How to Use Lead Magnets in Your Paid Marketing Strategy

Lead magnets in paid ads
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So you’ve created a lead magnet, now what?

Now, it’s time to incorporate your lead magnet into your paid ad campaign.

You are paying for ads, right? If not, seriously consider it. While it is possible for your prospective customers to find your business organically (i.e. without the boost of paid advertisements), it’s getting more difficult.


Two reasons.

#1: Increased competition. Every day, new competitors spring up and they’re hunting for the same customers that you are. Depending on your customer pool, you may be wrestling over a very small group of people. And, because of increased competition, it’s difficult for prospective customers to find you without finding your competitors first.

#2: Organic reach has its limits. Once upon a time, all you needed to do was set up a website or social media profile, and then watch the leads file in. These days, things are different. On Google, your website may be competing with millions of others. But here’s the catch: Only the first 10 search results count. That’s because 75% of search engine users never click past page one of the search results. If your business is somewhere on page three of the search results, it might as well not exist.

For business purposes, Facebook has become pay for play, too. Facebook has recently shaken up its algorithm to create a more tailored newsfeed for its users. Instead of showing all updates, Facebook cherry picks what posts they show and to whom. As a result, only 20% of your followers may see your posts on Facebook and not all the time. Even worse, this is just your followers— what about the prospective customers who don’t know about your business yet? How do you reach them?

Paid ads, that’s how. By all means, create a blog, employ search engine optimization (SEO), and get active on social media, but don’t just stop at that. If you want to ensure that your message reaches a specific group of prospective customers, you’ll need to pay for it. Otherwise, the people who need to hear from you the most may never see you.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to create the very best paid ads by using lead magnets as your bait. Let’s get started.

Where to Post Ads for Your Lead Magnet

Lead magnets in paid ads

You have a lot of options when it comes to paying for ads. Which ones yield the best results?

If you’re just starting out and/or have a lean budget, I recommend going with the two options that will give you the most bang for your buck: Facebook and Google Search. To say that Facebook and Google are popular is an understatement. These companies have over a billion users each. There’s a good chance that your target audience uses Facebook or Google, or both! If you advertise on either of these platforms, you’ll likely find your target audience.

How to Overcome Ad Blindness

But what about ad blindness? Can you really catch someone’s attention if they’ve trained themselves to ignore ads?

Yes, ad blindness is a thing. But there’s also a reason why internet ads are still around— they do work.

Here’s why some ads are ignored: People hate ads that are intrusive and irrelevant. When you think about the ads that you immediately disregard, they likely offered something that you didn’t want and offered it in a smarmy, scammy way.

But think about the ads that you did click on. Those ads offered something that you cared about and they also seemed to be written directly to you.

That wasn’t by accident.

Fortunately, you’ve already done the hardest part— You’ve created a lead magnet. Your lead magnet should be something that your target audience wants and they’ll notice your ad because of it. This is why you should never set up an advertising campaign without a lead magnet.

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Identify Your Target Audience

Who would you like to reach with your ads?

The first clue is in your lead magnet. Who will benefit the most from your lead magnet? That’s who you should target in your ad— no one else.

These are the people who are searching on Google for the solution that you’ve provided in your lead magnet. Think about what keywords they’ve entered into the Google search box. Those search terms are the same words that you will use in your ad. This is why it’s crucial that you know how your audience thinks and what language they use to describe their needs/wants.

Identify Their Stage in the Marketing Funnel

Instead of just targeting your audience based on their needs/wants or demographics, another option is to market to prospective customers based on their stage in the sales process. How far along are they in the customer’s journey? Are they becoming aware of the problem? Are they considering their options? Or are they ready to buy but need a final push?

There are three basic stages in the marketing funnel, and you can create lead magnets for each one of these stages. Let’s take a closer look at each stage and the types of lead magnets that work best.

During this stage, prospective customers begin to identify their problem. They’re looking to educate themselves and need beginner-friendly resources that give them the basics. Lead magnet ideas for this stage include:

  • Checklists
  • eBooks
  • Reports

During this stage, prospective customers grasp the basics of their problem and are now looking for solutions to that problem. Lead magnet ideas for this stage include:

During this stage, prospective customers are on the edge of conversion but need just a little nudge. Lead magnet ideas for this stage include:

  • Coupons & promo codes
  • Demos
  • Trials

Create Audiences for Your Ads

Lead magnets in paid ads

Google ads or Facebook ads— which one is better? I like a hand-in-hand approach. They compliment each other because you can use both to cover a lot of ground. However, when it comes to tailoring your ad content to fit your audience, Facebook really shines.

With Facebook, you have the ability to create very specific audiences to view your ads. You can target people on your mailing list or even people who are similar to those on your mailing list. You can also target your ads to people who meet certain criteria, such as location, age, gender, or behavior. This is known as demographic targeting.

You can create custom audiences in three distinct ways.

The first way is to upload a list of email addresses (i.e. your email subscriber list) so that Facebook can match it to the users. This allows you to market to people who are already familiar with you but haven’t purchased yet.

Learn more about creating custom audiences from your email list here.

The second way to create a custom audience of people who’ve visited your site before. By placing a Facebook pixel (a small piece of code) in the header of your website, Facebook can automatically compile a list of its users who’ve visited your site. Then, you can market to this audience.

This type of marketing is best for reaching people who are in the second or third stages of the funnel. They’re already aware of you, they just need to be convinced that you have the right solution for their problem.

Learn more about setting up a Facebook pixel here.

The third way is to create a custom audience called lookalike. As its name suggests, lookalike audiences “look like” your those on your email list. To create a lookalike audience, you can either upload your email list or allow Facebook to use the data from your Facebook page or your pixel. Then, allow Facebook to create a similar audience.

Learn more about creating a lookalike audiences here.

Final Thoughts

When creating a paid ad campaign, it’s crucial that you include relevant, valuable lead magnets to attract the right audience. Use the above tips to maximize your paid marketing efforts.

Before you go, check out these related posts:

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