Facebook Advertising is like the social media marketing version of courting. You refine your targeting to prospects that look good, send them your best messaging, maybe a photoshopped pic or two, hope they’re into you, and then try to get them to convert.
Some call it dating. We call it lead generation. Regardless, it’s a digital tango your brand needs to master like a blind Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.
Both sides know what the other is really looking for. The only challenge is getting them to take the actions you want. All is fair in love and marketing.
So, let’s put the odds of scoring a lead in your favor.
But first, we want to tell you what this post is not.
- It is not a generic guide on how to set up Facebook Ads.
- It is not an examination of social media advertising best practices.
- We will not discuss what a lead is.
- We will not lecture you about the sales funnel.
We assume you already know all that.
We’re here because you want to generate more leads, and you want to generate them today, specifically with your Facebook Ads.
But even better than that, you want to generate more quality leads.
Because let’s face it, a lead by itself is worth about as much as a Zimbabwe one hundred trillion dollar bill. Utterly, worthless.
It’s what that lead does that really matters.
Do they aimlessly open your emails, haphazardly add things to their cart, and otherwise hang around your site all day doing nothing, like a teenager playing Fortnite in their parent’s basement? Or do they provide value?
The former is what we like to call a “lead mooch.” The latter is a quality lead. Guess which one you want to score a date with?
A quality lead converts. They buy your products, subscribe to your services, download your apps, and help you make money, which is why quality leads are also known as Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).
If your lead gen funnel is lacking, don’t despair. You can start driving more qualified customers to your site with a few simple tactics and new approaches. Tactics that are extremely effective, but not always so obvious.
After all, the best customers always play hard to get at first. But that just makes converting them all the more gratifying.
1. Give Away Something High-Quality for Free
Freebie marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies in your toolbox, and one of the best ways to generate leads.
Even science backs us up here. Neurological studies show that receiving discounts and freebies make people happier, less stressed, and healthier, causing a 38% increase in oxytocin levels, a 5% decrease in heart rate, and a 32% drop in respiration rate. So not only are you benefiting your business, but you’re practically saving lives with your lead magnets.
Now, we’re sure you played around with lead magnets before, so this recommendation probably isn’t all that mind-blowing thus far.
But remember, the whole point of your free offer is to encourage the purchase of another, higher-value product.
Anyone can get a donkey to follow a carrot. Dangle something free in front of someone, and there’s a good chance they’ll bite. Why else would a grown man wait in line to get half a chicken nugget at Costco?
So generating leads from freebies isn’t the tough part. Making sure they’re sales qualified is. That’s why you want to offer a high-quality lead magnet.
A high-quality lead magnet specifically targets — you guessed it — quality leads. They are distinguished from less awesome, regular humdrum lead magnets by several key factors.
- Promoting your brand
- Not being sales-y
- Being tailored to your ideal customer persona (ICP)
- Targeting a pain point of your ICP that directly ties into your main products
- Actually solving that pain point
- Being something not easily found anywhere else
If your freebie checks off each of those items, then it is a high-quality lead magnet.
The last three are particularly important because they focus on providing value, positioning your brand as an expert, and building trust — all essential components required for generating quality leads.
A run-of-the-mill video isn’t a good lead magnet. You can find a thousand of those on YouTube. A how-to guide, listicle, or checklist isn’t all that unique either. We provide this type of content all over our blog, and you don’t have to give us your email to read them.
No, what you’re looking for is something irresistibly unique that is well worth someone giving their information to obtain. You don’t want it to be a fluff piece. The freebie’s value prop should be specific and directly related to your paid products and services.
Types of high-quality lead magnets include:
- Swipe Files
Here’s a great example of a high-quality lead magnet offering a webinar:
Melyssa’s Facebook ad hits all the right spots.
Facebook Ads like this one are ideal for offering freebies. More so than Google Ads. That’s because there’s a lot more space to create content for your audience to connect with, and you can leverage photos and videos to enhance engagement.
After all, seeing a smile can go a long way.
You know what else goes a long way?
Offering something truly awesome for free can pique the interest of the right kind of leads for your business, and preview just how great you are at solving their pain points. Or hunger pains.
2. Build Higher Converting Audiences
Your online ads live and die by the audiences they target. So if you want to attract more quality leads with Facebook Ads, make sure you’re flaunting to the right audience.
This means making sure what you’re offering aligns with what they want.
What this doesn’t mean is trying to trick people into liking you.
Pro Tip: Don’t lie with your dating profile or audience building. You’ll just end up disappointed. The people you end up meeting won’t be a quality match for you. All they’ll really want is a free meal or copywriting template.
Digital marketing, especially on Facebook, isn’t about tricking or influencing people with fluffed up claims. It’s about providing value that matches their personas and existing behaviors.
And it all starts with targeting the right audience.
In trying to reach a new purchase-ready audience, look at what’s worked for you in the past. More specifically, this involves:
- Targeting new high-quality leads based on your most engaged users
- Targeting new high-quality leads based on your top converting users
- Targeting new high-quality leads based on your existing high-quality leads
We’re guessing you’re familiar with lookalike audiences.
Just in case you’re not, a lookalike audience is a type of audience you can generate on Facebook from your existing customers (i.e., “custom audiences”). They are comprised of the most similar Facebook users to your existing audience, based on actions, demographics, interests, and a slew of other intel.
One pitfall many fall into is creating a lookalike for everything under the sun. This gets very confusing and spreads your targeting strategy too thin. Instead, you want to create a select few high-quality lookalike audiences to build campaigns around and A/B test.
To do this, you need first to have the Facebook pixel installed on your site. Once that’s in place, create a custom audience for each of the ones we listed above.
For your most engaged users, create a custom audience based on website traffic.
From there you’ll want to access two options:
- People Who Have Visited a Specific Web Page
- Visitors by Time Spent
To create an audience around your most engaged users, select “visitors by time spent” and set it to the top 25%.
Then add the page URL you want to target.
The pages you use here will be the most important pages in your sales funnel. They include product and service pages, cart pages, and any others directly tied your macro conversions. The further down the funnel, the better.
If you have a high volume of traffic, we recommend testing an even more granular custom audience by selecting the “+ And Also” link. This tracks multiple pages and allows you to include other key pages in your lead generation, like a contact page.
Now you’ve created a custom audience for those who have demonstrated a high level of purchase intent on your site.
Next, set up a custom audience for your top converting users.
The process is very similar to the one we just did, except instead of filtering your audience according to “Visitors By Time Spent,” you will select “People Who Have Visited a Specific Web Pages.”
Add the thank you page URL or whatever screen appears after a conversion is executed. Ideally, you would have a different screen for each type of conversion so you can better differentiate.
There are a lot of combinations here to refine, including using event tracking if you’ve previously set it up.
With that, you’ve created a custom audience for your top converters.
For the final group, let’s create a custom audience based on your existing high-quality leads.
For this, choose to create your audience using a customer file.
Upload a contact list filtered according to your top leads, either because they’ve been deemed sales qualified or because they followed through and converted. Upload this list and map the identifiers you want to use for your custom audience.
And with that, you will have created three high-quality custom audiences. The final step is to create then a lookalike audience based on each one of these as you normally would.
For customer lists, you can also create a value-based lookalike. Some call this the “bread and butter” of Facebook Ad targeting. They’re not wrong.
The entire purpose of this feature is to help you do exactly what we’ve been discussing.
To implement this mode of targeting, you will need to know the lifetime value (LTV) of each of your contacts and indicate it by creating a “value” column in your spreadsheets.
Then when you upload your CSV customer list, select the “customer value” identifier to tell Facebook how much your current customers are worth. It will then, in turn, prioritize finding people similar to your most valuable customers.
Lead generation doesn’t get much more quality than that.
What all this boils down to is being very selective when building your audience. Your ROI will thank you.
3. Target Intersecting Interests
Facebook’s interest-based targeting is what sets it apart from all other online ad platforms.
Just like with audiences, Facebook ads can get incredibly specific with the interests they allow you to target.
You can appear solely to people who don’t have kids, or parents with kids aged 8-11, if that’s your thing. You can target people who’ve recently gotten out of a relationship or have a specific income level. You can even target people by the type of car they drive, or want to drive.
The possibilities are endless.
Which is exactly why it’s so important to be strategic when choosing interests to target, and not just throw a bunch into your ad targeting with hopes you get lucky.
This is doubly important, given the fact that there is so much competing for your audience’s attention on Facebook.
That’s where targeting intersecting interests comes in.
This very effective targeting technique catches people’s attention because it seeks to appeal to people from several different angles.
Here’s the basic setup:
- Select “Detailed Targeting” under Audiences while setting up your Ad Group.
- Add an initial interest to target.
- Select “Narrow Audience” and add a second interest.
- Select “Narrow Further” and add a third interest.
In the example below, we’re targeting the people who like cars (interest #1), sports (interest #2), and pizza (interest #3).
The key is only to include one interest per audience box. Adding them to the same box expands your audience. This method narrows your audience to where these interests intersect.
Below is a visual of what’s going on here.
Think back to the Venn diagrams we used to create in elementary school. The center where your audience interests overlap is where your quality leads reside.
Please note that to get the most out of targeting, you should choose interests that aren’t too closely related to one another.
Once you have your audience set up, there’s one final important step.
To truly be effective, and draw in those quality leads with Facebook Advertising, the interests you select for targeting need also to be brilliantly reflected in your messaging and images. In other words, design your ad and lead magnet around the intersection.
Let’s look at an example of this in action.
This Dr. Pepper ad targets an intersection of interests for their target market. An audience comprised of:
- Interest #1: College students
- Interest #2: Soda Drinkers (or more specifically, Dr. Pepper)
- Interest #3: Sports Fans (or more specifically, football)
You could also say this ad targets potential college students interested in paying their college tuition. So that’s 3-4 right there, perfectly reflected in the ad copy and imagery.
Why is this type of targeting so effective?
One word: Personalization.
If you can make your audience feel like an ad was made just for them, then they’re more likely to pay attention, click, and convert.
So figure out where that intersection lies for your best leads and set your audience targeting accordingly.
Conclusion: Create a High-Quality Facebook Ad Experience
There are a lot of things you can do to get the most out of your Facebook Ads. All of these can positively impact your lead generation.
For one, there’s Facebook Lead Ads. Writing captivating ad copy with a strong offer, CTA, and sense of urgency is another. Strategically designed images can obviously go a long way as well. As too can having a well-optimized landing page.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably know all that already. But it’s still worth repeating.
Because you’d be surprised how many spend all their time trying to create the world’s most perfect Facebook ad and then barely give their landing page any attention. Or worse, skip a landing page altogether and have their ads point to their homepage. Not cool.
For example, if you are a restaurant looking for new customers, your chances of sealing the deal are far better if you take them to a place where the food is well-prepared and the desert so appetizing they can’t resist.
After all, who wouldn’t want to engage with a Michelin star landing page?
But we digress.
The point is, in order to generate not just any lead, but high-quality leads, you need to pay attention to every aspect of the Facebook Ad experience. So, amplify these tried and true best practices using the strategies we discussed above to ensure you are finding the best prospects and connecting with them in the right ways.
Rest assured, if you play your cards right, you and your quality leads will live happily ever after. If you need help with Facebook Advertising, contact us today!