Lead Ads from Facebook -- another great tool

By Jessica Stringfield

The ever-changing Facebook has done it again. The global juggernaut is always on the cutting edge of business practices, and that’s even more apparent with the addition of their new Lead Ads. Leads Ads allow Facebook users to express interest in a business, service or product by filling out a form which, in turn, allows the company to follow up with them. This is a great tool for businesses that rely on this kind of connection with consumers.

Jessica Stringfield is marketing and communications associate at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Jessica Stringfield is marketing and communications associate at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

What exactly are Lead Ads?

According to the Facebook for Business website, Lead Ads can be more formally defined as “…a quick and privacy-safe way to sign up to receive information from businesses, like newsletters, quotes and offers.”

How does it work?

With just two taps, any Facebook user can provide their information to the company they are interested in. One tap opens the form, which has been automatically populated with information the user has already provided to Facebook. After reviewing this existing info, a second tap submits it to the company in question.

Businesses even have the ability to customize certain questions on these submission forms. For example, if you advertise your company often, in various ways, you may want to know where this user first heard about you. Adding this to your form will help you determine your return on investment when it comes to where you’re placing your advertising dollars.

How do I set up a Lead Ad?

This process isn’t terribly complicated but it does require some initial setup as well as Facebook basics such as access to your business page, a photo for the ad to run with, and a link to your business’s privacy policy.

For those who are still learning about Facebook and navigating all the wonderful things it can do, here is a step-by-step process on how to set up your page to actually use/manage Lead Ads within Facebook’s Power Editor program:

You’ll actually have to work through Facebook’s Power Editor. I found it easier to visit Facebook’s help page and connect directly using this link.

Download your account by clicking “Download to Power Editor” on the top left. Your account should be pre-populated and ready to download.

Once downloaded, it will show you every ad that your page has run. This is useful too because you can download the data for your records before you dive into the land of Lead Ads and use them for important comparisons later.

Once this initial setup is completed within Power Editor, you can visit Facebook’s nifty step by step guide for setting up individual Lead Ads.

How do I get my results?

The good news is that these ads are fairly user-friendly. If your business uses Customer Relationship Management software, you can sync the data from these Lead Ads with an integrated marketing programs such as Driftrock, Marketo, Maropost, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Sailthru, and Salesforce. This list will be expanded in the coming months but this data will sync in real time to your program. If you don’t work with one of these programs, no worries! You can simply download all you data as a CSV file.

How well does it work?

For companies that have a product or service to offer, this easier Lead Ad process is obviously more attractive than clicking a Facebook post link and being directed to a website to fill out a long, tedious form. Leaving Facebook to open a new app or visit a website is often the point where consumers close it out and return to Facebook simply because they don’t want to be bothered with other things. So how well do Lead Ads actually work in a world that is irritated by any kind of form?

The news so far says ... pretty well! With the ability to receive the information that these ads generate, almost immediately, companies are able to follow up faster. As stated in a study featured in a recent article in Forbes, businesses that follow up quickly have a greater chance of getting the sale. Companies such as Land Rover, which offers quotes on their vehicles with these Lead Ads, have seen a tremendous jump in their sales as opposed to ads that simply advertise the link to the website, Forbes reports.

Social media management companies are also taking notice of this new Facebook. Digital marketing agency Experience Advertising, Inc.,  recently announced it will be offering management for these types of ads. These ads could change the kind of consumer data that we currently have and change the way advertising moves forward in the digital world.

But every company is different so be sure to download and compare your varying campaigns (Lead Ads, regular ads, etc.) to see what works best for you and your business.