Capture More Potential Applicants With Lead Generation Ads

May 23rd, 2019 by Paige Pevlor

Students rely on search engines to research and evaluate the colleges they are interested in attending. As an institution of higher education, you should nurture them from the early stages of research to when they begin applications. The applicant cycle, according to PerfectSearch, can take up to two or more years and should consist of multiple tactics, including targeted emails, paid search, SEO, and social media.

Lead generation ads are great for capturing potential applicants who are close to converting, as well as those who are earlier in the process. Because of this, they are a great way to capture people who want to move quickly through the application process.

Lead generation ads can be utilized on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Since Facebook and Instagram are both under Facebook, if you set ads live on Facebook, they’ll also show on Instagram.

Person setting up Facebook lead generation ads for their business

What Are Lead Generation Ads?

Lead generation ads are just that—ads that run on Facebook that are meant to generate leads. According to Facebook, lead generation ads let people show their interest in a product or service by filling out a form in the ad with their details and encouraging a business to follow up with them.

Once a user clicks on the ad, a form will populate with the pre-filled information from the user’s profile. Meaning, they don’t have to type in their name, phone number, or email address. It’s a simple concept with a great return.

Facebook’s lead ads can help you meet the following goals:

  • Finding new customers for your business
  • Finding out more about people’s interests
  • Getting people to sign up or register for your service
  • Getting people to enroll in your program
  • Getting people to download a brochure or manual

Why Should You Use Lead Generation Forms?

Depending on the type of form, filling in the information can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Collecting data and customer information is the key to success, so the more information you are able to collect, the better. According to data from Facebook, lead generation ads usually have high conversion rates because there are fewer steps in the conversion process. The mobile-friendly forms are created for easy converting.

Leilani Bruce of Pacific54 states, “according to Adobe’s State of Digital Advertising 2018 report, 50% of Gen Z (18-19 year olds) and 42% of millennials (20-36 year olds) think social media is the most relevant channel for ads.” So the question should be WHY NOT use lead generation forms?

You can customize the questions and information you collect. So, it would be a great idea to ask which programs or courses the potential applicant is interested in. From there, follow up with additional questions based on that user’s answers, but keep them simple and to the point.

The forms run in more places than just Facebook’s newsfeed; they can also show up in Instagram feeds, stories, etc. Whether you’re using carousel ads, videos, or static ads, they all support lead generation ads. Using videos is recommended because users engage with videos more often than static ads.

One great feature of Facebook is its self-learning and optimization, meaning that Facebook will automatically optimize your campaign to show your ads to people who are more likely to fill out the form. This leads to more conversions and highly qualified leads.

As mentioned before, make sure to reach out to potential applicants in a timely manner, whether you follow up with more information or are just using remarketing to drive applications.

Group of digital marketers working on Facebook lead generation ads

Tips on Using Lead Generation Ads

After capturing data from a pool of potential applicants, you can create a remarketing campaign to continue to target them. This allows you to remarket to someone who might have already interacted with one of your ads.

Also, potential applicant information can be used to create a lookalike audience. According to Facebook, a lookalike audience is a custom audience that’s used to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your university because they are similar to your existing students. Make it easy for potential applicants to get in touch with you by utilizing a specific call to action (CTA) like click-to-call.

Another thing Facebook is capable of is connecting with your university’s internal platforms. Facebook can easily integrate with MailChimp, Salesforce, Google Drive, or custom CRMs. Facebook recommends integrating CRM software since it allows you to see your leads in real time, letting you reach out to your leads more quickly. And the sooner you reach out to a potential applicant, the more likely they are to convert.

If you’re looking for new techniques to drive more students to your university, the team at Search Influence has years of experience helping institutions of higher education increase the quality and size of their applicant pools. To learn more about our services, contact us online.


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