In an earlier blog post, I wrote about running multiple businesses, one of the businesses from the previous blog post, I mentioned that I run an ads agency. It is through this agency that I have been able to help my clients generate leads for their businesses using Facebook Lead ads and other types of campaigns.
If you’re new here, I wrote an article as well about running a 5-day challenge. And the reason why these 2 articles are interconnected is because through that challenge, I taught absolute beginners how to use Facebook Lead Ads to grow their business, and it has helped them immensely. Everything I taught in that challenge will be explained in detail here.
My experience of using Facebook Lead Ads for the past 3-4 years is proof enough that I know how effective and beneficial it can be to both big and small businesses alike. And because I have been receiving a lot of good feedback about my previous how to articles (particularly the one on How to Start a Podcast), I figured I’d write even informative articles.
The goal here is to give people (you, in particular) useful information on growing your business without having a paywall in the way! I want to show you that the world of Facebook Ads though it can get complicated doesn’t have to be so scary as long as you understand the fundamentals and have a sherpa(me) to guide you along the way.
This article is loosely structured around the 5-day Ads to Leads challenge I ran earlier in the year, The feedback I got from the people that took part in the challenge was that it was so helpful, I wanted to create this so that for the willing they could take what is here and use it to bring in leads and customers to their business.
And yes, before the naysayers say it, there are a bunch of marketing tools that you can use and choose from to bring leads and customers in, with a myriad of options both digitally and traditionally, there is just something about Facebook Ads and the accessibility it gives you that makes sense for all types of businesses.
WHY SHOULD YOU ADVERTISE ON FACEBOOK?
The million-dollar/pound/yen/sheckles question: Why advertise on Facebook?
Due to the length of time I have been using FB to advertise for my clients, I have seen first hand the power it has to change the fortunes of different businesses, however I don’t expect you to take my word as gospel, so I have put together a list of reasons why you should advertise on Facebook from other experts and authorities.
Here are a few reasons why you should advertise on Facebook:
You can reach your ideal audience
Facebook is currently at 2.7 billion monthly users according to Statista.com . This data alone shows that your audience IS on Facebook, you just need to know how to find them (which is why you are reading this article right now).
It’s no surprise that most businesses are flocking to Facebook to market their products and services. With Facebook’s enormous number of users, it’s all about finding your audience, putting your message in front of them and standing out from the other advertisers.
Campaigns Are Highly Customizable
Because Facebook has so many users, you can attract the right audience to you if you know who you want to target. The platform can help you design your ads to attract the right leads to your business, whether it be based on demographics, interests, language, location, or a whole bunch of other targeting capabilities.
With Facebook’s features to make your campaigns highly customizable, you are able to create the perfect ad experience for your target audience. This is especially true with all the data Facebook has of its users.
Facebook Ads are easy to set up
Virtually everyone has Facebook. So it’s not difficult to set up an ad account. And not only that, creating the ads are super easy to make (as I will show you later). Everything is pretty straightforward so you won’t feel so overwhelmed at the start.
It’s also inexpensive to advertise on Facebook, making accessible to both small, local businesses to huge corporations.
One of the best ways to get leads through Facebook ads is through something called Facebook Lead Ads, which will be the main focus of this article.
WHAT IS FACEBOOK LEAD ADS?
One of the easiest ways to get the right kind of information from your audience is through forms, specifically Facebook Lead Ads. These are promoted forms that are integrated into the ad so that when people click on the ad, they are asked to fill the form out.
What’s great about Lead Ads is that they are also optimized for mobile, making it much more convenient. This is especially relevant because according to Statista.com, 98% of active Facebook users access their accounts via mobile.
This is a great way to know your audience better while providing value for them. Let’s cover more advantages of using Facebook Lead Ads…
WHY USE FACEBOOK LEAD ADS?
Because Facebook Lead Ads is already integrated into Facebook, users don’t need to go to another site to fill in all the information. This makes things easier and quicker for your potential leads.
Apart from Facebook Lead Ads being mobile-friendly, here are a few other reasons why you should consider using this for your business:
- The forms are fully customizable, so you can tailor the questions based on the needs of your business
- You collect valuable information which you can integrate to your CRM. I currently use Zapier to integrate Facebook Ads to Google Sheets (Spoiler alert… I will show you how later)
- Those who fill out these forms are considered warm leads because the effort alone in submitting these forms shows their interest
It’s no wonder why Facebook Lead Ads is the go-to if you want to grow your business and generate leads. Let’s get down to the specifics.
HOW TO USE FACEBOOK LEAD ADS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
The steps outlined below will get you from knowing absolutely nothing, to knowing enough to be dangerous but not an expert (because that’s going to take longer than just one article). The goal here is to get you started and to know what needs to be done.
Let’s keep things as simple as possible (the last thing I want to do is to scare you off!).
STEP 1: Getting Setup
The best part about setting up Facebook Ads is that it’s so simple and straightforward. In the Facebook advertising ecosystem, you will need the following:
- Personal profile (good news is that you have this already)
- A Facebook page that relates to your business entity
- An ad account to advertise your business
- Business Manager which acts as a container that holds the advertising side of FB all together and keeps it separate from the personal side of FB
So here is how to set it all up…
- Go to business.facebook.com
- Click “Go to Business Settings”
- On the left side, click on PAGES where you can see all your pages and who are assigned to them
- In the USERS section, this is where you can add people or partners to your business manager (this helps if you hire an agency to run the ads for you)
- Under USERS, you will see PEOPLE (you can add people and assign them “assets”)
- Going back to ADD ACCOUNTS, you will see 3 options under ADD (assuming you haven’t run any ads yet):
- Add an ad account
- Request access to an ad account
- Create a new ad account
- If you do not have any ad accounts, select the 3rd option (Create a new ad account)
- Fill in all the necessary details
- If you are running ads for yourself or your own business, give yourself Admin Access
- And there you have it. Simple as that! Now we’re good to go and ready to make our audience want to click on our ads.
STEP 2: Create an Offer
Although creating ads on Facebook can be as simple as ABC, it is important to know how to package your offer in a way that piques the interest of your audience. In this section, we are going to cover the following:
- What is an offer?
- Why do I need an offer?
- Do I really need an offer?
What is an offer?
Simply put, imagine that an offer is a nice fancy dress that you put over your product to make it attractive to your ideal customer. Now remember that It is NOT your product or your service, but rather it is how you present your product or service. (example: discounts, BOGO, VIP experience, promos)
Why use offers?
You will see offers everywhere you go. Every business is trying to make you say YES to their offer, and you are no different. Here, we are trying to replicate an offer in the digital world through Facebook Ads. You need something that makes people stop scrolling, and that is through creating an enticing offer.
Where can you find offers that convert?
Rather than going through the entire trial-and-error phase of finding an offer that works, it’s best to look out for current offers that have already been tried and tested. You just need to know where to find them.
I personally recommend websites like Groupon.com where there are TONS of offers you can browse.
And guess what? Finding offers that work is pretty straightforward. Just look at which products are trending and whether the ratings are good or not. That would be an excellent gauge for you to see whether this is something that you can apply to your ads.
Also take note that offers that work greatly on Facebook are ones that you can deliver quickly, at scale, and something that leads people to buy more.
Once you’ve picked an offer that you think would be most relevant for your business, it’s time to get creative and work on the elements of your ad.
STEP 3: Write Words, Get Paid
Alright, this is where you get your creative hat on and find the right words to get results.
So…writing words to get paid…sounds too good to be true? Well, once you know how the creative elements to an ad works to get results, you won’t feel so clueless. We will not go into too much detail here because this topic deserves an entire article rather than just a small section, but I will be sharing with you some quick tips and resources that you can utilize to guide you further.
There are two things that you should work on:
Images / Creative
Personally, I am not a graphic designer and designing images really isn’t my specialty. But I do have friends who are good at this and have given me lots of useful tips that I will be sharing in this article.
When it comes to social media graphics, you need to know how your audience uses social media. You want to create attractive visual/audio visual assets to get people’s attention and click your ads.
Your images need to be eye-catching to get people to stop scrolling and be intrigued by what you have to say. When it comes to inserting copy into your graphics, keep it to a bare minimum. Less is always more. Make sure that the fonts that you use are also readable and that they don’t dominate the graphics (minimalist fonts that aren’t too bold or cartoon-y work best).
Another great tip is to also use templates so that people know that the ads are coming from you, and this also keeps your branding consistent (plus it makes creating images much easier for you!).
Some websites that provide great and free stock images are Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash. Though I personally recommend that you avoid images that look too much like stock images. This is why I hired someone to make cartoon versions of me so that all my social media images look more personal and unique.
Regarding creating the actual images, I’ve found Canva to be very useful and versatile.
Words / Copy
Once you’ve grabbed someone’s attention with a striking image, you need to sustain that through writing enticing words that make them want to continue reading your ad.
I highly suggest that you read through Copyhackers’ Copywriting Formula and Copywriting Worksheets to help you get started. The articles are pretty lengthy, so if you want to do a quick skim, I suggest you start with AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) and PAS (problem, agitation, solution).
And once these elements of your ads are good to go, it’s time to show them to the world!
STEP 4: Let’s get your ads turned on
Before we tackle how to activate your campaigns, let’s cover the 3 levels of a campaign:
- Campaign – where you tell FB what you want to optimize your ad for
- Ad Set – where you do your targeting, select your audience, set your budget, and determine where your ads go
- Ad – where you put in the images and the copy and basically design what your ad looks like on the news feed
- Start by Creating an ad
- Choose your objective – we will use Lead Generation because this allows us to put our offer out to the world really cheaply. The way it works is that you set up your ad, copy and image, and invite people to take you up on your offer. This is where Lead Ads come in.
- Give the campaign a name that you would recognize
- For small advertisers like us, we don’t do A/B testing nor Campaign Budget Optimization
- On the next page, name your ad set
- I usually disregard Dynamic Creative
- In the Audience section this is where things get serious. Disregard Custom Audience for now since that is more advanced.
- You first need to create an audience based on their demographics. For the radius in Location, I tend to find that 5 miles around the location is best for local businesses. The more specific, the better.
- My agency goes with the age 25-55 because anyone below 25 may not be able to afford the product you are offering (this will depend on your business however)
- Keep detailed targeting off, unless your audience is pretty big (which won’t be the case for most local businesses)
- Placements – Automatic Placements means that your ads will show up everywhere (including Instagram stories, newsfeed, Facebook stories, newsfeed, right hand side, and other sites tied to the Facebook Ad Network) which is too much for you to control and your campaign will burn through your cash before you get any valuable results. That is why I recommend Manual Placements more. Make sure you are not showing up in the wrong place. I avoid Facebook Marketplace, Stories, In-Stream, and In-article.
- Budget & Schedule – for Cost Control, this is a bit advanced because you need to know your average cost per lead. What we need to set is the Daily Budget, and I suggest around 5-10 USD for a start.
- If you get the warning of “Ad Set May Get Zero leads”, you can just ignore this if you want to avoid spending more to get results
- In the next page, at the Ad level, name your Ad.
- You can choose between Carousel (maximum of 10 images) or Single Image or Video
- In Media, this is where you add the image/s for your ad
- In Text & Links, this is where you enter your copy. The Headline is your hook.
- Display Link is where you enter your website address and then you choose your Call to Action (I’d either go for Get Offer or Learn More)
- In Question Format, because we selected a Lead Ad, you will be able to see an Instant Form. This is what we call a Native Ad, meaning the audience doesn’t need to leave Facebook for you to get their information.
- If you choose to add a form, select Higher Intent as the form type because you don’t want a bunch of unqualified leads with the More volume option. More Volume means that most of the other information is pre-filled out, which may not be accurate information (especially because most Facebook users have a different email address for their Facebook accounts)
- I tend to keep the headline and image the same as with the ad for familiarity
- Edit the form with the information that you need. Here is the information that I asked for, which align with the Higher Intent option
- You can also choose to add a custom disclaimer if you have one on your website or if it is necessary for your business
- Once you have all the information, click confirm and your ad gets submitted for review
And once your ad has been approved, congratulations! Your ad is now available for everyone to see…
STEP 5: Ads are Running, Now What?
The journey doesn’t end once your ad gets published. In fact, this is only the beginning to unravelling the beauty of Facebook Ads and how it can make a significant impact to your business.
The next thing that you have to do is to DIAGNOSE then take ACTION so you will know what to adjust to make the ad work better. Sometimes it means adjusting the budget, or changing the copy or creative, or simply leaving your ad to run and promote the business (this is the best-case scenario).
Here are the big 3 metrics that you need to observe:
- CTR (click through rate) – indication of how many people are seeing your ad and clicking through
- CPR (cost per result) – how much it’s costing you to get a lead, quick way for you to judge if your ad is costing too much
- CPM (cost per mille) – price it costs to show your add to a thousand people. This isn’t really something that you can control but there are times when it goes crazy (an example is at the end of Q4 when people have extra left for advertising by the end of the year). When CPM is high, you might want to change the type of campaign you run to change the cost.
Let’s do a quick crash course on how to understand your ads more and make necessary adjustments from there:
- When you first open business manager, this is what you are going to see
- You can also set the duration of the ads
- You will see an option Columns:Performance and what you want to do there is select Performance and Clicks.
- Here is a quick run through of what each column is:
- Results – pretty self explanatory. It’s the results you get from each ad you run. You need to know where you are in the hierarchy. I suggest you look at the Ad Set Campaign tab because we are doing something called ad set-based optimization.
- Reach – number of people the ad has gone out to
- Frequency – on average, roughly how many times someone sees your ad on their newsfeed
- Cost per result – one of the “big boys”, simply put, your cost per lead
- Budget – budget you set for that campaign
- Amount spent – how much you’ve spent for that campaign
- Ends – when the campaign ends
- Schedule – this is important if you’re running a date-specific campaign (for example a Halloween campaign)
- Impressions – how many times the ad has come up
- CPM – second big boy
- Link clicks – the number of times the link for your ad was clicked
- CPC (cost per link click) – basically cost per click
- CTR (link click-through) – click through rate for the links in your ad
- Clicks All – the difference between this and CTR is that the latter is the number of people clicking on the actual link whereas the clicks all is the people that click on your ad. It doesn’t matter where they click (for example see more, opens image, shares ad, etc.)
- CTR (all) – all interactions with the ad
- CPC (all) – the price it costs for people to click your link
- Website Purchases & On-Facebook Purchases – you will see that these are blank because these stats are primarily for e-commerce.
- Now we need to look at the CTR, CPM and CPR
- If you’re running a lead ad (which is what we are doing in this case), then CTR would be a good place to start. For CTR, generally I try to aim for a 1% on the link click through and for all, twice of that. This is because CTR counts all the clicks and CTR link click through is just for those who click the links.
- If CTR is low, you may need to change the ad copy or the image because people are not clicking through. This is because people see your ad but choose not to click it. The goal is to grab their attention through great copy/creative to increase your CTR.
- Also check if your CPM is too high and you’re not getting any results. That means you’re allocating your funds to the wrong ad, especially if CTR is low.
And that is a very quick, beginner-friendly overview on how you can diagnose your ads. There are lots of other factors that come into play when it comes to diagnosing your ads, but what I have taught you above is the perfect place to start.
BONUS: HOW TO SETUP AUTOMATIC NOTIFICATIONS FOR THE LEADS YOU GET FROM YOUR AD
Earlier in the article, I mentioned that I use Zapier to manage all the information taken from the Lead Ads. Zapier allows the responses to automatically appear on Google Sheets. I also make sure to include the timestamps because the tendency is that most people forget that they actually submitted a form and showing them the timestamps is pretty good proof of their submissions.
Another great thing about Zapier is that I can set up another trigger for Gmail so that whenever a lead comes in, we receive a notification about it.
Here’s a quick run through of how I set this up in my business:
- Go to Zapier and create an account if you don’t have one yet
- Start by choosing a trigger. In this case, it’s Facebook Lead Ads.
- Select New Lead for the Trigger Event
- Connect your Lead Ads account
- In Customize Lead, choose the respective Ad Account and Form
- Test Trigger to have Zapier provide the most recent submission on your Lead Ads
- Select Google Sheets as the Action
- Choose Create Spreadsheet Row as your Action Event
- Connect your Google Sheets account
- In Customize Spreadsheet Row, make sure that you have your Google Sheets file (and worksheets) created beforehand because you can’t create it in Zapier. Assign the respective files in this section.
- You can then customize the sheet more through choosing the respective information that you need to appear on the Google Sheets file
- On the next section, select Test & Continue
- You will be notified if the test was successful and you can double check in Google Sheets if the information appears there
- Once that’s ready, go ahead and Turn On Zap.
- To add an email notification, scroll below and select Email by Zapier as an additional action
- Select Send Outbound Email as the Action Event
- Fill in all the necessary details for the Outbound Email. You can also choose to insert data from the main source (Facebook or Google Sheets)
- Select Test & Continue to see if the Zap works
- Once you successfully receive a test email, go ahead and Turn On Zap (sometimes the email takes a while to appear on your inbox)
And that is how you manage all the information of your leads without having to invest in an expensive CRM system! Zapier is a very useful tool and I use it in multiple other aspects of my business. It has been a very effective tool for me and I hope you found this section useful
IT’S YOUR TURN!
You’ve made it to the end of the article! We have covered a lot of basic points here to get you started and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Getting started is usually the most intimidating part of the process, but once you have your ad setup and learn how to tweak and diagnose along the way, everything will soon become second nature to you.
Facebook Ads is really one of the best marketing tools out there and I hope that this blog post has encouraged you to start advertising on this platform to grow your business