Whether you have an established business or not, getting the attention of new or familiar audiences is difficult. In fact, the stage when you inform a potential customer about your business, otherwise known as prospecting, is the most difficult part of the sales and marketing process for more than 40% of people.
And no wonder! More data shows that at least 50% of prospects aren’t quality leads. This means that your time spent prospecting is probably time wasted, which means it’s hurting your bottom line.
So how do you make the most of your prospecting efforts? And how do you market to the right audiences, at the right time, with the right message?
Fortunately, the answer is a simple one: Facebook.
Surprised? Maybe you didn’t think using social media would be the answer. But let me tell you, running Facebook ads is like betting on the fastest horse on the track. You can’t lose!
It’s because when you use Facebook, your ads don’t just reach dead ends, they draw in opportunities. And with Ads Manager, you can set clear marketing objectives and target your prospects. That means quality leads that lead to quality conversions.
Not convinced? Well, let’s dive in further to lay out why running your prospecting campaigns on Facebook may just be your secret weapon.
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The benefits of using Facebook to find prospects
So you want to streamline a usually lengthy process to make your marketing simpler, less time-consuming, and overall more effective in prospecting audiences?
Well, let’s start from the beginning to explain why Facebook is your best bet.
Most marketers are familiar with the classic, tried-and-true marketing funnel strategy. With the funnel, you can map routes to conversion and beyond, from the initial stages when someone learns about your business to the purchasing stage.
And prospecting? Well, that’s just a fancy term for finding new customers. You see, prospecting is common in eCommerce and is made up of “top of funnel” marketing strategies, which means getting the attention of new or familiar audiences, increasing brand awareness, and earning their conversion.
There are multiple benefits to using Facebook for your top-of-funnel campaigns, and a multi-faceted, ultra-effective approach to making sure the audiences you reach are quality prospects.
Let’s break them down.
Reach larger and more varied audiences
Let’s imagine you run a skincare company. You want to target new customers for a new line of sunscreens that are mineral-based. Sounds simple, right?
Except, once you start to consider the kinds of information needed to truly reach your target audience, things get...well... more complex.
The beauty of Facebook advertising is that there are a number of targeting options to help you inform potential customers and create the broad audience you’ve always wanted.
You can give Facebook data on the customers that have already bought some of your other mineral-based products to start from. It will then look at common attributes of those customers...and go find more.
And before you decide to advertise elsewhere, consider how Facebook allows you to create custom audiences and lookalike audiences that fit the needs of your campaign, allowing you to narrow your campaign reach to a specific demographic, geographic location, and user interests, helping you increase conversions and get more bang for your buck.
Side note: If you want, skim through some of these 34 tips on ad targeting to get a better sense of how to approach your targeting strategy.
Full-funnel targeting objectives
The upside to finding prospects with Facebook ads is that you can build brand awareness with a specialized campaign objective that optimizes your ad to reach new audiences that are unfamiliar with your brand.
You can find Facebook campaign objectives when you are creating a new campaign in Facebook Ads Manager. Objectives include:
- Awareness - Show your ads to people who are most likely to remember them. This objective is good for reach and brand awareness
- Traffic - Send people to a destination, like your website, app or Facebook event. This objective is good for getting link clicks and landing page views
- Engagement - Get more messages, video views, post engagement, page likes or event responses. This objective is good for getting messages from potential customers, video views, and getting likes, comments, and shares
- Leads - Collect leads for your business or brand. This objective is good for collecting Instant Forms, and getting messages, calls, and sign-ups
- App promotion - Find new people to install your app and continue using it. This objective is good for increasing app installs and app events
- Sales - Find people likely to purchase your product or service. This objective is good for increasing conversions, catalog sales, and messages from customers
If you’re not sure what objective to use, read more about running ads on Facebook and choosing campaign objectives.
The other upside? Even if you decide to change goals and, say, want to turn those prospects into subscribers for your service, increase lead generation and build that email list you’ve been neglecting, or ramp up conversions like a mad man, you can run multiple ad sets with different objectives based on campaign types.
A variety of ad formats
Because prospecting is a top-of-funnel strategy, it’s important to grab the attention of new customers you’d like to eventually convert. That’s why choosing an ad format that is visually interesting, holds the attention of your audience, and makes sure they remember you is key.
You want to excite your audience and deliver key messaging that will inform them of your brand and keep them coming back.
Ad formats that are good for the awareness stage of prospecting include:
- Single image ads
- Video ads
- Lead generation ads
- Carousel ads
- Product ads
You can also choose from a variety of calls to action (CTAs) to enhance your ads. Facebook offers a range of copy that can match your specific objective. You can direct people to a landing page, have them fill out an Instant Form, or prompt them to learn more.
Facebook has automated its ad delivery system and created a budget optimization tool using machine learning so that you spend your dollars where it matters most and get the lowest cost per acquisition (CPA) on each ad. This automation is called Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO).
Take a look at the step-by-step guide to using the Campaign Budget Optimization feature in Ads Manager.
Basically, with CBO you set one central campaign budget across all of your ad sets and Facebook does the rest.
I haven’t even said the best part yet. Facebook does it ALL for you in real-time, effectively spending your budget for your ad set where you're likely to get the most engagement to optimize your reach.
While the super powerful algorithm works to optimize your ad, you can watch some Netflix, search LinkedIn for new business, or better yet, read some more resources on creating effective ads. It’s basically budget automation magic.
Measure your ad performance
Equally as important as choosing the right ad objective, budgeting correctly, and picking an appropriate ad format is measuring the performance of your ad sets. Because how else would you know whether your prospecting efforts have paid off?
Luckily, Ads Manager allows you to track metrics on ad engagement
You can also install the Facebook pixel to help you keep track of your ad sets. What’s the Facebook pixel, you ask?
Well, the Facebook pixel is a small piece of code you place on your website to monitor customer behavior and collect data. Basically, it’s a tool that allows you to measure how your advertising performs by tracking the actions people take on your website.
In fact, installing pixels should be the first item on your to-do list before launching a Facebook ad campaign.
Best practices for effectively using Facebook for prospecting
Now you know why you should be looking for prospects on Facebook, here are some tips to help you make the most of your prospecting campaign and keep your business on track.
Keep your ad copy short and direct
Short and sweet is the name of the game. Don’t bog down your prospecting campaign with unnecessary messaging. Stick to your mission (to inform new audiences) and engage users so that they remember your brand.
You can even implement any of these tried-and-true ad copy hacks that have been tested on over 100 clients.
Convey value where possible
Developing your brand voice is a key part of effective advertising. So let your audience know why your brand is important. What’s your mission? Why should customers care what service or product you’re selling?
When you convey your value during your prospecting campaign, consider:
- What makes my business different?
- What is the core mission of my business?
- What pain points can we solve?
If you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to effectively grow your audience with new prospects.
Use promotions and sales
If your business is in eCommerce, a great tool to entice first-time customers is to offer a discount or coupon for your product or service. Create promos and put on sales to get the attention of potential customers. Not only will you attract new audiences, but you’ll get quality leads that will keep coming back.
Engage, engage, engage
Be sure to respond to comments. Just because it’s an ad doesn’t mean that people can’t engage with it. Make sure your team is monitoring the ads. If someone has a question, you should answer it within the comments.
You might find potential customers asking for clarification on something as simple as a trial, shipping times, or fabric type. If your team is there to answer the question quickly, it could secure a new lead or purchase.
Facebook Prospecting Recap
Now that you know the benefits of prospecting on Facebook, go make the most of your prospecting campaign and start getting new customers.
If you’re looking for more inspo from other killer Facebook prospecting ads, check out this curated list that will not let you down.