If you run a service-based business that relies on inbound leads coming in, then you have probably started to strategize on how to generate leads online.
Facebook gives you an opportunity to tap into a large base of users while utilizing their advanced targeting algorithm to help find the right person most likely to engage with your company.
So what is a lead generation funnel? A lead generation funnel is a technique that brings potential buyers along a journey with your brand, allowing for multiple touch points, until they eventually convert.
A potential buyer needs multiple touch points with your brand before they eventually decide to do business with you. According to Salesforce, it takes 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead.
We talked about embracing a multi-channel approach to generating leads in a previous article, how to generate leads online, but today we will discuss how you can utilize Facebook to create these multiple touch points which will bring you leads.
In a nutshell, what we are trying to accomplish here is to bring in traffic, keep this traffic engaged with your brand, show this traffic what you can do for them, and then aggressively propose to this traffic to do business with you. Finally, at the end of the funnel, get the conversion.
I have mentioned several times in previous articles, big mistake marketers make is trying to cut corners and exclusively advertise at the end of the funnel only. I get it, this is where advertising expenses turn into revenue, but by skipping the other steps in the funnel, you will end up spending a lot more money trying to attract the right customer.
On a high-level overview, this is what the funnel will look like:
Before we get started, there are a couple of pre-requisites required. First, make sure you have Facebook Business Manager setup and make sure you have your Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Secondly, you should have a basic understanding of how to create campaigns, ad sets and ads in Facebook Ads Manager, as we won’t go into the basics of creating ads.
If you have these pre-requisites covered, let’s get started!
1. Bring New Potential Leads In
With this being the top of the funnel, it is crucial that we keep this stage as full as possible. Remember, if it takes 6-8 touch points before conversion, you will need time between this first step and the last step. In order for this funnel to work, new fresh potential leads need to keep pouring in.
In order to bring new fresh leads in, we are going to attract them through content.
What problem will your product or service solve? Who is your ideal customer? What differentiates your product or service versus your competition? These are all crucial answers that you need to answer when it comes to developing content that you want to share and use to attract potential buyers to your site.
Seeing that we need approximately 6-8 touchpoints before a lead conversion, I would recommend having a minimum of 3 pieces of content. These content pieces can come in the form of blogs, infographics or videos. Having a variety of content mediums and a variety of subjects will also help with the effectiveness as it will keep your ads fresh.
Create your Audience
After you have your content ready, it is time to create your audience on Facebook. Ideally, you will want to create a look-a-like audience on your website traffic. A look-a-like audience is basically a set of people that Facebook determines are similar to those that have taken action on your website.
Remember, Facebook houses an enormous amount of data on interests, behaviours and demographics of everyone that uses any of their platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and even websites that use their Audience Network Ads. Instead of guessing who your audience is, let Facebook do the work on your behalf.
Now, if you don’t have a lot of traffic coming to your website, it will be very difficult for Facebook to find commonalities on a small sample size. If you’re not generating at least 1000 website visitors a month, you will need to create a cold audience based on who you believe is your target audience. Facebook has a tool, Facebook Audience Insights, which can help you create that cold audience.
When you finally go ahead and save your audience with detailed geographical targeting, be sure to exclude previous website visitors and your Facebook fans. The intention of this stage of the funnel is the first contact with your brand.
Create Your Ad
Now that you have your audience created, it’s time to run your first ad. Let’s go ahead and choose the “Traffic” objective. Since we already created the audience, go ahead and add them to your ad set. When it comes to your ad, choose one of the content pieces that you believe will draw the most traffic to your website.
Our goal is to bring fresh traffic in so we can bring these users along on their purchase journey with your company. Moreover, the more traffic that comes in will allow Facebook to better understand who your target audience is, thus making your look-a-like audience that much more accurate.
2. Keep Potential Lead Engaged
Now that our new leads are starting to visit your site, it is time to keep them engaged with your brand. Remember, we need multiple touch points, which is the purpose of this step.
Create your Audience
For this step, we want to target individuals that have already visited the content that you put out. For those with a limited budget, you can simply just retarget ALL previous website visitors knowing that you will hit all of those potential leads from step 1. If you have a bit more of a budget, it will be more accurate to target only those individuals that visited the very specific page where the content you provided is available.
In Facebook Audiences, go ahead and create a custom audience, choose website traffic and add people who visited specific web pages with the URL containing the page of the content you provided in step 1.
So now, we are basically telling Facebook to only show this ad to people who saw and clicked on our first ad.
You will want to repeat this process at least one more time if your budget permits as you want to continue having this potential lead see your ads and content to get familiar with your brand.
Create Your Ad
First this stage we are going to to use the “reach” objective for these ads. The “reach” objective is typically a bad campaign to use when we are trying to bring in new traffic as Facebook will show your ad to as many as people as possible, regardless if they click or not. In our case with this stage of the funnel, we want to show this ad to ALL individuals that have already clicked a previous ad, so in this case, this objective works perfectly.
We are going to use this new audience in the ad set and reduce our budget vs step 1 since we are dealing with a smaller audience.
3. Introduce Product/Service
Now that your potential lead has engaged with 2-3 of your content pieces, it is time to start introducing them to your product or service.
Before we start showing ads to promote your product/service, let’s make sure your intended landing page is ready to potentially convert. Although we have another step past this one, there is a good possibility that your potential lead can convert at this stage.
Some areas to consider on your landing page:
- Above the fold should clearly state the problem your lead wants to solve
- Multiple opportunities throughout the page to convert (call now, form submission, buy now, etc.)
- Features and benefits of your product/service
If you are confident that you covered all of these points, let’s go ahead and create your audience.
Create your Audience
Similar to step 2, if budget restraints are an issue, it is safe to just retarget ALL website visitors at this step. The problem with doing this is you will potentially be showing this to potential leads that only saw your ad once.
The proper way to do this is to create a custom audience of individuals that have journeyed through the first 2 steps of your funnel.
In Facebook Audiences, go ahead and create a custom audience, choose website traffic and add people who visited specific web pages with the URL containing the page of the content you provided in step 1. You will now click on + Include More People, then click on +And Also to add the URL containing the page of the content you provided in step 2.
Here, we are basically telling Facebook to show our ad to those individuals that have passed through 2 steps in our funnel. If we did this properly, we will now have an audience of potential leads that are warm to your brand.
Create Your Ad
Similar to the prior step, we will choose the “reach” objective and use this new audience for our ad set.
4. Make a Compelling Offer
Now that we have a potential user that has moved along on your funnel, it is time to advertise a strong call-to-action to generate the lead.
So to recap up to this point, our potential lead has now seen at least 2-3 content pieces and has seen at least one ad about the products/services that you carry. This individual is showing a lot of interest in the services you carry and it is time to get them to convert.
Create your Audience
In Facebook Audiences, go ahead and create a custom audience, choose website traffic and add people who visited specific web pages with the URL containing the page of your product/service page that you used in step 3.
Create Your Ad
Since we are dealing with an audience that is showing high interest in your product/service, it is now in your best interest to advertise a strong offer to get them to now convert. My recommendation would be to create a landing page that helps support this specific offer that you are advertising.
If you don’t have access to creating a landing page, Facebook allows you to create a lead form that you can use to collect lead information right from Facebook.
Now that you have your lead information it is time to contact your lead and make your sale!
The only portion involved through Facebook for this step is to exclude all of your converted leads into your custom audience in step 4. These converted leads should now be nurtured a separate way for retention purposes.
If you use your own landing page, there will be extra work required. You will need to tag your form and create a custom conversion on Facebook. If you used Facebooks built-in form, simply choose “Lead Form” when creating your custom audience.