How To Run Facebook Ad Campaigns for Leads

Daniel Wade

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Daniel Wade

 / 

June 12, 2020

Facebook has nearly two billion active users every month. This makes it the perfect platform to promote your products and services to different target consumers. Facebook ads enable you to target precisely based on user interests, demographic characteristics, and means of access.

The goal of this article is to make it easier for you to get up and running with Facebook Ads. This comprehensive guide details the exact steps you should take to build up and manage your own paid ads campaign to generate leads for your business.

Table of contents

1. Getting Started: Set up Facebook Business Manager

To start out with Facebook advertising, your first step is setting up a Business Manager account. Business Manager is the section where you will find your ad account, business page, and ad tools.

If you don't have one yet, go to business.facebook.com and click on the blue "Create Account" button. Facebook will ask you for your name, business name, Facebook business page (if you haven't created one already, take this time to do so), and email address.

Your next step is to create or add your advertising account (Facebook Ad). To do this, navigate to the Business Manager menu then click on "Business Settings". Next, click on "Accounts" and then select "Ad Accounts". Facebook will present you with three options. These options include:

  • Link to an existing advertising account
  • Request access to an advertising account
  • Create a new advertising account

Choose the appropriate option and follow the proceeding prompts. In this case, you will choose "Create a new ad account." Once you have connected your ad account and Facebook business age to your Business Manager account, you can start your journey from your home page screen.

2. Important Account Settings

Before you can start creating your Facebook Ad campaign, there are some important account settings that you need to take care of first. Navigate to Facebook Ads Manager and choose your ad account. Next click on "Settings" on the drop-down menu (the top left).

Once you are here, input your Facebook Ad account name and select your advertising purpose. Check the option of buying ads for business purposes. Next, you have to fill in the remaining information including your business name, country, address, EU VAT number (when applicable), and whether you are an advertising agency.

Due to the many and often complicated aspects of PPC advertising, you already should have enlisted the services of an advertising agency to manage your Facebook Ads campaigns. If you haven't already, you should consider doing so if you want to run a profitable PPC campaign.

The next steps involve billing. To add your payment method, select the "Payment Settings" within the main settings menu. Click on the Add Payment Method "option. Select how you would like to pay and then input your payment details (a card, PayPal, or Facebook ad coupons). Once you've confirmed your account settings and billing settings are okay, you can move on to the audience research phase.

3. Creating Your Facebook Audiences

If you want to succeed in Facebook advertising, you have to make sure that you target your ads to the highest-value users. This is where Facebook Audiences comes in.

Facebook Audiences is the section within your account manager that enables you to create lists of users to target with your Facebook ads. You can divide the audience sections into two broad groups. These are prospecting and retargeting.

Prospecting

By prospecting, you are looking for a new audience. It involves targeting your Facebook ads at users who have not interacted online with your business. This could be any one of the two billion-plus Facebook users.

The challenger here is isolating the limited number of users within this massive pool. Fortunately, Facebook affords you two valuable tools to help you do this. The tools include:

  • Audience Insights - Audience Insights is a tool that you use to narrow down the pool of Facebook users into specific niches. You can employ this tool to learn about your ideal audiences, such as their interest, purchase behavior, demographics, and more. Audience Insights makes it easier for you to determine your most likely buyers (warm leads) as well as test various ad campaigns with them.
  • Lookalike Audiences - A Lookalike Audience is simply a group that you create. The purpose is to make the group resemble your best customers. This way, you already know that they are more likely to be responsive to your Facebook ads.

In order to narrow down the large pool of Facebook users, you should select your audience size and audience location. Facebook will help you create your lookalike audience. How? Facebook allows you to tap into the "Saved Audiences" feature.

Facebook-based this feature on data obtained from the interest, demographics, and behaviors of the users. Demographic data is sourced from the users' profile information, interests from the content, and pages the users consume and behavior from the recorded actions taken by users on Facebook.

Retargeting

Have you ever wondered why after visiting a website, you start seeing the company's ads when you log in to Facebook or Instagram? This marketing tactic is referred to as retargeting. As an advertiser, retargeting is one of your most important arsenals in Facebook advertising.

The reason for this is that a user who has shown interest in your business (by checking out your website) is more likely to become your customer than a user who hasn't. You can manage retargeting through the Facebook Custom Audiences feature. Custom Audiences allows you to leverage the data that your Facebook pixel captured. This is just one of the many benefits of tracking your Facebook Ads campaigns.

You can create a custom audience from four different sources including website traffic, app activity (such as Facebook or Instagram), customer files, and offline activity (inputting data you've obtained elsewhere like Google Analytics).

The next step is choosing to target anywhere from 1 to 10 % of the users within your smaller pool. 1% means fewer users will view your ads, but they are higher quality leads 10 % means more users will see your ads, but they are lower quality leads.

As you start, it is advisable to start with the 1 % option. This will give you the most bang for your buck. Later on, as you become better at Facebook advertising and increase your budget, you can choose to move up the percentage scale.

4. Creating Your Campaign

You know the ads you often see in your Facebook feed that are tagged as "Sponsored"? Those ads are one of many elements of what is referred to as a campaign. You will first need to create your campaign before you can publish ads.

The typical Facebook Ads campaign contains multiple ad sets, which themselves contain multiple ads. Every campaign contains at least one ad set, where you will select your audience, targeting, budget, and the ad that the users will see. Your Facebook Ad campaign can include multiple ad sets. These ad sets will allow you to test various ads against different audiences.

To create your first Facebook Ads campaign, navigate to the Ads Manager in your Business Manager account. On this screen, click on the green "Create" button. Facebook will then ask you to select a campaign objective.

This section is very important. Ensure that you think thoroughly about the objectives and sub-objectives of your campaign. The reason for this is that Facebook will optimize your ads according to your chosen objectives. Facebook Ads provide three distinct objectives:

  • Awareness - Includes brand awareness and reach.
  • Consideration - Includes traffic, engagement, lead generation, app installs, video views, and messages.
  • Conversion - Includes conversion, catalog sales, and store traffic.

In this case, since you want to generate leads, you select "Consideration" as your main objective and "Lead Generation" as the sub-objective. One other thing to note is that you should think carefully regarding the names you give to your Facebook Ad campaigns, ad sets, and ads. This way, when you create many campaigns, ad sets, and ads, you will be able to identify them quickly.

5. Creating Your Ad Sets

Once you have decided on the objective of your Facebook Ad campaign, the next step is creating your ad sets. You have to tell Facebook the "event" to optimize for as part of the process. For instance, let's say your objective was conversion (you seek to convert users who visited your business website previously but didn't take action).

In this case, you may select Add to Cart as the event. Facebook will then optimize how it delivers your ads by favoring this specific event. When you create your ad sets, you will select your budget, audience, and placements. Below is a detailed look into these three aspects:

Budget

In the budget section for your Facebook ad, you will get to control some important elements. These elements will include how much you seek to spend and the time you want to start spending it. Facebook provides further, more specific optimization options at this stage. This is good news in case you are eager to have more control over the ad delivery specifics.

By default, Facebook starts by suggesting a $20 daily budget. You have the option to adjust this figure however you want, selecting either the "daily" or "lifetime" budget and choosing the amount you want to spend.

For the daily budget, the figure you set is the maximum amount you will pay on any given day. For the lifetime budget, the figure you choose is the maximum you will pay for the lifetime of your Facebook ad. Note that when you select the lifetime budget, you will have to set the start and end date for your Facebook ad. You no longer have the option of running ads continuously.

The next step is choosing your schedule. For both the daily and lifetime ads, you can instruct Facebook on the specific times you want your ad to run.

By default, if you are on a daily ad budget, Facebook will suggest that you run your ad continuously. However, you can opt to start and end your ad on a specific day. Facebook does the math for you and informs you of the maximum amount you will spend.

Audience

Earlier on you created prospecting and/or retargeting lists in the Audiences section. Now, you can tweak these lists in your ad sets section. You can filter by location, gender, age, and language. This offers you a chance to test different variations.

Next, you can filter by interests, demographics, and behaviors. Here, you can also choose to target users who like your Facebook business page or exclude them. For instance, you may want to target users who like your business page because they may be easier to convert.

On the other hand, you may exclude them because you have created a different campaign dedicated to winning over users who haven't interacted with your business. These two audiences may require different types of ads so this selection is not an obvious one.

Placements

Facebook Ads allow you to select where you want to place your ad among the Facebook suite of applications - Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. You can also choose the device you want to target including mobile, tablets, and desktop.

You also have the option of placing your Facebook ads in the Audience Network. Audience Network refers to an advertising network that is outside Facebook's domain. This network includes select platforms outside Facebook that the company allows you to place your ads.

6. Creating Your New Ad

Facebook Ads are very versatile. There are a number of distinct variations that you can employ to solve different business problems. The various ads available include:

  • Boost your own posts
  • Collect leads for your enterprise
  • Promotion of your page
  • Send users to your site
  • Conversion increase on your site
  • Get installs related to your app
  • Increase engagement of the app
  • Reaching people residing near your business
  • Raise attendance at your own event
  • Get customers to claim your offers
  • Get the video views

As you create your ad, you can choose among the above options, all of which feature a unique focus to grow your business. Since our focus, in this case, is lead generation, you will choose "Collect leads for your business". Creating your ad will be as it is for other campaign types.

You will be able to customize the text and image that appear in all places on your ad. Now, where the lead ad differentiates itself is the Lead Form. On your lead ad, you will have six different call-to-action buttons. These buttons are Apply Now, Get Quote, Download, Learn More, Subscribe, and Sign Up.

Each CTA button links to a given form that you create within the Facebook ads editor. Just under the customization section, you will be able to see the Lead Form section. Under this section, you can do the attachment of an existing lead form that you had created previously (you can create one if you hadn't). Below is the procedure to create a Facebook Lead Form:

  • Give you Lead Form the name
  • Select the primary language
  • Choose the information that you want to receive or collect

By default, Facebook comes up with the full name and email of the user. Click below these 2 options in expanding the list to include many more options (some are more useful than others). You also have the option of asking three custom questions. Facebook suggests specific information you might find useful.

You can type a custom question of your own. You may customize the responses to these questions or leave them open-ended. After setting the questions, Facebook will request a link to your website's privacy policy or any legal disclaimers. The final step is including a link to your business website for users to visit once they complete your Lead Form.

Now comes the creative part - designing your ad. It is very important that you get this part right; otherwise, your ad campaign won't be effective. There's no point isolating a high-quality audience with Facebook Ads, only to send a low-quality ad. In other words, Facebook advertising finds your buyers, but it doesn't sell to them. That is your job. Below are some tips for writing a great ad copy:

  • Write to your narrowed-down audience
  • Write different ads for different audiences
  • Make sure your ad copy matches your visuals
  • Include one call-to-action
  • Keep your ad brief and always lead with the value proposition
  • Use simple language that is easy to understand
  • Be upfront regarding the numbers
  • Get some perspective
  • Test your ad copy

Once you have designed your Facebook ad, you can choose to host it either on your Facebook page or Instagram account.

7. Tracking and Managing Your Facebook Ad Campaign

Tracking is one of the most important aspects of any Facebook ad campaign. By tracking your progress, you can get a clearer picture of the effectiveness of your advertising efforts. Doing this will help you avoid wasting resources of channels and tactics that don't get results.

Embedding Facebook Pixel in Your Website

Fortunately, Facebook is a great tool to help you out with campaign tracking. The Facebook Pixel is a code that you can embed in your business website.

You create this code in your Business Manager Account. The pixel tracking code links your business site to your Facebook ad account. You will use it to measure the performance of your ads. Below are the steps for creating your Facebook pixel:

  • Click on the hamburger icon in the top left of your Business Manager Account screen
  • Select pixels and then click on the " Create A Pixel" option
  • Name your Facebook pixel
  • Enter the URL of your business website
  • Click on "Create"

Your next step is installing your pixel ID on your business website. The pixel ID is a unique 16-digit number. You have three options for doing this.

You can integrate your pixel into third-party platforms such as Google Tag Manager directly. You can install the code manually between the <head> and </head> tags. This method requires some basic knowledge of HTML. You will have to do this several times in order to cover different pages.

The third option is outsourcing this task to a web developer. Once you have installed your Facebook pixel, it will take a few hours before the code starts sending valuable tracking data to your Business Manager account.

Facebook Reporting

Your ability to run powerful Facebook ad campaigns hinges on the generation of valuable reports. Facebook avails more than 150 options in the report section. These options enable you to view crucial data and information regarding your ads.

Facebook Ad reports obtain and display your most vital metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) from your ongoing ad campaigns, ads sets, and ads. More importantly, Facebook allows you to customize the report Columns and Breakdowns for key metrics. In the Column section, the presets you can select from include:

  • Performance - reach, results, costs, the amount spent
  • Delivery - Frequency, reach, CPM, Impressions
  • Engagement - reactions, comments, people taking action, shares
  • Video Engagement - impressions, cost per 3s views of videos, and 3s video views.
  • App Engagement - app installs, app actions, cost per app install
  • Carousel Engagement - Frequency, reach, clicks, impressions
  • Messenger Engagement - link clicks, messaging replies
  • Cross-Device - website actions, mobile app installs, the conversion value
  • Offline Conversions - purchase, cost per purchase, the purchase conversion value

The Breakdown options include:

  • Delivery - age, location or platform
  • Action - conversion device, video view type or destination
  • Time - day, week or month

What does it all mean once you have selected your criteria? At the top, you can see the Performance tab. This tab highlights how your Facebook ads perform over your chosen data range.

You have three preset graphs, detailing the results of your Facebook ad according to your select objective. The graph also shows the reach of your ad as well as the total amount you have spent. From this screen, you can also customize the graphs to compare different metrics of your own choosing.

Utilizing Google Analytics

You can measure the impact your Facebook ads have on your business using Google Analytics. With the Google web analytics software, you can track visits to understand how Facebook builds your business. You can also identify the creatives and audiences that benefit your business. Below are the simple steps to adding a Google Analytics Tracker:

  • Build Your URL - Using this link (https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?rd=2), reference the tracking parameters that will be displayed to create your custom URL with Google Analytics. The parameters include Website URL (the page you created your ad for), Campaign Source (Facebook), Campaign Medium (CPC), Campaign Term (the descriptive term for your target audience), Campaign Content (name of individual ad) and Campaign Name (name of your Facebook ad campaign). It is worth noting that Google Analytics is case sensitive. As such, utm_source=Facebook is not the same as utm_source=facebook (this can save you a lot of headaches).
  • Test Your URL - Copy your URL and input it in your browser. You will be directed to your landing page. Navigate to Google Analytics then Traffic Sources then Campaign. Here you should see your click identified with the chosen campaign name.
  • Tracking Your Performance - Once you have created your custom URL, you can utilize Google Analytics in the same manner as you utilize it to measure your website's performance.

The Takeaway

The final and very important step when it comes to Facebook advertising is monitoring your campaign. If you just set up and forget, you will end up wasting your money. Instead, constantly monitor the performance of your ad campaign - and tweak it where necessary. Facebook provides a generous amount of data and analysis for each ad campaign.

As you can see Facebook advertising involves many facets and working with an advertising agency to manage your accounts has numerous advantages. You will have access to Facebook experts, you will save money, you will save your valuable time and you will have a dedicated team behind you PPC campaigns.

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