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How to Use Online Lead Generation Tools to Help Build Your Customer Base

Courtesy of Meta

Attracting new customers has always been imperative to any business. Add the current complexities of labor and supply chain challenges, increased competition and inflation cutting into ever-slimming margins, it's essential today to find, attract and gain new customers.

Before a person decides to become a customer, they often need simple and convenient ways to get to know your business and its products or services. Lead generation is the process of identifying and connecting with potential customers (also known as "contacts" or "leads"), and nurturing their interest in your products or services. Online lead generation tools can make it easier to connect with leads at scale.

1. Meet potential customers where they are

Potential customers may be more likely to become leads if they can reach a business via their preferred communication channel, so it's important to consider the ways they like to get in touch. A survey on communication preferences found that there's a wide range of ways people like to communicate with businesses1; including forms, calls and messages. That's why Meta offers a suite of lead generation tools that help potential customers connect with your business via contact forms (lead ads), messages (ads that click to message) or phone calls (call ads), directly from an ad served to them on Instagram or Facebook.

Each tool helps people to express interest in a business in the ways they (and you), like to communicate. With lead ads, potential customers can complete a customizable, mobile-first contact form (or Instant Form) to easily provide information without leaving the app. With ads that click to message, you can prompt leads to chat with your business on Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp. Call ads make it easy for people to contact your business over the phone by including a "Call now" call-to-action button.

If you're trying to decide which online lead generation tool is best, consider implementing a multi-channel approach to optimize your chances of meeting potential customers where they are. This worked well for The Fives Hotel & Residences, a collection of luxury hotels, who used all three lead generation tools – lead ads, call ads, and ads that click to Messenger – to drive a 50% growth in their business, with a 10X increase in revenue.

2. Find high-quality leads

A challenge with lead generation is that it can be difficult to determine which leads, or contacts, are most likely to become customers over time. You need ways to not only identify and connect with potential customers, but tools that help you determine if they are well-suited for your business.

Meta lead generation tools allow businesses to get the information they need to determine if a contact is likely to eventually become a customer. For example, Bior Cucine, a company that custom-designs kitchens, looked to lead generation tools on Meta technologies to help them connect with people that were best suited for their business.

Once people clicked on one of Bior Cucine's lead ads and completed its Instant Form, they were able to provide their contact information and kitchen design preferences. With an Instant Form, businesses can request key information, like name, email and phone number. In this case, the information Bior Cucine received helped them learn more about their prospects' design services needs and efficiently qualify them.

Forms are not the only way to easily determine if leads are high quality. For example, with ads that click to Messenger, it's possible to set up an automated question and answer flow to help you qualify people quickly by gathering key details about what they're looking for, expectations for timeline and budget, and more. Seoul Spa, a Vietnamese beauty clinic specializing in skincare and acne treatments, used ads that click to Messenger to request and share information with potential customers in real time, and perfect their booking process and pre-service consultations. The result was they were able to increase qualified leads by 3.5X.

If you need to connect with the customer and qualify them right away, call ads make it easy for people to contact your business over the phone. You can schedule these ads to run only during business hours and you can route calls to any phone number of your choice.

3. Nurture your leads

Attracting and qualifying your potential customers is only the beginning – now it's up to you to create a strategy to help move your leads from prospect to paying customer. Businesses can use this time as an opportunity to build trust and a relationship with prospective customers by providing value. For example, you could offer your contacts a free consultation, invite them to a virtual event, or provide resources like eBooks, checklists or case studies. Using Custom Audiences, you can also target your lead generation ads to those who have already engaged with your business to help you stay top of mind among potential customers and continue to build a relationship.

Finding new potential customers online who are interested in your offerings can be key to growing your customer base and, in turn, your business. Consider how you can help people easily get in touch, identify those most likely to become customers and nurture their interest to help you expand your customer base and boost your bottom line.

Learn more about lead generation tools on Meta technologies.

1. Source: Meta-commissioned survey of 4,866 Google and Facebook users. Dec 2021.