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Facebook Lead & Local Awareness Ads


Two exciting new ad formats have landed on Facebook, one for lead genners and the other for smaller, local businesses. Both are quick and easy to set up and a little limited and rough round the edges, but it’s early days and we certainly expect the Facebook Ads team to add more polish in the future.

Facebook Lead Ads

The problem with using Facebook ads to draw users to your site is that most people don’t want to leave Facebook. Facebook ads have historically had lower clickthrough rates than Google search ads because users are being targeted based on their interests and behaviours rather than by what they’re searching for. This, of course, means that Facebook ads depend upon users clicking by impulse as they are seeing an ad that appeals to them, rather than Google ads, which capture the interests of users who are already in the research phase of the conversion process. For desktop users, it’s not much hassle to click on a Facebook ad and open a new tab before clicking back to Facebook again. However, for mobile users, this can be a slow and often irritating process, especially if the user thumbs the ad by mistake or if they’re on a weak 3G signal.



Fortunately, Facebook knew this and has recently rolled out Facebook Lead Ads live from beta and it has already transformed the way we use social media to generate leads for our clients. The days of marketers attempting to coax Facebook users away from their favourite social media platform and onto a contact form on another site are over. The key strength Facebook Lead Ads is that users can now click an ad and fill in a contact form on Facebook; you don’t even need a proper landing page anymore, however you do still need to provide a URL so unfortunately you can’t get away with having no website (sorry, tiny business owners). The main shortcoming of Lead Ads is that they are mobile only, so you’ll have to stick with ye olde contact form landing page for desktop users.

To get started, head over to Power Editor and create a new campaign, choosing Lead Generation as your objective:


Next, proceed to create your ad sets and ads as normal until you are instructed to create or add an existing form in the ad section:


Note the ‘add custom question’ box allows you to add as many custom fields as you like. Once you’ve ticked all of the relevant questions, you can click next and save your form for future use.

Setting up Facebook Lead Ads is fairly straightforward but the method of retrieving the leads leaves much to be desired and is definitely not obvious. You must be logged into Business Manager first and then be on the Facebook page of the business you want to retrieve the leads for. Click Publishing Tools and then Forms Library and you can download your leads as a CSV.

forms library

If you have developer skills or employee one, you’ll be able to hook your CRM up to the Facebook API to directly extract the leads automatically, rather than going through the clumsy process of regularly downloading CSVs and copying and pasting the data.

Aside from being mobile-only, another shortcoming of Lead Ads is that they are only available in the single image format. Remember those fantastic multi-image carousel ads that came out months ago? They’re still great and have the highest CTRs we’ve ever seen on social media, yet they’re mutually exclusive with Lead Ads. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to have our cake and eat it too.

Facebook Local Awareness Ads

Not every business that uses social media advertising is exclusively online. Cake shops, cafes, barbers, massage parlours, ice cream parlours, garages, restaurants or any establishment that needs their customers to be present in the flesh want to make their bricks and mortar location known to the public. This is where Local Awareness Ads come in with the main objective of letting local businesses say “hey, we’re over here!” to people that might not know otherwise. The way it works is that anyone who enters the radius is potentially targeted, even showing them ads later on when they’ve left the zone. This is great for messages like “Hey, you were close by us earlier. Did you pop in or totally miss us? We’re offering X discount for this week only!” Another option is that only people who live in the area wi


Straightforward enough, but we think it’s a bit too simple for our liking. For instance, say you own a remote-controlled model shop that’s off a side-alley from the main high street. You want to let people know where you are and what you’re selling, but you don’t want to spend your budget targeting anyone who goes near you as most people aren’t interested in remote-controlled models, that’s just fact. Facebook has an interest-targeting option, but this is unfortunately mutually-exclusive with Local Awareness Ads so you’ll be stuck targeting everyone close to your premises. Age and gender targeting are your only options, which is great if you own a mature ladies’ hairdresser but not if your business caters only to niche interests. Not ideal!

Setting up Local Awareness Ads is a piece of cake. Head over to Ad Manager, create a new campaign and choose ‘Reach people near your local business’ as an objective. As long as you have a Facebook page with your business location on it, you’re good to go.

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Jonny Holmes

When it comes to PPC, SEO and CRO, Jonny's skill and attention to detail make for consistently great insights. His work makes a measurable contribution to the business

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