Lead Generation: What You Need to Get Your Campaign Started

Virtually every business out there is looking for new customers. Whether your team is actively pursuing them through advertising and marketing, or you’ve cooled off on promotional tactics due to the challenges of COVID-19 – the importance of continuously building out your pool of potential customers (often referred to as ‘leads’) is crucial.  One great way to reach new leads is by building out a lead generation campaign. 

What is lead generation? 

‘Lead generation’ is a process whereby businesses take action to look for prospective customers, often referred to as “leads”. 

Rather than relying on walk-ins to your physical location, or search traffic to your website, embarking on lead generating actions is a way to entice your customer to check out more about you, in exchange for a small carrot. This is something of value to the customer that your business can offer, and ideally it should show off your business’s value-proposition. 

Building a lead generation campaign is the best of both worlds for a small business; you’re not simply relying on people finding you, but you’re also not bombarding them with irrelevant ads or cold calls. 

The idea is that you share a little bit about your business through a value-driven offer, and in exchange, interested leads will typically complete a form, where they share contact information. The expectation is that each person who fills out the form, expects to hear from your company in the future. In other words, they’re opting in to receive your information because they are interested in what you have to say. And thus, the marketing relationship begins.   

Lead Generation Campaigns Help You To

  • Reach new prospects 
  • Establish a next touchpoint with them (call, meeting, email list, etc.) 
  • Pre-determine that they have some level of interest in what you offer 
  • Confirm that they meet criteria important to your sale, such as need, location, specific hobbies/interests/experience, age, profession, authority, budget, timing, etc. 
  • Begin a value-rich relationship between your brand and the customer 
  • Validate your audiences (You may attract leads you didn’t think would be interested) 
  • Maximize your time on the most interested leads that meet your minimum criteria 

Keep It Simple 

Since lead generation is often the first touchpoint between that customer and your business, it’s important to keep your message and your offer simple and clear. There will be more time to deep-dive later. 

Common Examples of lead gen campaigns

  1. Discovery Calls 
  1. Free Webinars 
  1. Newsletter Sign Up 
  1. Free Consultation 
  1. Email Series 
  1. eBook Download (we even have a client who gives away a free hard-cover book). 
  1. Virtual Meeting or Event 

Lead Generation Campaigns on Facebook 

One of our favourite platforms for running lead generation campaigns is Facebook. And our favourite ad “product” on Facebook these days is their “lead gen form”.  This type of campaign is easy for businesses to setup – and easy for customers to engage with because they don’t have to leave the Facebook platform or enter much information. The lead gen format is optimized for mobile, a huge benefit for Facebook’s 88 percent share of mobile users. 

Your ad will be shown while they’re scrolling through other content. If they’re interested and click to sign up, Facebook will automatically populate the form with their info (name, email address, phone number), helping to speed up filling out forms 40 percent more quickly than on desktop. 

Getting Started on Your First Lead-Gen Campaign 

To get started on a Facebook lead gen campaign, you need 4 main things: a Facebook Ads Manager account, a lead generation offer, an image or video and an idea about the audience you want to target. 

Step 1: Follow Facebook’s instructions to set up your Ad Manager account for your business page. 

Step 2: Brainstorm the offer you’re going to advertise to leads. Remember, it should be easy to understand and deliver value to the customer.  

To start, ask yourself some questions: 

What do my customers care about? Is there information can I curate or share for people interested in my business? What questions are a lot of people asking? Can I provide a valuable solution? 

Then, decide on an offer that will best incentivize people to try out your business; it could be an email sign up, a 10% coupon or a ticket to a free online event. 

Looking for an in-depth guide to the best tips and tricks for Facebook Lead Gen success? We recommend this guide from Hootsuite.  

Step 3: Select creative to support your offer. For a basic campaign, we recommend a lifestyle image that reflects your business and brand, like the sample below for Jasper’s Market. 

However, depending on your offer, you can also use product shots, a carousel of many images, a video, or even a slideshow. An important tip is that Facebook does not recommend using image files that have text in them. In fact, frequently your ad might be declined for this reason. 

Step 4: Define some criteria for the audience you’re trying to reach with your campaign. During the ad set up process, Facebook will help you determine the right level of targeting by indicating if your audience is either too defined – or not defined enough for the campaign to be successful by displaying this on a barometer in your ads manager dashboard (see below). 

To define your audience, first start by thinking about who your best customers are. If you could multiply those people, what would define them? Consider age range, location, interests, etc.

Then, ask yourself – what’s a requirement of my target audience, and what’s an assumption, that might need to be challenged? For instance, this could be the age range that you believe is most interested in your products.  

Let’s look at a few examples: 

Do you want to target people looking for a yoga studio? Then create a target audience of people who meet any of the following criteria: 

  • Those who live in close proximity to the studio location 
  • Those have indicated an interest in yoga and/or wellness and meditation 
  • Perhaps those who have engaged with brands like lululemon or Outdoor Voices 

Alternatively, if you want to reach people who are parents of toddlers, build a Facebook audience based on people who meet all of these criteria: 

  • Parents of children living at home 
  • Who celebrated a birth in the last 1-2 years 
  • And have recently made a purchase from Toys R Us  

If you do already have some ‘perfect customers’, Facebook will allow you to create a ‘custom audience’ by uploading your CRM list, and then building a ‘look alike’ audience to find more people who meet the same criteria. 

Facebook has superb targeting capabilities, including geo-targeting, which is an awesome feature for small businesses looking to target people locally. However, one advantage of this type of campaign is that by setting a broader audience, you may gather insights that prove your interested leads meet slightly different criteria than you think. As you get more comfortable with running ad campaigns, you can develop many combinations of ads for different audiences, and even test ads against each other to determine which variables perform best for your business. 

Want help to kick-off your first lead generation campaign? Set up a free consultation call with our team to get started.