Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 | 9 min read
According to a recent study, lead quality is the most important lead generation objective for marketers in 2016. One of the best ways to generate high-quality leads is to make sure you’re reaching the right people—those who will be the most receptive to information about your products and services. Luckily, social media offers a wealth of data on user behavior and interests, which means that creating targeted lead gen ads on social can be incredibly powerful for your business. But with so many advertising options across the different social platforms, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start.
Each social platform offers a different approach to lead generation. Knowing what is out there is half the battle; knowing which platform to choose is the other, trickier, half. Let’s explore what the major players—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin—have to offer.
In October 2015, Facebook stepped-up its social lead generation game with the inauguration of Lead Ads, which are available on mobile and desktop. They are similar to standard newsfeed ads in that include a headline, text, and an optional CTA.
But here’s how Facebook lead ads are different: they offer an integrated form and an optional context card. Think of the context card as a ‘splash page’ between the ad and the form; it allows you to provide more information about your offer.
Context card or not, you still capture the information you need with Facebook’s customizable forms. As an advertiser, you can choose which text fields to include. Better yet, from the user’s perspective, the form is auto-filled with the information he or she provided Facebook. If the pre-populated information is not the most current or relevant, you can edit each text field.
Not convinced? Remember, these perks sit on top of Facebook’s powerful targeting machine. If you have already set up an existing audience for other types of ads, use lookalike audiences and clone it. Add interests and geo targets where necessary, pick your language, and in less than an hour your lead generation campaign is live.
Plain and simple, if your business needs leads, Facebook must be in your marketing mix. Consider Mazda, which used Facebook lead ads to schedule test drives. The company generated five times the amount of leads compared to ads linking to their website, while cost per lead dropped 85%.
While Facebook is a compelling lead generation option, there are two caveats to consider. First is Facebook’s lack of native customer relationship management (CRM) integration. The platform’s latest update includes a Zapier integration which can connect you to a CRM, but at an extra cost. The second is Facebook’s casual, personal nature. The platform is a great place to connect with and advertise to individual consumers, but it’s not the best option for companies targeting businesses with enterprise products and services.
Like Facebook, Twitter has an ad format built specifically for lead generation: the Lead Generation Card. This option let’s you capture basic contact information, including name and email.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter integrates with your CRM. The lead generation form appears within a tweet and the information is sent directly to your CRM, without forcing you to leave Twitter. This makes for a smooth experience, as users avoid the cumbersome task of entering the same information into both Twitter and their CRM platform. It’s a vital timesaver in a fast-moving industry.
Another interesting aspect of Twitter’s social lead generation is its audience targeting options. Twitter is a great place to find people at a very precise moment in time. Have an awesome food blog? Use TV Targeting to capture people before, during, and after their favorite cooking shows.
What’s more, aside from basic geography, gender, and language options, the Twitter targeting list includes keyword targeting, event targeting, tailored audiences (you can upload a remarketing list or a list of existing users), interest targeting, TV targeting, Twitter Engager, and follower targeting.
Above all, the trick to winning on Twitter is timing. The platform is a speeding train of trends and topics, and your lead generation advertising campaign will have a better chance of succeeding if it latches on to a current event, trend, or celebrity sensation. Add Twitter advertising to your marketing mix around key industry events and hyper-relevant trending topics.
MVMT Watches increased sales by using Twitter ads during key events. The company focused on shopping holidays and increased its sales over 300% during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Instagram is like Facebook’s hip younger sibling. Amidst the sepia-tinged photographs is an audience that skews younger, boasts unmatched engagement rates, and sits on the shoulders of Facebook’s colossal platform.
Here’s how to make Instagram work for you, with and without Facebook.
First, Instagram advertising can be purchased in tandem with Facebook advertising. In fact, Instagram is included by default when you set up a general Facebook advertising campaign. A campaign that covers both Facebook and Instagram is great for advertisers who need to target a broad audience. These combined campaigns do not include forms, but they do include an optional call-to-action that directs you to an external landing page, or your social page.
Instagram ads can also be purchased as a stand-alone buy. This allows for more precise segmentation and targeting, as Instagram itself offers a compelling standalone audience. Users obviously respond to dazzling imagery, so if your business is prioritizing mobile marketing (and offers products that photograph well), Instagram is a must. Consider Carousel Ads, which allow you to add between 3-5 images and point to a website, all in one ad.
Old Navy uses Instagram to attract new and returning customers. The company targets consumers who want a high-end look at an affordable price, so it uses straightforward images that don’t look out of place on a typical Instagram feed.
It’s a powerful tool, and one that allows for ample creative expression on the part of brands.
We’ve covered the consumer-based players, and although they embrace B2B, no social network does business like Linkedin. Lead generation is one of its core competencies.
Linkedin has the most options for lead generation. They include:
Advertise content that draws attention. Did you publish a great case study? Promote it on the LinkedIn feeds of users who are likely to be interested in the subject matter.
Send a personal note directly to a specific inbox.
Display the name of the target user in the ad, creating the feeling that the offer provided is just for them.
Similar to Facebook lookalike audiences, this allows you to upload a list of your existing accounts. LinkedIn will then find a matching audience.
All of LinkedIn’s marketing solutions offer the following targeting options: location, company name (current employer listed on member’s profile), company industry, company size, job title, job function, job seniority, member skills, member schools, degrees, fields of study, member groups—up to 100 active groups, member gender, and member age.
Although the options offered for a large investment are effective and unique, Hubspot was able to drive high-quality leads with sponsored LinkedIn content—a self-serve option. The company placed relevant sponsored content alongside organic content within users’ feeds. This resulted in 400% more leads within their target audience than lead generation efforts on other platforms—a very successful outcome.
From visually-engaging Carousel Ads to tailored In-Mail messages for business stakeholders, there are social lead generation advertising options for pretty much any industry and target audience.
The amount of resources can be daunting, yes, but the payoff is more than worth the legwork of testing them out. By becoming familiar with channel advertising tools, using performance data to determine which are the most effective, and honing your strategy accordingly, your brand can reach its target audiences with relevant content at the speed of social.
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