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Google Takes On Facebook With New Lead Gen Campaigns

Google Search Beta Will Capture Leads Directly From Results Page

Google is testing a new way for businesses to capture customer information with lead form extensions for Google Ads.

The new beta functions very similarly to Facebook Lead Ads, in that Searchers can submit their information directly from the search ad. See image above via Twitter user @stevenjohns21.

Marketers can customise lead forms as needed, indicating which pieces of information they want to ask customers for, including:

  1. Customer name
  2. Email
  3. Phone number
  4. Postcode

At present, Google facilitates a narrow range of data points; however this will inevitably grow, should the beta be successful.

It’s hard to imagine the beta not being successful since this is a feature marketers have wanted for years. However, Google has launched similar trials in the past, only to pull the pin, so fingers crossed.

The lead form beta has appeal for a range of verticals, especially those outside of Google’s ecommerce or traditional direct response “bread and butter”.

It also opens up the tactical scope for Google ads substantially, for example, building newsletters subscriber volumes, or even driving competition entries.

Although to create and use a lead form extension on Search, your account must be in a non-sensitive vertical or sub-vertical. Some sensitive verticals and sub-verticals are not eligible for lead form extensions. See requirements here.

Data capture from campaigns can then be synced up to the advertiser’s CRM system via API, ensuring an element of seamlessness, especially if this flows into email automation programs.

Google Starting To Build Up It’s Walled Garden

Google’s latest beta works on several levels, perhaps most notably keeping users locked into search engine results.

In recent times Google has subtly started to shift its offering to be more of a destination, or a “portal” if you will. Rather than a place that searchers go to find information and then leave.

Perhaps best demonstrated by the substantial rise in what are called “Zero Click Searches” in recent years. Whereby, the searcher clicks nothing, following a search.

In essence, suggesting they got what they needed from the search results page and then left, or maybe searched again. Or, if they do leave, increasing heading towards a Google-owned destination.

Google has historically been an open online ecosystem, albeit curated algorithmically, but open nonetheless.

Over the past 2 – 3 years it is becoming more closed. Much like social networks are.

It is worth noting, across the board, that many of the new ad units launching across the online ecosystem are primarily concerned with keeping users tied into platform.

Take, for example, Facebook’s new video ads, featured last month on SMK.

Or, units which allow the advertiser to drive conversion at the channel level, i.e. these new Google lead ads. Rather than pushing to website, as per the prior 20 years.

Online Lead Generation Campaigns  

Facebook launched its lead generation campaigns back in 2015, and since then they have been one of its most popular and effective campaign types.

It’s worth noting for Google’s current beta; lead capture forms are an ad extension for search ads, rather than a campaign type, as they are on Facebook.

As with Facebook, Google’s lead gen campaigns are currently mobile-only for beta. No doubt a deliberate move, offering extra appeal for marketers given the comparatively weak conversion rate of mobile traffic versus desktop traffic.

LinkedIn launched its lead gen equivalent in 2017, although as with most marketing opportunities on LinkedIn (currently) they’re a bit over-priced and drive low-ish volume when compared to similar opportunties. However, as LinkedIn improves (which it is) this will hopefully become less the case into 2020 –> 2021.

Facebook recently upped the ante with lead generation campaigns, by integrating with Messenger, which is a very smart move.

Giving marketers the option of running data capture campaigns directly via the News Feed, which has become very competitive, or via Messenger, which is not.

Until Google’s lead capture beta rolls out for all there are opportunities available, as per above, to name just a few. In the meantime, you can find more information on Googles lead capture beta here.

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