With its unmatched ad targeting capabilities and reach to more than 1 billion people worldwide, Facebook is one of the most powerful platforms for small businesses looking to generate leads.
But there’s a catch: No one logs onto Facebook looking for businesses to market to them. Your potential customers turn to Facebook to see photos from friends, check the news, or pass a few minutes of boredom while standing in a checkout line.
That means Facebook ads must be strategically crafted to stop users in their scroll. And ideally, Facebook ads will do more than bring clicks to your homepage. Rather, ads should collect contact information from leads so that you can continue to follow up via email and other channels.
Every Facebook ad intended to capture leads should include these five elements.
A Lead Magnet
Few consumers happily surrender their email addresses to any business that asks. They want something in return, like a helpful piece of content, a coupon, or a free trial or consultation. This “lead magnet” should provide a solution to the problem that would attract customers to your business. For example, if you’re an accountant looking to work with entrepreneurs, you could advertise a list of tax deductions often overlooked by small businesses.
Of course, if prospective customers opt-in for a lead magnet, they expect to receive the content immediately. Marketing automation software can automatically send the resource by email, sparing you from emailing each new lead individually.
A Landing Page
Think of the prospective customer browsing Facebook from the grocery checkout. If she clicks on your ad, she doesn’t have time to search around your homepage for the lead magnet you advertised. That’s why your ad should link to a landing page devoted to that offer.
The landing page should explain what the prospect receives by signing up for the lead magnet and set a clear call-to-action (i.e. “Get your 20% off coupon!”). Ideally, the landing page won’t allow navigation to the rest of your site, which can create distractions. On the landing page, a user has only two options: Download the offer advertised on Facebook, or leave.
A Highly-Targeted Audience
If you advertise to everyone in your metropolitan area, a Facebook ad isn’t much different than an old-school flyer. Facebook targeting options—based on attributes like location, age, gender, interests and behaviors—separate Facebook ads from any other type.
Say you have a restaurant that serves upscale Italian food. On Facebook, your restaurant can target adults age 30 to 55 who live within 10 miles, have a household income of at least $100,000 and have an interest in Italian food. You can even target fans of competitor restaurants or people who have visited your website before—making Facebook far more precise than traditional advertising.
Compelling Copy and Images
If your ad lacks engaging creative elements, Facebook users might scroll past without even noticing it. Use a relatable image—like a photo of someone who looks like your target customer, not a shot of your storefront—and only two or three sentences of copy.
A Facebook ad isn’t the place for puns and clever phrases: Make sure your ad can be understood quickly, directly addresses your target audience, and includes a clear call-to-action that tells prospective customers what you want them to do. For example, a gym targeting women who recently had a baby could offer: “Struggling to lose the last few pounds of baby weight? Sign up for our New Moms Boot Camp today and try your first class free!”
A Strategic Budget
Setting a budget for Facebook ads requires understanding your customer acquisition costs. If you have the data, gather these numbers:
- The number of leads you captured last year
- The number of leads who became customers
- Your total revenue
- Your annual marketing expense
You can then calculate your average customer value (revenue divided by customers), your lead acquisition cost (marketing budget divided by leads), and your conversion rate (customers divided by leads, multiplied by 100). If you know these numbers, you’ll know how much you can afford to spend on each lead gathered from Facebook.
With these five elements, your Facebook ad will do more than capture attention. When you capture leads, you can continue the conversation via email and other channels, so prospects get to know you and how your business can serve them.
To learn more about using Facebook ads to attract and follow up with potential customers, check out “The Ultimate Guide to Capturing and Converting Facebook Leads.”
Amy Saunders is a senior content creator at Infusionsoft, where she writes about strategies that help small businesses succeed. Infusionsoft helps small businesses grow with sales and marketing software that uses CRM and automation to organize contacts, turn leads into sales and transform customers into raving fans.