June 5, 2018

Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads: A Tale of Two B2B Lead Generation Solutions

Social media apps on a phone

Decision time. Should you use Facebook or LinkedIn for your next B2B lead generation campaign?

Or, should you maybe make use of both?

Facebook lead gen and LinkedIn lead gen are their own separate beasts, with different functionalities and potential to reach unique audiences. Choosing which one is best for your company all depends on your marketing strategy.

Here, we take a look at the similarities and differences between the two ad units and what it all means for hitting your unique lead gen goals.

User Experience on Facebook and LinkedIn

Let’s start with the similarities. Both the Facebook and LinkedIn lead gen solutions function by applying a form to the ad unit you’ve selected for your campaign. For Facebook, that could be a link ad, carousel, or video. On LinkedIn, you might choose Sponsored Content or InMail.

One of the perks for user experience is that when a user clicks on the call to action for your ad — “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” or “Download” — instead of leaving the Facebook or LinkedIn interface, they remain within the platform. Instead of being taken to your website, they are presented with a form flow right in their feed. That streamlines the process and makes filling out the form feel more natural and simple.

Where Facebook and LinkedIn diverge is in the options available for customizing the form experience for the user. First up, let’s take a look at the options Facebook has to offer.

Facebook Lead Generation, Step-by-Step

What does it look like to set up a Facebook Lead Gen Form? Here’s a walkthrough of the process.

Form Type

The first step is to select the type of form you wish to use. Note that the “Higher Intent” option is only available on Facebook, not Instagram. Selecting this options is helpful to weed out unqualified leads. “Higher Intent” will add an additional prompt for the user to confirm their information before submitting, giving them an additional opportunity to opt out.

 Facebook Form Type Example

Context Card

The next step in the process is configuring the Intro, previously referred to as the “Welcome Screen” or “Context Card.” Understanding the Intro as the “Context Card” can be a helpful thought process, because it does just that: it offers the user more context about why they are providing their information. This can both sift out unqualified leads and increase conversion rate (CVR) for those leads that are qualified.

The Context Card can be in two formats: bullets or paragraph. You can even upload an additional image to be used in this section.

Facebook Context Card Example

Questions

Once you’ve enticed a user to click on your ad and they’ve made it past your context card, they are truly interested in what you have to offer. Now, you have to decide what information you want to collect from a lead.

If the user has already provided any of this information to Facebook, it will auto-populate when they open the form. Facebook also offers custom questions to gather specific information that cannot be collected with one of Facebook’s provided questions. This could be in the form of short answer, dropdowns, or multiple choice.

Facebook Questions Example

Privacy Policy

Any form is going to require your company’s privacy policy. This way, you can be transparent about what is being done with the information you collect. No privacy policy? Sorry, but you can’t run lead gen ads. Luckily, there are a number of privacy policy generators out there to help you create one and publish it to your website!

Facebook Privacy Policy Example

“Thank You” Screen

On the “thank you” screen, you can provide a brief show of gratitude to the user for providing their information and let them know what the next steps are. Will you be contacting them? If so, when? If you’re offering a content download, how do they download it? Email? Directly? Facebook recently added a “Download” call-to-action option so  you can link directly to a piece of content for download within the form.

Facebook Thank You Screen example

LinkedIn Lead Generation, Step-by-Step

For the LinkedIn lead gen process, the steps are a little bit simpler than Facebook, but very similar. The first section provides space for a headline and a short paragraph about what your company is offering. This is also where you will provide your privacy policy. In this section, you will notice a big gap between what is necessary for LinkedIn and what is necessary for Facebook.

LinkedIn LeadGen Example

Collected Information

Unlike Facebook, the options for collecting information on LinkedIn are a lot more B2B-friendly. That’s only natural, as LinkedIn is a more professionally-minded platform. Similar to Facebook, however, you can create custom questions, which can be very useful for collecting specific data.

LinkedIn Collected Info Example

“Thank You” Screen

Like Facebook, this screen allows for a CTA to visit your website or download content.

LinkedIn Thank You Screen Example

Choosing the Best Platform Based on Your B2B Lead Generation Goals

Now that you understand the functionality and user experience behind both Facebook and LinkedIn lead gen, it’s time to get started on a campaign that will bring in real results. Based on your strategy, you can choose which will bring the most success for your company.

Facebook has a very large accessibility pool, with nearly 1.5 billion daily users. If brand reach and awareness is your priority, Facebook is your best bet. LinkedIn, while having much smaller user numbers, has hyper-specific, profession-based targeting information. That’s incredibly helpful for B2B marketers, who often need to reach very specific decision makers with their product or service.

So there you have it! Your potential customers are on paid social, and Facebook and LinkedIn lead generation forms help you get in front of them.

Need further advice on setting up a B2B lead generation campaign? At Beacon Digital, we can help you plan and execute a successful Facebook or LinkedIn lead gen campaign.

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