By\ November 1, 2016
If you’re using Facebook as the media channel for your lead generation campaign you have to choose between two strategic choices.
You can use your advertisement on Facebook to link to a custom landing page, or you can build a Facebook lead ad that uses a form to collect contact information right inside Facebook. No need for the audience to leave Facebook.
Does this mean Facebook lead ads and similar emerging techniques will be the death of custom landing pages? We think not, and for good reason.
Facebook lead ads are an enticing option at first glance. Great landing pages take time and money to create, and a Facebook lead ad is easy to use and is native to the environment it’s in. This all makes the process of filling out a form quick and simple.
Unfortunately, “simple” doesn’t always also mean “better.” So before we retire the landing page, let’s look at 10 good reasons you’d need more than just a Facebook lead ad to convert customers, donors or prospects.
11 Reasons To Make a Landing Page
- Branding: Custom landing pages give you far more control over your brand expression, as their design will include custom fonts, colors, animations, and images. While your logo shows up in a Facebook lead ad, the rest of your brand elements aren’t there to support it, and make for a much less engaging and persuasive experience.
- Control: Similar but different from brand, landing pages need to be different based on the audience and what’s being sold–having more control over the design, content, message and the form means you are able to better craft the page towards that audience. It also means you just adjust the page as the campaign develops without having to go through Facebook.
- Soft Exits: With the Facebook lead ads all of the links around the page itself are exits. In other words, you just paid for your ad to be clicked and the destination environment immediately offers users many ways to leave the form without entering the smallest shard of information. With a quality landing page, you have the user’s full attention.
- Page Density and Cognitive Overload: Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by the number of options within Facebook? The last thing we want is for our prospects to be feeling anxious or overwhelmed as we ask for their personal information.
- Tracking: With a custom landing page you can track where people came from and where they went after your landing page using basic google tools that you can trust, as you have been using them for decades. Sure, Facebook offers analytics, but then you’d have to merge your Facebook analytics with the analytics of the rest of your campaign, and they might not add up or align.
- Crossplatform: The same landing page can service multiple ad sources and social media, including Facebook. Since you’re rarely going to want to only use Facebook in your lead-gen campaign, you will have to create a custom landing page anyways for email, LinkedIn or any other channel. Don’t put yourself in the position of only having to use Facebook or to have to merge attribution data from multiple performance monitoring sources.
- Integration: Where does your data go after it’s collected? Into a CRM? Facebook suggests that you check with your CRM vendor to see if they support Facebook leads, because if not, you’ve got a CSV file to track and manage.
- Server Up-time: If collecting lead information is central to “survival” then are you really sure you want to depend on the server uptime of Facebook? We know what you are thinking, it’s Facebook… it never goes down. But if it did, who would you call and squeeze until the landing page was back up and running?
- Planning: In order to have a sound marketing campaign you need to be in control of your technologies. Do you know what Facebook is planning on doing with their lead ads in the next three, six or twelve months? And can you count on that? Few of us do because, rightfully so, Facebook does whatever they want with their software. Do you want to hitch your investment on their every whim?
- Handoff: When Facebook is done collecting data, it sends users back to Facebook. When you’re done collecting data from your users on your own custom landing pages, you can send them anywhere you want.
- SEO: If users are only interacting with Facebook lead ads and never making it to your website, then that’s lost web traffic that could improve your SEO. Engagement on a landing page is good for your website’s SEO since the landing page is tied to your main website’s URL.
Focus on your goal
It’s important to remember that Facebook developed lead ads, among many reasons we are sure, so users don’t have to leave their site, not because it’s the right marketing tactic for every business or organization. If people leave their sites, they lose money as they will have fewer ad impressions.
Facebook, and other social medias, like Pinterest and Instagram, provide all sorts of options to businesses that cancel out web properties. With new sales features Facebook is even trying to replace professional websites with their Business Page, or company blogs with Instant Articles.
As always, you need to focus on your goals to see if they align with such a siloed marketing strategy. If the advertisement’s ask is small and quick, a Facebook lead ad is probably ok. However, if you are running a multifaceted, integrated marketing campaign where you hope to solidify your brand and drive action, you might want to think twice about putting your proverbial eggs in that basket.