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Using Facebook Ads to Generate Actual Leads

Some advisors insist they generate only low-quality leads from Facebook. That need not be the case.

With the right approach, Facebook marketing can be incredibly effective for financial services businesses in particular.

There are those out there who insist that the quality of the leads they’re generating from Facebook users aren’t exactly good, I’ve seen first-hand that they CAN be—it just requires a deeper understanding of what is really going on to get to that point.

Like social media marketing in general, Facebook ads are a numbers game—the quality of the leads is impacted not only by the topic and the offer, but by the images used and even the words in the ad in question. A few subtle changes here and there can easily add up. 

One of the most important reasons why financial advisors should consider making Facebook ads a core part of their online marketing plans is that it’s one of the most targeted forms of advertising available.

Think about all of the information that your average Facebook user offers up when they create their account. You know where they live and how old they are. You know what their interests are and what stage of their life they’re in. Facebook knows what types of pages they regularly visit and what other types of behaviors they engage in. All of this is information that you can use to your advantage to not go after the biggest audience possible, but the most precise audience that is made up exclusively of people who are most likely to become your clients in the first place.

In other words, you’re not just broadcasting your marketing message as loudly as possible – you’re only targeting people who closely resemble your existing, satisfied customers. This level of specificity alone drives down your cost per click and other expenses almost immediately, as you don’t have to waste money unintentionally targeting people who have no interest in financial services to begin with.

If you want to target your current marketing strategies to people in a specific profession who are over 55 and who also live within 25 miles of your office, you can absolutely do that—thus increasing the chances that you’ll be able to find people who are interested in your specific approach to financial services. If you already know as much as possible about who your ideal clients actually are (and make no mistake, you should), then you can take that insight and use it to go after as many people who match that description as possible on Facebook. Plus, you’ll never have to waste money targeting people who fall outside of that definition of your ideal client, which will go a long way towards increasing lead quality across the board. 

Another one of the major reasons why financial advisors and RIAs should be using Facebook as the foundation of their social media marketing has to do with how these ads can also drive traffic directly to your website or other business page. While every ad needs a lead magnet to attract someone’s attention, you don’t always have to be giving away an eBook or some other larger piece of collateral. If you’ve just written a particularly compelling blog post or touched on a relevant topic that is on everyone’s minds right now, you can absolutely run an engagement campaign that sends people directly to that article or post. Once they’re on your website, they can see all of your other content – thus raising awareness and establishing yourself as an authority as well.

Finally, one of the biggest reasons why financial advisors and other professionals should be using Facebook advertising is because it is highly measurable. Facebook's robust analytical platform means that you’ll know practically everything about the performance of your ads—from weekly reach to post engagement to page likes, clicks, conversions and more. You’ll never have to make "educated guesses" about what is working and what isn’t because you’ll know, beyond the shadow of a doubt.

At that point, you can see which of your ads are really resonating and double down on those techniques in the future – thus creating a financial services marketing campaign that gets more effective as time goes on.  

What Are Some Examples of Highly Converting Facebook Ads for Financial Advisors?

This ad, for example, is built with a clear purpose: it’s attempting to get people to download a "15-Minute Retirement Plan" eBook. It’s successful because every word matters—not only do readers know exactly what they’re going to get, but the ad itself is also specific about who it is targeting (in this case, individuals with $500,000 or more). The image is immediately compelling, and the implication is clear – if you invest your current assets in the right way, you too can have a comfortable retirement. 

The image also has text, but nothing is repeated from the copy above. Instead, it’s being used to further help people understand why they should take the desired action and download the eBook—they’ll get an overview of the seven important financial questions they need to answer as they move into their retirement years.

Remember that Facebook itself is a busy place—meaning that most people will likely be exposed to your ad for mere seconds. You need to do whatever it takes to get people to stop what they’re doing and pay attention to you.

How Many Leads Can a Financial Advisor Expect From Facebook Ads?

While the total number of leads that you can expect to generate will obviously vary depending on your unique business, at Midstream Marketing we’ve seen even small practices begin to generate as many as 20-25 new leads per month on as little as a $500 ad spend. Of course, your specific location will impact your success rate—as will the ultimate quality of the ad copy and all associated images themselves. 

It’s safe to say that Facebook itself isn’t going anywhere anytime soon—both as a social media platform and as a powerful financial advisor marketing opportunity. One of the reasons why Facebook marketing has been so effective up to this point is because it allows you to focus on building relationships with the members of your target audience. People just don’t have the patience to be "sold to" any longer. They’re already being bombarded with digital marketing assets and other advertising materials every second of every day.

Instead, they want businesses to go deeper than that – providing as much value as possible in an attempt to earn their trust along the way. From that perspective, Facebook advertising isn’t just about attracting the attention of the largest possible audience. It’s about honing in on the right audience at exactly the right moment when their financial planning needs have come to a head – all so that you can step in, help them solve their problems and accomplish their goals, all while building a mutually beneficial partnership with them at the exact same time.

Christopher P. Wendt is president of Midstream Marketing, a digital agency that generates predictable leads for independent financial advisory firms.You can reach him at [email protected].

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