
- Job Title”
They save marketeers time
FB lead ads enables marketers to easily set up many forms in a short time, without having to create a landing page.
They are suited for mobile phones
Facebook lead ads are also well suited for mobile use. Usually it is a bit of a hassle fill in forms with a mobile phone, but having it pre populated makes it really easy. In addition pages have slow load time on mobile and replacing it with a fast loading form makes a big difference.
All’s well and good, however nothing is perfect - including fb lead ads. so even when the pros surpass the cons it is still recommended to be aware of the downsides.
1- the main problem is with the lack of notification, once a lead comes in.
According to Meghan Keaney Anderson Responding to Leads Within an Hour Generates 7x the Conversations. She presents data (that originally came from a study of 2,241 U.S. firms led by a researcher at South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University) showing that “Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later”.
And since you do not know when leads come in - you will almost always be late in using them...
2- Facebook lead ads enables you to to get your leads by Manually downloading a CSV file. This is so 80’s…and more importantly - it hurts your conversion efforts.
as Betsy Kent so well describes it in her post “The Pros and Cons of Facebook Lead Ads” , one of facebook cons is that “Facebook has not yet integrated Lead Ads into email management tools such as Mailchimp or webinar platforms such as Webinar Jam. You have to download your leads from Facebook, upload your leads into your email platform, and set up all your autoresponders manually. That’s awfully time-consuming”.
This is indeed a big disadvantage on facebook lead ads’ part, however it can also be easily overcome using a sync tool such as “Leads Connector.io”, which offers a perfect solution for Facebook lead ads integrations. It bypasses the CSV download altogether and drives the leads to your email (as well as allows you integrate with 3rd party platforms like mailchimp, vertical response etc).
3- another disadvantage according to betsy kent is the lack of design possibilities. “Lead Ads do not send users to a well-designed landing page that reinforces the benefits that attracted them to your ad in the first place. We want people to opt-in, but we also want them to be excited about our webinar and to actually attend. That’s what a great landing page will do. Reinforce the benefits and create the excitement.”
4- Leads quality may be low because there is less intent on the visitor’s part. The lead add does not include long explanations and may be misunderstood by the users. In addition, it is so easy to submit this pre filled form that is may even be submitted by accident.
5- In order to use the Facebook lead ads API you need to be a programmer.
If you are convinced of the facebook lead ads merits, as we are, we suggest that you just give it a try and create your own first lead ad.
Now that you know what the facebook lead ads are, it’s time to find out how to create your own lead ad. Ben Adkins provides a great detailed manual on how to do this in his article “How to Launch Your First Facebook Lead Ad in 5 Minutes”. Another step by step “how to” may be found in Adomas Baltagalvis’s article “Facebook Lead Ads: How To Create a Campaign With Power Editor”.
Once your lead ad is ready you can start using it. However, as we always recommend in all our articles dealing with optimization: online form optimization is an ongoing process and not a one time fix, so in order to get the best results you need to test the ads with A/B Testing.
“Done right, lead ads can be a huge boon for the marketing efforts of your business.” Mike Templeman so well puts it in his post “Facebook Lead Ads: How To Use Them Effectively”. ”But without an effective testing and evaluation mechanism in place, you won’t know whether you’re actually getting the most out of your budget.”