When landing pages began rolling out back at the beginning of the decade, they provided a very welcome solution to the challenge of making sign-up process as smooth as possible for potential customers. There’s no doubt that they’ve worked well during that time, but with the evolving nature of marketing techniques, a new tool has been developed that threatens to rival the already somewhat dated landing pages.
Introduced in 2015, Facebook’s Lead Ads has become an incredibly effective mechanism that aims to make the collection of customer data for new sign-ups even simpler. There’s still some confusion surrounding the tool, so in this article we’ll walk you through the differentiators between the two and why you should consider using Lead Ads over landing pages.
What are Lead Ads?
Lead Ads look and work the same as the everyday adverts that customers are used to seeing on Facebook and Instagram, with one crucial difference; their information is provided automatically in-app. This means that when your target audience clicks on the ad, a contact form will pop up without being transferred to an outside site to finish the sign-up process. Instead, Facebook auto-fills the form with the details they signed up to the social media platform with. Assuming users have provided it in their profiles, you can instantly collect information such as their full name, email address, street address, phone number, company name and job title. You can also include other form field options such as one about purchase intent, as in the case of Land Rover in the image below from PlusThis.com.
LinkedIn has their own version of the tool – Lead Gen Forms – which was introduced earlier this year, allowing in-app forms from ads to be automatically populated based on the user’s LinkedIn profile, including information such as full name, contact details, company name, job title, seniority level and more.
Lead Ads vs Landing Pages
Landing pages are website pages that are focused on collecting the visitor’s details through a lead form. When targeting an audience through a campaign such as email or whitepaper offer, those who click the call to action will be taken directly to the landing page instead of the site’s homepage, where they may get distracted and abandon the process altogether.
Landing page example from Cisco/WebEx via Instapage.com
Although this technique is certainly more effective than relying on leads to guide themselves through sign-ups, it still has several drawbacks; which thankfully the introduction of Lead Ads has all but taken care of. This includes:
- No Distractions – Because the whole process is done in-app, there is very little potential for the user to become distracted and abandon the process, and also encourages conversions from those who otherwise wouldn’t bother. The only issue with this of course is that because they’re not being transferred to your website they’re unable to engage with the content on there, but most businesses will find this a comparatively minor downside.
- More Conversions – Marketing research has consistently shown that people dislike filling in forms; particularly those with more than one or two fields. The biggest advantage to Leads Ads is the fact that the whole process is automated, so unlike the forms on landing pages they can provide their details instantly.
- Fewer Fake Details – People providing false details, such as names, email addresses and phone numbers, is a big problem for form sign-ups – particularly those that offer content such as white papers in return for customer information. Because Lead Ads uses the details that the person used to sign up to Facebook with, they’re more likely to be legitimate.
- Easier on Mobile – Forms are harder to fill in on a mobile, and landing pages can be slow to load – a big problem considering that 40% of people abandon a website that takes over three seconds to load. Lead Ads solve this issue completely; the process is immediate and doesn’t require a visit to a potentially unresponsive mobile site.
- More Information – Many people are reluctant to give away too much information when filling in their personal details, resulting in either abandonment or incomplete forms. The automated aspect of Lead Ads means that your business gets more information about a lead, and because they’re not being transported to an outside landing page they are more likely to trust the process.
- Less Work – Forget building landing pages and forms; putting together Lead Ads is a much quicker alternative.
Lead Ad sign-up process example via Socialmediatoday.com
Ways to use Lead Ads
If you’re looking for some inspiration for how to use Lead Ads in the most effective way to gain quality leads, here are some suggestions:
- Newsletter Subscriptions – A simple yet very effective way to utilise Leads Ads is to target those who may be interested in signing up to receive regular updates from you. At base level all you need is a name and an email address – both of which are easily obtained via Facebook.
- Content Downloads – If your business has an eBook, whitepaper or case study ready to be downloaded, you can create ads targeting those who may be interested. Show the potential reader the value that your content can offer them by making it clear that it solves a problem they may have or provides genuinely interesting insights.
- Event Attendance – Whether you’re hosting a webinar or offline event, Lead Ads can help. Build an interesting offer in exchange for some contact details and as a result you can enjoy a higher probability in having the event filled with interested individuals.
- Enquiries and Quotes – Lead Ads can also be used to target customers who may want more information about your product or service before beginning the buying process. This could not only include general enquiries about your business, but also to obtain a quote, for example for companies that offer insurance products or design services.
How Global Database can help with Lead Ads
Once you’ve carried out your Lead Ads campaign, you can use Global Database to make your marketing efforts more efficient. Our innovative business intelligence platform can work alongside the data collected by Lead Ads in several ways, such as:
- Qualify leads – Find out which of your new leads are most likely to lead to sales by looking at the revenue and sales volumes of their company.
- Enrich data – Add to the data you already have by searching with just a full name or work email address, and learn more in-depth information such as company name, job title, seniority level, and more.
- Validate data – Check the data you’ve been provided is correct and up to date; our database has one of the highest accuracy ratings on the market thanks to consistent verifications and updates.
- Credit score – Take a deeper look at a business’ creditworthiness, including suggested credit limits.
- Build Lists from Scratch – Don’t have time to wait for leads to come to you? The Global Database has millions of records for organisations and individuals across 190 countries and 34 verticals. Whatever field you’re targeting, you can build highly relevant contact lists quicker than ever before.
While no one could argue that landing pages aren’t effective, the introduction of Lead Ads has changed the game for businesses looking to collect customer data and sign-ups. Of course, as with any marketing tool it will take time to perfect the technique and learn exactly what works for your target audience, but with regular testing and a bit of trial and error you should find a big boost to your lead generation results.