Shweiki had the pleasure of sitting down with Jon Loomer, a leader in Facebook marketing strategy and the author of an award-winning blog (jonloomer.com) that’s a must-bookmark site for anyone advertising on Facebook, from the most novice to the most advanced.
Here Shweiki sits down with Loomer and digs into important, relevant and—in today’s world—must-understand topics regarding Facebook marketing. In this exclusive interview, this Facebook expert discusses the pros and cons of Facebook lead ads versus landing pages for websites, the benefits of the buy button, what an instant article is and how it can be used effectively, mobile versus desktop Facebook marketing and more.
Anyone who is interested in advertising or getting conversions on Facebook should know that there are pros and cons of doing it different ways. Facebook is a great platform for optimizing the user’s experience.
Facebook Lead Ads vs. Landing Pages
Dave: Can you describe the difference between Facebook’s lead ads and a website’s landing pages? What are the basics of each?
Jon: The old-fashioned way of collecting leads on Facebook is by using landing pages. Users click on a link that was shared either organically or through an ad to go to a website’s landing page. From the landing page, the user must then find and complete a form to be added to the company’s email list. Facebook lead ads work differently and streamlines the entire process. Facebook figured out that landing pages were less effective because they were taking users away from their platform and overall experience on Facebook. Also, many users were dissatisfied with slow loading times. Therefore, they created lead ads to combat this problem.
With lead ads, a user clicks on the link or call to action within the ad and it automatically brings up a form. It also fills in the form information by polling the user’s profile. If the user does not want to use the email address, name, etc that is filled in, then he or she can override it.
Lead ads are currently only available on mobile devices, but they are developing it for desktop. The important thing about them is that they are entirely within Facebook. It’s a quick, easy and streamlined process. The results I have seen are incredible in terms of collecting leads.
Dave: One disadvantage of lead ads that many publishers have complained about is that they lose web traffic. People are not going to be visiting a company’s website and possibly not looking at their content. What are your thoughts on that?
Jon: It is a give and take. Normally, I have used landing pages to re-market to people based on the web pages of my site they have visited. However, with lead ads that option is no longer possible. Also, will there be an issue of quality if it is easy to generate leads? Another potential negative is if a company does not use a third party tool, there will be no automatic syncing to the CRM. When somebody opts in on a landing page and fills out a form, it will be sent to an auto responder. However, with lead ads, the process is not automatic and someone has to personally and constantly keep updating the list. Otherwise, people are going to opt in but not receive anything. Third party tools make the process easier because even if they do not sync, they can have a built-in auto responder that delivers an email from you.
Jon: For me, my CPM (cost to reach people) is about twice as high with the lead ads and drawing people to my website, which is interesting because my cost per lead is quite a bit less for a lead ad. Whenever the CPM is a lot higher than a company has to be more effective. Some say, it is more expensive, but there are many factors that go into whether or not the business gets the lead. If the targeting, creative or copy is terrible, then you are spending double to reach people, which is a waste of money. To summarize, the cost to reach people is higher, but the cost per lead is significantly lower.
Dave: Cost per conversion is really what marketers concentrate on at the end of the day. We use CPM and cost per click, but in the end, the final result is what matters. What does it cost you?
Jon: Currently, lead ads are only available on mobile. This makes sense because CPM for mobile devices is lower than what it is for desktop. Also, the issue with landing pages on mobile is that if you click on an ad to go to another site’s landing page, there is the risk that it is not optimized for mobile. Conversion was more expensive for mobile devices than desktop. My suggestion is run two ads. One ad that is a lead ad for mobile devices while the other sends people to a landing page for desktops.
Dave: Marketers have to test, test, test. Lead ads take down barriers to entry (an entire click) which is a big deal. If all a user has to do is submit a filled in form, then that makes the process extremely simple, especially on a mobile device. If you had to choose a percentage of budget between lead ads and driving people to landing pages, what would you do?
Jon: That’s a tough one. I’m not exactly sure what I would do. I would probably split it down the middle at 50/50. I might spend more on lead ads because they are more effective. Depending on the individual results a person receives, he or she might be more inclined to go 60/40 or even 70/30.
Dave: A very good landing page will build trust and potentially weed out unqualifying leads, but people will bounce on you more times than not. The extra click deters a lot of people.
Jon: It is important to remember that without a landing page, your pitch is entirely in the ad now. Therefore, in the ad, you have to be more thorough and creative in explaining what it is they are signing up for. This can also be a good way to re-market to people who have visited a landing page, but did not convert because it may have been too difficult. You can emphasize to users that the lead ad makes the process a lot easier.
Dave: That is a great idea! Marketers can build a website custom audience by putting a pixel on a landing page that people went to but did not convert. They have already seen the landing page, so they might just need an extra nudge.
Facebook Buy Button
Dave: The Facebook buy button is fairly self-explanatory. Are there any negatives to the buy button?
Jon: Actually, the buy button has many of the same negatives a lead ad does when trying to attract web traffic to your site. The buy button and lead ad share the same concept in that users complete the transaction entirely on Facebook. Users click the buy button and a form comes up to make the purchase in Facebook.
Using the buy button is easy, streamlined and users never have to wait for a website to load. Additionally, once users start buying in Facebook, their information will be on file so they do not have to provide a credit card number every time. The negatives include not being mobile friendly and not attracting traffic to your website.
Dave: Can you do cost per click with these lead ads and buy buttons? CPM?
Jon: Lead ads have two options. Marketers can either optimize the lead itself or for the click (cost per click). Those are the only two options available so CPM is not even possible for lead ads. Since I do not use the buy button, personally, I would assume it is similar to lead ads.
Facebook Instant Articles
Dave: Explain what instant articles are.
Jon: In basic terms, instant articles explain how to behave. When users click on a link shared in Facebook, it automatically opens up the article in Facebook. Instant articles possess rich media content meaning it is very dynamic and marketers can do all kinds of crazy things with it that they cannot necessarily do with a website.
Dave: What are some of the dynamic things you can do?
Jon: In terms of rich media, you can play videos that will appear within the article. Users will also be able to flip side to side, up and down to view different content and there are also maps they can engage with. There are all kinds of things that provide a richer experience than being on a website. Marketers also still get the traffic because it is still coming from the feed from their site.
Dave: What do you mean “they still get traffic?” Marketers need to be able to monetize that traffic in order to produce good content.
Jon: First of all, you have control over what goes into that content. There are links that continuously link out to the website. You can have ads or Facebook ads placed in the article and you can still put whatever it is your tracking into that same article.
Dave: So, marketers can still report back to whatever advertiser they have and say this is how many impressions and clicks I received, these are the metrics, etc. The metrics still operate like they would on a site’s page.
Jon: At least to a certain point, yes. You can embed whatever tracking software you want but you will lose some of the typical navigation you have on your own site. I’m not 100% clear, but I do know that it positively impacts your SEO.
Dave: This is so new. Marketing is ever-evolving and to stay competitive you should try to respond to what’s best. Users dictate where everything in marketing is headed. My advice is try the lead ads, buy button and instant articles.
If you want to hear more from Jon Loomer about Facebook lead ads, he is hosting a free, live 60-90 minute workshop on November 12, 2015. If you are interested, you can sign up here.