As digital marketers, our number one priority is driving demand for the businesses we represent. Often, marketers gain a reputation for being annoying and intrusive, in part because of historical cold calling practices and list-buying techniques that put people off.
Today, successful inbound marketers understand the value of finding and pulling in (as opposed to pushing away) the right people to buy our products and services, which is what lead generation is all about.
What is a lead?
You could think of a lead as a potential customer; someone you’re trying to convince to buy your products. But a better way to think about leads is people who have shown interest in your product or service through some action.
In the past, businesses saw leads as contact information on a list they bought to cold call. These were “potential customers” based on some interest or target grouping. But today, a lead has actually indicated interest in YOUR product or service by taking an action in some way.
For example, imagine you're searching “how to find great tutors in your area” on Google. If you receive an email the next day from the education center the information you clicked on, it would be much less intrusive than if you randomly received a cold call from education centers offering tutoring services because you happened to be 16-year old.
From a digital marketing standpoint, it’s also a better use of time to reach out to the people who indicate interest in your products than reaching out to lots of people on a list.
The Basics of Lead Generation
If leads are people who express interest in your product or service, lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers into leads.
For marketers, this process means finding ways to warm potential leads up to your products and services. Lead generation isn’t about blasting your product messages to the world. Instead, finding leads is about providing real people with tools and information to introduce them to the problems your products or services help solve.
How to Get Leads
You may or may not have had a basic understanding of lead generation before landing on this page, but regardless, you might be looking for ways to actually get leads.
The traditional way to actually get information about people visiting your website or information is through a lean form. A lead form is simply a way to collect information, like an email address, name, phone number, or contact information, about the people reading your information.
Using lead forms in practice is pretty simple. Here’s an example of how it works at HubSpot.
First, we create an awesome piece of content that potential customers might want to read. For example, we created an On-Page SEO Template. It’s a great piece of content that syncs up well with our target audience: content and digital marketers looking to use SEO strategies to drive demand for their business.
Next, we create a landing page that gates the piece of content. “Gating” is another term for requiring the user to submit information through a form in order to receive the free offer or content they’re looking for.
Once the user submits their name and email address, we now know who is actually accessing our content. Now, that website user is an actual name in our CRM system, which allows the marketers at our company to better qualify prospects for our sales team.
The form submission via a landing is the classic method digital marketers use to generate leads from offers, but savvy marketers are always looking for new ways to get leads, which brings us to Facebook Lead Ads.
As marketers, it’s our job to meet people where they’re spending time in order to attract them to our products and services. Facebook has more than 1.23 billion daily active users, which makes it a prime location for marketers to attract customers.
With so many people using and interacting with Facebook everyday, Facebook is a great social network for marketers and advertisers to utilize when they’re trying to generate leads organically or through paid promotions.
Marketers often use Facebook as an organic channel to promote discounts, offers, and content. Doing so helps turn social followers into leads by pointing them to the traditional lead form on landing pages. For more help with your overall Facebook Marketing Strategy, check out our guide.
But Facebook is also a great way to find leads who aren’t already familiar with your brand. Facebook’s ad platform, for example, helps advertisers drive new traffic to their website through a variety of ad types.
One of the many facebook ad types, the Facebook Lead Ad, is what we’ll focus on now.