16 Ways to use Facebook Ads for Lead Generation

Marketing Dec 9, 2020 22 minutes read

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    Facebook is a lead generation beast in today’s digital age. 

    And that’s one of the biggest reasons marketers flock towards this platform in large numbers even today. Facebook’s ad revenue rose 25% to $20.7 billion in Q4 of 2019 from 2018, which shows how popular it is amongst social marketers.

    Our recent survey showed similar results. 

    what percentage of your overall lead flow originates from Facebook?

    So whether you’re new to Facebook ads or have used them but are looking for ways to substantially increase your leads, read on.

    In this article, we’re going to tell you proven tips and tricks to generate maximum leads from Facebook ads. We’ll discuss:

    Facebook Ads Dashboard Template

    How to Create a Lead Generation Strategy on Facebook?

    We recently asked digital marketers how big of a play is Facebook Ads in their lead generation efforts. Around 40% believed that it’s effective, and 60% said it’s important. 

    How big of a play is Facebook Ads in your lead generation efforts?

    While not everything, it definitely plays a crucial role in generating leads for a business. As a matter of fact, 75% of the agencies we polled for our research on Facebook Ads, said that lead generation is a top objective of theirs when they run ads.

    Related: Facebook CPC: 17 Ways to Reduce Your Advertising Costs on Facebook

    So how do you go about creating a lead generation strategy on Facebook?

    As Mohamed Touil of MHT Digital succinctly explains, “Generating high-quality leads from Facebook Ads comes down to 3 aspects,

    • Hyper-targeting: meaning that the campaign that I’m running must laser focus on a specific audience. 
    • The right message: knowing who my audience allows me to craft a compelling ad copy that speaks directly to my targeted audience.
    • High-converting landing page: this is a crucial part of generating high-quality leads unless I’m doing Facebook lead ads.

    This is how I structure my lead generation Facebook ads campaigns, and it always over-deliver in high-quality leads.” Use this lead generation dashboard to monitor the number of leads that come from Facebook ads.

    16 Proven Ways to Generate More Leads from Facebook Ads

    Working with Facebook ads to generate leads can be a little tricky, especially if you’re new to it. You need to pick the right type of CTA, do constant A\B testing, choose the right audience, and much more.

    I’ll be the first to say that Facebook ads can be a little daunting if you’ve never dabbled in them before. 

    So we asked 38 marketing pros to reveal their Facebook lead generation secrets, and here’s what they said.

    1. Offer problem-solving solutions
    2. Run multiple campaigns
    3. Customize your ads
    4. Use lead ads correctly
    5. Be clear about your offer
    6. Leverage videos
    7. Understand and define your audience well
    8. The KISS Principle
    9. Segment your remarketing audience
    10. Offer incentives to users
    11. Show ads to qualified traffic
    12. Nurture your leads
    13. Run informational ads and videos to your target audience
    14. Don’t forget A\B testing
    15. Create lookalike audiences
    16. Write on-point ad copy

    1. Offer problem-solving solutions

    Make your Facebook ads more about your customers than about your business. The best way to appeal to them is by addressing and alleviating their problems.

    “One of the most important ways through which you can generate high-quality leads is through high-quality content and information that is being shared in your ads.” Explains Jennifer Willy of Etia. “Your advertisement should offer problem-solving solutions and be relevant to your audience. The format should be proper, and your content should have high-quality images.” 

    Jonathan Howkins of Bizmosis Ltd shares, “Your proposition needs to offer a direct, easily-implementable solution to a single ‘pain point’ or problem.”  

    Hawking stresses, “Be specific about what your solution will do for your audience.”

    2. Run multiple campaigns

    “Don’t just invest in a campaign that goes straight for the kill.” Advises Adam Rizzieri of Agency Partner Interactive. “Consider three campaigns that target the Top, Middle, and Bottom of the funnel each.

    Your top of the funnel ads should be designed solely to build awareness and your audience targeting. Begin to test your calls-to-action with the middle of the funnel ads and use the winners of those tests for your bottom of the funnel advertisements.”

    Travis Killian of Everlasting Comfort believes the same and adds, “To get the most from your marketing dollars, run more than one campaign, with each geared toward different demographics. You can still spend the same amount yet split it between different campaigns. This way, you’ll be able to create just the right ad for the ideal customer base.”

    3. Customize your ads

    Don’t let Facebook customize your ad for you – you know who your target audience is, where they’re most active and what your ad objectives are, so always customize your ads according to that. 

    Al McMordie of Big Al’s Sports Picks says, “While Facebook ads may not be as budget-friendly as before, they are still certainly one of the most cost-effective ways to create targeted ad campaigns. And the good news is that you can customize your ads until they attract exactly who and where you want to reach. 

    One box I am always sure to customize is interests. Even though you may be reaching your ideal age group, gearing your campaign toward those with specific interests can definitely end in more targeted leads.”

    Catherine Balsam-Schwaber of Kindra agrees and says, “Many companies fall into the trap of allowing Facebook to customize their ads for their convenience. However, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to basically gear your ad toward a specific grouping of Facebook users.

    Rather than focus on a certain region, it’s more beneficial to gear your ad to your target age group. As age is often the defining factor in hobbies, activities, and healthcare, it could work to your advantage to keep this in mind when starting your next Facebook campaign.”

    4. Use lead ads correctly

    Using Lead Ads is one of the best ways to generate leads on Facebook. 

    When HomeSnap, a real estate app maker, ran a lead ad campaign for 4 months, they generated a 6X return on ad spend and saw a whopping 7X decrease in cost per lead. 

    However, like all other kinds of ads, Facebook lead ads need to be used correctly to reap the fruits of success. 

    Darcy Burk of Burk Digital Factory believes, “Utilizing Facebook’s ‘Lead Generation’ campaign type to create an ‘on platform’ lead generation form can be a game-changer for collecting leads from Facebook Ads.” 

    However, “Be careful when using this campaign type as quality can be an issue if not executed properly. Be sure to utilize both the ‘higher intent’ and ‘intro’ options when creating the form. The intro will present the user with more information upfront before they submit their data, and higher intent will add an extra step for the customer to review their submission before completing it.” Says Burk.

    Maria Dykstra of TreDigital advises businesses to: “Ask 2-3 qualifying questions via the Facebook lead form to select and segment the audience upfront. Send highly-targeted offers via an email sequence that is customized for each of the customer segments.”

    Rob Sanders of Socially Found shares, “To alleviate the pain and frustration of an abundance of poor quality leads, more effort should be put into pre-qualifying questions. If you’re only going to ask for a name, email & number, there is little to no effort required from anyone who uses lead forms, as Facebook will auto-populate these fields, and the user merely has to hit the submit button. This type of form can lead to many types of poor leads, including those that are not even sure what they’re signing up for.

    A simple solution is to include further qualifying questions.

    For example, if you’re generating leads in the travel industry, you can ask questions such as ‘How many people will there be’, ‘Which month were you looking to book’, ‘How many nights were you wanting?’. Some may think that too many questions put people off when, in fact, answering further questions will increase the likelihood of closing the deal when you reach out to them.”

    Nada Pupovac of No Bounds Digital says, “If you are working with lead generation type of campaign, make sure you have a custom question that can’t be pre-populated. Especially when you are generating leads further down the buyer’s journey, you really want to make sure that quality beats quantity.

    What we found helpful with all other things being equal is asking a custom question. For example, for one school we were working with, it was asking for a grade of children from the parents who wished to schedule a tour. That single thing helped us to distinguish parents who were genuinely interested, from the ones who accidentally filled up the form.”

    Christina Strickland of Crackerjack Marketing believes keeping lead forms short and to the point makes a huge difference. “The longer your form, the less likely people are to complete the process. You can easily ensure that your leads are pre-qualified by creating very specific audiences through Facebook ads manager, combined with one qualifying question on your form (two at the very most!).” Explains Strickland.

    5. Be clear about your offer

    Don’t jump into Facebook ads, especially lead ads, without having done your homework first. Businesses not just need to be crystal clear on who their audience is but also what their offering is. 

    As Anna Nielsen of Our Good Living Formula explains, “When publishing ad campaigns, it’s important to be clear about what you offer. That way, you’re already filtering out the clients that aren’t willing to work with you. At the same time, you’re getting the attention of the right customers because they already know that your offering is the perfect fit for them. 

    So, be clear about what you’re selling. Even if you’re communicating a pretty deep message, your audience should know who you are and what you’re bringing to the table.”

    Related: Facebook Ad Impressions: Definitions, Benchmarks, and Ways to Improve

    6. Leverage videos

    Did you know, Facebook native videos have an 86% higher reach than similar content on YouTube? 

    According to HubSpot, video ads receive 20% more clicks than images, which means businesses need to start investing in videos to amp up their marketing efforts on social platforms. 

    Corrie-Dee Whaite of Corrie D Marketing shares her experience and says, “Video is where it is AT when it comes to online we can deliver CTRs of 0.001 per CTR for Video ads going out to highly targeted audiences.”

    Harpreet Munjal of WebbVR agrees and adds, “Using videos, especially customer feedback and customer reviews are one of the best methods to generate HQ leads at minimum costs.”

    Editor’s Note: Don’t know how to get started with Facebook video? Use this Facebook Essentials – Measuring Page Video dashboard understand when people watch your Facebook videos, when they stop watching, and more.

    Facebook Essentials – Measuring Page Video dashboard

    Related: Facebook Video Ads: 26 Practices For Driving Conversions

    7. Understand and define your audience well

    “Define your buyer personas properly.” Growth Boss’s Brendon Bennell says.

    “Understand what they want, what their pain points are in getting it, how you empathize with that pain, and how you can prove you can relieve it. Everything else – audience, hooks/offers, and creative falls out of these personas.” Adds Bennel.

    Carlos Trillo of Evinex says, “The more you fine-tune your Facebook targeting audiences, the best quality leads you will get.”

    For Joe Akers of Pyrpaw Marketing, targeting correctly can make or break a Facebook ad campaign. “Knowing who your ideal customer is by developing buyer personas allows you to target your message and add to a segment with interests, demographics, etc., that match your persona. When you do that, you’re going to attract leads of higher-quality and most likely, higher intent.” Explains Akers.

    Maria Harding of Four31 Digital agrees and says, “If you want high-quality leads, you need a high-quality audience, and this is where your targeting is so key.

    If you are starting from scratch, ensure that you really know your customer avatars to a granular level and then build your interest-based audience from that.

    Ideally, you will have an asset such as a customer or prospect list, which you can upload into your Ad Manager and build a look-alike audience that will be quicker to convert. 

    Always test, test, and test again to see what is working.”

    Lauren Espach of Spitfire Inbound also advises businesses to get their targeting right. “It’s a fine balance between going too broad and narrowing your audience down too much. My top tip: use custom audiences. This can include website visitors, leads/sales lists, Facebook page visitors, and lookalikes.” Says Espach.

    Duckpin’s Andrew Clark agrees and says, “Highly qualified Facebook ads begin with your targeting. Like other platforms, you’ll need to invest considerable time into understanding who your ideal customer is, what their needs are, and how your product or service can meet them.

    Sure, this is not revelatory to experienced marketers, but it’s something often given less time because it requires critical thinking and experimentation as not every quality can be distilled into a data point.

    This last part, the ability to quickly make changes in ad campaigns and adjust budgets, is a great thing about the Facebook ad network. 

    Also, I encourage advertisers to speak to their customers like they actually talk in real life versus filling their ads with fluff. 

    Tell people why your product is worth their time, be empathetic, and get your ads up and running, and pivot into something different if they’re not working.”

    Related: Facebook Ad Targeting: The 4 Essentials for Finding Your Audience

    8. The KISS Principle

    The KISS Principle stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” It’s a design rule, but it can be applied to Facebook advertising too. For your ads to perform better, keep things simple.

    Don’t make your lead forms too long or your Facebook ads too complicated for users. Keep them as simple as possible. 

    Here’s how Scott Cam of Blueprint Homes explains it: “Facebook users love swiping up and down the ads when they are traveling, relaxing, etc. But they don’t need to be 100% attentive while watching your ads. So the focus should be to reach the audience clearly and simply. Keep your ads/offers/forms simple and easy to understand. The message should be clear, and the ads should be elegant.”

    9. Segment your remarketing audience

    Advertoscope’s Roy Harmon recommends to: “Segment your remarketing audience based on where they’re at in the buying process. Based on the content they’re engaging with on your website, you can determine whether they’re at the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel. That way, you can target them with more relevant content. This will increase engagement, decrease cost, and increase your conversion rate.”

    Salim Ahmed of Advertify agrees and adds, “Make sure the Facebook pixel data is utilized to create effective, granular, remarketing audiences.

    If remarketing is undertaken correctly, the quality of Facebook leads is going to be much higher in terms of capturing those individuals with strong user intent as they move down a lead funnel. That will subsequently lead to a far better lead to conversion success rate.”

    Related: Facebook Remarketing: How To Build Custom Audiences & Win Back Visitors

    10. Offer incentives to users

    “Give viewers an incentive to stop scrolling and click on your ad – offer a free download like a guidebook, or a discount/promotion.” Says Tara Miremadi of Margaux Agency.

    “People will pursue a lead if they feel they’re getting something good out of it!”

    11. Show ads to qualified traffic

    “One of my biggest Facebook Advertising tips is to only show your lead generation ads to qualified traffic.” Shares Marissa Dahlin of The Digital Product Creation Lab

    “Lead generation ads (especially for webinars) can be really expensive when shown to a cold audience.

    That’s why I recommend starting with a video views campaign, which is one of the cheapest Facebook Ad campaigns. In this video, you’ll want to offer some brief training or tips that would only be relevant to your ideal audience (this could even be a popular Facebook live you did in the past).

    Once you have some video views, you can create a custom audience of people that have watched 25% or more of your video.

    Then, you can create a lead generation ad campaign and show it to your new custom (or qualified) audience.

    At this point, your ad costs go down, and you’re starting to see higher quality leads because you’re only showing your lead generation ad to people that have watched 25% or more of your training video. This means that they are interested in what you have to say, you’ve qualified them as a part of your ideal audience, and they’re slightly more familiar with you, making them more likely to take action.” Explains Dahlin.

    Creating a custom audience of people that have watched your video not only helps you target a more qualified audience but can also help reduce Facebook Ads CPM by showing your lead generation ad only to those who have already shown interest in your content.

    12. Nurture your leads

    One of the biggest mistakes marketers make while generating leads on Facebook?

    Not having a solid lead nurturing process in place.

    As Kelly Sturtevant of Blue Page Social Inc. says, “While getting someone on your email list is certainly critical, it’s not always bringing in the high quality leads you want.

    Think of what you can offer them to bring them further down your value ladder. If they took a free lead magnet, then what else can you offer them to stay in your ecosystem. Free training? Free Webinar? Small product?

    When they dive further down the ladder, the leads become higher quality and more likely to convert for that sales call or high ticket products and services. Then you can run ads directly to these warmer audiences and achieve not only better results, but higher quality leads.”

    13. Run informational ads and videos to your target audience

    Cayley Vos of Netpaths further explains the two-tiered lead generation approach on Facebook and says, “Run informational ads and videos to your target audience. Have these ads click through to your blog or location of informative articles that answer specific questions about your service. Ensure the Facebook pixel is active on each page you send paid traffic to (this will be important later).

    Run these ads for a few weeks to build up a targeted audience of your ideal prospects.

    Then create a retargeting campaign using the audience data you have created from Facebook ads and website traffic.

    Run ads to this defined audience with a strong sales message, and have it link to a landing page with a strong conversion mechanism.

    The pre-qualified leads will give you much higher conversions at a lower cost.”

    And Sasha Matviienko of Boost Shop aptly concludes, “Facebook is a great example of ‘pull’ marketing. When advertising on Facebook, companies tell a story about their products to get consumers interested. You would normally see advertisers have a layered approach to Facebook ads where only those consumers who interacted with ad #1 will see an ad #2. This way, prospects self-qualify as interested by interacting with the ads.

    To generate high-quality leads on Facebook, you need to put extra effort in analytics to track which users are interested and which ones are not with the help of a social media dashboard. This layered approach to Facebook ads helps to reduce the cost significantly by laser-targeting only the most interested users.”

    14. Don’t forget A\B testing

    “Make sure you A/B test your imagery AND copy.” Stresses Daniel Hellier of Ricemedia.

    A\B testing is a crucial part of Facebook marketing, as well as tracking your ad campaign performance using a social media dashboard software.

    As Andy Adams of TLA explains, ”You’re likely to appear in front of a potential lead multiple times & if you’re not returning with an improved or more optimized ad then you’re going to continue being overlooked.

    There are Dynamic Ads now allowing you to take advantage of Machine Learning to test & optimize towards your best performing creative. You should always be aiming for the most eye-catching creative & a message that chimes with your target audience.

    If there’s multiple audiences or different parts of the funnel, always have a dedicated messaging/USP to cater to pain points/what matters most to your audience.”

    15. Create lookalike audiences

    Crissy Conner’s best Facebook marketing tip is to gather the current customers’ emails and create a look-a-like audience. 

    “Those are people who have spent money with you or your client; Facebook knows more about their similarities than we may, so that is my best way to start a lead gen campaign using Facebook ads.” Shares Conner.

    Wendy Margolin of Sparkr Marketing shares the same opinion and adds, “This would be a cold audience that Facebook builds for you, based on all the billions of data points they have. Run an engagement ad to them, so they engage with your brand. Then they join your warm audience as well.”

    Eric Bergman of Serendipit Consulting believes, “By optimizing your audience lists, you can make your ads much more relevant and powerful to drive higher qualified leads. Plus, if you are running a lookalike audience on a high-quality customer list, it won’t need a lot of TLC and quality control.”

    “The tip I have for generating high-quality leads on Facebook ads is to create a lookalike audience based on the leads you already have.

    Many people try to outsmart Facebook by getting fancy with their targeting and trying all sorts of different tactics. Yet, Facebook knows how to find the leads you want. It has the data to do it. So, if you create a lookalike audience based on the leads you already have (even better if they’re customers), Facebook can take the data they have and use their algorithm to find the people who are most likely to become leads for you.” Shares James Pollard of The Advisor Coach LLC.

    Bernadett Dioszegi of Bannersnack agrees with everyone and adds, “The source audience should contain between 1,000 to 50,000 people and should be made up of your most valuable customers. It’s important to know that your list with the source audience should have 100 people from a single country. 

    You can also use a pixel or list with lifetime value as the source for a value-based lookalike, so Facebook can create for you an audience with people that are most similar to your highest value customers.”

    16. Write on-point ad copy

    “Work to keep the copy on your Facebook ads as clear and concise as possible.” Shares Vickie Pierre of TeenagerCarInsurance.

    “A common ‘rookie’ mistake we often see with Facebook advertising involves people overthinking or overcomplicating the copy. This can include anything from using complex vocabulary to writing statements that just don’t make sense. As long as the user is confused, you can count on them to keep scrolling by your ad.

    When it’s all said and done, simplicity is key. Your best bet in getting users to click on your ad will always be with a simple and clear call to action. There should be no question as to what your ad is about and what you’re selling. The more clear you are, the more success you’ll have in attracting that target client.”

    Facebook Ads Dashboard Template

    Wrapping up

    Generating leads via Facebook can be a fairly difficult and complex process. Try incorporating these tips in your marketing strategy, and you’ll see a vast difference in the quality and quantity of your leads.

    Article by
    Maham S. Chappal

    Maham S. Chappal is a content writer for SaaS and marketing brands in B2B. She’s been published in several leading publications including Social Media Examiner. She loves writing in-depth, research-backed content that drives traffic, increases brand awareness, and boosts ROI. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her engrossed in the latest John Grisham novel. You can find her on LinkedIn or on mahamschappal.com

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