Categories Ads, Facebook Ads, How to Guides

How to Create a Facebook Ad for Local Lead Gen & Win Big in 2018

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How to Create a Facebook Ad for Local Lead Gen & Win Big in 2018

I’ve got a serious question for you:

Are you ready for the best year yet for your Facebook ad agency?

Of course you are. Who isn’t?! But, one thing that might get in the way of it being just that for you is Facebook’s constant influx of advertising updates. I mean, it really never ends. And, if you don’t keep up with it all—on top of all the other stuff you’re juggling (hello, personal life and running a thriving ad agency from home!)—you’re bound to become chopped liver on the platform.

I know, cue the *dun dun dun* sound effects because I’ve brought your level of new year’s excitement down a notch.

how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen

Am I right? If so, I’ll make it up to you in a bit—I promise.  

The point is, as I just mentioned a few seconds ago, it’s important to find the time to stay ahead of the changes. Yeah, time. I said it. It seems like you don’t have enough of it. So, that’s why I’m here today—to walk you through our refreshed steps (thanks to—you guessed it: recent updates)  you can’t afford to miss on how to create a Facebook ad for a local lead generation campaign in 2018.

How to Create a Facebook Ad for Local Lead Gen & Win Big in 2018

But, wait. Before we get started, here’s what you need to complete before actually creating your ad.

Oftentimes, Facebook advertisers don’t think about all they’ll need in order to successfully set things up until they’re actually knee deep in creating their ad. For example:

Oh, whoops. Forgot to figure out who the target audience is.

Add an hour to your time.

And, oh, crap. I don’t have an account to run this ad through.

Add another hour (or two) to your time.

how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen

So, guess what happens? A giant roadblock ends up getting in their way and starts sucking up plenty of their precious time. Therefore, to keep that from happening to you, here are the five things we recommend you have ready and waiting in the wings ahead of actually creating your ad. Check them out!

  • Build your funnel pages.

Simply put, without your funnel pages built out beforehand, you won’t have anything to connect your ad to. After all, it’s the landing place and your ad is the gateway to it!

To help you with this step, we’ve put together the perfect post on how to set up each of the pages you’ll need—from the homepage to the thank you page, and the upsell/hook service page.  

  • Open your own Facebook Business Manager account.

Now, guess what time it is? It’s time to step back up on the soapbox and deliver you the following message:

Do not use your personal account to run Facebook ads for your clients!

Why? Because this is a HUGE liability and violates Facebook’s Terms of Service. Yes, as an admin, your client can give you access to their ad account. But, what we’ve found works best is opening up your very own Facebook Business Manager account. This will allow you to view all of your pages, ad accounts, the people who have assigned page roles, and more in one place.

And, if you’re wondering on how to set it up in less than 10 minutes, here’s the guide you need.

  • Install your Facebook Pixel (+ events).

Did your eyes glaze over at the word “pixel?” It’s a pretty techie term. But, it’s just made up of small snippets of code you inject onto your website.

Best of all, you won’t need to create the code yourself. Facebook does it for you! I know, thank goodness for that, right?

All you’ll be responsible for is injecting that code onto the pages of your website (or get a web guru to do it for you).

As soon as it’s successfully installed, Facebook can then use the code to do the following:

– Track conversions—monitoring how people interact with your site after viewing your ad.

– Retarget people—those who’ve already visited your site.

– Optimize your ads—improving the quality of the campaigns you run as well as the targeting of the people who see them.

Sounds pretty cool, huh? Well, if you’re running ads for your own business, a pixel is fairly easy to set up. If, on the other hand, you’re running ads for a client, it can become a more difficult task.

Why? Because, unless you’re operating out of a client’s ad account (which again, we don’t recommend), you’ll need to have a dedicated account and pixel per each and every single client you work for. That can become a beast to manage! Yet, it can definitely be done.

  • Create a saved audience.

When you’re ready to create an ad, it can become pretty time consuming trying to pick and choose all of the specifications for your ideal target audience. (You can thank Facebook’s many targeting options for that!)

Thus, taking the time to create a saved audience in advance can save you time—especially if you’re targeting similar types of audiences over and over again, or working within a certain niche.

Here’s how it’s done from scratch:

– Go to your Ads Manager and click the hamburger icon in the top left-hand corner.

– Under the Assets section, click Audiences.

how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen

– Then, click the blue button labeled Create a Saved Audience.

how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen

– From there, you can name the audience and select the targeting options that will help your ad reach your client’s ideal people. In the process, however, just be sure to take the following targeting tips into consideration:

        • Age: keep the range within 20 years (ex. 25-45). This can guarantee the people within your audience have things in common.
        • Gender: go the either/or route. Female is the safest bet as women tend to be the decision makers of the household.
        • Location: advertising for a client in a rural area? Keep the radius wider than you would a densely populated area. Reason being, for high customer lifetime value (LTV) businesses (think dentists, chiropractors, realtors, etc.), rural residents are willing to travel farther to see them than for low LTV businesses.
  • Select an image for your ad.

Want to speed things up even more? Have your ad’s image picked out and ready to go because, let’s be honest: picking out the best image can seem a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. You find one you like and continue clicking through more and more pages, only to find another one—making you question your original decision.

To make things a little easier on you, here are some of our recommendations when you’re ready to embark on your search for the perfect image:

    • Make it colorful. It should contrast Facebook’s blues.
    • Have the focal point be on a person (or even a living creature) with eyes looking back at you. This captures the audience’s attention.
    • Make sure something’s a bit off about it. It doesn’t have to be obvious. But, it should make the audience curious enough to click through the ad.

Stock.adobe.com is our favorite royalty-free stock image resource to find creative elements of great quality. Lastly, our most important piece of advice is: your ad image should closely resonate with your target audience and help provide a smooth transition to your landing page.

Now for the good stuff: how to actually create your Facebook ad for winning lead gen efforts.

how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen

You’ve done all the pre-work on your to-do list and you’re ready to create your ad. *claps for you* But, where do you even begin? And, how do you do it successfully?

Those are important questions because, oftentimes, there are many, many things advertisers can get wrong in the process. So, lucky for you, I’m here to save you the hassle.

Yup, that’s right. I’m laying it all out, step by step, so you can look forward to winning local leads this year.

  1. Within your Business Manager, select the appropriate Ad Account you would like to run the ad from.
  2. Then, choose “Create Ads.”
  3. Choose your ad’s Campaign Objective—Traffic or Conversions. We recommend Traffic, especially when you’re first starting out. But, FYI—for Conversions, it’s useless without the Pixel. 
  4. Name your campaign something easy to remember.how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen
  5. Create an Ad Set. And, be sure to name it first as it’ll be easier to keep track of in the long run!how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen
  6. Next, move onto Targeting. This is the moment when you can quickly select “Use a Saved Audience” to get back a chunk of your time!how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen
  7. After Targeting, move onto Placements. Here, you’ll want to be sure to make some edits—removing Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network from the checked list. The Audience Network opens your ad up to accidental clicks (through games, etc.). And, that means paying for clicks that don’t matter. So, only run ads on Facebook itself, especially when you’re in the beginning stages.how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen
  8. Enter the Budget and identify the Schedule.
    • Start with $5 a day on a 7-day cycle—particularly if you’ve never run ads for this individual client or niche before. It’s enough money for Facebook to begin gathering data. But, it’s not too much to result in a financial loss if you don’t get it right the first couple of times. That brings the client to a $35 investment, which isn’t a crazy amount based on the quality data you’ll get in return.
    • Choose Link Clicks under the drop-down menu for Optimization for Ad Delivery. This is the best option for Facebook to determine whether or not your audience is working.how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen
  9. Choose an identity. Will you decide to advertise the ad from your client’s business page or persona page? We talk about a persona page a lot because they work, making your ad appear as if you’re simply sharing something interesting you found with your “friends.” Thus, feeling far less pitchy and way more friendly. If you choose to go that route, however, I recommend you remove the call to action button on the ad. Just so you can keep it feeling and looking like a simple share of a blog post or article!
  10. Finally, it’s finally time to create your ad!
      • Format: choose Single Image. When you’re first starting out, this is where you’ll get the most valuable data on a local level.how to create a facebook ad for local lead gen
      • Upload the ad creative. You know, that image you spent time searching for!how to create a Facebook ad for local lead gen
      • Destination > Website URL: if you’re using LeadKit, you’ll need to copy and paste the campaign URL into the text box. Otherwise, you’ll choose the URL of the landing page you created.
      • Headline: keep it short and sweet, and call out your target audience. You want them to know you’re talking to them instead of making them question who the offer is for. An example for a local dental office in our area would be: [BRIDES] Free Teeth Whitening at Jonesboro Dental.
      • Text: this is where you’d mimic the strategy you landed on (business vs. persona page). If going the persona route, our Jonesboro Dental ad could go something like this: I wish this had been offered when I was getting married. I paid over $200 for my whitening session! #jonesborobride #lucky
      • Call to Action button: again, choose “No Button” if you’re advertising via a persona page. It offers a much cleaner design and works really well as it appears as a share.
      • Newsfeed link description: this is an extra place where you can provide details on your offer and toss in some scarcity. An example would be: Get ready for your big day with a free teeth whitening session from Jonesboro Dental! Only 15 appointments available.how to create a facebook ad for local lead gen

And, most importantly, how to monitor your Facebook ad for success.

how to create a facebook ad for local lead gen

As is the case with all advertising initiatives, it’s important you monitor how things are going. All so you can make any necessary changes to turn things around and run successful campaigns in the future. If you’re working with clients, they’ll love you when you do this on a continuous basis!

The slew of available data within Facebook Insights, however, is enough to make your eyes glaze over. So, what’s the best way to monitor the campaign and ensure it’s a real winner? It’s simple: by following the steps below.

  • Adopt our strict “no touch” 72-hour rule!

Most people will start with a Facebook ad and, within the first 24 hours, they screw it up—just by getting antsy about the results and messing with it. Don’t follow in their footsteps! Instead, as soon as you send your ad out into the Facebook universe, leave it alone for 72 hours. Doing so will allow Facebook’s algorithm the time it needs to gather accurate data and optimize based on what’s really going on.

  • Keep an eye on engagement.

Engagement is the total number of actions that people take involving your ads. Post engagements can include actions such as reacting to, commenting on or sharing the ad, claiming an offer, viewing a photo or video, or clicking on a link. Monitoring this particular stat helps identify whether or not your ad is relevant to your audience. Thus, helping it perform better. You can check for this in your Ads Manager > Campaigns > Click the Columns: Performance dropdown > Engagement. From there, you’ll see a breakdown of people taking various actions.  

  • Check your ad’s relevancy score.

Your ad’s relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback Facebook expects your ad to receive from your target audience. The more positive interactions the social media platform expects your ad to receive, the higher your relevance score will be. This is an important one to check as it can lower your cost for reaching people, help you test ad creative options before running a campaign, and optimize campaigns that are already in progress. You can check for this in your Ads Manager > Campaigns > Click the Columns: Performance dropdown > Customize Columns > Check the box next to Relevance Score > Apply.

  • Check your ad’s frequency.

Frequency tells you the average number of times your ad has been shown to each individual. This is especially important because it helps build awareness and recall by showing your ad to people in your audience multiple times. But, if you ever notice it going above a 3, you’ll need to watch it very closely. Ultimately, you should never go above a 5—especially when you’re advertising on a local level to smaller audiences. You can check for this in your Ads Manager > Campaigns > Click the Columns: Performance dropdown > Customize Columns > Check the box next to Frequency > Apply.

  • Check your ad’s cost per lead (CPL).

This will tell you whether or not your ad spend justifies the outcome—meaning, the number of leads you generated from the campaign. You can check for this in your Ads Manager > Campaigns > Click the Columns: Performance dropdown > Customize Columns > Scroll down to Cost: Clicks > Select the appropriate metric(s) > Apply.

  • Adjust creative assets and budget if needed.

As you’re monitoring, if you notice your ad isn’t performing as you’d hoped, there’s still time to improve! Once the initial 72 hours are up, you’re free to adjust creative assets (image and copy), targeting, and even your budget as needed.


Wow, did we cover a lot today or what? But, it’s about time you’re looped in on how to create a Facebook ad for local lead generation efforts this year! Now, you can take these tips and get ready to grab hold of some serious wins for both your clients and your Facebook ad agency.

And, if you’re craving more of what was discussed today, and want help navigating the constant flow of updates and changes Facebook will throw at you and your growing ad agency, I invite you to join AdLab. It’s your unfair advantage to stay ahead of the game, while mastering ads for your current and future clients.

how to create a facebook ad for local lead gen

Have questions or something to share about creating a Facebook ad for local lead generation efforts this year? We’d love to hear from you and be of help. Just drop us a note in the comments section below!

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