The lead generation sales funnel on Facebook has proven its worth in digital marketing due to its unprecedented audience, amazing features, and affordable PPC costs. According to Meta Platforms, Inc. (the new parent company of Facebook as of 2021), one-third of the world is regarded as ‘regular users’ of the social media network who spends at least three hours a day on the news feeds, media uploads, and marketplace browsing.
In reality, the process of lead generation is complex and challenging especially for those who are just starting up transitioning their business online. An effective digital marketing strategy takes possible customer relationships into action that are built over time with the help of a profitable sales funnel.
In this post, we are going to give some of the best steps to create a conversion-driven lead generation sales funnel to harness better customer relationships with your target audience and begin generating good results after its implementation.
Digital entrepreneurs who set up their shop on Facebook can imagine how big the audience would be when they do their sales funnel effectively from lead generation, conversion, and customer purchase. Also, Facebook ads remain on top against its competitors such as Google or Bing Ads as it is cheaper and more efficient. In fact, it can cost as low as $0.50 up to $0.63 per click.
However, unlike Google, users on Facebook don’t usually go on the platform to shop and spend for products they currently need. Notably, Meta has mentioned that people who log in to their FB accounts use it to communicate, upload photos, watch videos, play games, express their personal interests, and share funny memes.
Thus, marketers still see the low intent of purchasing on Facebook itself where they anticipate a low return of investment (ROI). Yet using social media to make strangers as friends, friends as your customers, and customers as salespeople are still possible. Just like any method of paid advertising, there is a fitting way to do it to make the most out of a free platform for your potential customers from your target audience.
Figuratively, the lead generation sales funnel depicts the path and set of stages that the lead must take to progress from being simply another lead to being an interesting prospect, a profitable opportunity, and eventually a paying customer. The simplest way to understand this funnel is to look at it as a visual description that is divided into the numerous stages that make up the funnel.
If your company wants to maximize its return on investment, you’ll need to build a lead generation sales funnel. Generating leads must remain systematic when you find your target audience and direct them to the funnel’s beginning stage until you guide them down the stages until they make a successful purchase.
Leads don’t appear anywhere; they need to be nurtured in the same way that real purchases do before they’re ready to contact you. This means you’ll need to create a funnel to improve brand recognition, pique people’s interest in what you have to offer, and build trust before people are prepared to contact you or respond to your lead generation efforts.
For instance, if you’re running a free webinar to generate leads, you’ll want to make sure that people will learn about the webinar and are interested enough in what it has to offer so they sign up. Therefore, you need to raise enough awareness that new prospective leads notice the webinar in the first place. You may need to utilize a combination of advertisements targeting cold and lookalike audiences along with SEO services and social sharing.
Then, users are pushed farther down the funnel, where they may evaluate your landing page and website to see whether they want to join up. To create enough traffic and interest to produce results, you’ll need several touchpoints which require a purposive and targeted funnel. Keep in mind that a mere lead magnet on a single landing page won’t make it.
Before you begin designing the funnel itself, you must first understand the various stages of the funnel. Businesses are already familiar with sales funnels depending on who you ask. But since we focus on Facebook as the platform, we have emphasized these stages:
The funnels used on specific eCommerce platforms and a Facebook lead generation sales funnel have the same steps. However, how you carry them out varies as the platforms possess features and functions that are not present with the other.
Let’s discover how to generate leads from awareness to sale and beyond using Facebook as the platform:
The funnel begins with a customer’s ‘awareness’ of your brand. But, most people on Facebook won’t have had contact with it before.
Thus, the first step in your journey is to build awareness, which means you need to run a cold audience targeting campaign using Facebook advertising.
The first thing to note is that this strategy will only work if you have a solid content strategy already in place and a Facebook Page with followers to take cues from. All Facebook ads require content, whether that’s videos, product listings from your Facebook Shop, blog posts from your website or something else.
These ads boost your page posts to encourage more likes, shares, comments, and views. You can use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to “connect to people on Facebook who are similar to your customers” (a.k.a. your warm audience), or create an audience using your target demographics in Custom Audiences.
They appear in a person’s News Feed marked as Sponsored. So, it should go without saying that you should only boost your most popular posts. Chances are if your existing audience likes a piece of content, others that are like them will too.
The goal of a Page Like an ad is, pretty unsurprisingly, to drive new audiences to like your Page. They target the Facebook Friends of people who already Like your Page or pop us as a Suggested Page in your chosen audience’s News Feed.
Also, they support both image and video content and are often used by businesses to target their competitor’s audiences. The liked-by-a-friend feature provides great social proof, right off the bat, so many budding Facebook Entrepreneurs swear by Page Like ads.
As well as investing in ads for your lead generation sales funnel, you’ll want to pay attention to established best practices for driving Facebook audience growth, like:
People go to Facebook to peruse, share, and engage with their friends and family members— they are most likely not looking to shop. As advertisers and business owners, we want to drive high volumes of conversions quickly.
However, that’s not always the obtainable reality, especially when it comes to targeting cold audiences. We have to start with an introductory point, then nurture these prospective customers by moving them down the funnel.
As you begin strategizing, break your audiences apart by classifying them as cold, warm, and hot. Cold audiences have low buying intent, as they may not be familiar with your brand and have not had any interactions with you yet.
Familiarity and trust need to first be established. As you have more touchpoints with these users, they will become warmer as they move down your sales funnel towards conversion.
Facebook does a nice job visualizing the funnel for us by offering a breakout of three main groups of campaign objectives and their sub-groups in Ads Manager:
Use these campaign objective segments to help you assess where your audiences are in the sales funnel and what campaign type may be most appropriate in terms of objective and costs.
One reason we advise against testing conversion goal campaigns with cold audiences is that they are expensive and unlikely to convert. Awareness campaigns are the lowest cost—as you move down the list above, campaigns tend to get more expensive, given the value and intent of the prospect.
Once you have your warm leads or know how to find them using Facebook’s Audience Insights tool, your next job is to hook them in.
For this, you need one of two things (or both):
A well-managed Facebook Group can skyrocket your revenue. But not everyone gets it right. Then, a successful group that shunts your leads along your sales funnel needs to:
Once you use it correctly, even a Facebook Group can act as a lead magnet, demonstrating your business’s expertise and the value of your product.
A lead magnet is a piece of content that is of value to your target audience and gives them an insight into, or proof of, the quality of your product/s (even though you’ve not mentioned them yet).
A good lead magnet builds trust in your brand and what it offers. It might be:
In your Facebook sales funnel, you’ll advertise your lead magnet to your warm leads via your Facebook Page and targeted ads. There are a couple of ad types we’d recommend for this purpose.
Whether you use video or image will depend on the type of lead magnet you have. If you’re plugging a webinar or free trial, you’ll want to use Video.
For downloadable PDFs, Image ads are the best choice. Simply create a post on your Facebook Page, include a link to the lead magnet and boost it with a Page Engagement ad. For example, you can set up lead generation ads that can link to a landing page but don’t contain a specific CTA button.
These ads are designed to nurture leads. They can present an image, video or carousel and include a lead form for the Facebook user to engage with (e.g. Download, Sign Up).
Also, they come with a handy ‘Sign-up’ CTA and are easy to use because they’re mobile-friendly and the form fields come pre-populated with the user’s details.
To optimise your Facebook sales funnel, your Facebook Group or lead magnet needs to direct your audience to your product pitch. This is the next stage of your Facebook sales funnel.
Most lead generation sales funnels include multiple product pitches at different price points. Your initial pitch might be the lowest value subscription you offer or a prelude to your full course.
Whatever it is, your goal is to convert your warm leads from freebie-snackers to paying customers. Also, the micro-conversions you’ve been building so far will soften the blow of your eventual hard sell (for leads that get that far).
Create a Custom Audience and link to Facebook Pixel and your website to keep track of your lead’s activity across your various landing pages. You can automate ads sequences that deliver your initial offer, followed by your higher value offers (i.e., profit maximisers).
Through the various phases of the Facebook funnel, your calls to action should also evolve. With top of funnel audience targeting, test using a call-to-action button such as “Learn More” during this introductory or awareness phase with your colder audiences.
As your audiences become warmer and they head towards the bottom of the Facebook funnel, test out other relevant calls to action that apply to the content and goal.
If your hot audience has not yet converted, “Shop Now” tends to be effective. This audience has had time to learn about you—perhaps they’ve done some shopping and comparing on other channels around the web, so this is your chance to get them to commit and convert through a remarketing ad on Facebook or Instagram.
You can automate your retargeting campaign using Custom Audiences and Facebook Pixel.
There is no real hard and fast rule to retargeting but the consensus is that four attempts can maximise conversions without trashing your reputation. Your Facebook retargeting strategy might look something like this:
Most serious sales teams will set up a retargeting campaign for converted leads as well. Generally, it will offer an initial, inexpensive product, followed by a core product of higher value and then profit maximiser products.
Building loyalty post-purchase is essential to maximizing your campaign ROI. Businesses that didn’t build a Facebook Group to demonstrate their value leading up to purchase can use one to keep hold of their new customers.
A Private Facebook Group can be used to offer:
All of the above build customer loyalty by reinforcing their choice to purchase from your business. These methods also allow you to market add-ons, pre-release/early-bird products and referral campaigns that boost your Facebook marketing ROI.
Since you’ve already reconsidered your conversion campaigns and have your content ready to go, it’s time to talk about alternative strategies. Here are a few additional campaign types that you can use to save money while building relationships with your prospects.
As aforementioned, we often use traffic campaigns instead of conversion for smaller accounts as they can complete the 50 events per week and at a lower cost. Conversion campaigns don’t always work well for every account, so see what works best for you with your budget and goals.
With these campaigns, we send warm audiences directly to product landing pages with a strong call to action to shop. Instead of optimizing for link clicks, set your ad set to optimize for landing page views, as those users will be more likely to allow the page to fully load and they will view the content within, thus, increasing your chances to convert.
Do you find yourself struggling to drive purchase conversions? Take a step back and test out optimizing your conversion campaign for “add to cart” instead. Campaigns with this goal can usually result in more data for Facebook to optimize with and, ultimately, lead to more conversions.
While these were lower volumes for us, the costs still justified the means of acquiring lead conversions. For one of our clients, Indow Windows, we have seen success in driving conversions through Messenger ads that also came in much below our CPL goals to website visitors that have not yet converted.
With these ads, users click to send us a message and we had three canned responses that offer a free quote to acquire the lead, our FAQ page, or to directly contact us as the third and last option. With the call to action for our goal being first, naturally, users selected that and converted.
Facebook advertising has been a mainstay of digital marketing since the platform’s ads were developed way back in 2007. Its influence and reach make it one of the best places to generate sales on the web.
But without a well-defined plan, any attempt to connect is bound to be disappointing. So, remember, the road to success is paved with funnels and when they take full advantage of Facebook’s business features, those sales figures will keep on climbing.
Now that we’re familiar with the basics of building and utilizing a lead generation sales funnel on Facebook, start feeding yours with colder relevant audiences by using cost-effective and objective-appropriate campaigns, compelling content, and compatible calls to action.
As your audiences move down the funnel, adjust your content and goals until you accomplish your ultimate goal for conversions. After all, slow and steady more often than not win with social media advertising campaigns. Savour the relationship build with people on Facebook and enjoy the fruits of your labour as you acquire higher conversion volumes at a lower cost!
CEO & Founder at BubbleGum Marketing
As CEO & Founder of BubbleGum Marketing, Cam leads a world-class Marketing team, that serves businesses all over the world to achieve their marketing objectives. In his spare time, you'll find him chilling with his family, paddling his SUP, riding his mountain bike, or walking his golden retriever dog, "Summer"
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