In this article, we’ll discuss what to look out for when setting up Lead Ads from a technology perspective. We’ll cover integrations, ad setup, and offer some best practices that may vary depending on your expertise and needs.
Lead Ads are contact information forms that are built into an advertising platform like Facebook or LinkedIn. When a user engages with a Lead Ad, there’s no need for them to leave the site and go to a landing page. These forms are often pre-populated with information from their profile for easy submission. Facebook pioneered this concept and many other platforms are now following suit, with LinkedIn and YouTube both offering the format and Google Search testing out a beta version.
This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on Lead Ads. For a more in-depth introduction, read Lydia Borovina’s piece, and the first entry in this series, Lead Ads: A Media Buyer’s Primer. Following this guide, analyst Kahlianne Jones addresses the billion-dollar question: Based on the data, do Lead Ads drive a higher efficiency? Or, do Lead Ads yield lower-quality leads, resulting in more expensive qualified leads?
Building an integration means using a purpose-built tool, or custom code, to pass new lead information into your database.
Before launching any lead-generation campaign, it’s critical to have a system of record for your new lead data to enter. For most of our clients, this is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics, or a marketing automation platform like Marketo or HubSpot.
This setup ensures that your data is secure, categorized properly, and can be retrieved by your other systems, whether for sales, bookings, customer service, or, in our case, marketing efforts.
Lead Ad forms come in many flavors, so you’ll encounter challenges for the setup and maintenance an integration from platform to platform. Any integration could be categorized into three solutions:
Facebook was one of the first platforms to launch Lead Ad forms. In the time since, there have been a lot of changes to get integrations running. No matter what solution you choose, the first requirement is that you have access the Facebook page and be a “page admin”. With this you can access the forms and export data manually if you’d like.
Starting the integration process, options 1 and 2 require a login in most cases and you’re good to go so it’s quite painless.
However, option 3 comes with a little baggage and requires some time to get it working. You’ll need to first get a Developer account so you can register for a Facebook app. Setting this up logs your account information and sets up a webhook. Next, request for specific permissions for app access: “leads retrieval” and “manage pages”. After filling out the permission requests you’ll need wait a few days for the Facebook review team to reply with an approval or rejection message. If you’re rejected, edit the request according to the reason for rejection wait for another few days. After all that work and waiting, you’ll need to subscribe your Facebook page to the app you just set up so it can receive leads. You can now test out your integrations with the Facebook testing tool.
LinkedIn was next in line to use Lead Ads. This platform is quite limited with what you can do and what you can have integrated. At first, you’ll need to make sure you have access to the business page as a page admin of the page that you are advertising for. LinkedIn integrations rely on solutions 1 or 2. Log into your account in the CRM or third-party platform to have your data sync. Solution 3 is possible, but you’ll need to request for a development account, and have it poll the API every few minutes, which can be tedious.
Google Search and YouTube are newcomers to the lead ad space and don’t allow much customization when it comes down to the forms (Full Name, User Email, User Phone, Zip code, and some additional tracking info like campaign id). The platform also doesn’t have many options to integrate since it requires a webhook URL to post to. So, with Google and YouTube lead ads you can only integrate with options 2 or 3. All you should have to do is place the API URL in the platform and it will send out a test lead instantly to confirm the connection. After that, you are set and your data will pass through into the fields you identify.
There is always a way to integrate your Lead Ads with your system of record, whether through a direct integration, third party integration or even a custom integration. It all requires a little bit of work, but once you find the solution that fits your needs, you’ll be much more comfortable rolling out your next lead form on the next big advertising platform.