Prospective students don't want to leave Facebook to fill out forms. Now they don't have to. The feature, available to Facebook Power Editor users only, is a great opportunity to for savvy marketers to capitalize on the first-mover advantage.
The Long and Winding Return on Investment:
Facebook announced in December 2015 that lead generation campaigns were going to be available "soon" for use by all publishers. With Facebook advertisers seeing a steady decline in CPA, the platform needed an answer for those of us tracking on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) basis. The result? Facebook lead generation campaigns. Our team emailed Facebook support, well, a couple of times to try and learn exactly when this would be available. We did the same thing when Instagram ads became available to all colleges and universities.
Prior to the announcement, the only way to launch a lead generation campaign on Facebook was on mobile. Unfortunately, form completion (at least with higher education testing) on mobile isn't an easy ask. The result? High cost-per-conversions.
Step 1: Download Facebook Power Editor
The Facebook Power Editor is a funny thing. For most users, maneuvering through Power Editor is like driving a Ferrari when you have no desire or intention of going above 60 mph. Boosting posts or managing budgets? The standard Facebook Ads manager will do for most messaging and advertising tasks.
There are three cases when it pays to use Power Editor.
1. Bulk Uploads: If you're managing large-scale campaigns, Power Editor is your go-to-tool for uploading, editing and deploying blanket changes to your ad-groups or ads. Think of it like the AdWords editor for FB.
2. AB Testing: For whatever reason, it's easier to duplicate campaigns, ad groups and ads in power editor. It feels more like Excel than an advertising dashboard in some respects. After the campaigns are live, comparing click-through-rate, cost-per-conversion and any other metric you'd like to test is easy.
3. Early Beta Testing: This is the big one. When Facebook releases new advertising features, they seem to release them first through Power Editor, and then to the general ads platform. If you wanted to advertise on Instagram, Power Editor was the only place to go in the early days. Facebook has once again released a feature only available to those Power Editor power users.
Step 2: Select Campaign Type: Just like lead generation for mobile, this step will be the same.
Step 3: Ta-Dah! New desktop news feed option.
Step 4: Select Leads. Facebook will make an attempt to show this to members of your target audience most likely to click "submit."
Step 5: Customize your audience. If you've ever created a FB ad, you're familiar with this step. In this situation, we'll focus on the state of Virginia. Your enrollment management marketing team may be tasked with increasing students from a specific region: Virginia. Maybe you have a unique scholarship for residents of VA, maybe historical data tells us students from VA tend to study business degrees at a higher percentage than any other state. Let's start there.
Step 6: Create an online lead form. This is going to be your most important few steps. Remember, one of the reasons Facebook created lead generation ads is because they want to keep people on Facebook. And really, users want to stay on Facebook; they don't want to click to an off-site form. Keeping that in mind, keep the form simple.
Step 7: Pick your fields and make sure to create a custom field. Soon, everyone will be creating Facebook lead ads. The window is open but it's narrow. Create a customized question that helps your admission's office or CRM manager organize the lead. In the example below, we're having the prospective student select a type of scholarship they're interested in applying for or receiving more information about.
Step 8: Create Your Ad (see video). It's digital marketing beauty!
Early Mover Advantage:
How does Facebook make money? Ads. And if you've been scrolling through your newsfeed lately, lots of ads. In Q4 of last year, Facebook generated 5.8 billion dollars in revenue (TechCrunch) and reached 1.6 billion global users. The growth in users and ad spend results in a noisy platform. With targeting features including age, demographic, interests, online behaviors and connection (to name a few), Facebook remains the go-to ad-platform for hyper-targeted messages. It's interesting to note in the graph below, all of the growth in quarterly revenue came from mobile.
The more ad inventory, the higher the ad-fatigue by Facebook users. To keep marketers and advertisers happy, Facebook releases new formats that keep those of us tracking cost-per-conversion happy. Test this new feature and let us know how it works for your team.
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