A Q. & A. with Facebook Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Advertising Kevin Chao

The Jornaya team has heard a lot of buzz lately about Facebook’s new lead ads product. I recently had a chat with Facebook’s Kevin Chao to get the lowdown on Facebook lead ads to share with you. Here’s what I learned from Kevin.

1. How do Facebook lead ads work?

Whether your objective is to encourage consumers to sign up for your newsletter, get an offer, attend an event, or request more information about your product, lead ads simplify the mobile signup process, helping you hear from people interested in your business.

When a consumer clicks on your lead ad, a form opens with the consumer’s contact information automatically populated, based on the public information they share with Facebook, like their name and email address. This makes filling in the form as fast as two taps: one click on the ad to open the form and another to submit the autofilled form. Additionally, this form can be customized, giving the advertiser the ability to request whatever information is most relevant to their business.

The main thing to note is that this is a fully nativized and a seamless experience. In a time where you have ever-increasing mobile usage, it can be hard for the performance marketer to reach and capture consumer intent. There’s a lot of fragmentation in how consumers interact with their devices, and once you do reach them, because they are on a mobile device, it can be difficult to get a consumer to type in all their info because it’s usually a frustrating user experience on mobile.

But, with the lead ads forms, because Facebook will pre-populate the consumer’s information we have that is publicly available, it vastly improves the user experience, making the user more likely to complete and submit the form.

2. What makes Facebook lead ads different than traditional lead sources?

Facebook can reach all the consumers that matter to you because its reach is so vast (as of the second quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users*), and because it’s based on real identities, you can do it in a targeted manner. It’s a native experience and a seamless experience and you can capitalize on that intent. It’s mobile-optimized and caters to shifting consumer behavior. It works across multiple devices–tablet, mobile, desktop, etc. providing a unified experience so that you know the identity of the consumer across all devices without worrying about duplication.

Because this is happening within Facebook, when the brand establishes a relationship with a consumer, they can continue engagement within Facebook. For example, you can leverage Engagement Custom Audiences to build a cluster based on who opened, started, and abandoned or who completed the form on your lead ad. With those engagement custom audiences, you can then approach them with the appropriate follow up targeting based on that signal and follow them through the lifetime of the relationship.

3. What kinds of businesses are using Facebook lead ads?

We are seeing a broad range of industries having success with lead ads, including auto brands, higher education providers, mortgage lenders, insurance carriers, and even sports teams — with both large and small-sized companies capturing consumer data for their campaigns. Because this platform is flexible and empowers the customer through their acquisition, businesses of all types are seeing success with it.

4. What kind of success are brands seeing from Facebook lead ads?

Businesses of all sizes using lead ads all want consumers to easily contact them so they can gather more information and nurture them into high value customers.

There are varied ways customers are seeing success; for example, CDI College has experienced a 15–20 percent increase in return on ad spend and a 41 percent decrease in cost per lead compared to other channels. Looking at a different industry example, iconic German car manufacturer BMW UK reduced its cost per lead by 56 percent and saw a 2.8X increase in leads when it switched to Facebook lead ads. And, the news and information site TheSkimm used Facebook lead ads to attract new subscribers for its daily newsletter, seeing a 22% increase in lead quality at a cost per acquisition of just $1-2.

5. What is the process for a marketer to get started with Facebook lead ads?

We are trying to make the process as seamless as possible and give as many options as possible to our advertisers. The form process has a few sections beginning with the context card that provides the opportunity for the advertiser to give the consumer more information about how to understand their business.

Next, you will determine the information you want to capture, the information from the consumer that’s most relevant to your business. The publicly available data Facebook already has that you ask for will be auto-filled, but we also support custom questions. The advertiser can ask for the pertinent information he wants to capture. For example, if you are an auto company you might want to ask your consumers “When are you looking to buy your next car?” so that you know when it is most appropriate to follow up.

The final step in the process is the privacy policy. We want to make sure that consumers understand how their information will be used, including disclosures and compliance language. We don’t ever want an advertiser to abuse it and above all else, we want the user to feel safe in sharing their information.

The lead ad setup requires a privacy policy by the advertiser, but there’s also an opportunity to customize this to be a Custom Disclosure, which many advertisers use to get the consumer’s express consent to be contacted by phone or text (as required by the TCPA). You have options to add more text, hyperlink, and make an active agreement to the disclosure required (via an acceptance radio button) if they desire to do so.