I sat down with Facebook advertising guru, Jon Loomer recently to discuss Facebook’s new opportunity to collect leads with Lead Ads and the pros & cons vs. driving people to landing pages. We also touched on Instant Articles, the Buy Button and Facebook’s trend of keeping people on their site.
Some people view Facebook as the big bad giant, but as Jon and I discussed, if you pay attention, Facebook really does cater to the user experience- and what the user wants, the user eventually gets. As marketers, we must pay attention, and subscribe to the latest Facebook suggestions. If not, we will fall behind those who do. Not to mention, we wouldn’t be “speaking” to the marketplace in ways they like to be communicated with. One of the newest items to add to this list are Lead Ads.
LEAD ADS VS. LANDING PAGES
We talked about the use of Lead Ads being a no-brainer, but also discussed some considerations before dedicating an entire budget to them. For instance, you’ll lose the traffic to your site, disabling your ability to cross sell someone once a form is filled out on your landing page. There is a possibility of the leads coming from Lead Ads being of a lesser quality since the entry barrier is so low. You also have more freedom to be creative within landing pages, and can build trust with them, so you’ll need to put some real thought on how your Lead Ads look. Jon mentioned that only time will tell how they’re working- so track the leads coming from these ads to see how they compare to the leads you collect from your landing pages, and then make an informed decision for yourself. Jon mentioned the old fashioned way of sharing a link on Facebook to drive people to a landing page, where an offer would be made, and visitors would be asked to complete a form. But with Lead Ads, the process is streamlined. One click on the call to action button, and a form is auto-filled with the user’s profile information. Users will have the option of making edits; like changing an email address, but it’s quick and easy for the user, and you are likely to see better results. Jon says the early results have been fantastic for him.
Another potential issue with Lead Ads is gathering up the leads you receive in a timely and consistent manner, as these leads do not automatically connect or sync to your CRM. When people opt-in to a landing page, they’re automatically sent to your auto-responder and can be immediately sent to your CRM or inbox. Though unfortunately Lead Ads currently go to a CVC file that must be downloaded, so if you’re not constantly checking the files, people will wonder why you are not responding more quickly. Luckily, there are some 3rd party tools that can help with this, such as Driftrock and Sync Sumo (coming soon), but keep in mind these are paid tools.
We also touched on the cost of Lead Ads. Are they more or less expensive than traditional ads? Well, according to Jon, the cost of reaching people is higher, but overall, the early returns are showing the cost per lead is lower, which at the end of the day is all that matters. Jon also mentioned you must have engaging ads and targeting users correctly, if not, you simply can’t expect good results.
Testing was also discussed. All marketers need to test everything to find out what works for you in your industry. Jon’s advice was to run Lead Ads & traditional ads directed to landing pages, and then to decide for yourself. As for Jon’s company, moving forward he’ll be dedicating more of his budget to Lead Ads. If you are just getting started, Jon suggests a 60/40 or 70/30 split budget in favor of Lead Ads.
Jon also gave us a great tip- using Lead Ads in conjunction with landing pages. You need to put a pixel on your landing page to create a custom audience that can be remarketed to the visitors who went to that page but didn’t convert or fill out the form. Your Lead Ad will need to specifically speak to this audience (i.e. Hey, we noticed that you were interested in getting some samples, do you still want them?) This can prove to be extremely powerful and effective.
THE FACEBOOK BUY BUTTON
Jon also touched on the Buy Button, which allows people to make a purchase directly from the Facebook platform. It works much like Lead Ads, in that it’s streamlined, and you don’t have to wait for the landing page to load, or be concerned that your website isn’t mobile friendly. The user’s information will automatically populate once he or she begins to make a purchase through Facebook. Payment information will then be on-file and make future purchases even easier. But just as with Lead Ads, you have to be extra creative with the Buy Button Ads.
We also spoke about Instant Articles. These are published articles that are shared, and when clicked on, automatically open up in the users feed. Jon thinks that some publishers don’t like Instant Articles because they feel they’re losing control since FB keeps everything within their platform. He, however, believes it’s dynamic and rich media content enables you to do some really cool things that you might not be able to do on your own website. It allows you to incorporate autoplay videos, scroll up/down and side/side to view different content. A user can even tilt their phone to move content around- providing a great user experience.
What are the advantages for publishers?
You have complete control over your content. You can place ads, or have FB place for you. You can also place links that will direct users to your website, while having the ability to report metrics back to your advertisers. You will, however, lose some traffic to your website and that SEO “Google Juice”. This is a very new development, and how to resolve it is still unknown.
All of these can be great methods for getting your content in front of the right people, in the format they like to view it in.
Jon emphasizes not to get stuck in your ways and, at the very least, to at least try some of these new things out. If they don’t work, they don’t work, but if they do, you’ll stay ahead of the game.
If you want to continue to learn from Jon, visit him at JonLoomer.com and sign up for his power hitters club. As we all know, thoughts & best practices change quickly in this industry, so it’s always a good idea to keep learning from the best!