by Tim


Online Advertising

Facebook & Instagram Lead Ads Refresher

After recently managing an expansive lead gen campaign across both Facebook and Instagram for a client, we thought it might be worth writing a quick refresher on this useful campaign type whilst it was fresh in our minds.

Facebook introduced lead ads back in late 2015, but many advertisers have been slow to adopt them. In fact, a lot of advertisers still choose to drive traffic away from Facebook when looking to collect data, forcing users to submit forms on external websites.

Why Use Lead Ads?

Amazingly there are over a billion daily users of Facebook on mobile devices. Most of these users will be using the Facebook app on either IOS or Android to browse the network. By forcing these users away from the platform to their own websites, advertisers are further disrupting an already passive audience … the likelihood of a user clicking back as soon as they find themselves being directed away from Facebook is very high.

However, Facebook lead ads solve this problem and encourage users to do something no-one enjoys: fill in a form. The reason they work is that they keep users in their news feed — users click on one of the six selectable CTAs and up pops the form, with name and email address auto-populated, saving the user time and effort.

The six CTA buttons available for lead ads.

Once the form has been submitted they can continue to scroll downwards forever more. To get an idea of just how much more successful lead ads can be in comparison to web click campaigns, take a look at this Facebook news story.

If you’re considering setting up some lead ads of your own, here are some points to consider:

Keep Your Forms Short

Facebook will let you select all options under user information. They will also allow a maximum of three additional questions, which can include custom questions created by an advertiser. This can result in a very long form. Lead ads may be quick and easy to fill in, but just looking at a form with more than five questions is enough for some people to drop-off right away. For that reason, if you want to maximise form fills only request the information you really need.


The questions you can add to your form. You might want to, but don’t add them all!

More Leads More Problems?

This is slightly contradictory the above point about maximising form fills, but it’s important to remember that 100 high-quality leads are more valuable than 1,000 poor-quality leads. For that reason, consider using the optional context card when creating your form. This allows you to briefly display information to the user right after they click the CTA and just before they start filling in the form.

The context card is an opportunity to imbue confidence in potential leads and let them know exactly what will happen once they’ve submitted their form. Equally, from an advertiser’s perspective, it’s a way to weed out people who “like” everything (these people do exist) and save time that would be wasted contacting users who may not really want to be contacted.

Facebook’s example of a context card … nice!

Remember to Split Test

This may seem obvious, but remember to split test your lead gen ads. Facebook & Instagram allow for numerous targeting options. Needless to say, you’ll want to make sure you tailor your ad copy and image choice to your specific audiences, but it’s also important to remember that user expectations can change per ad platform and per device. In other words, the lead ads that appeal to mobile Instagram users may be very different to the best performing desktop Facebook ads.

In conclusion, lead ads are a great way to collect data using Facebook and Instagram — they’re easy to set up for advertisers and easy to fill in for users; a winning combination!


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