The SocialMadeSimple Show- Corey Cotnoir Ep. 8

Nov 12, 2020 | The SocialMadeSimple Show

SocialMadeSimple’s Chief Operating Officer and first-ever returning guest, Corey Cotnoir, is back with Business Development Manager, Ryan Chiasson, to break down the ins and outs of running a lead generation ad campaign. Watch to learn what a lead generation ad is, the most important thing to consider when running a campaign, biggest misconceptions, and more!

“That’s what a lead ad is… it’s a 3-step process without making the consumer ever leave Facebook to generate a lead.”

Ryan: Alright welcome back to the SocialMadeSimple Show! I’m your host, Ryan Chiasson, and today I’m joined by a guest that has already been on our show and is the first guest to return. The Chief Operating Officer of SocialMadeSimple, Corey Cotnoir. Corey, thanks for joining us again!


Corey: Thanks for having me again, Ryan. Glad to be back!


Transition: The SocialMadeSimple Show


Ryan: I think since then, the show has definitely grown and I hope that our audiences learned a little bit more about our company and what we do. I also have a little bit more hair now thanks to the pandemic and I refuse to go to the barbershop but we’ll see when that changes – maybe the holiday season. 

To give everyone a refresher just in terms of what we talked about last time, we had an introduction to Corey, his position at the company, a lot of the moving pieces that he deals with on his day to day and week to week. Although, the thing that I want to focus on today – and honestly the thing that I’ve probably been asked about most from talking to new businesses each week – is lead generation on Facebook; specifically the advertising campaigns. I was hoping to kind of dive into those more today.


Transition: What is a Lead Generation Ad Campaign?


Ryan: We can say a sentence or less, or just a condensed answer: what is a lead generation Facebook ad?


Corey: I’m not traditionally good at condensing responses, so I’ll do my best. The thing to point out there would be that there are a variety of ways to generate leads through Facebook, or really through social. What I’ll focus on, and to give you a brief answer, would be lead ads through Facebook is a product that we lean on more than almost any other ad solution. Primarily what that does is it just allows an advertiser to generate a lead without making the consumer ever leave Facebook. So they just press that they’re interested, Facebook auto fills their information because it knows it and because they’re logged into Facebook, and they press submit. So a whole bunch more detail to that but to keep that as brief as possible, that’s what a lead ad is; it’s a 3-step process without making the consumer ever leave Facebook to generate a lead. 


Ryan: Yeah and what exactly do they see on their end just in terms of what the ad looks like and what it has them do?


Corey: Yeah so these ads are primarily only available to be placed on the newsfeed of an end user. So as they scroll through let’s say Facebook, they’re scrolling through their newsfeed, they’re seeing posts from friends and posts from family. Good advertisers will create content that blends into that newsfeed in a way that doesn’t make the user skip over it with ad blindness saying, “I’ve seen this ad before, I don’t want to read into this anymore”.

So from the user’s end, it really should look and feel just like something organic and something authentic that they are interested in. We’ve built products around this functionality, we do it for all our businesses, we also automate the solution in certain verticals. It really really does work, and it’s a really powerful tool, but for the most part, these lead ads – and really every ad – should look and feel just like something that fits into the newsfeed of an end user.


Transition: A Lead Fills Out The Form… Then What?


Ryan: Once the end consumer submits their information what does the business see on their end? then that I guess specifically you know and what we do what our strategy is 


Corey: Yeah this is one of the biggest pitfalls of the Facebook lead ads solution. It’s been a long time; it’s been maybe over 3 or 4 years at this point since it has been introduced but they haven’t had great support for the lead ads product. What I mean by that is really a couple of years ago, an advertiser running a lead campaign on Facebook would get leads generated and they’d have to set up custom integrations in order to be even be notified that a lead was just generated. They would basically just get thrown into a spreadsheet on the back end of Facebook that they’d have to go download, which is obviously not a great experience for the business running the ad.

So solutions like ours will have tool kits where if you’re the advertiser you can get an automatic email, something that we do. You can also use some simple integrations Facebook has a big CRM, like Salesforce. If you’re a larger business using Salesforce, you can directly integrate back with your Facebook account and that will automatically pull in the lead when it’s generated into your CRM for your sales team to then act on. Or if you’re somewhere in the middle, you’ve got to learn how to build custom integration so the short answer to this is that it really depends on who the advertiser, is how calm complex their sales funnel is and what they need to be done when a lead is generated; and that really informs how you build that funnel and how you build those systems. So it can be one of the more challenging parts of running a good lead campaign. You can do all the work to generate your leads but then, as you know Ryan, it’s imperative that sales teams are diligent in following up with leads. You can’t let a lead lag for days before being reached out to and a lot of times they may have gone and found another solution by then. So it’s a thing that you should definitely seek perfection around and make sure you’re constantly exhausting all your options for what you can do to make this a more streamlined process as an advertiser.


Transition: The Most Important Thing to Consider When Setting Up Your Campaign


Corey: There are 2 elements to this. The first would be standard details that are required of any ads so this is not exclusive to lead ads but that’s obviously the creative and the strategies. So targeting, ad copy, imagery, etc. I’m not just saying those need to be great, that’s obvious, but they need to be conducive for a lead strategy. Why are you trying to generate a lead? What are you hoping that lead expresses an interest in? What copy and creative would push them towards that? So that goes without saying –  that’s the number one bullet point of any advertising strategy. But the second thing that’s often misunderstood and are not executed properly would be understanding the balance between quality and quantity of leads. Everyone would say, “I want the most leads that are most qualified”. That’s obvious, but that’s impossible. 

With that said, you need to consider things like what type of data do I want to collect for our sales team to then go execute on? Is it just name, email, and phone number? Do I need business name? Do I need their website? Do I need to know how much money they are willing to invest in this solution? You could add a list of 30 questions that lead form, if someone submits then you have the most quality leads you’ve ever had, but you might be paying crazy crazy amounts of money waiting for that lead to come through. So finding a good balance right there is what’s challenging.

We obviously work with a ton of businesses that keep us you know keep us engaged and push us to make sure we’re executing on both sides of that spectrum as well as we can be. But it’s important businesses go through that exercise themselves and ask themselves, ”Do we have a target cost per lead? Is it realistic that we can hit that target CPL while also collecting all of the data that we’d like to collect?” It’s pretty standard marketing knowledge that any time you add a new data point to any lead form, you’re going to worsen conversion rates. That’s just pretty standard almost across the board in any lead funnel. So you really just have to go through that exercise as a business when you’re building any lead strategy and make sure you have a really clear objective there.


Ryan: Yeah, definitely and I think that just goes back to those friction points. Any time anyone sees an ad or does anything on their mobile device or computer I feel like efficiency is the name of the game. With Facebook being able to auto-fill and then, of course, the same thing with the lead gen form, the less friction there is the more likely someone is to submit that form.


Corey: I’d like to point something out there too, Ryan, that I haven’t really mentioned, which is really important. This isn’t necessarily a thing that is exclusive to what we do or why these work so well for us but is a really important benefit of these Facebook lead ads and Instagram lead ads, which is that it now can convert mobile traffic. Previous to this, a person browsing on their phone receives a cool ad on Instagram, they click on the ad, they go to a website. More often than not, if they’re anything like me or most people who use their phone, they are absolutely not going to type in their name, email, and phone number into a lead form on their phone. They’re just to say, “I’ll do that later or I’ll come back to that. I’ll save the post or something”. 

Having this one-touch functionality where it pre-fills that data for you have substantially increased mobile conversion in this space. For that reason, I think that’s something important to point out when people consider what their lead objectives are, do you have mobile traffic you want to convert into leads and, if yes, then really really consider using solutions like this that like you say reduce friction because it’s a huge pain point on mobile.


Ryan: Yeah, absolutely! Even when you have someone on a mobile device that goes to fill out a lead form, has an iPhone, or have your keychain with your email address, your name, it still has points you don’t want to do. So auto-filling has changed that level of the game.


Transition: Why Should I Choose SocialMadeSimple?


Corey: I would say it’s 2 things: the first would be the software that we built around this solution. As I alluded to earlier on, we’ve even gone and built entire products around the lead gen experience to minimize the amount of work our team has to do which then, in turn, reduces the cost to the end advertiser or the end consumer. So we have a ton of technology we’ve built around this. For example, if you’re an advertiser who runs lead ads through SocialMadeSimple, we give you, what we call, the campaign status page and that status page automatically emails you the instant that a leader is generated. As I did mention earlier, that’s usually a very cumbersome process. You want to run lead ads you then have to figure out how to integrate those lead ads with your CRM, what notification you want to generate – is that an email, is that a slack message, text messages, what is that? So we take care of a lot of that for you; we run the ad for you and then our system also goes and emails you. If you’re someone that’s on-the-go and you want it on your mobile phone, you get an email in your inbox and you can just call the lead right from that email. 


That’s a really important part of what we do with regard to the lead space separate from some other simple things: providing easy ways to integrate into your CRM, metadata, and emails our status page has data all over it. And then really the second part of this is kind of a cookie-cutter answer but is absolutely true which is we are really really good at these. We’ve been doing them (lead gen ad campaigns) almost since the first day Facebook introduced them which at this point is 4 years in the making. So we have a really really thorough track record of producing leads for businesses. We’ve worked with, I would say confidently, almost every business in every industry. So if you’re watching this and wondering, “Can they? Yeah, but I have this industry but my leads are hard.” I guarantee you we’ve probably converted harder and worked with more challenging lead funnels. Just the data we have in-house, the track record, our results, the success we’ve built on, and continue to optimize with is really reliable. It’s our advertising solution I think that is most sought after by all of our businesses and it’s the one that I think has our highest customer satisfaction because it’s rare to find leads that are as quality and in high volumes like we provide.


Ryan: Yes, absolutely! This was already in place before I came on with the company but even just being able to have our hand not only with small to medium businesses but also being able to you know apply these strategies over into the franchise world whether that be for singular franchisees or for the franchise development efforts. As you know, because you’ve got such a big hand in it, that it spans across every objective that a business can have. 


Transition: Lead Gen Ads on Social Media: Biggest Misconceptions


Ryan: Biggest misconceptions about lead generation through social. I feel like I’ve heard it all on the different phone calls that I’ll take with new businesses; that it won’t work because of XYZ but every week I get proven wrong and there’s something else that people are nervous or hesitant about when it comes to lead gen through social media. 


Corey: Yeah I think the simple answer is: it’s just not perceived as a lead gen solution (social media). I understand why – that’s not what it’s built for. It’s built for communication and community and obviously being social with an audience as a business or consumer to consumer. So it’s properly misbranded in that sense that people don’t think of social as a lead gen platform, but that couldn’t be more wrong. When you look at Facebook, you look at Instagram, you look at Linkedin, all of these social platforms that are good at lead gen. They rival and, in some cases, surpass the more traditional lead gen options in the digital world; think paid search as a good example.

We have a lot of comparables where we look at our performance and you cross analyze that with large franchise brands that are paying for both; the amount that they lean on our Facebook and Instagram ads as a primary source for the converted customers, it just proves that social really should be considered a lead gen solution. That’s the biggest myth and misconception, people just think it’s a platform for community and sharing your updates and posts to your audience but it can really be incredibly powerful as an advertising platform. 


Transition: How Can I Bring Value to My Customers on Social Media?


Ryan: Of course, we know that they provide value but what would you say to a business on how they can continue to provide value to their customers and audience on social media?


Corey: Yeah it goes a little bit hand in hand with my last answer which is: social is social and we’re talking about it as a powerful advertising platform but it can’t just be that. These platforms would have failed a long time ago if they were just turned into pure advertising where you beat down end-users with ad after ad after ad. A lot of people would argue that does happen too often and that would be a good conversation to have but none the less you still need to be able to fit into the platforms and network in the community that you engage in. You can’t stick out, you can’t be too ad-heavy. This conversation that you bring up is one we constantly have to remind businesses of. You can’t just serve consumers with, “Hey we have a sale today, we have a sale today, buy this new product…”. They need to be given value in this social space, otherwise, they won’t perceive your brand as something that’s worth engaging within the social sphere.

Then additionally, I think of a good example and I’m not just saying these things to sell social because that’s what we do. I think a good example would be that I have a newsletter that I actually signed up for from my bank. The reason is that they actually provide me with an incredible review, weekly, of just what’s going on in the world of finance and just big tech companies and industries as a whole. They give me full breakdowns in an email newsletter of all the things that happened last week that are noteworthy, that are gonna impact the stock market, impact businesses you care about, impact social media and tech companies; and that has nothing to do with my banking experience. I don’t then go and log in and do things with their services and products; but it’s incredible branding for them, it keeps the consumer like myself engaged and connected with their brand, I trust them more and I realize they are looking out for me. For any business out there, think about what you do, what you’re good at, what you have that your customers necessarily don’t and provide those resources to them through social or any channel; digital, print, whatever you have access to. Provide them content, provide them resources, and inform them of things that they’ll perceive as valuable from your brand. It doesn’t have to just be beating them over the head with sales and with your product in hopes that they buy it. Provide them resources that’ll keep them coming back!


Ryan: Yeah, absolutely! I think that’s one of the biggest reasons that even when we fulfill on the content end, we always make sure that we include what we call those general interest posts. I can probably speak for most people that when you do follow a business, for them to be able to either share a blog or an article that isn’t theirs but directly relates to their industry and business as a whole for me, as the end consumer, would find it helpful. Let’s say a real estate agent shares a blog about buying a home for the first time because that’s where I’m going with my life right now. I don’t have a home right now but I mean I’m getting to that point so something like – that a resource like that – would definitely provide a lot of value to me. 


Corey: Good point! If you think about it this way – I just went to the process of selling my house and obviously in the world we live in right now with COVID-19 is so peculiar and bizarre and I, even with a background in real estate, was so confused about what the market looks like. Are we in a bubble, should I sell, should I buy? I had no valuable or reliable source of information that provided me with context on a frequent basis.

So there was a void in that information cycle on my end as an end-user and I would have felt more comfortable with a real estate agent with a loan officer, really within that whole sphere of real estate, if I was provided with better and more valuable information. I’m sure there are millions of consumers like myself, not just in real estate, but everything that they’re looking at right now in this crazy world where an expert in their field should be updating their consumers with what’s going on in the world and especially COVID-19 when everything is so crazy. 


Ryan: Yeah – you think about it and see that you have those resources that you’re getting from a business on social media, it makes you feel like they care. They want to share that information with their audience and ultimately then you’re gonna want to be able to at least talk to them to see what they have in store after providing that value to you upfront without pitching you their services or products. 

I think that is all the questions that we have for today! Corey, thanks again for hopping on. I really hope this information was useful and provided value to our audience and community on our social channels and YouTube. Be sure to check us out at to get more information on all of the services that we provide and feel free to schedule a call with myself if you want to dive a little deeper into what we do and how we can help you, folks. Until then, we will see you next time! 

Corey: Awesome – thank you, guys!